TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

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By gerald
I needed another strong back so I built one.

I start out with a simple ladder frame. In this case it's 2X6's, overall depth of 16".
A simple ladder frame.jpg

1/2" plywood glued on for the sides.
One side done.jpg

Now the other side.jpg

Stand detail.
Stand detail.jpg

Add the top.
Add the top.jpg

You're done
You're done.jpg

Tomorrow or the next day I'll show the forms attached.

...and here we go with the forms attached to the new strong back.
Forms on the new strong back.jpg
User avatar
By Pogo
Nice strongback -- you can build an unlimited number of boats on that baby, I'm thinking. Oh boy, how I envy your shop and ability to have more than one project underway at a time. Maybe some day . . . . .

Here's a pretty simple box beam strongback built of bargain bin plywood:


And an ever simpler T-beam affair made of same (I always ask for damaged plywood, get some GREAT deals):

By Turner
Go to Gerald website and into his photo galleries. On the album for Night Wings OI, you will see it. Go to:

http://texaspaddler.com/gallery/Night-Wings-Outer-Island?page=1 Go to page 5 and beginning on pictuer 40, you will see the Hull upside down on the strongback and the beginnings of the deck-stripping....

ojdidit wrote:Having only built a boat with an internal strong back, How do you strip the deck with an external strong back?
User avatar
By gerald
ojdidit wrote:Having only built a boat with an internal strong back, How do you strip the deck with an external strong back?

Turn the boat over and remove the stands attached to the forms. This is variable, but most of the time I apply fiberglass on the hull, turn the boat over and do the deck. Sometimes I remove the forms and do the inside of the hull first and replace the forms, but not often.
I do not like internal stiff backs (strong back) but will use them if necessary.
I have been working on building a strongback for my next project. One of my neighbors gave me a bunch of plywood so I have been trying to use it. So far the only lumber I have had to purchase is two 2"X6"X16'.


I installed handles at each end to make it a little more "mover" friendly, or at least as "mover" friendly as a couple hundred pounds wood can be :D

I also hate tripping over extension cords so I installed 4 outlets.

So here is my question, I used the ladder method similar to Gerald's but I don't have enough plywood to finish out the second side:
Is there any reason I can't just turn it on it's side (like the next picture) and mount my stanchions from here. Isn't the idea is to have a nice level platform to work from? Is another piece of plywood really going to make much of a difference?
User avatar
By gerald
Oh...in answer to your question about laying the strong back on it's side:

It would probably work but you would loose the strength of the laminated plywood on both sides. In your scenario the strength is primarily coming from the 2 X 6 material. The plywood is serving as a stiffener for the 2 X 6 boards, but still the wide side of the solid lumber is providing the strength. Should be strong enough except for the fact that solid lumber tends to sag over time unless you have really straight and strong grain and/or you put the crown up. Even with the crown up it will sag over time.

With 12" of plywood laminated on both sides, and standing on edge, the plywood is providing the strength while the solid lumber is providing the stiffener. I add the plywood on top for more working space and edge clamping...and it adds to sideways stiffness...though that is just a peripheral benefit. Even with plywood laminated on both sides I add a little bit of crown to the strong back. I would rather my strong backs have a small amount of crown rather than any amount of sway back....
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