Canadian Canoe Routes

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Author:  Hack [ March 29th, 2005, 9:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Strongback

I would be very interested to hear what people who have built a canoe have used for their strongback. I'm sure there are a lot of different types and methods. Did you use the recommendation in your plans, or did you come up with a different solution? Please share your system and also share what, if anything, you would do differently if you did it all over again.

Thank you.

Author:  kanoe14 [ March 29th, 2005, 9:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Strongback

I just finished my Osprey. I built the strongback according to the plans in Canoecraft. Very strong, did not move. Maybe a bit too heavy, but will definately be good for a lot more use.

Author:  quantum mechanic [ March 29th, 2005, 9:43 pm ]
Post subject: 

As I understand it there is an old and new version of Canoecraft, each with a different type of strongback. The version I have, which I believe to be old, suggests using a piece of lumber that I always felt would be prone to warping. As I understand it the new version has a better more stable design though I don’t know what it is.

Does anyone know the difference between the two or could you describe the strong back that you made?

Author:  Hack [ March 29th, 2005, 9:58 pm ]
Post subject: 

The Canoecraft copy that I have has a "T" style of strongback using 2 x 10s. In Ted Moores book "Kayaks you can build" it shows a box type of strongback using plywood, but no dimensions are given. From the photos, it appears to be made from 3/4 inch plywood, and it appears that the ladder portion is about 6 inches deep with a 24" top. But I'm guessing and probably wrong.

Another version I have seen is to make a plywood "T" type by laminating 3/4 inch beams together.

Author:  Bryan Hansel [ March 29th, 2005, 10:19 pm ]
Post subject: 

The new version of Canoecraft uses plywood to build a box beam, and should be very nice. My old strongback, which I gave away, was built with a 1x10 for the top surface, and two 2 by 10s that sandwiched the 2x4 legs. I built several canoes on it, and they seem to go straight. :) I never experienced warping and used just standard construction grade lumber.

Someone once suggested using a metal I beam to me, but that seemed a little outlandish. When I used to build houses we used prefabricated wooden I beams on several occasions. They were always straight, and would make a nice strongback.

My next strongback will be built like my last one.

Author:  jjanosik [ March 29th, 2005, 11:43 pm ]
Post subject: 

I have used aluminum ladder for a stongback - the steps are exactly 12" apart and perfectly perpendicular to the length of canoe - so I attached stations to the steps using u-bolt.
No extra wood needed and when done, the ladder goes back to it's original use.

Author:  diplomat [ March 30th, 2005, 12:23 am ]
Post subject: 

I used the Canoecraft design, but added a centre leg when I found that the whole thing bowed into the middle (as I had predicted from looking at the design).

Much more stable and strong.

Cal White

Author:  Doug [ March 30th, 2005, 6:42 am ]
Post subject: 

I like and used the strongback from T. Moores "KayakCraft".
Is it the same as "Canoecraft".


Author:  Boneli [ March 30th, 2005, 8:23 am ]
Post subject: 

I built the strongback according to the plans in Canoecraft. Very strong and stable. I have used it twice disassembling and building it back together for the second use. I store in halves up in a shed which gets large temperature swings. As long as you take the time to true it up and plumb it fore and aft, you should be fine.

I have heard people using those engineered I-beams without problems.


Author:  Hack [ March 30th, 2005, 9:36 am ]
Post subject: 

For those who have used the plywood ladder/box method a la Ted Moores, what are the dimensions of the box/ladder section that you used?



Author:  Dan Lindberg [ March 30th, 2005, 6:16 pm ]
Post subject: 

I am about ready to pull the 3rd canoe off the forms/strongback.

I am a bit anal about it though, I don't want ANY movement in the strongback.

I started with the std 2x TEE, got it built and decided it "moved" too much.
I braced it from below with pieces that created a truss. This made it very ridge in the verticle direction, but it was still soft torsionally.

So I resorted to boxing it in with plywood. That made it rigid.

If I were making another today, it would be a plywood box structure, about 8" wide by 10 or 12 " deep, 2 layers of 3/4 on top, 1 layer of the rest.


Author:  Hack [ March 30th, 2005, 7:43 pm ]
Post subject: 

I found the new edition of Canoecraft in the public library tonight, and it had an excellent section on making a strongback. The best part is that it only uses two sheets of plywood. That's much easier to swallow.

The box method looks very strong and stable.

I better get cleaning up the workshop...

Author:  homeschool_canoe [ September 28th, 2013, 1:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Strongback

I realize I'm digging up an ancient thread, but a strongback will be the first thing in order. I was wondering if anyone had some current pic's of their strongbacks. I've searched and found a few references to a tilting strongback but the links were dead.

What I want to do is make the whole unit to be able to hang from the ceiling of my shop, so that using a pulley system I can raise it (and the project on it) out of the way when I'm not working on it. I have 12' ceilings in my shop. It of course would sit on stands when on the ground. I would also be interested in making it tilting if possible.
Just wondering if anyone had attempted this and if they would share some details.

I have a large quantity of maple to make the strongback out of. Although this maple is kiln dried it is no good for finish work, I use it to make jigs, etc.

Author:  Charlie Wilson [ September 29th, 2013, 7:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Strongback


Two 19ft, 2X2X1/4" angles, bolted together to form a T about 4.5" across; 3/8"+ nuts as spacers form a slot between the two angle irons. Plywood sections bolt to 4" X2X2X1/4" angles, w 3"X3/8" bolt running down through the slot so longitudinal and angle adjustments are made with washer and nut then tightened down firmly. Careful boring of the spacer holes allows one foot intervals along the T beam. Steel legs of similar section bolt to the T Spar and the floor.

It doesn't move, stores compactly and won't burn.

Author:  homeschool_canoe [ September 29th, 2013, 10:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Strongback

Hmmmm.... been thinking about steel as well ;)
With removable legs.

I must be able to hoist the whole unit, with the project on board, up to the ceiling during the work week.
I have the headroom.

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