Ever make a footbrace?

I am planning to make a total of four footbraces for several canoes. It seems there are plenty of online sources for the aluminum tubing and aluminum angle. I would appreciate any advice or experience before I order materials.

go to great lengths to check prices
Professionally, I am a pipefitter. I work with different metals on a daily basis. Check every industrial supply house, in your area, that carries structural tubing. Prices on aluminum vary greatly.

I am about to make three new canoe poles. I have just about given up on getting a good price where I live. It appears that it is going to be worth my while to make 2 hour drive to Atlanta for aluminum tubing.

I could not imagine having to do any welding for a footbrace, but if you are so inclined I advise against it. Properly welding thin aluminum requires skills and equipment that most people do not have. Engineer any welds out of the design.

Never made one
But I have sure used a bunch. I would suggest that you pay attention to the the screws that fastens the bar to the angle piece. Lost one at 70 miles and hour on I 40 once. Sometimes now I Nylock the dang things on.

If you are creative you might try to come up with a spring loaded thingy. Sort like a shower curtain. Then just slot out the angle to hold the cross bar. To change it just reach down and push and move. I just have not figured out the spring in the tube yet.

I have made them .
for both my Jensen and my c-2 cruiser thanks to Cannut’s tutoring. (possibly he will chime in here and help you out)

Don’t waste money on line buying the stuff.

You can get the aluminum tubing for the cross brace and aluminum channel at Lowes or Home Depot, and with aluminum rivets and stainless bolts you are in business.

If you want a picture or two just let me know and I’ll have my wife take a couple and e-mail them to you.



Should be pretty simple

– Last Updated: Jan-18-05 6:38 PM EST –

If you can, take a look at one or two commercially built models. There's really nothing to them. I can describe the whole thing in one paragraph if you would like, though.

I've posted this before in reference to Baldpaddler's loss of a bolt while car-topping. To prevent that from happening, I coat the bolt threads with non-hardening gasket cement. That way, even if a wingnut works loose, it can't just spin off of its own accord (it always takes effort to turn the nut, even when it's loose). You can remove and retighten the wingnuts quite a few times before you need to add more cement to the threads.

Regarding the prices of aluminum, I'm with JackL on this. Sure you can save money by carefully shopping around, but why bother? You are only going to have a few bucks worth of materials invested in this even if you pay too much. Shopping around probably isn't worth your time.

I suppose…
that if I was only going to buy a few feet, then it wouldn’t kill me to pay 200%.

They are probably right.

cost vs. effort.

Funny how that works
Along similar lines, I sometimes go to the hardware store and buy a very small machine bolt in a hard-to-find size for 20 or 30 cents. Imagine what 20 pounds such material would cost at that price! Amazing. Of course, they have to make it worth their time to stock, handle, and checkout individual items like that too, so you can hardly blame them.

Good luck making your canoe poles. Poling looks like great fun (haven’t done it).

I’ve got “funny” for you …
I have a plate in my lower, left leg. The plate is attached to one of the bones with 7 stainless steel screws. Cost: $50.00 per screw in l990 dollars! I’m still trying to find out the difference between the ones in my leg & and a plain, ordinary, stainless steel screw. Talk about price markup!


Good question!
I had six stainless screws attaching a plate to my leg for six weeks. When the plate and screws were removed, one of them sheared off. The threaded half is still in my leg. If you ask me, there is no difference between hardware store screws and high priced medical screws.

How do you make the nice crimps
How do you do that? If I place them in a vice and clamp them down, I’m thinking I will get more of a kink than a nice gradual bend that transitions gracefully into a flat at the ends.

I have often wondered…
…and maybe you can answer or some doctor that reads this.

When they put a screw into a bone, do they use a self-tapping screw, or do they have to drill a pilot hole.

I know it is a weird question, but I am an old time do-it yourselfer, and every time I hear someone having it done it makes me wonder.



Two useful hints:
Get anodized alumimum as it will not leave that residue all over everything non-anodized does.

Use only FINE threaded nuts and bolts. You do not need lock washers or even washers with them and they very, very seldom come undone by themselves. ie: Kruger canoes have a lot of nuts and bolts on them, but no lock washers, washers, nylock nuts, or any thread lock. The two bolts I have lost were improperly installed and would have lost them no matter what.

Happy Paddl’n!



Simple answer Bob
The screws in your leg were covered by health insurance