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Giving My Plastic Barrel Canoe a Good Ribbing

 
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 I finally found the time to work on my plastic barrel canoe. In an earlier post I said I made it about  12 years ago but its more like 17 or 18 years that I made this canoe by cutting the ends of and splitting the plastic to get a sheet of plastic about 32 in. by nearly 6 ft. long. I then made some wooden ribs and screwed 5 sheets from 5 barrels together with just sheet rock screws and some calking and made a canoe. I got the idea from my son who was floating in the swimming pool in a barrel cut in half length wise. After searching the internet for an idea of how to put it together, I found very little and certainly nothing I wanted to copy, so I came up with my own plan. Now years later the wood ribs are rotting away so I came up with another plan, to make the ribs out of pvc pipe. I got the idea watching The Back Yard Bower on Youtube , he makes pvc bows, so why not canoe ribs, they look similar. First I flatten the pipe, then I heat it again in the canoe and shape it to the inside and then screw it in place. I'll be using more of them than the wooden ribs but will make it look amazing compared to the wooden ones I had, they were more like trusses than ribs. I will still need a way to weld or seal the seams but where the screws go through, they get ground off flush and will not pull out or leak. Originally I calked the seams but welding seem more viable. The canoe is tougher than a $2.00 steak and could be used every day in a shallow rocky creek or river for a long long time and not wear out.

 If anyone would like to copy it feel free and if you have any questions feel free to ask. Also please feel free to check out my video and if you can like and subscribe it would be very greatly appreciated.

Here is the link to my first video, hopefully more to come.  
     And please check out my other videos too.

 Thank you and God bless.
 
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Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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Nice job! That youtube channel is awesome, and I use his technique for making all sorts of things like low tunnel hoops.

Have you experimented with methyl ethyl ketone (pvc cement they use for plumbing) to see if it will chemically weld the plastic together?
 
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Very cool, William.  The canoe looks great and I think the pvc ribs are a great idea.

When I was in school I worked for a summer at a company that did rotational moulding for plastic things like compost bins and the garbage can/window washer wells at the gas station.  

Sometimes there were defects at the seams and I'd plastic weld them.  There was a special heat gun that was very focussed and had an opening in the nozzle for a piece of plastic rod.  The welding gun would melt the object and the plastic rod and you would push the rod into the void.  It really is more like brazing, but it worked pretty well.  I'm not sure if it would work with the barrel plastic.
 
William Egan
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Nice job! That youtube channel is awesome, and I use his technique for making all sorts of things like low tunnel hoops

.


 
Thanks  Nick be careful to paint over it because it will ruin you greenhouse plastic over tim

Have you experimented with methyl ethyl ketone (pvc cement they use for plumbing) to see if it will chemically weld the plastic together?)



Haven't tried that yet but been thinking on it but I know it will not bond to the HDPE plastic that the barrels are made of.



Timothy, thank you very much. I was thinking about putting a piece of metal sink drain pipe on the end of my heat gun and then run a piece of copper tubing though it that will somehow come out the bottom where a long thin piece of plastic can go through it and melt but be solid enough on top to feed it through and then be mashed in the seem with the hot piece of drain pipe, Just in the idea stage so far. Hope that's a little clearer than mud.

 
Timothy Markus
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I think the 'gun' I used had a protuberance shaped like a duck's bill to push the rod into the seam, much like you're describing.  The trick, I guess the same with all welding, was to make sure you had a hot rod and seams so they could flow together and then use the tip to physically squish it together.  
 
William Egan
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I think the 'gun' I used had a protuberance shaped like a duck's bill to push the rod into the seam, much like you're describing.  The trick, I guess the same with all welding, was to make sure you had a hot rod and seams so they could flow together and then use the tip to physically squish it together.

Yes that pretty much what i was thinking, if I can find a thin metal pipe that fits snug on my heat gun then drill a hole thru it diagonal like and put a copper tube thru it and bend the end of the bigger pipe almost closed , I'll have to experiment a bit but my cogs are turning.

I suck at technology, was trying to quote, lol
 
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This is awesome, I love budget boat builds. I've seen plywood rowboats, tarp kayaks, and now a plastic barrel canoe. I'm a bit confused as to how you got the tapered ends, though.

I made a pvc bow a few years back, it was two layers of pvc and shot those green fiberglass sign posts with the ends sharpened and some duct tape flights (surprisingly durable and stable flight). Thing must've had a 120lb draw weight, I had to use the old English longbow "bend over and draw it as you straighten up" method to pull it back all the way. It tore up my fingers even with gloves on.
 
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