folding kayak stand

Florida Sportsman

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  1. #1
    Junior Member mikedameron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    NC and Florida

    folding kayak stand

    Some of this information may be dated, especially the prices. But I've been using them for several years and wish to share the information on this web site.

    I built some supports for my kayaks (see attachment at end of document). They aid in working on, washing, waxing, etc. Before these, I used some plastic folding saw horses. They worked, but the plastic boats have a tendency to slide off at the worst possible time. So, I did some research on-line and saw several ideas for PVC supports that offered folding for storage, plastic durability, and a web strap that sags and holds the boats to prevent sliding off. Unfortunately, the basic design I found offered no dimensions, or any advice to build them. Being me, I started drawing up a design that would be structurally sound, inexpensive, and functional. The following is the result. It can be built for under $20 (in the 1 1/4 size), and folds fairly flat for storage. So far I've found them very handy. These stand 26.5 tall and are 24 wide. I built the final two in less than 2 hours with no sweat...but I do have all the right tools. The following is advice on building these supports. I used to teach woodworking and told all my wood-butchers that there is always more than one way to do things, and that rule can be extended to include more than one tool to do the job. So don't take my advice as gospel, you may come up with a better way. Just be careful!

    The original on-line support mentioned building it from 2 schedule 40 PVC. Of course that'll work. I built my first pair from 1 1/2 PVC and realized that the summer heat might cause warping if the boats are left on the support in full sun. I didn't have an opportunity test it, but re-grouped and built the second pair from 1 1/4 with some steel pipe inside to reinforce it. From previous experience, I knew that the steel pipe used for chain link fences fits perfectly inside 1 1/4 Sched. 40 PVC. When it's pop-riveted several times along the length that is reinforced, it forms a PVC/steel lamination that is rigid and light. I built a flag pole out of it onetime.

    So, if you decide to build it from PVC larger that 1 1/4, just use my parts list and dimensions and translate it to the larger size.

    I suggest you read this through completely before you start. That way, you may pick up something I learned by making a mistake.

    Parts List all 1 1/4 PVC and all are glue-on fittings, not threaded. I put in some prices that I had, some parts I had on-hand.

    1 10' length of Schedule 40 PVC ($4.61)
    2 90 degree elbows (use short elbows not the sweeping kind) (2@ $1.09)
    4 45 degree elbows (4 @ $1.09)
    1 tee ($1.27)
    3 caps (3 @ .83)
    1 coupling ($.55)

    27 web strapping (I used 2 inch strap, 1.5 would work, or an old web belt, USAF blue of course)
    Several pop rivets (3/16 with some washers is what I used)

    A 5/16 or 1/4 bolt long ($1.53) enough to go through 3 pieces of pipe and have enough to put a nut on. On the 1 1/4 support, I re-threaded an 8 bolt and cut it down. The 8 bolt is perfect for the 1 1/2 PVC supports. In all sizes I recommend using a self-locking nut, all galvanized hardware, and flat washers between the surfaces. The washers will help it rotate easily.

    Of course you'll need some PVC glue. On that subject, I'll pass on some lessons learned from constructing many projects from PVC...including some projects for which the pipe was originally intended. There is a very short working time when assembling plastic parts. Make sure you have it right!

    1. Always dry fit the pieces to make sure they fit together the way you intend.
    2. Pieces that are angled to another piece should be marked with a pencil or marker to make sure you align the pieces the way you intended.
    3. Put glue on both surfaces, put together, and push them together only get one try.
    4. Cut your long pieces first. If you screw up, you can still get a shorter piece out of the mistake.
    Cut List:
    1@ 21
    2 @ 15
    1@ 14.5
    2 @ 12
    2@ 9
    1 @ 2
    2@ about 5 (see note)

    note: you may notice that when you cut the first 9 pieces, it leaves about 9-10 inches. Just split that piece to make the bottom of the support that comes off the Tee.

    drill: I used a drill press for the bolt holes and electric hand drill for pop-rivets.
    Saw: I used a radial arm saw for cutting the PVC, Saber saws, hand saws, etc will work.
    I used acetone and paper towels to remove the lettering on the plastic pipe. Don't use the acetone in an enclosed space, the fumes aren't supposed to be good for you.

    Steps in construction:
    1. cut all pieces to size, remove lettering, if desired, with acetone
    2. dry fit all pieces and fittings, once right, mark the joints with pencil , disassemble
    3. glue 90 deg. ells to 15 pieces, glue one 45 deg. ell to each 12 piece, assemble and glue 14.5/coupling/ and 21 piece.
    4. Lay two 15 pieces on flat surface with ells facing each other. Glue 2 piece into first ell, then glue the 2 piece into the second ell and immediately force the pieces to the flat surface to make sure the pieces are all in the same plane.
    5. Assemble and glue the two 45 degree ells on the 12 pieces to the 15 pieces. Make sure they are laying on the flat surface.
    6. Glue the last two 45 deg. Ells to the 9 pieces.
    8. Optional: Put in any metal reinforcement into the PVC piece with the coupling. Pop rivet it in place.
    9. Glue the Tee onto the 21 piece (see photo), glue the cap on the other end (14.5 Piece).
    10. Assemble both halves, with the cap between the two 90 degree ells. The coupling should be even (or close) to the two 45 deg. Ells on the 15 pieces. Turn the Tee to the position shown in the photo, to form a foot. Mark the position of the holes for the bolt. The bolt forms the hinge so the assembly can fold.
    11. Drill the holes slightly over-sized and insert the bolt and add the nut.
    12. Lay the web strap on the stand and mark where the holes should be on the strap. I used two pop-rivets on the ells and one on the cap. Heat a nail to red hot and carefully burn a hole through the webbing in the marked spots.
    13. Lay the strap on the stand and mark the position of the holes on the plastic parts
    14. Drill the holes for the pop-rivets and put the rivets in
    15. Open the stand and dry fit the 45 ell/9 pieces to the 12 pieces so that they are pointed down to the ground. Mark the position of the ells and 12 pieces, so when you glue them they will be positioned correctly
    16. Carefully and quickly glue the 9/45 ell assemblies to the 12 pieces as shown in the photo.
    17. Glue the last two pieces (see note above) to the Tee and add the caps.
    18. The stand should be complete. Painting is optional. If you're leaving them in the sun, I'd paint them to reduce the affects of UV light. If nothing else, I'd make a stencil and put my name on them...they'll be popular at the next meet and greet.
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    the stone age didn't end because man ran out of stones. It ended because man found better solutions.

  2. #2
    Senior Member uno--mas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    vero beach
    Dang mike. You are one handy fellow.

    Cathedra Mea, Regulae Meae.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dogman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Niagara Falls, Canada and Madeira Beach, Fla
    That's brilliant!
    2013 Native Watercraft Slayer 14.5 (Sand) - His
    2010 Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 (Mango) - Hers
    Lost Fishing - You know it's where you'd rather be!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Looking good and sturdy. Thanks for sharing he knowledge.

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