Anyone ever think of making a canoe out of plastic barrels? I was going through my old projects and found that the wooden ribs on my plastic canoe were rotting. I made it 11 or 12 years ago and it actually looks like a canoe and not barrels cobbled together like most I find on the net. It is tougher than a 2 dollar steak, dragging over rocks and banging it around a lot. I'm thinking of replacing the ribs with PVC, which will make it even tougher. I will flatten the PVC and form it into the ribs. Any Ideas? Here is a link to my youtube video on some of my old projects, My canoe is one of them, I'll make a better video on it when I redo it.
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PVC pipe gets its strength because it's tubular (that's why the Chinese can build huge scaffolds with "just" bamboo - it's a tube). Sooo... flattened, PVC pipe will be heavier with less strength than many woods. (Oak is much heavier than cedar for the same volume, so it depends what wood you choose.)
That said, a mixture of flattened and round PVC pipe might do the job, but you'll likely have to be a little creative about the design and adapt it for the change in material.
Also, some people may not realize that PVC pipe can be "Schedule 40" with thicker walls or DWV with much thinner walls - both have their uses. Technically there's also a Schedule 80, but at least where we are, it's hard to come by and very expensive.
PVC doesn't rot, but it does solar degrade. If the original lasted 11 years, you may not be very far ahead unless you can store it under shade.
That's one awesome canoe, so I hope you fix it one way or another!
Did you glue, rivet, or plastic-weld the seams(or combination)?
Aluminum ribs would get around the solar degradation issue(although I think wood is still the way to go - avoiding cheap plywood and adding new layers of finish every few years will make them last a LONG time).
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posted 1 year ago
Thanks everyone for your post. I think the flattened PVC pipe will be strong enough just needs to hold each section together.I have made several PVC bows and they are surprisingly strong plus will probably use more than I need just to make it look cool. I caulked the seams and screwed it together. I tried to weld it but at the time couldn't get it to work, so with the wonders of youtube a may research it and try again, would be great if I could weld it. I want to some day build a big voyager canoe like 6' wide and 24' long.
I'm not worried about it solar degrading because I will keep it in a shed with all my other plastic kayaks. We plan to move to southern Mo. where there are a lot of clear rivers, I like the smaller kayaks better than those 16 ft. canoes, this one is just over 10' if I remember right. The bigger canoes are great if you have a lot of cargo.
Don't forget to check out my youtube video, should be a link up top. I will also be doing some survival videos and building a homestead where I want to build historic type buildings like log cabins and cob, developing a spring and building cob ovens and such. Also want to do some caving videos.
Thanks again for your input, God bless and have a good day.
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