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Thread: cat NRS frame

  1. #1

    Default cat NRS frame

    I have an 18' cat with a 6' NRS frame I bought last year. I haven't had it in the water yet but I know I would like to extend the frame to accomodate more people. Do I need to purchase NRS Pipe or does anyone know a place I could purchase somewhere cheaper? What are the pro's and cons to mix matching pipe?

  2. #2
    Member AK-Bandit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Eagle River, AK


    If you're in the Anchorage area, I'd give Alaska Steel a call. Just give them the specs of the aluminum pipe that NRS uses; 1/8" wall by 1 5/8" (outside diameter) 6061-T6 anodized aluminum pipe. I'm not sure what length the sticks come in. I have a 10' frame on my 16' cat and that seems just about perfect for 5 people without feeling cramped at all.

  3. #3
    Member scott_rn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    power commuting twixt the valley and anchorage


    I bought a 20' stick of it last week for just under $60. They'll make one cut for you for free and charge about $20 for additional cuts (or you could cut your own with a masonry blade on a circular saw/chop saw).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006


    It's also referred to as 1 1/4" Schedule 40 anodized aluminum. 1 1/4" is the nominal inside diameter, schedule 40 refers to the wall thickness. Aluminum prices have fallen quite a bit in the last year or so. It's a good time to buy.

    I cut it with a hacksaw, but you have to take care to keep the cut 90 degrees to the pipe. The hardest part is drilling the holes for the knuckles in the exact location, exactly straight, and exactly in line with the opposite end. A drill press helps, but I have done it by hand & a careful eye.

    I have also made frame extensions out of 2x4s. I just screwed together four of them in a rectangle and laced fence fabric in the middle, and then attachrd it to both the existing frame and the cat tubes with straps. It's worked surprisingly well.

  5. #5


    what lengths are you looking for? im going the other direction, paring down my frame to make it more fly-in friendly, so i have several lengths of tubing im not planning on using, with NRS knuckles already installed.

  6. #6
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    NRS says 6061 T6 1 1/4" Schedule 40

    Here in Alaska - availability is most often a more bendable variety 1 1/4" Schedule 40... still good (plenty-strong) 6063 T6.

    Anodized is more expensive... so keep this in mind.

    If you are looking to 'extend' what you have... try additional 4' of pipe on all 4 rails using thru-bolted break-down sections of pipe fitting inside 1 1/4" Schedule 40.

    Not sure why you would have a 6' cat-frame? Even 12'-13' sport-cats often use more rail length. Sounds more like you are adapting a self-bailing raft frame.

    On an 18' Cat appears as if you have a 6' by nearly 6' frame... perchance no drops/rails/cross-bars to inner sub-framing?

    If this is the case... start making a new frame... more cost effective.

  7. #7
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Rifle River MI

    Default Cutting

    If your cutting the pipe a lot of things will work if you purchase the correct blade abuot 30 bucks you can cut for just about ever and smooth no additional work required and professional looking to boot. 8 Inch Miter saw go to Lowes purchase the Task Force Metal Devil for Alum. Same with the 10 inch chop saw smooth cuts no guessing and or additional work required.

    Best Wishes.

  8. #8

    Default Cutting frame tubing

    A Ridged tubing cutter (1 3/4" or 2") is a great tool for making perfect cuts on Aluminum tubing and is small enough to carry in your tool box or repair kit for remote trips should you have to re-arrange a damaged frame while out on the river. Available at Alaska Hardware, Lowes, Home Depoe.

  9. #9

    Default nrs frame tubing

    aluminum is soft enough to be cut with a power tool using any high quality wood blades and bits. use sharp blades, go slow and always wear eye protection.

    nrs used to offer a break down rail kit that consisted of two 4-5" pieces of cylindrical solid aluminum that fit the inside diameter of their tubing perfectly. one of these cylinders/rods were inserted into the ends of the tubing you want to join and thru bolted to each peice with the same 5/16" bolts they use elsewhere. they still offer their rails with the same break down option, but for some reason, they don't sell the do it yourself kit any more.

    i would stay away from unanodized aluminum tubing, the anodized product from nrs is about $4 per foot which is going to be the least expensive part of the frame. raw aluminum bleeds a lot of gray crap on your boat. i would like to see nrs anodize all of their cast aluminum parts as well.


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