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supCAT boards strongback

picture of a strongback and cradle in use for building a supCAT.

Q:  What is a strongback?

A:  A strong back is a workbench that you trust to be straight, plumb, and true. It is the base on top of which you build your supCAT.

My preference is mounting the strongback on casters. This gives you freedom to move the strongback in any direction as needed, e.g. when you want to get behind it. Remember - Murphy's Law applies to DIY projects. As soon as you build something in one place, you will need something behind it that will require moving the immovable object. Put your strongback on casters. Everything in my shop is on casters, even the drill press. Yet my battle with Murphy and his highly accurate ‘Law’ rages on......

For the most part, I prefer to stand up while working (just like my paddling preference). There are times when you need to sit and I have a stool, along with multiple canoes, for that, but most of the time I'm standing. Make the strongback height such that the top of your upside down supCAT with be at chest level.

Although the picture shows the deck resting on the strongback, a plywood &lsqup;floor’ could be added to the top of the strongback. The main thing is that the strongback is straight and flat, because the supCAT will take the shape of what supports it. Be sure and check the floor, most garage floors are built with a pitch toward the door such that water brought in by a car will drain to the door. Shop floors may be built on the level. Bottom line is check the floor for level. You may not need to do anything with that bit of knowledge, but strange problems you encounter during the build just might be solved by paying attention to weird things like the pitch of the floor. Possibly, I learned this hard way.......