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Thread: pipe for clamps

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Ames, IA
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    491
    FWIW, I use black iron pipe from Lowe's or Menards. Personally, I like pipe clamps because they're cheaper, have flexibility in changing length including option of going long, and they're strong. I have a few bar clamps of various lengths.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
    Posts
    695
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Bumpers View Post
    FWIW in my area, plumbing supply companies sell the pipe at half the price of big box stores. I just picked up 6 20í pieces for about $1 per foot. I cut to desired length, thread and Iím good to go.

    Good tip! I'll check there for sure. Thank you!
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    Sorry I can't help with specific working properties of the pipes you mention.

    For my use, having a bunch of 30" and 48" pipes gets me through most of my needs. 30"'s are not so long that they are cumbersome on smaller glue ups. Coupling them does introduce a slight bend, but it's not been too much of an issue, and worth the trade-off for not having to keep 72" pipe around for the random wide glue ups I might do once a year.

    Good point of reference, and I agree. A slight bit of bend on infrequent instances of needing to go really long is worth it compared to keeping mega-clamps around the shop.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Seemann View Post

    One thing I found is that if you start with standard 10' pipe, cutting the pipe into lengths of 60" and 30" works better than 48" and 24" if you work with lots of 24" and 48" pieces.

    Smart!! I hadn't considered what specific lengths I would want yet, but this will be part of the consideration.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
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    695
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    As said, youíre trying to solve a problem that isnít there. Black pipe clamps have been used for decades and decades by some of the best furniture makers in America. Buy some black pipe and get back to woodworking!

    LOL... I'm spending plenty of time woodworking (running out of wood in fact!) and don't mind a few minutes researching how to best upgrade from old, dust (zinc oxide?) pipes that aren't working well to something better. I may very well end up with black pipes, but maybe not.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
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    695
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    I have one clamp that the adjustable end uses angled steel plates to grip the pipe. That clamp is on black pipe. It does slip sometimes even on the black pipe.

    I also use pipe couplings tightened by hand when I need extra long clamps. I've made clamps over 12 feet in length and none of the sections are more than four feet long with no issues.

    Thanks for the confirmation that coupling is a good approach!

    Interested around the angled steel plates to grip the pipe... A couple of my clamps are like this, so combined with deteriorating pipes (mine literally look "chalky" at this point) I think that's contributing to slippage. Hopefully the cheap fix (replacing pipes that are too far deteriorated) will do the trick.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  7. #22
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Lancaster, Ohio
    Posts
    316
    Emt definitely would not work for this application
    IMC I believe would work for you
    Rigid definitely would work for you
    IMC and Rigid electrical pipe come with straight cut threads and couplings.
    Once you cut the conduits shorter, then the pipe die cuts tapered threads
    I very rarely use my pipe clamps since getting Dubuque aluminum bar clamps, only bring them out if over 6'

    Good luck
    Ron

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Beantown
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    2,824
    Count me in for plain old black iron pipe as well. I have lengths from 2' up to 10' and that handles everything I've needed. On the odd occasion I need longer I just clamp 2 clamps to each other, no bothering with connectors or anything. Just b/c its been around for a long time doesn't mean it isn't still good, or that there's necessarily anything better

    Having said that... to each his own. If you find something you prefer to use then thats all that matters.

    good luck,
    JeffD

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Arlington, TX
    Posts
    197
    I've used 3/4" black pipe for over 30 years. My grandfather used the same. In fact, I inherited some of his pipe clamps. I also have a set of Pony heads that are deeper reaching and reversible. On those, the adjustable head slides, and the foot is threaded onto the pipe end. Most of my pipe clamp heads are Pony, but I also have some Craftsman heads that have a toothed cam that doesn't grip the pipe as well as the Pony ones do.

    I've started using more Dubuque Universal aluminum bar clamps though. They are much lighter and easier to handle, especially one-handed. The jaws always line up, and my hands don't get nasty when I use them. And they are still made in USA.

    -- Andy - Arlington TX

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    4,310
    Black pipe from the Borg. Wash it down with a rag and paint thinner. I do have some aluminum pipe. It scars easy and make sit hard to slide the moveable clamp. It raises slivers that cut your hands as you move it around. It does not stain the wood and it is much lighter. I have no idea where you could buy any. Mine came from a dumpster. I repalced it with black pipe.
    Bill D

  11. #26
    I believe youíre overthinking it. Black gas pipe or silver (galvi?) pipe works extremely well. Iíve used hundreds of pipe clamps in both of these 2 materials and only have ever had (1) slip and I think it was actually the clamp itself, not the pipe that was malfunctioning.

    There are easy ways to make sure that the black from the pipe doesnít transfer to your wood.

    Like Darcy, I have clamped together 2 10 (+) footers to pull together timber frame assemblies from time to time. The fact that you can rotate / offset the screw end from the clamp and is also a huge bonus in versatility.
    www.stillwaterwoodworks.com

  12. #27
    I had a couple 8' black pipe clamps, but only used them for 1 protect. I recently went to HD and got galvi 6', then cut them in half (to 36Ē). They've worked great. I could always get a short coupler, if I needed to join then back together.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    4,310
    Home depot will do one cut and thread the ends for free. Not sure if it is per pipe or you have to do several single pipe purchases to get them all cut and threaded for free. I do know they will cut a ten foot pipe in two and thread both ends for free even for two pieces at the same time. No idea if there is any maximum free cuts like there is for wood.
    Bil lD

  14. #29
    I used galvanized pipe for many, many years and yes it does gall and slip a little hit the the hammer solved it.

    But I switched over to black iron pipe and it it much better. Either one will leave black stains on wood, though.

    I think its good to have a few around with threaded ends and couplings so you have the length when you need it.

    All mine have 54" clamping capacity with 30" extensions, or you can put two long ones together and easily clamp 8'.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
    Posts
    695
    Thanks again for the helpful replies!

    (and thanks to those that are very concerned with my time spent 'over thinking', very thoughtful of you to help me watch after the 23 minutes I've spent on this so far while also watching the Michael Jordan documentary ;-) )


    The net result is...

    - My existing RMC (which I already have owned and used for over a decade, and grandad used for many years before that, are chalky and allow slippage) needs to be replaced.

    - Consensus is that EMT is too thin, Aluminum is too soft, and IMC (while it might work) was so similar in price to RMC that I'm skipping that. This leaves RMC and black pipe.

    - The supply houses around here think that there's only one type of coating on RMC (galvanized) so, I guess that takes any other possible choice out of this category. Not sure what youtube guy was talking about, or if things changed over time, because no one around here believes the same. Oh well.

    - Galvanized rigid metal conduit (which I think is probably what I have already) and black pipe are commonly available... the RMC is currently cheaper than black pipe at least locally here.

    - Electrical supply houses and plumbing supply were (somewhat surprisingly) both more expensive than Lowes and Home Depot (who seem to have price matched each other).


    Soooo... With my curbside pickup order at Lowes this week, I'm grabbing a few fresh sticks of the stuff I already have (galv RMC) and will cut/thread at home. My existing pipes that are too far gone will be gifted to the neighborhood scrapper.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

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