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Old August 18th, 2003, 02:50 PM   #16
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Wow, I have this floor lamp sitting here that I was going to throw away, and I just took the top reflector off of it, and the wire out and all that, and it's PERFECT. It's already counter balanced too, it has a weight at the bottom so that the lamp doesnt tip over when it's on the floor. It's pretty beefy, but most of that is because of the weight at the bottom, the tubing it uses is 1.5" and it's not too thick, but its more then strong enough to support my 2LB camera horizontally, and the best part is that it breaks down into 3 peices. It's total length is about 5'6 though, which isn't that bad, when I layed it on my tripod, but if I could find another peice of that pipe that it uses, or 2 (i see these lamps at garage sales all the time) and then I could make it about 7ft, which would be perfect.
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Old August 18th, 2003, 05:02 PM   #17
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Good luck Alex! I would think that that should support you camera fine the thing I'd watch out for is the material isn't really rigid you may get some bouncing up and down at the end when you move it to a position and stop due to the pole flexing.

Let us know how it all turns out.

Cheers,
Huey
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Old November 18th, 2003, 07:55 PM   #18
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That conduit is a lot stronger than it looks, I have seen it used for some amazing things, like building a frame to support winter covers (of heavy canvas) on boats.

I have used it myself, once when I was too cheap to buy table saw stock support stands (to hold up the long pices of wood when ripsawing them), I welded them up out of this stuff. Dittos on the fumes, go outside and burn the galv coating off the ends with an oxacetylene torch first. Been there too (sick feeling).

I also used it to construct a portable stand for a disco ball when I couldn't find anything I liked in the DJ store.

Right, the iron threaded pipe is too heavy, you'll need an awful lot of barbell weights to balalnce it, probably crush the tripod it rides on.

If I were building something like this, though, my first choice would be square steel tubing, it is remarkable strong and rigid for its weight, and much easier to attach all the fasteners and fittings you'll need than round tubing. Any steel supply store will sell it, plus Home Depot has some sizes. I have used the bigger sizes to build a truck rack that carried monster loads.
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Old December 31st, 2003, 07:07 PM   #19
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Okay, perhaps I'm being too knee-jerk defensive here, what with my looking at a career in the plumbing industry (with any luck), so let me apologize to everyone for this. I have a tendency to get furious over stupid, stupid things, but could someone please explain just how in the hell electrical conduit, or--worse yet--PLASTIC, is stronger than STEEL?

Is it because of the size he mentioned? One inch? I certainly can't imagine what other reason there would be.

We've worked with galvanized steel before, and do so on a regular basis; the stuff is strong enough to hold a good two hundred pounds of human being, how is conduit (rigid or not) any better?

Not to be a dink, or anything...I just loves me my steel pipe, is all. Prefer cast iron, but steel is cool, dammit! :P
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Old January 1st, 2004, 09:33 PM   #20
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Actually Robert, the conduit I was referring to IS steel! (see my comments about welding) It's the thinwall EMT type, which although it's thin is very strong, and yes, MUCH stronger than plastic! In fact, I have used it to reinforce plastic at stress points. But I do much prefer the square steel tubing which can be found at steel supply houses and many handyman supply centers (like Home Depot). It is more rigid than the round stuff and infiinitely easier to fit up when fabricating, so you get a much neater weld. And cast iron, while good, is less ideally suited, first because the walls need to be thicker, which results in excessive weight, plus I have never seen it in square tubing configuration like steel. Unlike plumbing, where we are concerned about a system's ability to convey fluids, this exercise seems to be about structures to carry and move weight--different requirements, like the fact that we don't have to worry about being able to screw a flare fitting on the end of one of these sticks.

Plastics have two advantages generally: lighter weight and better resistance to corrosion. Sometimes these factors offset the stength disadvantage when engineers are designing something. Like when the people at Glock were looking to design a pistol with lighter carry weight and lower maintenance (although they stayed with steel for those critical components that required it). BTW, for what it's worth, if I were building a house, I'd never contemplate using plastic water pipe instead of copper.
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Old January 1st, 2004, 10:44 PM   #21
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Whew! Had me scared there for a second! :) Honestly, I find myself sometimes pining for the days of brass water piping, but never having had to deal with its installation, I'm probably just being idealistic.

And for drainage? Cast iron all the way, baby! ;)

But plastic...yech! Aside from being a fire hazard, that crap is flimsy and noisy, to boot. I get the strongest impression most guys--typically the younger ones who are also dealing with residential work--only use plastic so they can sniff the glue. :D

Now that I see where you're coming from, my mind is at ease; sorry if I seemed an assbag.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 05:36 PM   #22
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I hear ya man. Frankly people don't want to use cast iron soilpipe these days unless required by code, it is so expensive and heavy to handle. It's much easier to deal with PVC, being lightweight and easy to cut, requires less support, etc. Of course, Schedule 40 is one thing, that's pretty thick-walled stuff and it can take a beating, but this stupid thinwall stuff they have now is REALLY noisy plus delicate.

I really wouldn't want to see anyone using plastic to fashion camera supports, they are not saving any money to speak of and their time (and camera) is more valuable.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 06:12 PM   #23
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Yeah, we do most of our work in New York City, and it's required by the plumbing code; with good reason! PVC (or ABS) + fire = chlorine gas. Not good.

As far as "easy to deal with", well, they're just lazy. The industry has gotten a bad reputation of late, and deservedly so, considering some of the horrid work we see (and are called in to fix). And God forbid a plumber has to carry anything HEAVY, that's just uncalled for. :)

Not to mention the "as little labor, as much profit as possible" attitude so many people seem to have these days. If given the choice between some sort of space-age plastic that was perfectly safe, easy to install, quiet, lightweight, and durable, yet required only one individual to set up, and good old cast iron, copper, steel, or brass, I'd go with the traditional method every time. Why? Work doesn't create itself. The standard materials reach the same goal--usually at higher quality--and create jobs in the process.

But what can one do? Not an issue to worry myself about, I suppose; most of the building maintenance people we deal with regularly understand the need for quality work, even if it costs more.

Que sera, sera. ;)
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Old January 8th, 2004, 08:23 AM   #24
 
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you won't like the galvanized pipe. it won't hardly support its own weight. if you're serious about building something, I'd recommend going to your local metal jobber and buying some thin-walled aluminum tubing. You get strength by increasing the tube diameter, so get the biggest diameter you can manage. Don't worry about wall thickness.
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Old January 9th, 2004, 12:31 AM   #25
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Actually, Bill, I wasn't really building one of these devices, I was just curious; and I believe the original poster has long since solved his problem. I was just browsing through old topics, and had to ask.

But your post makes me realize, I still can't wrap my tiny little brain around this issue; how is galvanized steel pipe so much weaker than that electrical conduit, if they're both the same material, same diameter, and the pipe is thicker? Different grades of steel? Different manufacturing processes?
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Old January 9th, 2004, 08:46 AM   #26
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One thing that might be readily available is any pipe left over or thrown out from "Festivus" celebrations. You might be able to get it cheap or free!
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Old January 9th, 2004, 09:49 AM   #27
 
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Robert...

not sure what you mean. electrical conduit is really a poor material. it's like pot metal. I was refering to high quality aluminum tubing, preferably with a T6 temper, and a much larger diameter than 1 inch.
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Old January 9th, 2004, 01:02 PM   #28
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Actually, not to sound pedantic, but... pot metal (which is a die-cast alloy made up of mostly zinc, known for low cost and ease of molding into complex shapes and not for strength) has basically nothing in common with EMT ("thinwall") conduit which is rolled out of mild steel.

I have used EMT for a lotta different things, from repairing tractor handles to making brackets by squashing the ends flat and drilling them. Even used a stick of it to replace a broken aluminum dolly leg on a Welt Rol-O-Pod (tripod with permanently attached wheels), worked like a charm. It can be sawn, ground, sanded, painted, welded, brazed, drilled--it's too thin to tap threads into but you can weld a nut onto it. And with a proper tool (like a "Hickey") the smaller sizes can be bent into a variety of curves.

I use a variety of materials, depending on the job and sometimes on what I have on hand.

Aluminum is good for its exceptionally light weight (they build airplanes out of it) and its ease of cutting, drilling and machining, but is difficult (unless you're a specialist) to weld. It's also very good at resisting corrosion, especially if given an anodized finish.

The bottom line is that someone building a project is going to use the material they are most comfortable (familiar) with.
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Old January 9th, 2004, 01:21 PM   #29
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*sigh* I feel like an ass again. Par for the course with me, it seems.

I honestly had no idea we were talking about this type of material, and thought the stuff being discussed was that really small tubing you run electrical wires through. My mistake.

And I think I see the larger, more important point people are trying to make. Based on the galvanized steel I'VE become familiar with, I can say the stuff is most certainly strong enough to support its own weight, and the weight of a camera. It's heavy duty, can take a beating, and does not bow. However, I imagine the point I'm having such a hard time grasping is that it's harder to work with, heavier, and more expensive than other types of construction products, correct?

That is to say, it's not the raw strength of the material that's the problem, it's the process of working with it? And its lack of versatility for these applications?
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Old January 9th, 2004, 01:48 PM   #30
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Hmmm....define small.

The stuff I'm talking about IS what electricians run wires through, mostly in commercial buildings, less so in residential use. And I usually use approx. 1 inch actual diameter, which I guess is pretty small. But it's big enough for the purposes I listed above, plus as a pole for a bird feeder, a support for a revolving disco ball, legs on a lumber rack, a support for a Tiki torch, rungs on a loft ladder, rollers on a lumber stand, braces for a garden gate, handle for a toolbox, etc.
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