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Best way (or tool) to open a shipping tube from

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  • #16
    I toss it on the fire and burn it off. But that would void the use of the tube again wouldn't it.

    I also push it through the bandsaw as noted earlier.

    Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.


    • #17
      How about drill and tap a hole in the side of the tube just below the end plug. Install a zerk fitting and pump greae in until the end cap blows off?

      Errol Groff
      Errol Groff

      New England Model Engineering Society

      YouTube channel:


      • #18
        Originally posted by 914Wilhelm
        Drill a small hole in the side, squirt in some starting fluid, then hold match to the hole. Opens the tube without problem.
        Now we're talking.
        This product has been determined by the state of California to cause permanent irreversible death. This statement may or may not be recognized as valid by all states.
        Heirs of an old war/that's what we've become Inheriting troubles I'm mentally numb
        Plastic Operators Dot Com


        • #19
          I have created a monster...


          • #20
            No no no, you need to fill the tube with Acetylene, get some canon fuse, light it, run away.


            • #21
              You guys must be buying small amounts of "tube" supplies. Cause there is no way I could hold up a 3" dia X 6 ft tube of metal on the bandsaw.

              When it lands on the driveway I just go out there with the battery powered saw and cut the end of the tube off. Grab the other end and drag the tube off the materiel. Why try to mess with the bandsaw? Sawzalls were meant for stuff like this. And even if I had to saw a piece of steel that was really long Id bring the bandsaw (milwaukee band saw) to the work, not the work to the saw.

              But for quick chops of material that was just dropped on the driveway Ill carry the chop saw out there and cut it up to fit in the garage. They usually come in 20 ft sections and I dont have the space for that.

              Heck, Im pretty sure I could cut the end off a shipping tube faster and with less work with my tree trimmer then wrangling the entire package up to the band saw. . Its just wood in a less compressed form. KISS method always works.

              OH!! And I have tried to remove the caps. Using picks and screw drivers to surface the stapes, and pliers, side cutters, all that. Cause I wanted to keep the super shipping tube. More work then it was worth. Slice off the inch of one end and its still a nice tube. Seems like a shame to throw them out. They are very durable. JR
              My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group



              • #22
                Use a hole saw to cut the wood plug out of one end, or if You don't have the proper size hole saw You could use a tubing cutter behind the staples....or if You don't have a tube cutter You could mill down the staples flush with the wood and then when You use the starting fluid the plug will travel farther with less risk of hurting the barrel

                Or just use the band saw.



                • #23
                  You know, somebody is gonna try the starting fluid trick now that it's been mentioned. I can hear them now...far in the distance..."Here! Hold my beer and watch this..."
                  Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada


                  • #24
                    You can also cut it in the middle. I do that on a six foot tube to get two solid end tubes to hold three-foot sections. No big deal - just roll the tube as you cut with a hacksaw:


                    Frank Ford


                    • #25
                      With all this talk about pulling staples and wood blocks, I'm surprised no one has started cursing those darned stamped metal plugs that they stick in the tubes, which can be seen in Frank's photo. First time I saw one, I got it out by twisting and wrapping it around a pair of pliers. Second time I used a hacksaw through the cardboard. Perhaps a laser or plasma-cutter should be used next time.


                      • #26
                        I use to curse those stapled end plugs in tubes I would get from McMaster. My last shipment had a screw cap of some sort. I don't think it took any tools to open.


                        • #27
                          Not bring rude, but anyone struggling to overcome this type of problem is heading for a shock when they come to tackle engineering/ machining Alistair
                          Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


                          • #28
                            Alistair, you of all people should know how badly cardboard work-hardens.


                            • #29
                              Sounds like a room full of engineers convening a taskforce looking for a problem that isn't there.

                              I just take a pair of dykes and grab the middle of the staple and cut it then pull out the two pieces.

                              As for the aluminum caps I just bend the prongs straight and pull the staples out.

                              Then there are the ones I got driveshafts in that have 1-1/2" thick wood plugs put in with drywall screws. Zip the screws out and shake the tube to pop the plug out.


                              • #30
                                I usually wrap about a foot of Detcord around the tube, below the staples, and put the fire out after the shot. It's rough on the shipping tube, but never seems to damage the metal.

                                Or....I just let my Grand Niece play with it for ten minutes, and the plugs on both ends are gone.
                                Last edited by saltmine; 06-18-2010, 04:44 PM.
                                No good deed goes unpunished.