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Tip: Afterhours Source for Non-Critical Steel Tubing

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  • Tip: Afterhours Source for Non-Critical Steel Tubing

    Keep Folding Bag Chairs or Camp Chairs in mind as a possible material source
    for short lengths of small diameter steel tubing.

    I had a project that stalled until I recalled that a discarded bag chair might
    yield up some suitable 5/8" dia material. The steel was fine, the chair had
    been discarded because several of the engineering plastic components that
    act as hinge points and chair feet had broken, the chair fabric had also torn.

    A trip out to the trash with a rule and a dial caliper revealed that the chair
    leg material is 16 mm dia x 1 mm wall (0.63" x 0.04"). On my example, the
    cross-braced legs under the seat yielded 160" in 10" lengths of 'straight',
    unperforated tubing. (Additional material is available from the uprights for
    the chair back.)

    While my discarded chair was free, at $7 each, even new bag chairs bear
    consideration when the alternative is an interruption in the project until
    material comes from a more conventional source.

    A brief search suggests that tubing for other camp chairs measuring 7/8"
    (22 mm) is also common.

    .

  • #2
    Scrap pieces of EMT or IMC can be fished from the dumpster (skip) of a building construction site or interior demolition. Discarded display racks from stores, etc. yield square, round and rectangular tubing, sometimes of the telescoping variety, often chrome plated.

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    • #3
      No parts of the animal are wasted... Older camping chairs are usually even heavier section materials, or better quality ones and getting old enough to have broken plastic and tatty appearance probably meant you had found a good one! Cheap ones tend to fail from the tubing itself collapsing.

      I cut a tubular bed frame up into sections the other day just to place it on the rack, and in the corner of the barn is a ragbag of steel junk that might save the day one day.
      I think its diagnosed as packratitis

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      • #4
        Good to know Eddy.
        I'll encourage my neighbor to buy some.

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        • #5
          He, he, he. That's not all you can use to scrounge stock tubing. I just used the frame from an old treadmill for some 1x2 rectangular tubing.

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          • #6
            It's been almost four years now, but the political candidates will once again deliver/install their "vote for me" sign crap on every street corner.

            I gloomed onto four of their better quality sign frames, cut them up, disposed of the signage itself, and the small, 1/2 x 1/2 inch angle and 3/4 x 1/8 inch steel bar supply has been most useful, thank you.

            --G

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            • #7
              Yup, when you can't find it in your supplies you never know where you'll find the piece you need. Just need to look around. I found a 1.5x6" piece of solid mystery round stock stuck a mount in one of my cars once I assume for harmonics. It was turned into a nice fan/water pump/hydraulic shaft for a lawn mower a few months later. It was perfect size, I just had to clean it up and put a couple keyways in it.
              Andy

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Guido View Post
                It's been almost four years now, but the political candidates will once again deliver/install their "vote for me" sign crap on every street corner.

                I gloomed onto four of their better quality sign frames, cut them up, disposed of the signage itself, and the small, 1/2 x 1/2 inch angle and 3/4 x 1/8 inch steel bar supply has been most useful, thank you.

                --G

                Funny, I make up sign frames every now and then for local businesses. Many times I think what a waste of good material for a shortly used sign.
                Andy

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                • #9
                  I've heard of guys going from traffic sign to traffic sign with a pipe cutter and a 1/2 ton truck...
                  Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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                  • #10
                    Politicals around here use signs, that are bags, stretched over a 3/16" wire hoop stuck in the ground. Really stiff wire, I always help with the clean-up of the loser's signs. (They ain't comin' back)

                    Watch for office waiting chairs, patio gazebos and chairs, hockey nets, exercise equipment and BBQs, etc. There is lots of good useable material out there, some with bends too!

                    Some of my stash...



                    And, a couple of tubing projects...






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                    • #11
                      real high quality DOM steel tube with polished ID ... the gas strut tubes holding up your vehicle hatch back door... the ones I found are .738 OD X .056 wall. Use CAUTION when cutting open.
                      Joe B

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                      • #12
                        i too have "scrap" like mentioned above, all over my barn. wife sez i need to clean house and start scraping that "junk" and get the barn cleaned out. why ? i say, so there will be more room for more stuff ? ? ? ?

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                        • #13
                          I just so happen to be at a race track that was cutting out and throwing out all kinds of stainless hand railings around certain buildings of the track that were going to be changed. I was so happy! race car = metal hauler.
                          Andy

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                          • #14
                            I am happy I am not the only pack rat that collects chairs and other forms of tubing. Never know what you can do with it.

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                            • #15
                              Every week I drive past the metal recycling bin at the local tip to dump my grass cuttings... Its metal bin is always full of tubing... bikes,old gym stuff ..those nice arced sections of trampolines etc...

                              but thanks to gypos .. (who take all they can and then leave the mess for tax payers to clean up..(when they wear out their welcome) the local tip operatives are not allowed to let you take anything away... They get fired if caught..

                              Rob

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