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Why Black Iron Pipes for Clamps

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Forum topic by BustedClock posted 01-27-2014 10:09 PM 2311 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BustedClock

112 posts in 1986 days


01-27-2014 10:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: black iron pipe clamp clamp

When shopping for clamps, I frequently find the business ends for making pipe clamps. These adds, and all the real pipe clamps I’ve seen in the wild, use black iron pipe. From what I can tell, black iron is a little cheaper than regular galvanized iron, but not always as plentiful at the big boxes. So, what gives? Is there some advantage, besides a somewhat lower price (from what I’ve seen, a dime or so per foot), to black iron? Wouldn’t galvanized pipe be less likely to stain?

Thanks for any info.

-- Hey, I'm usually right twice a day! Except where they use 24 hour clocks.


23 replies so far

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Picklehead

1016 posts in 1393 days


#1 posted 01-27-2014 10:20 PM

They are smoother, therefore the heads slide more easily and the clutch discs hold better. (There is no evidence to support the rumor that they are longer)

-- You've got to be smarter than the tree.

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b2rtch

4822 posts in 2512 days


#2 posted 01-27-2014 10:24 PM

I use conduit, they are galvanized and cheaper.
Black iron mark the wood.
I painted my black iron pipe

-- Bert

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3938 posts in 1957 days


#3 posted 01-27-2014 10:26 PM

The part picklehead mentioned about gripping is an important one. I had some on galvanized pipe simply because I had a few pieces, but the clamp clutches keep slipping on the surface of the pipe.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Nicholas Hall's profile

Nicholas Hall

350 posts in 1570 days


#4 posted 01-27-2014 10:28 PM

I use galvanized for all my pipe clamps after getting a nasty glue stain on a project. I didn’t do much research before converting though, so I’m just as curious as you to hear responses from more experienced folks.

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

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bondogaposis

4028 posts in 1815 days


#5 posted 01-27-2014 10:34 PM

I’ve had problems w/ the clutch gripping on galvanized pipe, but not on black pipe.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Don W

17963 posts in 2031 days


#6 posted 01-27-2014 10:54 PM

It depends on the style. The clutch type slip on galvanized. If its the teeth kind, galvanized is fine.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3022 posts in 1261 days


#7 posted 01-27-2014 11:06 PM

Black pipe isn’t easy to find at big box stores? That’s odd.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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b2rtch

4822 posts in 2512 days


#8 posted 01-27-2014 11:13 PM

I have no problem with galvanized

-- Bert

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile

GOOD LUCK TO ALL

418 posts in 1191 days


#9 posted 01-27-2014 11:30 PM

Galvanized pipe, when used a lot, wear out and the clamps slip. I have about 40+ bar clamps and only the galvanized pipe ever slip.
Been using bar clamps in a daily business, not once or twice every couple of months.

View crank49's profile

crank49

3981 posts in 2434 days


#10 posted 01-27-2014 11:34 PM

Galvanized conduit is not rated to carry any pressure like black and galvanized pipe are.
Therefore, metal tubing used for conduit is made from very cheap steel, mostly from old beer cans and rusted out cars from Michigan and Illinois. ;^).
Seriously, the non-pressure rated tubing is softer and the clutch type grippers can probably get a grip even with the slick galvanized surface.
But, the conduit will bend way before the pressure rated pipe will.
That may, or may not be a problem depending on how much pressure you are trying to apply.

If you are interested in saving a few dollars on pipe get it from a steel supplier. They will be at least half of the price of the big box stores. Like around $16 to $20 for a full 21 ft stick of pipe.
HD gets about $14 for a 4 ft piece of black pipe.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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BustedClock

112 posts in 1986 days


#11 posted 01-27-2014 11:57 PM

CharlesA, it’s not that black pipe is harder to find, is that there is less quantity and less variety in terms of length and OD—OD not being so important as long as there’s 3/4 inch. I can buy just about any length of galvanized from 2’ to 20’ in 2’ increments. Black pipe seems to come in two sizes – big, and bigger.

Thanks, everyone, for the input.

-- Hey, I'm usually right twice a day! Except where they use 24 hour clocks.

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CharlesA

3022 posts in 1261 days


#12 posted 01-28-2014 12:00 AM

I thought the big box stores (and my local hardware) cut black pipe to length and thread it for you. I tell them what length I want.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View BustedClock's profile

BustedClock

112 posts in 1986 days


#13 posted 01-28-2014 12:02 AM

Well… I didn’t actually talk to anybody, just looked at the racks. I’m sortta shy that way.

-- Hey, I'm usually right twice a day! Except where they use 24 hour clocks.

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3022 posts in 1261 days


#14 posted 01-28-2014 12:10 AM

For future reference, then: In a big box store there are some things that they don’t regularly do, but cutting black pipe to length and cutting threads is completely normal.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Nicholas Hall's profile

Nicholas Hall

350 posts in 1570 days


#15 posted 01-28-2014 12:30 AM

I guess my galvanized pipe clamps were probably not the right way to go…

The second thing I did was I had the Home Depot guy thread the pipe on both ends. Then I bought a 3/4×3/4 female by female NPT coupler ($2.00) and screwed it on the end. That way, I can take any pipe clamp I own and extend the length to whatever length I need. They didn’t charge me extra for it. It’s come in handy a few times when I needed 7 ft clamps for a bookcase glueup. It’s not as rigid as a single 7’ length, but it gets the job done.

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

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