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Old 01-11-2018, 09:16 AM   #1
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Lead Pipe Strength?

So I was looking at ways to add a top deck on our future bus and was wondering if lead pipes have sufficient strength to be used as the mounting hardware?

I love that pipe shelve type style and though it might look cool as I plan to bring it in the bus as well.

Something like this only less industrial or clean and polished maybe?
April 2 - SeanF
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:25 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by PNWorBUST72 View Post
So I was looking at ways to add a top deck on our future bus and was wondering if lead pipes have sufficient strength to be used as the mounting hardware?

I love that pipe shelve type style and though it might look cool as I plan to bring it in the bus as well.

Something like this only less industrial or clean and polished maybe?
April 2 - SeanF
No.

Lead pipes are fun as heck, though. Pb & j, I like to say.

Lead aint cheap- are you digging-up Flint, Mi water mains? Where you finding all the lead?

Those shelves are usually made with steel sch 40 black pipe.
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:29 AM   #3
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Ok, how about regular pipe then? Like the stuff they use to make those DIY book shelves and the like...

Here is a video about the general type of materials I guess, looking for feedback and ideas.

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Old 01-11-2018, 09:54 AM   #4
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A few more choices for you,

Rigid electrical conduit, galvanized with and without threading if necessary

Electrical metallic tubing, emt, no threading, but strong enough in short lengths and larger diameters.

Both rigid and emt are galvanized for corrosion protection.

Lastly, aluminum conduit, needing threads but strong, lightweight, no rust.

All look good painted or natural finish. lots of suitable fittings for mounting and fastening deck materials. Easy assembly no matter which material is used and the deck will come out square and professional looking if you measure all your piping correctly.
Gives you a raceway for wiring if need be to the deck inside the piping and to whatever.

I am going to do roof deck (platform) and use rigid conduit, probably 1" dia, so plenty strong for most uses.

My 2 cent contribution fwiw,

John
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:24 AM   #5
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Ok, how about regular pipe then? Like the stuff they use to make those DIY book shelves and the like...

Here is a video about the general type of materials I guess, looking for feedback and ideas.
Ok, so steel gas pipe- sch 40. The problem with using steel pipe isn't the pipe price- it's reasonable, sturdy, chic. The problem is the fittings are expensive and those threaded flange fittings are redonculously priced. Bus project WILL be expensive, so save it for something essential- like insulation- and build shelves from less expensive materials, unless you have 'source' ...

If you could weld the pipe together and forego the fittings, perhaps, but I'm guessing you aren't a lead welder?

Spend some time watching the skoolie builds on youtube for ideas.

Look on craigslist for free materials, Angie's List, etc. Ask around. Dumpster dive.
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:45 AM   #6
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Uhhh...none of what I see is "lead" pipe. Just plain old galvanized plumbing pipe. And why go to all the bother and expense using umpteen dozen $$$ fittings?

Would be cheaper/better to hire a welder and just use some square steel tube. That could be knocked out in 20 minutes. Besides...round rungs on a metal ladder are bad idea to begin with.
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Old 01-11-2018, 01:12 PM   #7
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Ok, so maybe we were a bit hasty.

If you really like the look, it could be for a focal piece or even railings /handles/towel bars, etc.

We are just grumpy old fabricators.
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Old 01-11-2018, 01:35 PM   #8
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Bear in mind that threaded pipe is not structural. The threads cut pretty deep so a pipe that looks like 1/8" wall when cut it turns out to be much thinner at the root of the threads. It's still plenty strong to support itself (obviously!) and it's great for a decorative look where strength isn't an issue, but I recommend not using threaded pipe and fittings as the structural foundation for anything where failure would be problematic.
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:32 PM   #9
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If we are talking about roof platforms, I tend to agree.

The standard method is to weld up the frame from steel tube, and bolt it to the ribs.

It's reasonably economical, and it works.
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:55 PM   #10
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Yeah thats true, but look at the link I posted in the OP, those are badass.

But cost a couple hundred in hardware I bet.
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:47 PM   #11
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Bear in mind that threaded pipe is not structural. The threads cut pretty deep so a pipe that looks like 1/8" wall when cut it turns out to be much thinner at the root of the threads. It's still plenty strong to support itself (obviously!) and it's great for a decorative look where strength isn't an issue, but I recommend not using threaded pipe and fittings as the structural foundation for anything where failure would be problematic.
Well not everyone has or wants the welding option for a deck structure. In 40+ years in the electrical trade installing miles of rigid pipe, I have yet to see a thread or fitting break. Even under the stress of wire pulling with tons of pressure, none of the fittings give an inch, and threads don't break if tightened sufficiently. Larger diameter pipe is not 1/8" wall thickness, heck even 1/2" rigid is more than strong enough for deck supports if you do it right. Fittings are had used in many places too dirt cheap to free. Go talk to a contractor, he'd be glad to move extra stock out of his shop. Habitat for Humanity often has bits and pieces of this for pennies.
You can bend this pipe also to eliminate many fittings at external corners, for ladders etc.
It is no more labour intensive than the build in the video posted above.
It also gives you the raceway for extra wiring complete with access covers.

John
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:19 PM   #12
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Yes ridgid conduit is schedule 40 and can be threaded and bent just fine but they don't sell much of anything except pre bent long radius elbows,couplings and box connectors to go with it for electrical.
EMT is closer to less than schedule 10 and should never be threaded but bent with the proper tool and eliminate as many connectors as you can.
Sch. 40 steel pipe is the same thickness as ridgid conduit but is annealed/strengthened harder than ridgid conduit because it is not expected to be bent. And it will only bend like a piece of ridgid conduit with out caving in without heat while bending.
Threads are the weakest point of any threaded pipe system and I have seen them break off in the fitting but it wasn't just a body leaning against it. Not saying that if several bodies leaning against an improperly designed/braced handrail one wouldn't break.
Johns idea with the ridgid conduit would work great
Long radius elbows, couplings, pipe at a minimum, threading machine, and then depending on your design how many plumbing tees and cut and threaded pieces of pipe to get your dimensions before you think about how to attach it to the roof without creating any leaks.
Pipe fitter/welder by trade and we can if this is what you want we can help design this but you need to find someone with the right equipment.
I can give ideas of places to find that without a location but it will take you to go through the effort. This idea is not a DIY type thing nor the cheapest.
Good luck
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:34 PM   #13
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"Yes ridgid conduit is schedule 40 and can be threaded and bent just fine but they don't sell much of anything except pre bent long radius elbows,couplings and box connectors to go with it for electrical."

JR your understanding of rigid pipe is not how I was trained to install.
To make a deck you need mostly mfg tees, not mfg bends. use LB's at the corners to keep it square and in between and uprights are primarily tees.
Couplings not necessary due to length of each piece which go fitting to fitting with threads only, no box connectors at all.

If he designs it a shop could make all that in an hour or so, no problem.Installation takes a while longer due to wrenching, but it will be strong and won't break.

John
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:45 PM   #14
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Well not everyone has or wants the welding option for a deck structure. In 40+ years in the electrical trade installing miles of rigid pipe, I have yet to see a thread or fitting break. Even under the stress of wire pulling with tons of pressure, none of the fittings give an inch, and threads don't break if tightened sufficiently. Larger diameter pipe is not 1/8" wall thickness, heck even 1/2" rigid is more than strong enough for deck supports if you do it right. Fittings are had used in many places too dirt cheap to free. Go talk to a contractor, he'd be glad to move extra stock out of his shop. Habitat for Humanity often has bits and pieces of this for pennies.
You can bend this pipe also to eliminate many fittings at external corners, for ladders etc.
It is no more labour intensive than the build in the video posted above.
It also gives you the raceway for extra wiring complete with access covers.

John
Those fittings don't break in their intended application. But lets put 1000lbs of pressure on them and tell me they act they same. I doubt there is 4000+ pounds of pressure when you pull wires through, that would be some massively strong wire.
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:10 PM   #15
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Hey I am a pipefitter buy trade.
I have ran my share of conduit and pulled wire?
But I will take weld/screw pipe over it any day.
Ain't a sparky by trade and never wanted to be but I have to do the mess every now and then.
As far as the OP application I was suggesting options to research.
I wouldn't do it like that unless I wanted a long ell instead of a forged ell fitting that I have busted more than a f'ing shipping coupling that is sent on every piece of pipe to protect the threads but can't be used in my hydronic world that has to hold water.
In an electrical world your pipe is just a sleeve for wires in my world I have to sleeve a pipe to hold steam,water etc..
Isn't an LB a box connector that is made of weaker material than the pipe?
Standard 150- psi pipe malleable iron fittings are stronger than any LB or junction box made for electrical.
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:22 PM   #16
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Those fittings don't break in their intended application. But lets put 1000lbs of pressure on them and tell me they act they same. I doubt there is 4000+ pounds of pressure when you pull wires through, that would be some massively strong wire.

We are not talking house wiring here and yes those pressures are well over what you suggest when pulling in major feeders with mechanical pullers, not human.
You don't know what you are talking about in this instance. Big heavy stiff cables need mechanical pulling and it is a science, an art, believe it or not.
I have used cranes and dozers in some long hard pulls when the wire size is 2000mcm or roughly 2" in diameter.
It is done everyday and the piping runs are built to withstand it, not a mickey mouse deck.

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Old 01-11-2018, 08:29 PM   #17
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We are not talking house wiring here and yes those pressures are well over what you suggest when pulling in major feeders with mechanical pullers, not human.
You don't know what you are talking about in this instance. Big heavy stiff cables need mechanical pulling and it is a science, an art, believe it or not.
I have used cranes and dozers in some long hard pulls when the wire size is 2000mcm or roughly 2" in diameter.
It is done everyday and the piping runs are built to withstand it, not a mickey mouse deck.

John
So your example for testing strength was to use a pipe big enough to pull 2" wire through instead of the little 3/4" ones the OP is interested in. Talk about comparing apples to watermelons.
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:32 PM   #18
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Hey I am a pipefitter buy trade.
I have ran my share of conduit and pulled wire?
But I will take weld/screw pipe over it any day.
Ain't a sparky by trade and never wanted to be but I have to do the mess every now and then.
As far as the OP application I was suggesting options to research.
I wouldn't do it like that unless I wanted a long ell instead of a forged ell fitting that I have busted more than a f'ing shipping coupling that is sent on every piece of pipe to protect the threads but can't be used in my hydronic world that has to hold water.
In an electrical world your pipe is just a sleeve for wires in my world I have to sleeve a pipe to hold steam,water etc..
Why is a pf doing electrical work without being licensed? Stick to pf'ing and me , electrical.
Long shelf life is what rigid is all about in the trade.
Busting couplings ain't good and rigid is not made for liquids. Not sch 40 equivalent either, it is seamed if you look closely. Why would you run liquids or whatever in conduit, duhh?
Rigid can be bent in smaller diameters by hand benders. Bigger diameters require mechanical or hydraulic benders. Can you bend say 1" sch 40 by hand? neither can I. I can bend 1'' rigid conduit in a 90* bend an day of the week.
If you are breaking things you are doing the job wrong imho. Not arguing, just correcting what I know as fact.

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Old 01-11-2018, 08:36 PM   #19
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So your example for testing strength was to use a pipe big enough to pull 2" wire through instead of the little 3/4" ones the OP is interested in. Talk about comparing apples to watermelons.
3/4" is more than enough for this guy's project. You said hat this material cannot withstand major forces, not me.
Not comparing anything, just correcting what you say is true, which isn't.

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Old 01-11-2018, 08:43 PM   #20
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3/4" is more than enough for this guy's project. You said hat this material cannot withstand major forces, not me.
Not comparing anything, just correcting what you say is true, which isn't.

John
I didn't say they couldn't take major forces. I was saying your example of pulling 2" wire does not relate in any way to what this application calls for.
What did I say that was not true?
I never said what he wants to use will not work, probably will easily. I'm just stating that those parts were not made to support a couple thousand pounds the way a deck and occupants will subject it to. Those fittings in the intended application have no tension on them.
If I was a pipe layer and had tons of those fittings laying around I would use them. I'm not and therefore I would weld up some steel to do the job.
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