Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
Post Reply
Inappropraite
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:01 pm
Burning Since: 2013
Camp Name: Born to Roam

Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by Inappropraite » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:10 pm

Alright, I am looking for a definitive answer about EMT Conduit. What size is the right size. My experience with playa tech is that some people go over kill with things, AKA 16" Lag bolts to hold a monkey hut down.
Keeping in mind that bigger is always better, what is the smallest Conduit I should feel comfortable using to construct shade structures around camp? I will be buying footies and corners and attaching ratchet straps to 10" lag bolts for tie downs. Can I get away with 1/2" no problem or do I need to shell out the $8 a pipe for 1".

~Inapprops

User avatar
motskyroonmatick
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 11:37 am
Burning Since: 2004
Camp Name: B.R.C. Welding&Repair
Location: Aurora Oregon

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by motskyroonmatick » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:34 pm

I'd go with 1" Haven't heard of any failures of 1" structures and hearing of a number of failures with tubing smaller than that. In the future you could scale up the area of the shade confidently with 1" tubing. I would use 14" lag bolts minimum being that many years the top 6" of playa has no holding power to speak of.
Black Rock City Welding & Repair. The Night Time Warming Station. iGNiTE! Bar.

Card Carrying Member BRCCP.

When you pass the 4th "bridge out!" sign; the flaming death is all yours.-Knowmad-

User avatar
EGAZ
Posts: 608
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:44 pm
Burning Since: 2016
Camp Name: Camp2 -Doin' What We Do!!
Location: Arizona
Contact:

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by EGAZ » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:44 pm

Seeing as how you have nothing, go with 1". It's proven, 3/4" is sketchy & 1/2" is flat crazy & a waste of money.
And IF you decide to sell it all, you're not left with smaller gear that no one wants or can use with their existing 1" fitting setup....... that everbody uses....... on the Playa..... :mrgreen:




With 14" lags...... :coffee:
2nd time better than the first. And the first was pretty Freakin' Great!
I am Camp2. - A solo camp - Stop by and say Hey!, 8) Gotta beer?

If you are another Solo Burner & very 'Radically Self Reliant' - Maybe we can 'Do What We Do!' :P

User avatar
BBadger
Posts: 5772
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:37 am
Burning Since: 2010
Location: (near) Portland, OR, USA

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by BBadger » Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:03 am

Holy shit! It's like $8 for a 10-foot pipe of 1" conduit. How ever will anyone afford that? That 1" conduit is not expensive, and the biggest pain with any conduit is the length of it -- which is the same regardless of the pipe diameter. Just get your 1" conduit and be done with it. When you're trying to get a last wink of sleep on the playa at 10 AM, you might think "oh hey, I wish I had spent those few extra dollars to make my $425-just-to-attend trip sleepable."

That, or just buy a damned carport. They're like $225 or something. How much does that compute to compared to being in a ratty motel? Four nights?

People buy the 14" because they're sold as inexpensive (PER BOLT) 50x packs on Amazon or Fastener Superstore. Yeah you can go around buying even 12" bolts for like $1.50, but why bother when you can get a 50x pack for like $70 shipped or something. Share them with friends if you need to spread the cost around.

No, not everyone is made of money, but you're going to some ridiculous party in the desert and paying for the benefit. Why are you cheaping out on the important thing in life like having some comfort while you're trying to sleep? It's not like you're paying to make a yurt or something.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

Hate reading my replies? Click here to add me to your plonk (foe) list.

User avatar
some seeing eye
Posts: 2796
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:06 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Woo
Location: The Oregon

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by some seeing eye » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:53 am

I have seen 2 camps made of 1/2" destroyed. It can happen very quickly. They looked like they would take many hours just taking them apart.

EMT has minimal speced strength. The next step up is galvanized fence pipe. After that is speced steel and aluminum tubing.

Many camps are going to a modular flat top shade structure. So once you start with a specific diameter, you continue with that.

If you look at the building for code for Washoe:
Risk Category I 120 mph
Risk Category II 130 mph
Risk Category III and IV 140 mph
BRC is Risk Category II+

Wind force goes up as the square of area: http://k7nv.com/notebook/topics/windload.html

A 10x10 tarp will have a force of greater than 43,000 pounds at 130mph. Even shade cloth is going to have pressure.

As motskyroonmatick mentions, what happens to that force when you have 50x50 worth of 100sf modules?

So in the spirit of being prepared I would go 1" on up. The price of the fittings is close. If you look at commercial event tents, they usually use 2" aluminum tubing with substantial wall thickness.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

Inappropraite
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:01 pm
Burning Since: 2013
Camp Name: Born to Roam

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by Inappropraite » Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:41 am

I started this thread to try and have a conversation about IF 1/2 inch is a viable option. I have been bringing large structures to playa since I started in 2013, so transportation isn't a problem because I know how to plan. And how long things are.
I'm not asking about pipe because I need to cover my tent to sleep in a few extra hours, I am asking about pipe to build shade for a theme camp I run because I have this crazy idea that when other Burners show up to look at our art piece they may just want to get out of the sun.
I understand that $8 a pipe isn't a lot of money, but if you are buying 20 of them it turns out $8 a pipe versus $2.50 a pipe is a difference of $110.
I am curious to hear more about these 1/2" destruction stories. What happened exactly? What was the structure that was destroyed? Flat top, tarp covers? Or did they have shade cloth? What failed in the structure? Was it the pipe itself?

I understand that I am playing with fire a bit in suggesting it, but I wanted to hear from seasoned burners about what they think will work. And if it won't work why, not just the same stuff others have simply read on eplaya.
Everyone on playa said that rebar was the only thing that worked.
Now we have lag bolts.
Everyone on playa says 1" is the minimum.
I just read a post about a camp that drives 300 3/4" conduit 10" into the ground instead of driving rebar for it.

What I am getting at is change. (SCARY!!!?!?!?!) Is 1/2" a change that people could get behind, because if you are ol' 300 conduit guy it is a difference of $1650. Which is 16 people worth of camp dues.


~Inapprops

User avatar
Ratty
Posts: 5739
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:43 pm
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Tiger Man

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by Ratty » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:14 am

I say go for it. Please post your camps address so we can drop by and say hello. If you search eplaya using google you can find those horror stories. Good luck.
Pictures or it didn't happen Greycoyote
I a recovering swagaholic I have to resist my grabby nature VultureChow
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah
You should start doing drugs, it doesn't mess you up as much. CaptG

User avatar
some seeing eye
Posts: 2796
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:06 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Woo
Location: The Oregon

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by some seeing eye » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:23 am

Actually 3 camps Kaleidadome in 1999, Lustmonkeys of Xara in 2000 and a camp next to us in 2007.

(http://ironwolf.dangerousgames.com/burningman99/)
Image

Image

1997 Bone Tower rebar structure before:
Image

After:
Image

The Black Rock Hardware shade is 1"

"Just don't use 1/2" conduit. " - Couch Bob (Longtime DPW who designed the Center Camp structure)

This isn't Sparr is it?
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

User avatar
BBadger
Posts: 5772
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:37 am
Burning Since: 2010
Location: (near) Portland, OR, USA

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by BBadger » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:51 pm

You know what's a "lot" of money? Your $2.50 pole buckling under a gust and falling into your buddy's "cheap" $120 camping tent set up downwind from you. Or your flimsy shade flying apart and scratching the paint job of the 2006 Ford Explorer a neighbor is using as a wind-block. Or maybe the damn thing collapses on itself and injures a napping friend lounging under it after a long night of dancing. Good thing the pipes are so light and flimsy right? Or maybe your structure just ends up wrecking the shade cloth itself, tearing holes in it, needing replacement.

It may be that none of that happens at all, but now you're using some thin-walled flimsy shade and every time you hear it rattle and moan under the slightest breeze you feel compelled to leap out of your tent or camping chair to make sure the thing isn't going to come crashing down. It gets so sketchy that you decide to just collapse the structure so that you can actually take a stroll in the city with some peace of mind.

What did that $110 savings actually net you? That's like half a carport worth of pipes, and I can only imagine how many people 20x poles would be servicing to spread around the cost for a $160 structure.

And yeah, they do buckle and break. My dad tried setting up some shade with 1/2" EMT and white shade cloth over windows at his house like an awning, only further out. They worked fine until there was a somewhat breezy day and the shade cloth caught a gust, causing the EMT to bend. Fortunately, only the pipe got bent up, and nothing else broke. The small EMT is just way too flimsy to hold up under stress.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

Hate reading my replies? Click here to add me to your plonk (foe) list.

User avatar
Token
Posts: 4128
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 2:55 pm
Burning Since: 2001
Location: Gold Country, CA

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by Token » Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:47 pm

Sheesh, all these naysayers and "your doing it wrong" "burnier than thou" jaded old farts.

Just do it. You don't need their permission.

Yeah, folks got photos of this and that. There is a photo of a porta potty flying in the wind out there too.

"Oh my Dog, you're gonna die out there if you don't do exactly what I tell you to do"! SMH

Bunch o' pansies.


When someone asks for advice and refuses to accept the good information provided, you gotta say fuck-it and let Darwin do his good work

User avatar
Luigi
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:53 am
Burning Since: 2014
Camp Name: VW Bus Camp
Location: Reno NV

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by Luigi » Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:02 pm

I have 3/4 emt for my flat tops which has held up for three years ok. - BUT if I would do it again would use 1". I had the 3/4 from another fest so added to it for BM. No way would I use 1/2. My opinion is 3/4 is the minimum.
"Water is the driving force of all nature. " Leonardo da Vinci

User avatar
motskyroonmatick
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 11:37 am
Burning Since: 2004
Camp Name: B.R.C. Welding&Repair
Location: Aurora Oregon

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by motskyroonmatick » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:45 pm

I like a safety factor and so that is why I recommend 1". Additionally for what it's worth I think the 1" EMT is more resilient than 1x1x1/8" square tubing. I could be wrong...I'm not a physicist or structural engineer. My original shade that I still bring is made out of square tubing and that was way more expensive of a frame than the EMT frames. The galvanizing on EMT is nice too. All my newer shades are the 1" conduit variety and I even have one that is 10' tall. It acts remarkably different than my 7' tall shades. All this for what it's worth. Thanks for all the coffee 2 years ago! Much appreciated! Motz, Black Rock City Welding & Repair.
Black Rock City Welding & Repair. The Night Time Warming Station. iGNiTE! Bar.

Card Carrying Member BRCCP.

When you pass the 4th "bridge out!" sign; the flaming death is all yours.-Knowmad-

User avatar
Token
Posts: 4128
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 2:55 pm
Burning Since: 2001
Location: Gold Country, CA

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by Token » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:45 am

Here is a practical test you can do.

Go spend $2 and get a 10' 1/2 thin-wall conduit tube.

Stick it in the ground ~ a foot deep. Try and keep it vertical.

Get a couple buckets, duct tape the handles together, stick the taped handles on to of the conduit (jam a screwdriver down into the duct to hold it there) and balance everything out.

While holding the pipe just enough so it's vertical, have a buddy add weight to each bucket simultaneously.

When the conduit buckles, you can weigh the buckets and decide if it's strong enough.

Inappropraite
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:01 pm
Burning Since: 2013
Camp Name: Born to Roam

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by Inappropraite » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:44 pm

Well thank you for contributing to this conversation!! It looks like I will be using 1". All the stories of 1/2" buckling have me a bit too nervous.

In the future I may just attempt that sweet weight test you thought of Token.

If any of you want to stop by for a cold beer for helping with this swing on over to Born To Roam at 3:15 and K this year.

Thanks!

~Inapprops

fireheadwhale
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:15 pm
Burning Since: 2014
Camp Name: Pen is Mightier
Location: Central California
Contact:

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by fireheadwhale » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:44 pm

I bumped this because I went to HD today and the 1" EMT is up to $9.90 a stick. I want to do some structures around the house. I wondered what the price was in different years. I googled "historical prices of EMT" and this was about the fifth thing there. I wonder if those tariffs figure into it. I'll just bite the bullet and buy what I need.
You can apply any terms to any situation to rationalize bias or perspective.

User avatar
TT120
Posts: 1718
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:43 pm
Burning Since: 2012
Camp Name: Orphans TOO!
Location: Sacramento, CA.
Contact:

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by TT120 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:10 am

Yikes, it looks like the price has jumped up a bit on the 1" EMT. Maybe you could check out the flea markets in your area, they use the same stuff for their shade structures. You might find some cheaper stuff or even some used EMT there. It don't have to be pretty, it's just has to work.
Life's a bitch, then you go to Burning Man - Unjonharley
We welcome the stranger, but that doesn't mean we have to like them, nor they us, and that's alright. - AntiM

W6BJD

User avatar
trilobyte
Site Admin
Posts: 16748
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2004 10:54 pm
Burning Since: 2004
Camp Name: Eridu Society
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by trilobyte » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:36 am

It is steel tubing most often using lower grade (cheap) imported steel... of course tariffs are a factor. Since it's also one of those bulk raw materials items that's often sold very close to (or even sometimes below) cost, there isn't any room for a merchant to just absorb those kinds of hits.

Good luck with your project!

User avatar
sparr
Posts: 401
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:01 am
Burning Since: 2015

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by sparr » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:20 pm

The size matters much less than the type of structure. There are so many different things you can build out of conduit. geodesic dome? carport style structure? flat-top grid-of-conduit-squares? tipis? There's no single answer to what size of conduit you need for every possible use, and there never will be.
If you want to make a reply about my personality instead of about what this thread is about, don't clutter this thread, post over here instead.

DoctorDieterGunterman
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:07 pm
Burning Since: 2004
Camp Name: The G-Spot

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by DoctorDieterGunterman » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:17 pm

Sorry, I haven't read all the replies to this thread.

Here's what one of our camps does:
We use 1" EMT.

Why this might be a better idea than something of a weaker or smaller diameter material:
Sometimes we discard sections of the eight-foot or ten-foot 1-inch diameter stock when we get home because we found that it has a bend near the end form torque applied by the coupling, particularly after big high velocity wind and dust events. This could be worse if you use full size tarps for siding instead of shade. Once the end is bent, you'll need more than $8 to have someone bend it back. So, we just buy another one. If you have access to a heavy duty tube bender, you may be able to fix one of those ends, but is it worth $8 of your time? Probably, if you have a shop and a tube-bender!

Conclusion: one-inch tube is right on the edge of sustainable. If you go smaller, you'll end up with bent tubing more often than every couple years, which is what we experience using one-inch EMT with Black Rock Shade couplings. It could be that we didn't ensure our guys were taut and we made ourselves vulnerable to torque and bending, but that is a real life scenario, too.

fireheadwhale
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:15 pm
Burning Since: 2014
Camp Name: Pen is Mightier
Location: Central California
Contact:

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by fireheadwhale » Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:56 pm

Yep, went to HD yesterday and 1" EMT was $10.40 a stick, 50 cent increase since June. Got the discount price of $9.89 because I bought(10 or more) 13 pieces. Maybe when we start making our own (USA) because of the tariffs it will go back down to around 5 bucks. Yeah, right.
You can apply any terms to any situation to rationalize bias or perspective.

fireheadwhale
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:15 pm
Burning Since: 2014
Camp Name: Pen is Mightier
Location: Central California
Contact:

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by fireheadwhale » Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:07 am

That pipe that was $10.40 at HD? I happened to look and it was made in USA. Feel a little better about paying that price now.
You can apply any terms to any situation to rationalize bias or perspective.

maladroit
Posts: 2311
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:37 pm
Burning Since: 2012

Re: Conduit. Let's come to a decision.

Post by maladroit » Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:52 pm

I have a 1V dome (icosahedron) made from 10 foot 3/4" EMT sticks and 10 foot triangular shade sails. It's tradeoff between strength and something that is still light enough for 25 tubes to be strapped to the top of my car. I can easily agree that for a square corner structure, 3/4" would be too flimsy. For this specific purpose, it's doing fine. This size of 1V dome can't be climbed otherwise the midpoints would be too weak. But we can still tie a rope to the top vertex and support the weight of two campmates with no noticeable sagging.

Post Reply

Return to “Building Camps & Villages”