Galvanized pipe for clamps. Save some $$$

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Forum topic by Matt Schnurbusch posted 08-01-2008 11:51 PM 31912 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Matt Schnurbusch

36 posts in 4949 days

08-01-2008 11:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: clamp pipe

Went to Lowes the other day to pick up some pipe for my pipe clamps, and thought I should let you all in on it.

If you purchase short lengths (2’, 3’, 4’ etc) you are going to pay too much. Lowes sells 10’ lengths of 3/4” galv. for $1.28 per foot. They will cut it and thread it for free. Apparantly they are supposed to charge more if they cut it and thread it, which makes it seem like not so free. Well when I said that to the guy at the store, he said “yeah doesn’t make much sense to me either”. So, if you are looking for pipe for your clamps, don’t buy the short stuff… Buy a ten footer and have it cut down and threaded after you talk to the person at the store to ensure that you will be charged properly.

I got – 3 48” pipes (already had one) and 4 24” pipes for $27.33 shows a single 3/4” ten footer as $21.49

Some times it pays to shop around a little, even if it’s at the BORGS. I’m sure you could do even better at a plumbing supply store.


-- - If you can't have fun doin' it, it aint worth doin' - Matt

17 replies so far

View SteveKorz's profile


2140 posts in 5051 days

#1 posted 08-02-2008 12:12 AM

I’m kind of a cheap-skate… lol. I’ll shop around until I find the price that I want (or one that’s at least reasonable) before I just buy buy buy…

That’s good info… thanks!

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 5328 days

#2 posted 08-02-2008 02:27 AM

I actually used the Black pipe they call for; not because I wanted to but because I happened to get it at cost so it ended up cheaper than galvanized at the big box store. Otherwise I would have been there too!

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Dusty56's profile


11868 posts in 5025 days

#3 posted 08-02-2008 02:39 AM

other than the paint or being galvanized, is there any difference in the two pipes quality wise ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View bbqking's profile


328 posts in 5060 days

#4 posted 08-02-2008 03:29 AM

I bought a pipe clamp setup from Rockler and purchased a galvanized pipe (cheaper) to fit it up. The head screwed on just fine. The sliding/ locking mechanism would not fit the pipe. Got out the dial caliper, 1/64th or less too large. Went and bought black pipe, fit great. Go figure. It was a 4 foot galvanized pipe. I keep it handy in case I have to defend my refrigerator. bbqKing.

-- bbqKing, Lawrenceville

View FFURNITURE's profile


21 posts in 4923 days

#5 posted 08-02-2008 06:19 AM

Galvanized is softer than Black pipe. The sliding clamp part will dig in, and create a ridge in the pipe. Then to complicate things, glue will get in the ridge. Then the slider wont move up and down easily, creating lots of frustration during a glue up.

-- Clamps are like dollars in the bank, you NEVER can have too many!

View Matt Schnurbusch's profile

Matt Schnurbusch

36 posts in 4949 days

#6 posted 08-02-2008 02:01 PM

So, I wasted my money on the galv? I thought I’d read where folks were using it quite successfully.


-- - If you can't have fun doin' it, it aint worth doin' - Matt

View FFURNITURE's profile


21 posts in 4923 days

#7 posted 08-02-2008 03:33 PM

Well, It CAN be used, but its just not as durable for the long haul.

I’ve offset the cost over the years. I just wait for the plumber to do gas lines in the houses I build, and then pay him to cut and thread a set.

I use them mostly for odd things now, and add extensions for the random long piece.

-- Clamps are like dollars in the bank, you NEVER can have too many!

View Chris_'s profile


39 posts in 4923 days

#8 posted 08-03-2008 03:27 AM

I’ve got both black and galvanized and the black does work better. But saying that the galvanized pipe won’t react with your glue and make black spots….

Thanks for the tip about Lowe’s. I’ve unpacked most of the shop boxes and have four pipe clamps without pipes.

-- Chris

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 5136 days

#9 posted 08-03-2008 03:54 AM

great way to save a buck.. no more stealing pipes from the basements of houses in foreclosure… ha ha

-- making sawdust....

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 5405 days

#10 posted 08-03-2008 06:06 AM

I’ve done alright with both. I use the black ones more because they currently have nicer clamps attached to them. The galvanized pipes I have currently have knock off clamps. I should switch it around and give it a real test I suppose.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View MitchMan's profile


75 posts in 3686 days

#11 posted 12-20-2011 09:48 PM

Updated Prices: $1.75 per foot for 3/4 galv pipe at Lowes in Massachusetts, when you buy 10 feet, and cutting/threading is free.

Thanks for your post a few years ago, Matt. I did exactly as you prescribed a few years ago when you posted, its just incrementally more expensive now. Also of note- their machine wont cut shorter than 3 feet (At this Lowes anyway.). Weird how precut short lengths are so much more expensive, when theyll cut the long ones for free. I made a couple 6ft and a couple 4ft.


View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 3692 days

#12 posted 12-20-2011 09:50 PM

I do suggest using a degreaser such as mean grean or greased lightening on the pipes before you get the clamps anywhere near them. They are lubricated with oils and sometimes graphite which will basically ruin the clamping apparatus.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View muleskinner's profile


941 posts in 3773 days

#13 posted 12-21-2011 04:02 AM

I drive by a recycled materials shop on my way home. I stop in at least once a week just to browse through the junk. When I needed pipe for clamps a couple months ago I went there first and got about 40 ft. of 3/4 pipe for 10 bucks. Some galvanized, some black iron. They weren’t pretty but a half hour with a wire wheel and a drill motor made them presentable. Cut and threaded them into 2, 4, and 6 ft lengths. I just happen to have a hand threader at home but I think stopping by a plumbing shop could get it done for very little cost.

My point, I guess, is that the recycle stores are a cheap alternative if they have what you want. Habitat for Humanity runs one around here in addition to a couple of other salvagers. Worth visiting from time to time.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View Grandpa's profile


3264 posts in 4012 days

#14 posted 12-21-2011 04:32 AM

I bought a stick of pipe at ACE hardware. Pipe generally comes in 21 ft lengths. They had 21 Ft lengths. I had them but it into 36” pieces and thread one end. On the pieces already threaded I had them thread the cut end because I wanted to be able to use a collar on it if needed to make a longer pipe. I paid about $31 for the 7 pieces (21 ft) and threaded. I am not sure the black pipe is harder and if it is how much harder. The galvanize is the soft surface on the water pipe. The clamps can and will dig into the surface and make burrs as mentioned above. I have both blk and galvanized because I constantly look for old pipe that will work for me. If I get pipe I have an excuse to get more clamps. a few strokes with an old sanding belt will take care of glue build up.

View Stargazer's profile


49 posts in 4276 days

#15 posted 12-21-2011 04:23 PM

I use only galvanized pipe on my clamps because the black pipe would react with the glue and leave a deep stain on the wood. If it gets too buggered up I just sand or file down the bad spots, but this rarely happens. I have oodles of black pipe but I no longer use it.

Another good place to locate pipe is scrap yards, plumbing companies and posting ads on craig’s list. I’ve gotten pipe by all three.


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