Incredibly foolish pipe clamp question

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Forum topic by BradO posted 01-16-2014 06:16 PM 1261 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 2080 days

01-16-2014 06:16 PM

I feel ridiculous for even asking this….

I picked up a few sections of 3/4” black pipe to make a pipe clamps and a couple were coated in what feels like wax and the others are oily. I’m assuming this is to prevent rust but does it make the clamp slip? Should I clean them off? If so, what’s the best way?

6 replies so far

View dbhost's profile


5772 posts in 3712 days

#1 posted 01-16-2014 06:23 PM

Generally speaking the oil found on new metal pipe is thread cutting oil . A good scrub down with automotive brake parts cleaner and a shop rag will get it off of there.

And while it may or may not make your clamp slip, it WILL transfer oils / wax to your work piece being clamped. NOT something you want…

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View dawsonbob's profile


3407 posts in 2235 days

#2 posted 01-16-2014 06:30 PM

When I first started using the black pipe I had no trouble with slippage, but it did leave black marks on the wood. Cleaned it with mineral spirits, then Simple Green. No problems since.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View bigblockyeti's profile


5897 posts in 2201 days

#3 posted 01-16-2014 06:41 PM

Both the oil and the wax are very unlikely to allow your clamp to slip as they function by biting into the exterior of the pipe, much like a pipe wrench, only in the longitudinal axis. +1 to what has been stated regarding marking your project or transferring oil or wax onto the contact surface, it’s best to remove it and leave the clamps in a relatively dry (not outside in the rain) environment to protect the surface of the pipe.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

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Nicholas Hall

352 posts in 2587 days

#4 posted 01-16-2014 07:33 PM

+1 for mineral spirits or brake cleaner. Any solvent will do. Even soap and water will work provided you dry them carefully when you’re done. Use gloves and eye protection if you’re using something nasty, (brake cleaner and eyeballs don’t get along very well). You don’t need to be obsessive about cleaning them off, just get off as much as you can and you’ll be fine.

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

View bowedcurly's profile


519 posts in 2209 days

#5 posted 01-17-2014 02:36 PM

the pipe clamp works like a wedge system when you put pressure on the clamp faces they cant and dig into the pipe this bein wedged, the oil and wax does need to be wiped off, and that reminds me I just went to lowes and picked up several diff lengths of pipe I need to clean those off, pipe clamps are a good clamp you can make them really long, happy clamping and make some dust

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

View BradO's profile


7 posts in 2080 days

#6 posted 01-17-2014 03:19 PM

Thanks for the answers everyone. Looks like it’s back to BORG for some cleaning supplies.

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