FAQ

Q. Is your pipe galvanised or painted?

A. Neither, er, both.  Well the larger pipe (1" and 1-1/4") is typically galvanised and then e-coated.  The smaller bore pipe is typically black pipe is not usually galvanised and comes with a tar like coating which we strip off before e-coating. 

Q. What is the finish of your pipe?

A. It's hard to describe.  We often say it's satin.  It's not quite gloss nor is is quite matte.  Some things you need to know: it is a very strong finish applied by a technique known as electrophoretic coating or e-coating.  The best way to explain it is to say it's an electroplated paint.  The pipe, or fittings are immersed in a bath of the paint finish and an electrical current 'plates' the finish onto the metal at a molecular level.  The result is a much harder and better adhering finish than simple paint.  But it is important to note that the appearance can vary between the fittings and the pipe simply because they are manufactured in a very different way.  Pipe is rolled from smooth, flat sheet and so is inherently shinier.  Fittings are cast in sand or from dies and usually have a much rougher texture (though this is part of the industrial look).  When painted the fittings are typically much more matte than the pipe.  Now you're thinking this all sounds a big vague and variable, and, you would be right, but it's also one of the things that gives industrial pipe it's charm.

Q. What is the colour of your pipe?

A. Black.  That said it does tend toward a very dark gray than absolute black.

Q. Can I repaint your pipe and fittings?

A. Absolutely.  We've done all the grunt work to clean the pipe up and the basic e-coat finish is a great foundation for repainting in other colours.  We recommend Rustoleum spray paints.  They cover in one coat, dry quickly and look good.

Q. Will your pipe rust?

A. No.  well, probably not.  usually not... no.  Why so vague? Well when pipe and fittings are screwed together the threads bite into each other and break through the finish.  So it is, theoretically possible that things can rust around the joint.  BUT, our e-coat is MUCH harder than any other kind of paint finish and so is much less likely to rust than anything else.  Also, you'd need to leave it in the rain or a really humid condition before it ever became noticeable.

Q. How do I figure out how long a pipe I need?

A. If you are making a table, for instance, you start by deciding what height you want the top to be.  Let's say 30".  Take off the thickness of the top, say 1.5".  Now, if you are making your table top from planks then you might also have a cross bar too, say 0.75".  Now we are down to the pipe and fittings.  Let's say you have a flange, a pipe, a tee (for a brace), another pipe, and another tee.  Look up the dimensions of the fittings you are going to use.  So now we've got:

30" minus

1.5" top

0.75" cross bar

0.65" top flange

2.6" tee

0.65" bottom flange

= 23.85"  which in pipe language is pretty much 24"

Where you put the tee splits that dimension in two.  Let's say 18" and 6".  "Ahh, but" you say, "what about the threads that are lost inside the fittings?"  I reply, "if you are so smart why am I writing this FAQ?".  We agree to not to dual and continue as gentlemen.  Yes, there is thread (and therefore pipe length) lost when you screw the pipe into a fitting. This is where it all gets a bit vague.  Depending on which way the wind was blowing when the threads were cut on your pipe or in your fittings, there could be anything between 0.25" and 0.75" of mated thread.  As a rule of thumb I split the difference and call it 0.5".  So now you have to add 0.5" for every pipe/fitting junction.  or, simply put, add an inch to each pipe.  And now we arrive at the grand total of 19" and 7".  This vagueness can also be a blessing as there is usually enough adjustment possible between each pipe/fitting junction to make sure that all legs (or arms or whatever) match.

Q. How accurate are the dimensions in your listings?

A. Good question, I'm glad you asked because this is important.  No industrial pipe part or product is super accurate.  It's primary purpose is plumbing water and gas lines.  Plumbers don't need super accurate.  So it's important to remember that while we try to make a better job of our pipe and fittings, they also come with some tolerances.  Pipe can be out by as much as 1/4", and fittings, while apparently identical can have their threads cut a bit differently meaning the pipe may screw into one more than another.  But this lack of precision is also partly it's charm and, more importantly also it's advantage.  You can screw and unscrew parts to your hearts content (coz' it's fun) and adjust the dimensions of a finished design.  Black electrical tape is the secret sauce when you can't get a tight fit with the bare threads.  That packs out the thread and tightens up any slack.

Q. How do square the circle (or circle the square)?

A. OK, now you're in deep.  This isn't just a philosophical question.  When building iron pipe tables, chairs, shelves, etc, you may have come across the conundrum of not being able to close a rectangular area because screwing the last joint together unscrews the previous one.  You don't know what I'm going on about?  Don't sweat it.  If you do keep reading.  There is no clever solution to this, except we could maybe put left and right-hand threads on opposite ends of the pipe, but then the fittings would have to match and we'd be into a whole mess of new and incompatible parts.  The only solution we know of is to grind off the threads on one end of the pipe and so make it a slip fit into it's mating fitting.  In most cases this works fine, but beware if your design is load bearing.  Get in touch if you need any help with this.