Source for aluminum elbows?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by NI2M, Nov 21, 2021.

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  1. NI2M

    NI2M Ham Member QRZ Page

    Will experiment with a loop made from .375" X .058" size aluminum tubing.

    Any source for "elbows" for the corners?

    73 de JJ
  2. K7TRF

    K7TRF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'd start by checking:

    - Zoro
    - McMaster Carr
    - Grainger

    I buy a lot of those kinds of industrial parts from Zoro but any of those listed likely have something close to what you're after.
  3. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tubing bender?
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I had some tubing that went on a bender once.

    Took it 2 days to sober up.:p

    Seriously, I'd use copper instead...only because not only are elbows and other fittings readily available almost anywhere, but I can easily solder it; aluminum takes specialized techniques (like heliarc welding) which I can't do.
    W4HMB, W4NNF and KB3UWC like this.
  5. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    Copper, even at 3/8, gets heavy fast.
    AG5CK likes this.
  6. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    In lieu of a bunch of parts, bend the tubing for less joints to weld up. Duh.
    KA4DPO, W6EM and NN4RH like this.
  7. W6EM

    W6EM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, a tubing bender at the corners. For connections, use stainless hardware and carbon filled inhibitor grease to avoid corrosion.
    W4KJG likes this.
  8. W4HAY

    W4HAY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Get tubing lengths as long as possibe and one of these: LINK
    The fewer joints you have to make, the better.

    (I used to do a lot of work with small diameter instrumentation tubing.)
  9. NG1H

    NG1H XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not _THAT_ heavy. 50 feet is 10#.

    Back to the original question in addition to radius bending tools there are tools that will flare the end to make your own F->M joints. So it can be done once you spend money on tools.

    It is good to think of alternatives and aluminum does have one advantage - structural strength. And if you already have all the tools and materials it is not a hands down bad idea to try. But using copper will make this project a lot easier even if the loop is so large that you need to make a frame for support.

    BTW - if you decide to go to copper and are concerned about cost look into purchasing long rolls of "copper air conditioning line." Significant cost savings but you'll want help unrolling and shaping it.
    W4HMB likes this.
  10. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    3/8" tubing will make a very narrow bandwidth loop - high Q - maybe that's what you want? But for me, it would be impractical, gotta retune every 3kHz or whatever. Much better to use the largest diameter you can find and afford.

    For connectors, use as few as possible. 2 is a good number. But, with copper tubing, crush the ends flat in a vice. Drill a hole in the flat part for a bolt for the capacitor.
    W4HMB likes this.

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