Speed Rail fitting question - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-18-2017   #1
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1996
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Speed Rail fitting question

I have a question: Pondering building my own basic frame, and I have an opportunity to buy several feet of 1 1/2" OUTER DIAMETER, 6061 T-6 tubing at a good price. Will this tubing work with 1 5/8" OD speed rail fittings? Will there be too much play between the tube wall and the fitting? I understand the difference between tube and pipe and it seems that the Speed Rail fittings are sized for pipe dimensions - just a tad larger in diameter. Useful feedback is greatly appreciated!

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Old 04-18-2017   #2
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
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SpeedRail makes fittings to fit all standard pipe sizes, so you just need to order the right fitting. No such thing as 1 1/2" OD pipe in 6061 shd. 40 pipe, see this table for accurate OD sizes.

See standard aluminum sched 40 pipe sizes here...

Most raft frames are made of 1 1/4" nominal pipe at 1.66" od = 1 5/8"
or 1 1/2" nominal pipe at 1.90"od =1 7/8". Hollaender SpeedRail fitting come in those sizes and many more.

See SpeedRail fitting sizes here...
1-1/2 inch IPS

I found better pricing at a local industrial supplier, SpeedRail is commonly used for industrial safety railing. Note: most aluminum pipe sold in 20' lengths is non-anodized, the more expensive NRS rails are anodized. The non-anodized will leave black marks on your hands and rubber as the alum. oxidizes. Might consider painting with clear Krylon before assembly.
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Old 04-18-2017   #3
Definite maybe
Weld county, Colorado
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There is room inside a speed fitting for 1 5/8 OD tubing. 1 5/8 is slightly larger than 1.66. now if you are going to use 1.5 tubing just get the smaller speed fittings. The nrs stuff will not clamp directly to it. I took pictures of the frame I made but I can't figure out how to post it. As for the aluminum oxide, I cleaned mine well with car wash solution to get rid of all the oils that are on it then I clear coated it. I used leftover paint from my wife's car. (She hits allot).

Guess I misunderstood stood your using 1.5 pipe. 1.9 o.d. check the fitting sizes. I'm sure you will find a speed fitting for that size. 1 1/4 pipe is plenty strong, don't know why you need 1.5 pipe.
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Old 04-18-2017   #4
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Lakewood, Colorado
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Guys....he said 1.5" OD TUBING. He didn't mention NRS LoPro fittings. He didn't ask about pipe either.

To the OP, I've never tried that combo, but I suspect there will be significant slop. I believe the Speed Rails fittings have a ID of 1.68", so you'll have nearly a quarter inch of play. You could probably make some shims to take out that slop though. Hopefully someone has some direct experience.

For what its worth, unless its a totally killer deal, it might be better to just keep an eye out for some 1.25" aluminum pipe instead. Works great with both Speed Rail and the NRS LoPro stuff and will save you hassles later. Your results may vary.
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Old 04-18-2017   #5
Ridgway, Colorado
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Are you guys using the Krylon on the fittings too, or just the pipe?
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Old 04-18-2017   #6
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Regarding Krylon clear paint. If you really want to do the job right take your frame in and have it powdercoated. Just make sure you don't have any nylock nuts as the nylon will breakdown during the baking process. You can do clear or any number of colors. The powdercoating will stand up a bit better than the rattle can paint. It will still scratch though.
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Old 04-18-2017   #7
laramie, wy
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how much does powdercoating a raft frame typically cost?
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Old 04-18-2017   #8
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Speed Rail fitting question

I had a cat frame sand blasted and powder coated for about $250.
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Old 04-19-2017   #9
Definite maybe
Weld county, Colorado
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How cheap are you looking for pipe. I just bought a 20 ft stick of 6061 T6 1 1/4 schedule 40 for 55 bucks. Its not too expensive really. Now if you are going to use the 1.5 od tubing then speedrail fittings will not work. There are many similar fittings out there that will. I found a bunch of brands out there when I was researching to build my frame.
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Old 04-19-2017   #10
Definite maybe
Weld county, Colorado
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Was thinking about where I found similar fittings but tube sized. It was an artitectural fitting. They were about 3 time the price of a speed rail fitting. Good looking though, if that's important to you.
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