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Lister1987

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Any tips for cutting conduit to ensure a good finish? We're starting with it at College and I hate the stuff, I end up cutting to length fine but after touching up it's all buggered.

Unfortunately due to my cerebral palsy, my fine motor control is pretty shot, along with my ability to judge by eye (I can see where the adjustment is needed but either end up doing top much and making worse or not enough) so any tool that will cut straight and smooth would be a god-send. Tips welcome too.

im thinking a plumbers pipe cutter, I know they do copper but not sure they'll be up to doing steel/pvc without blunting or clogging up.
 

Andy78

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I have known blokes with 40 years experience that can't cut straight so don't feel too bad. It takes most people a while to "get their eye in" to hacksaw work on conduit and tray. With conduit it can be a little trickier in that it is not usually sat horizontal when cutting but kicked up at an angle in the pipe vice. Persevere with it and see how you go.
The only tools I can think of for steel are a battery recip saw or battery band saw, but I'm still in the dark ages with a hacksaw myself.
You can get shears for pvc conduit.
 

Lucien Nunes

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The problem with any rotary blade wheel type cutter, even if it can cut steel, is that it tends to form a sharp lip on the inside that has to be filed away, making more work than it saves.

+1 for the cordless band-saw. Real time-saver, cuts in seconds, easy to use and get a square cut when the conduit is in the bender because it has a platen that the workpiece rests against. Angle grinder with a 1mm or sparkless disc works well, but the bandsaw will handle a wider range of materials and cuts many of them faster and with less mess. On all jobs with significant metal containment we use a sawbench with low speed TCT wheel, for tray, trunking, conduit, unistrut alike.

But, also, persevere with using a hacksaw. As Andy says, lots of people can't cut straight, it's a good skill to master that many people overlook, like learning to file flat things flat (without rounding the corners) and tap threads true.
 
Also it is amazing the amount of ‘electricians’ who will avoid a steel conduit job like the plague of it involves lots of cuts and bends...
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This tool looks good but not sure if it would work on our pipe ?

I believe EMT is thinner

 
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Midwest

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I remember doing my first conduit double bend over another conduit, can't remember the term? But I had one really nice one, and a big pile of ---- ones. Can't you buy them pre-made now?
 

Andy78

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I remember doing my first conduit double bend over another conduit, can't remember the term? But I had one really nice one, and a big pile of ---- ones. Can't you buy them pre-made now?
Bubble set ?
 

Midwest

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Arms
Hospital saddles (the saddle fixing clip). Why did they call them that?
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And the half set for conduit to fit into the surface box, unless you used hospital saddles.
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Anyway, nice talking to you y'all (did that cos we are a net thing now), but I'm off to cook the tea. Megawatt thats southern English term for dinner.
 

snowhead

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Hospital saddles (the saddle fixing clip). Why did they call them that?
All conduit clips are called Saddles.
Hospital indicates deeper base so the conduit is off the wall for cleaning behind, to nasty bugs hiding there.

Reason they're called Saddles,
Imagine you'd got a teeny tiny horse and you put the bent part of the saddle over the horse you'd be able to put a teeny weeny tiny person on the horse and they could use the conduit clip as a saddle.

And they were Saddle sets for me in the 60's because,, they look like a saddle for a not so teeny tiny horse.
 

Andy78

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Hospital saddles (the saddle fixing clip). Why did they call them that?
They are set right of the wall to give cleaning room behind the conduit, but also have a flared base unlike a standard distance saddle, the thinking being that it is harder for dirt to settle being the saddle base too. They also give more distance than a distance saddle.

Hospital
20GHS_Hospital_Saddle.jpg

Distance
20GDS_dis_saddles_1.jpg

Spacer bar/flatback
20GSBS_saddles_1.jpg
 
Bandsaw for cutting steel, wouldn't be without mine, cuts fast and clean, without lots of noise and sparks.
I have seen plenty people cheat using a coupler in the middle
I always aim to only use couplers when the conduits length runs out. Learning how to properly measure and bend steel conduit will save so much time. It was sad watching an electrical company installing some galv conduit a while back, they would make a bend, then cut the end to make it fit, then make a second bend in another length and then cut that to fit and join it to the last piece. So much wasted pipe and time cutting and threading .
It's a shame buildings are rarely wired in buried conduit now, you'd soon get the hang of it then! I recently bought an electric threader, that saves a lot of effort. Wish I'd bought one years ago...
 

ipf

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Practice, practice, practice.....done millions with a hacky....and ALWAYS file or ream out after cutting and threading.
This crap went with a big bang.

car lift 5.JPG
 

GBDamo

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Any tips for cutting conduit to ensure a good finish? We're starting with it at College and I hate the stuff, I end up cutting to length fine but after touching up it's all buggered.

Unfortunately due to my cerebral palsy, my fine motor control is pretty shot, along with my ability to judge by eye (I can see where the adjustment is needed but either end up doing top much and making worse or not enough) so any tool that will cut straight and smooth would be a god-send. Tips welcome too.

im thinking a plumbers pipe cutter, I know they do copper but not sure they'll be up to doing steel/pvc without blunting or clogging up.
I use a battery angle grinder for pretty much everything or ratchet pipe cutters for mini but this depends on the temperature and quality of the trunking, cheap stuff or if it's too cold will shatter.

A pipe slice wont do gavl, angle grinder it.
 

KennyKen

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I use the Milwaukee bandsaw. Fantastic tool. Other than that use an Hacksaw.
I always referred to the setting Over another pipe or obstacle a “Bubble set”.
Remember after you cut and thread the conduit to file the Burrs inside. The amount of time that people don’t do it and score the cables.
 
T

Toneyz

If you are struggling to cut conduit straight try wrapping insulation tape around it to give you a line to cut.
 
Any tips for cutting conduit to ensure a good finish? We're starting with it at College and I hate the stuff, I end up cutting to length fine but after touching up it's all buggered.

Unfortunately due to my cerebral palsy, my fine motor control is pretty shot, along with my ability to judge by eye (I can see where the adjustment is needed but either end up doing top much and making worse or not enough) so any tool that will cut straight and smooth would be a god-send. Tips welcome too.

im thinking a plumbers pipe cutter, I know they do copper but not sure they'll be up to doing steel/pvc without blunting or clogging up.
The worst thing about galvanised conduit is the piles of swarf left lying around on the benches after cutting threads, which if you're not careful like me will have you leaning on a pile of it and getting it embedded in your hand(s).

Then you have to wait until you get home to tweezer all the little bits out. :screamcat:
 

Strima

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A good quality hacksaw frame and blades also make a world of difference, also a but of cutting oil/paste will make it easier and the blades last longer.
 

ipf

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I use the Milwaukee bandsaw. Fantastic tool. Other than that use an Hacksaw.
I always referred to the setting Over another pipe or obstacle a “Bubble set”.
Remember after you cut and thread the conduit to file the Burrs inside. The amount of time that people don’t do it and score the cables.
A damn site worse than 'scoring' can occur. Take a look at 2 posts before yours.
 
If your fine motor control needs a bit of help it may be worth considering a grinder in a stand. Once it's set up the cut is square and goes where you want it. Battery bandsaws are fast and clean but still need fine control and can be hazardous if juggling tools isn't your thing. Grinders can do you harm but it's unusual to get a serious cut from one.

This kind of thing might do, with a suitable grinder..
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B000P3DX6K/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_J4.GDb5GWE0ZY
 
If I'm doing loads I usually use my chop saw and as i'm cutting spin the conduit, this method is fast and leaves little de-burring work to be done after. Using a pipe slice leaves a nice neat outer cut but then I have to use a de-burring tool on my cordless to ream out the inner, or worse, if I don't have that to hand elbow grease and a good file. Hacksaw or cordless grinder for quick odd pieces, depending on what I have handy at the time.
 

Simon47

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Arms
Learning how to properly measure and bend steel conduit will save so much time. It was sad watching an electrical company installing some galv conduit a while back, they would make a bend, then cut the end to make it fit, then make a second bend in another length and then cut that to fit and join it to the last piece. So much wasted pipe and time cutting and threading.
Indeed, but I suspect it's a dying art these days. I remember learning to do metal conduit as an apprentice in the shipyard, as well as bending flat bar on the flat for cable ways to band cable to. Never done the latter again ever, and only recently did a bit of galv conduit - first at church, then on my house. Had to go out and buy a die set - dad's set was imperial threads. Made do with dad's old 3/4" pipe bender for bending it.
In a way it's easier than plastic - it stays where you bend it to, and/or doesn't bend where you don't want it to.
But done a fair bit of plumbing - including bending a full crossover (that's what the plumbing guys call them) in some chrome pipe for my mates bathroom. I practised that first on a bit of scrap ;) Been doing a fair number of offsets in chrome while doing the heating in our house.
 

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