(newbie) materials to build a sliding "inverted-L" stand / pole

Hi folks!

Just discovered this fantastic website! I have this very cool idea for a 'ible I am working on and cannot wait to put it on the site. For now and as a first step (sorry, I am a newbie!), I am simply trying to build a simple stand with the following "inverted L" shape:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Think of tje coat hanger in the picture below, only sturdier and with a single vertical pole (and without the wheels/mesh at the bottom).

Also, the vertical pole does not need to be telescopic: as long as I can adjust the height of the horizontal pole I am happy.

This could be done eg by mounting the horizontal pole on a "tee" fitting; but then how do I make it fix into a given position/height on the vertical pole (and still be adjustable)? (I had a look at this 'ible -- https://www.instructables.com/id/Third%2c-fourth%2c-and-possibly-fifth%2c-hand/ -- , but I don't understand how the tee fitting gets fixed into position: welding?)

I am thinking of using pipes or PVC from a hardware store. My big question is: how can I get the vertical adjustment feature using such readymade materials?

Thank in advance for any help!

James Kirin
Pasadena, CA

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caitlinsdad8 years ago
You need to visit a home center or plumbing suppy shop to get parts. For the end mount, whether it be metal or plastic PVC, there is a "pipe flange" fitting that you mate to the pipe with threaded ends or use PVC glue. It will have a flange or flat piece/lip that lets you screw it into the wall or floor. The Tee or right angle fittings are threaded or glued the same way. If you are planning to hang a heavy weight on your extension, PVC is no good as it can flex or snap off from the torque you apply. You can use a T fitting that lets you slide it over the vertical shaft and have a set screw that locks it in postion or a clevis type pin that goes into holes drilled through at different point. The garment rack you have pictured has a sliding metal pole that fits inside the bottom pole and locked in position with a set screw. Hope this helps. Good luck.
james.kirin (author)  caitlinsdad8 years ago
Hi, caitlinsdad! Thank you for helping me out. In my online crash course on pipe fittings, I have just found what you mean by pipe flange - looks exactly like what I need for the bottom! :) Concerning your suggestions for the vertical adjustment, I think I understand the clevis pin idea: - drill multiple holes into the vertical pipe, and insert a clevis pin at the point where I want to "hold" the sliding T fitting (the T fitting would effectively rest on the pin, right?) but am not clear on how to use a set screw. Would I need to drill a threaded hole into the T-fitting and find a compatible set screw? (Or are there pipe T fittings which come with a threaded hole for the set screw? I couldn't find any of these by googling) Thanks in advance! James
1. For the clevis pin(a combination of a big pin with a head and at the other end a small cotter pin to keep it from slipping back out, others have a springy ball as the stop) You can drill through on your main pole so the clevis pin goes through both holes straight through or just one if it has a spring loaded stop or you put in a stopper there. You can have a hole through your T-joint or have the clevis pins above and below your T-joint to hold it in place. Use of a set screw means drilling a hole that you have to specifically thread for your set screw. It gets screwed in to press against the vertical inside pole tight enough so that the pole does not slide. The clevis pin idea is for fixed stops like a bookshelf but the set screw is more adjustable. 2. As Nacho mentioned, you can mimic something like what microphone stands are adjusted. There is a screw-like lockdown ring or big nut that "clamps" together the bigger outside pipe which has a vertical slot or slits near the top so the pole outside pipe can compress against the inside. Maybe just get that garment rack to hack since it has the custom hardware for adjustment. Just plant it in your own pipe base with the pipe flange. Just holler if you have more questions. Lots of people happy to help out.
james.kirin (author)  caitlinsdad8 years ago
Thank you very much, very helpful! Will look into clevis pins with "spring loaded stops" to avoid having to drill two holes at each stop. : )

> You can have a hole through your T-joint or have the clevis pins above and below your T-joint to hold it in place.

In the latter case, is there a reason to have clevis pins both *above* and below the T-joint? Wouldn't the bottom one be enough?

> Maybe just get that garment rack

That's how this all started! It collapsed : ) and I figured out I should build a sturdier stand.

Happy 09!

. The clevis arrangement (c'dad) should be stronger than the compression method (me). The compression method allows infinite adjustment. Which is best depends on what you want to accomplish. . With a drill press and a vise, drilling the holes for the clevis pins is a breeze.
Look at an autoshop or a real camping/marineboat supply store. They use these things in adjustable awnings/tent poles/camping backpack frames. If your T with your horizontal pole slid along the vertical pole, a clevis below would only fix the position if weight was kept on it. You would could knock it upwards if the clevis did not go through the t joint.
NachoMahma8 years ago
. The project at the link your provided uses a combination of screwed and welded hardware. For your project, screwed fittings might work. Most of the force will be not loosen the threads. If you have much side-to-side movement (looking at the end of the horiz bar), it may loosen itself. . If the horizontal bar is very long (18-24"?), PVC may not be strong enough. If you will be putting any weight on it, I recommend steel or aluminum (aluminium for Kiteman). . For height adjustment, use two pipes so that the small one fits pretty snug (but not tight) in the larger one. Slot the larger pipe and use a circular clamp (eg, worm-gear clamp AKA hose clamp).
james.kirin (author)  NachoMahma8 years ago
Thank you so much for your help, NachoMahma! I am really new to building stuff, so if you have the time help me out with the following:

Concerning materials: what is aluminium for Kiteman? (I googled the two terms and couldn't figure it out.) Is this preferable to steel and regular aluminium?

Could you confirm that I understood the suggestion for the height adjustment mechanism? (Part of the problem is that I am not sure I know what you meant by "slotting" the larger pipe. : ) ) Do you mean to cut the large pipe shorter, insert the thin one into it and just tighten a hose clamp to the thin pipe so that (at the point where the hose clamp is attached to the thin pipe) the thin pipe will no longer fit (and slide) into the large pipe)? If this is the idea, after looking at some online pictures of worm-gear clamps I am wondering if it would be thick enough to prevent one pipe from sliding into the other:


Is the idea to have the "lock" of the clamp prevent the thin pipe from sliding into the fat one? (The clamps I found online look like they have really thick locks.)

Sorry for the confusion, and thank you for any clarification!

> what is aluminium for Kiteman? . As with quite a few other words, the Brits (Kiteman is an Ibles member from the UK) spell it differently. In this case, they even pronounce differently. Sorry for the confusion. . > what you meant by "slotting" the larger pipe . The same arrangement is used on a lot of equipment (eg, height adjustment for many bicycle seats) - take a stroll through your local hardware store. . Actually, it's usually two slots, diametrically opposed. Stand the larger pipe on end (vertical) and use a hacksaw to cut both slots at the same time. . This will allow a little flex at the end of the pipe and the clamp will press the "tabs" against the inner pipe.
james.kirin (author)  NachoMahma8 years ago
Hi! Thank you for helping me out. : ) > Actually, it's usually two slots, diametrically opposed. Stand the larger pipe on end (vertical) and use a hacksaw to cut both slots at the same time. Ha! Got it. : ) With the pipe standing vertical, the hacksaw goes into it also vertical, right? Just to make two small incisions on the "circle" at one end of the pipe. > This will allow a little flex at the end of the pipe and the clamp will press the "tabs" against the inner pipe. Can this technique work on a 1.5" metal pipe? Thanks and happy '09! ~James
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