Author Options:

How can i attach these metal poles together easily? Answered

I'd like to build a frame to use as a free standing book shelf type structure with them.
Theres 24 of them and around  3mm in diameter and around a foot and a half long.
See pic for a better idea of what im talking about.
The second pic is what im looking for but i cant find anything like them in any hardware store....

Any suggestions?


Hey all, i clicked on Jeff-o's answer as the best one but not knowing it would stop people looking at my question.

Since it seems like people think that these are hollow tubes instead of solid poles....

Any more suggestions?

I don't think I'd use them in compression for bookshelves. Hanging them, so they are in tension would be a good idea.

Not a bad idea but im in rented accomm so not gonna happen! Cheers, theyre poles btw so in case that changes your opinion

I agree with the suggestion that you use small wooden blocks or balls, drilled as needed.

But I also agree with the suggestion that these probably aren't going to hold much weight.

Thanks for the reply and just to let everyone know they're solid poles, not hollow tubing so they're pretty stong.
I havent tried to bend any and im not going to either since i only have 24 : )

No idea where you'd purchase the items you show in your graphic.

I do have a warning though, born of experience.

Be wary of using electrical conduit for building load bearing constructions. The load a book shelf will present may result in inadvertent and irreversible racking of the shelf, due in large part to the design of the tubing as a wire transport, not a load-bearing material...I'd consider filling the tubing with an expanding foam to ameliorate some of the tendency for the tubing wall to crease, which will; reduce the likelihood (but not eliminate). Books are heavy.


7 years ago

3 mm?
You're not going to build much of a book shelf using 1/8" diameter tubing, even with a serious amount of cross bracing.
You might be able to put something together for a desk top that will support maybe 4 or 5 hardback books but almost certainly nothing with more than a top shelf and an intermediate.  And, you will still need to cross brace the heck out of it.
As for the connectors, you might find something at a hobby shop that will work, but they will likely be made of either plastic or brass and not suitable as load bearing components. 
Your best best seems to be to crimp the ends so they will slide together, like tent poles or flatten and bend, then secure with small sheet metal screws.
My recommendation is that you find a use for the tubing that is non-structural and pick something else to build your book shelf with.



Best Answer 7 years ago

Maybe you could make brackets for the tubing using drilled hardwood. Can't guarantee how strong that would be though...

Do what steve said and suspend the shelving from the ceiling as it will bear a larger load that way.
As far as joining them, if you choose to suspend them from the ceiling, bend the ends over and hook them together. Attach the cross pieces the same way and sit your shelves on them.
This method would not require diagonal bracing.

no idea -but try - flatten the ends and bolt together


use shape lock to make suitable joints to bolt the tube to.

connect with poly tubing