August 31, 2021 4 min read

10 EMT Conduit Building Tips & Tricks

Maker Pipe connectors have built-in features that simplify the building process, but these 10 tips and tricks will speed up your project and make building even easier. Let's jump right into it!


Tip #1 - Use An Expo Marker

Use An Expo Marker To Mark Your Cuts


The first tip is this really simple trick for marking your cuts. EMT Conduit is metal and has a glossy surface so pens and pencils don’t show up that great when trying to mark the pipe. Usually, we recommend using a sharpie instead, but as you can see it almost works too well and leaves a visible mark that’s hard to get off.


Sharpie Leaves A Mark


Sometimes I measure and mark the wrong spot which means you can see the sharpie on the conduit after the project is finished. Instead, use a dry erase marker where you want to cut the pipe. This way you can easily wipe it off after the cut or if you marked the wrong spot.


Tip #2 - Use Cut Conduit As A Guide

Marking Conduit Pipes For Cutting


Sometimes you might cut pipes just a little too short or long. For example here I wanted four 30" legs, but the first one I cut is too short. Rather than trying to measure and cut the other 3 legs at whatever the new exact measurement is, I’ll just use the first pipe as a guide to mark the other three pieces of the conduit.


Tip #3 - Preserve The Cutter Wheel

Snap Off The Conduit Cut


Pretty much all blades get dull over time with use, and the cutter wheel on the pipe and tube cutter is no different. However tradesmen use a simple trick for cutting conduit that extends the life of the cutting wheel. All you have to do is stop when you’re roughly 3 quarters of the way through the pipe and then snap the conduit in two. It may only save a little bit with each cut, but it definitely adds up over time!


Tip #4 - Use A T Connector As A Handle

T Connector As A Cutting Handle 

We’re going to attach a T connector on the conduit piece we’re cutting and use it as a handle to get a good grip on the pipe so we can spin the cutter around. I want to shout out Jay from the community for sharing not only this trick but also the next one.


Tip #5 - Use Electrical Tape To Hold Hardware

Electrical Tape Holding The Nut On The Connector


He uses a piece of electrical tape to hold the nut in place on the connector while he gets the bolt threaded in. This is really helpful and keeps your other hand free while getting the bolt started, and you don’t have to worry about dropping the nut when assembling the connectors. 


Tip #6 - Line Up Cross Connections Easier

Marking Conduit For Connections


This trick helps you line up your conduit and get an even connection from side to side. Measure from the bottom of your legs and use a dry erase marker to mark how far up you want the connection to be. Then line up the connectors with the mark and add the conduit across. You can rub off the dry erase mark once you’re finished lining it up and you’ll have a nice even connection from side to side. 


Lining Up A T Connector


It is also helpful to add another line that signifies which side of the mark that the connector should be placed. If you don’t have this other mark it’s easy to forget and line up the connector differently on each side which results in an uneven connection. 


Tip #7 - Assemble Connectors Loosely First

Loosely Assembling A 90 Degree Connector


When you’re connecting multiple pipes it can be difficult to juggle the connector pieces and conduit all at once. To make it easier on yourself, you can assemble the connectors loosely by hand, and then slide them over the pipes when you’re ready to make your connections. 


Tip #8 - Clamp Connectors In Position

Wrench Tightening A Suspended Conduit Connector


Once you have the connectors in the desired position you can tighten them a little bit so they stay in place or you can mark where the connector should go and use a clamp to hold it in place while you make your connections.I’d recommend putting the clamp underneath the T Connectors and 180 Degree Connectors.  For all of the other ones it’s easier to actually clamp them in place while you’re building and making the connections.


Tip #9 - Get Extra Grip

Heat Gun Applying A Friction Band


Every order comes with extra friction bands. These can be used to replace the bands that come on the connectors or you can use them on the pipe to add extra grip. Use a heat gun to shrink them around the conduit in the desired place, and then make your connection like normal. 


Tip #10 - Tuck In Excess Shrink Wrap

Shrink Wrap Tucked Into Conduit End

The final trick is for those adding shrink wrap to your project. After you heat up the wrap and shrink it onto the conduit, you may have some extra sticking out. Rather than cutting this piece off you can push it into the conduit and give it a clean finished look.



With these 10 tips and tricks you will be done with your EMT Conduit build in no time! Want to share a helpful tip with us? Follow this link and send it to us or post in our DIY community. Thanks for reading and happy building!