Today we are going to look at 10 common mistakes that people make when building with EMT Conduit, and how to avoid them! Let's jump right in.
Not all projects require an extensive plan, but I find it helpful to plan out some general measurements, the connection points, and get an idea for some of the other materials needed for the project such as the wood for your table top. Everyone’s plans are different. You may like to sketch out your projects and start building, but I personally can’t draw that well so I prefer to have a 3D model either digitally or with the Mini Connectors so I can get a step by step plan or visual.
The tools you need to build include a 5mm hex wrench, pipe and tube cutter, and a tape measure and marker. You might have these tools already which is great, but if you don’t then you’ll want to get them before it’s time to build.
The current line up of maker pipe connectors work with ¾” EMT Conduit. You’ll find EMT Conduit in the electrical aisle of your local home improvement store. You can get it in either 5 foot or 10 foot lengths. Make sure you avoid rigid and imc conduit because those pipes do not work.
Check the pipes for a sticker that explicitly says what size it is and make sure you’re getting ¾” EMT Conduit. I also want to mention that you can use ½” EMT Conduit if you get some of the adapter shims off of the site.
The fourth mistake that we see a lot is when builders use ½” EMT conduit and do not order the right amount of shims for their project. Take note of the connectors you need and how many pipes they connect together.
You can connect two pieces of conduit together with the T Connectors which means you’ll need 2 adapter shims. If you’re connecting 5 pipes with the 5 Way Connector then you need 5 shims. If you run out of them during your project, you can always make some yourself with ¾” pex tubing from the plumbing aisle.
Clear out your workspace and give yourself enough room to maneuver and cut your pipes. To make the build as easy as possible it’s good to have a flat and level surface to work on. The ground works fine, but it’s really nice to have a table with a surface that sits at a comfortable work height. Having this flat and level surface allows you to get the angles just right and overall just makes building more enjoyable.
The Connectors add 2” of length to the end of conduit when they are fully assembled. That means if you need an overall width of 30” like in this step stool here. The actual length of the cut is 26” and the two connectors assembled on the outside make it the full 30” span that we are after.
It is best to get the extra accessories and materials your project needs before your build. If you’re at the store getting conduit why not go ahead and grab the wood for your tabletop? The same goes for the accessories that you can get on the site. Add some end caps to your connector order so you have them ready to go when the time comes in your build rather than ordering them later on. This will save you some money on shipping too.
We also don’t want you to make the mistake of not reaching out for help. We have an awesome community full of helpful people, and we are always here as well. You can post in the build help section of the community, comment on our videos or social posts, and of course call us or fill out the contact form on the website. We love seeing people finish their projects and we want to help where we can along the way. We also live stream weekly here on YouTube so feel free to drop in, hangout, and ask questions there as well.
It is really helpful to unpack your order and lay out the connectors. One thing a lot of builders don’t realize is the connectors are packaged by part rather than by individual connectors. This can be confusing because some of the connectors use the same part. The 180 degree connector and 4 way connector here both use this part in the final assembly. It’s a good idea to refer to the product photos on the site or the video overviews here on the channel to see the final connectors assembled and what pieces go where.
For example the 180 degree connector has two of these 180 pieces, and the 4 way connector has one 180 piece. We will package and ship all of the 180 shaped pieces together to save space in the box. It is best to watch the product overviews or look at the pictures on the connector pages to see which pieces are needed for each connector and lay them out accordingly. This way you can get a sense of how the connectors work and make sure all of the pieces you need are there.
This can also be a side effect of not having a plan for your project. The worst feeling is getting close to the end of your project and running out of connectors. To fix this you can plan out your connections ahead of time and make sure to order the right number of connectors. You can also grab a few extras that will come in handy in another project if they aren’t used in the current build.
If you avoid these 10 mistakes you’ll have your project finished in no time! For more building tips and tricks check out this video here.For more building tips and tricks check out this blog. Thanks for reading and happy building!