What size pole to insert to a steel scaffold tube?

Most radio amateur operators look at a pole* and immediately wonder how they might use it in their hobby. It becomes a weird past time and can become somewhat of a burden when passing for instance, a section of tubing in a handy-man store. I have to stop and work out if they nest together – or will they go inside some other tube I might have.

However, I have solved one riddle which is what diameter pole can I slip inside a standard steel scaffold tube?

The good news is that I bought a 40mm outside diameter thin-walled steel tube from a TV aerial installation warehouse on a whim so that I could attach my new IMAX 2000 antenna. I wanted to slip this tube inside the scaffold pole and I was successful.

All I needed to do was prep the end of the scaff-bar  by de-burring it then I heated it up with a blow-lamp (so that it was extremely hot) then bashed the 40mm tube inside the scaff-bar and it went in pretty easy. I did however spray a large quantity of WD40 onto the little tube first and as it went it, WD40 steam was exhaled which I found rather amusing.

Anyway, I am satisfied that I could have probably sleeved a longer section if I was prepared to “thwack” it in but in this instance, I only used a foot of insert.

* Pole or tube?

A little bit of fun. I called a scaffolding supplier years ago asking for the price of an aluminium scaffolding pole. The girl on the end of the phone knew her product extremely well but was adamant that they didn’t do poles. It turns out that they DID sell “tubes” though.

You say tube, I say pole – now I say both. Confused? 🙂