Monday, January 20, 2014

Conduit on the Homestead

One of my favorite materials to work with is stainless steel electrical conduit.  It runs $2 for a 1/2 inch diameter, 10 foot long piece at Home Depot or Lowes.   Compare this to 8 foot treated 2x4s ($5), 5 foot T posts ($4), 3 foot rebar ($3-5), etc..., conduit is cheaper and easy to work with. Conduit has a lot of adapters to make angles or can be bent into shape.  Drilling conduit allows for adding hooks and other hardware attachments.  Cutting 1/2 inch conduit is quick.  To cut the conduit, I bought a decent conduit cutter for about $15.  It takes about a minute of spinning the cutting wheel around a piece to get it to cut.

Some of the uses I have found for conduit:

  • Trellis for garden - great with gray PVC angles and metal sheet screws.  I found some Nylon netting on Amazon and hooked it to the conduit with zip ties.
  • Stakes for saplings - cut in half and pound about a foot into the ground with a 3 pound sledge.
  • Stakes for garden plants - just push down into the soil.
  • Temporary fence post - fence off areas for animals that don't test a fence like alpacas and chickens, slide the post through the fence, interweave it between the squares, pound into the ground.
  • Wood pile stabilizer - pound into the ground around the wood pile to stop the logs from sliding
  • Putting around a socket wrench handle to get more torque to loosen a nut - bent the conduit but worked great.
  • Breaker bar for leverage removing my ATV's tired. Bent it a bit but still worked.
  • Securing electrical wires that would be exposed in a shop or garage - obviously.