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Wall spreader from joined 2x4s?

wall spreader safety

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#1 Rick Gates

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 04:49 PM

Hi,

 

I'm getting the hardware to make wall spreaders out of 2x4s.  But I'm anticipating a problem.

 

The maximum length 2x4 my vehicle can handle is 8 feet.  Is it safe to join a couple of 2x4s to make a longer span for the wall spreader?

 

As I'm not seeing any 2x4 coupling hardware, I'm thinking maybe this just shouldn't be done.


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#2 JD Hartman

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 06:04 PM

Get a speedrail spreader.  Get double duty out of your pipe.


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#3 Rick Gates

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 06:12 PM

JD, I thought about that.  I was thinking it would be easier to cut 2x4s than speedrail, but it would be nice to get double duty out of the pipe.

 

Do you consider joining 2 pieces of speedrail for a wall spreader to be safe?


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#4 JD Hartman

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 07:58 PM

Not nearly as risky as the wood.  I wouldn't take two ten foot pieces and make a 20, but I'd add a few feet to an end with a coupling if I had to.


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#5 Rick Gates

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 08:33 PM

Hmm, if you had to span 24 feet, would you consider 3 eight-foot pieces of speedrail?  Or would that be tempting the fates too much?


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#6 JD Hartman

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 09:21 PM

24 feet?  I'd be using truss.  You really need to consider the structural strength of the speedrail and the amount of deflection at the center for a given load.  You're starting to veer way off course to where off the cuff advice doesn't apply, but real engineering calculations do.


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#7 Rick Gates

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 12:50 AM

Yeah, I'm gonna play it safe and design a different shot.

 

Thanks for all the tips.


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#8 Rick Gates

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 12:10 PM

Aha!  Discovered that I can get away with a 13' span for the shot.

 

Also saw that Dave Donaldson at the Youtube channel "Grip Tips" recommends joining two pieces of speedrail with a coupling to make a larger span.  Here's a grab from his video:

 

Pipe Wall Spreader.JPG

 

I think I'm going with this technique.  I can get the Modern Studio wall spreader kit at Barn Door for $80, and their couplings are $33 each.


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