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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default Help me design a Clothes Line

    hey guys.

    i want to make a clothes line like this,http://bp3.blogger.com/_jRSOlQdv-ks/...-h/May+005.jpg
    except i'll be making it out of 1 inch square tubing.

    i remember we had one of these when i was a kid, and it used some kind of pulley system that i don't remember the details about. After I make the basic clothese line like the one above, what route should i go for stringing up some lines? i was thinking about welding a several eye bolts to the thing. But I know when you put wet clothes on the line they will sink down close to the ground if you don't have a pulley system to crank that line tighter?

    any suggestions on what to buy from home depot? thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    2,817

    Default

    You don't need a pulley system unless you don't want walk to the other end.

    You just need a Turn Buckle to tighten up the line.

    Pick up steel rings instead of Eye Bolts.

    Most are Zinc Plated or Hot Dipped, which will need to be removed to weld up-

    They may have Weldable rings- look for those first- much easier to weld up since you do not need to remove any coating.


    1" tubing is going to require some type of Truss design to afford enough strength.
    Last edited by Broccoli1; 10-04-2008 at 06:07 PM.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mpls, MN
    Posts
    1,790

    Default

    I wouldn't use 1" square either. Maybe 1.5" round on the small side - I'd go for 2" or better. You might be able to get some aluminized exhaust tube that would work, but expect to pay for it.

    The strength in these shapes comes from the diameter and shape, not the wall thickness. You could use 1" solid bar and it might not deflect too much, but it would also cost you dearly on acquisition expense. Conversely, you can buy larger tubing with a .060 wall that will be more rigid than your 1" square and cost far less.

    Water is heavy. The lines sag because there's a buttload of weight on them when you start hanging soaked clothes and blankets on them. You'll want something substantial in the ground to anchor whatever you end up making.

    Our house had a retractable line with a removable pole which ended up being dug out when I put the shop addition on. The base receptacle for the 2" upright was about a 5 gal bucket sized piece of concrete with a pipe receiver in it. The concrete was buried 2' down, and our lines were only about 15' (I think there was 4 lines in the thing).
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Sacramento CA
    Posts
    80

    Default

    My neighbors is 3" gal pipe 2 Ts ,4 caps,4 24" arms 2 8' uprights and about 6 sacks of ready mix. cable is attached with 8 eye bolts through the pipe. You could dry a VW engine on it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    flat , and lots of dirt
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    123

    Default

    Also, any of that chinese steel that you buy at home depot will cost you three times more than at a metal yard.......and remember the junkyard is the cheapest place to get steel.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Lancaster, Pa
    Posts
    431

    Default

    I have to agree with these guys, you dont want to use 1" square stock, use 2" round minimum. You not only have the water weight but the pressure from the wind. Where you fasten it in the ground will be the first place it snaps off. If you use 2" round you can make some nice designs so it doesnt look like 20,000 others out there, make some kind of scroll design for your gussets
    Last edited by KBar; 10-05-2008 at 06:29 AM.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Medford MA
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    536

    Default

    what about a piece of (smallish) ibeam or channel?

    just curious

    frank

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mpls, MN
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    1,790

    Default

    Channel is pretty flexible.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Near Dallas, TX
    Posts
    214

    Default

    Lightweight I-beam will probably twist without some bracing.

    How about using drill stem? Around here it's fairly cheap for the strength.

    You're going to need some sort of horizontal bracing. To keep the line from sagging you'll need a lot of tension. Assuming all the load is hung in the middle of the wire, tension = 0.25 * weight * length / sag (if I remember my physics and math correctly). So a 50 lbs load of laundry in the middle of a 20ft line with 1/2 foot of sag will give you 500 lbs of tension.
    Even with a large concrete base, if it's in soil it will creep and the pole will eventually lay over. A simple diagonal pipe from the top down to another smaller concrete base will solve the problem. This also gives a nice lever arm to help resist twisting when you only hang laundry on the wire on one side of the tee.

    You might also consider stainless wire/cable so you don't get rust spots on your clothes. Galvanized steel might work on also. The wire/cable should be tied or clamped so you won't be welding the galvanized.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default

    ok, well i actually found the hardware at walmart of all places- i got S hooks, one pulley, and a volleball/clothes line tensioner.

    I was doing this project on the cheap so I did use my 8 feet long 1 inch square tubing- but that was all i had so i followed one of the earlier post's advice and bought a 2 1/2" gavanized fence post. I also had some angle iron, so the angle iron got welded on top of both posts for the horizontal supports that the clothes line attaches to.

    Well you guys do know your stuff, but i had to be frugal. When I tighten the clothes line- the 2 1/2" round fence post stays nice and strong doesn't lean. I'm amazed at how much my square tubing post bends! I'd guess the top of that post flexes in toward the other pole a good 2 or 3 inches from its base! So you guys were right on that that wasn't the best choice. I'll take some pics soon so you guys can get a good laugh and prove you know your stuff.

    But, now my wife is not using the dryer and we should be seeing some electricity bill savings next month!

    thanks for your replies

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