Remember playing with Tinker Toys? Maybe they weren’t as cool as Legos or Erector, but they sure beat the crap out of Lincoln Logs. As an adult, you don’t have to secretly pine for your old play gear: check out these structural pipe fittings. They’re usually expensive enough to be deemed “Tool Pr0n,” but now that Harbor Freight carries them, you can pick some up without selling your car.
Harbor Freight’s structural pipe fittings let you connect standard 1-1/4″ OD PVC or steel pipe, and they cost a fraction of that of name brands like KEE CLAMP. They’re also galvanized to resist rust. Attaching the structural pipe clamps involves tightening a single hex drive screw per connection. Of course, you still have to supply the pipe, but you can score 1-1/4″ PVC or steel pipe on the cheap at most big box stores.
Available in eleven flavors from a three way 90° elbow to a double swivel tee, these structural pipe fittings run from $3 to $5 — versus $10 to $20 or more for name-brand fittings. And while Harbor Freight doesn’t offer the selection of fittings that other companies do, you never had all the pieces you wanted in your building sets as a kid either. That never limited your imagination, right?
Update: The inner diameter (ID) of these clamps is approximately 1.4″, which means it’ll work with 1″ schedule 40 pipe, which has an outer diameter (OD) of 1.3″.