It can be difficult to ship or transport long pieces of tubing. Don’t bother with hauling giant tubes around; you can connect smaller pieces together with splines instead. Joining tubing with splines makes the tubing stronger at the joint and is a simple process. We’re going to show you two different methods for securing the spline tubing.
To connect lengths of tubing with splines, you’ll need a few materials and tools. First, you’ll want to cut some small lengths of pipe, about 6-7 inches, with a diameter slightly smaller than that your main tube. For example, for a 1” main tube you can use 7/8” spline tubes. You’ll also need rivets or adhesive, masking tape, a rivet tool, and a drill.
The first method for joining tubing with splines is to rivet the spline in place. Rivets are recommended for applications that will require a lot of strength, like a dodger or a bimini. We also recommend that you match the material of the rivets with the material of the tubing. For example, when using stainless steel tubing, it’s a good idea to use stainless steel rivets as well for the strongest hold.
Our second method of installing splines in tubing is to use adhesive. We use an extra strong 3M Adhesive Fast Cure 5200. If using adhesive, you should allow the tubing to sit overnight to cure before further installation. Adhesive is a good choice for applications where a protruding rivet is undesirable, like curtain rods or when the tubing must slide past a joint.
Take a look at this video to see step-by-step how each method is done.
- Secure with Rivets - 0:23 min.
- Secure with Adhesives - 3:57 min.
Have you ever used splines to join lengths of tubing? Share your experience and tips in the comments!