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Thread: Build Square Tube from Flat Stock

  1. Question Build Square Tube from Flat Stock

    So I need a tube, 1.25" to use as a ball mount to pull a small utility trailer.

    The local metal supplier doesn't have square tube with the same wall thickness as the store bought tube (3/8" I think).

    So I was thinking I could build my own using 3/8" flat stock. If will be an interesting exercise at the very least.

    So the question is whether to use 4 sides of equal length, chamfered and overlapping, or 2 different sizes top and bottom being smaller in width.

    All comments, derision, jokes at my expense welcome!

    thanks

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsthompson View Post
    So I need a tube, 1.25" to use as a ball mount to pull a small utility trailer.

    The local metal supplier doesn't have square tube with the same wall thickness as the store bought tube (3/8" I think).

    So I was thinking I could build my own using 3/8" flat stock. If will be an interesting exercise at the very least.

    So the question is whether to use 4 sides of equal length, chamfered and overlapping, or 2 different sizes top and bottom being smaller in width.

    All comments, derision, jokes at my expense welcome!

    thanks

    Typically 1.25 class 1 receiver tube is .120" wall 1.5" OD square tube. Then there is a reinforcing ring around the opening That keeps the end from bell mouthing and makes it look like the tube is a lot thicker than it is. If you want things like locking pins and such to work, don't drift too far from the spec. Also there are class 1 and class 2 versions and they have a stop in the tube to keep you from using class 2 items in a class 1 hitch. Some companies do the same thing by moving the pin hole a little. If you want to make a stronger version you could use .250" plate to weld up your own. I have done that more than once to make something custom. I typically use 1.25" x .25" flat bar or slightly oversize, then weld all outside corner joints. Very easy to get full penetration and keep everything nice and square. Perfect job for 7018. Allow some inside clearance so things stay free. One way is to use some .060"shims to clamp everything over a 1.25" tube to tack it all up. Be sure you remove your plug jig before you weld it up, as it will shrink during welding and be virtually unremovable, otherwise.

    If you have the room I would go with a 2" instead. So much more versatile for accessories.
    Last edited by Rambozo; 03-31-2018 at 03:19 AM.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

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