4 Tips for Assembling Aluminum Tubes


When assembling any aluminum tubing sections together you should take the following steps:

1. Make sure the edges are smooth and not sharp. Deburring may be necessary, since burrs and shavings can occur on seams as well as edges. All surfaces need to be completely smooth to allow easy assembly of tubing sections. DX Engineering’s aluminum tubing adheres to the stated specs closely so even the theoretical clearance between sections is very small. On the order of 4-thousandths of an inch total clearance (2 thousandths on the radius), it won’t take much dirt to cause a jam when the next size tube is inserted.

aluminum tubing edges can be very sharp

The raised particles and shavings that appear when the aluminum tubing is machined are referred to as burrs, and the process by which they are removed is known as deburring.

Deburring is a finishing method used in manufacturing. Our aluminum tubing is machine-cut on both ends. The slit tubing is also machine slit on one end. You should further assure that there are no ragged edges, burrs or protrusions.

DX Engineering Tube Deburring Tools DXE-UT-KIT-DBRDX Engineering recommends the DXE-UT-KIT-DBR Tube Deburring Tools, or the DXE-22600 Deburring Tool with Extending Handle and Extra Blades for this operation.

2. Clean the outside of the aluminum tubing to clear any dirt or foreign material that would cause the clamps to malfunction during assembly.

3. Clean the inside of the aluminum tubing to clear out any dirt or foreign material that would cause the aluminum tubing sections to bind during assembly. Do not use any type of oil or general lubricant between the aluminum tubing sections. Oils or general lubricants can cause poor electrical connections for radio frequencies. The use of JTL-12555 Jet-Lube™ SS-30 is highly recommended. SS-30 is an electrical joint compound which affects a substantial electrical connection between metal parts such as aluminum tubing or other antenna pieces. Using SS-30 assures high conductivity at all voltage levels by displacing moisture and preventing corrosion or oxidation.

4. When assembling the aluminum tubing sections, ensure the area is clear of grass, dirt or other foreign material that could cause problems during assembly of the closely fitted aluminum sections.

Stainless Steel Element Clamps (DXE-ECL Series) are available from DX Engineering. Slide all the DXE-ECL element clamps over each aluminum tubing section as needed before putting the tubing sections together. You can lightly tighten the element clamps just below the slits on each of the aluminum tubing sections to hold them until needed.

Element clamp on aluminum tubeAlign the element clamp screws on each aluminum tube section to face the same direction. At final assembly, the body of the element clamp should be positioned between the slits in the aluminum tube and approximately 1/8″ from the edge of the aluminum tube, as shown.


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