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PEX tubing for hoops

topic posted Sat, July 18, 2009 - 2:43 AM by  Meer
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Does anyone here use a PEX tubing for hoops? I llove the stiffness of my 160 hoop, but I'm ready for something lighter. I have several 100 psi polyethylene hoops, but they are too flexible for my liking. I know PEX hoops are more challenging to make, but I'd like to give it a go.

I'm thinking of using the white PEX sold at Lowes. It comes in 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch. Does anyone have experience with either of these, and would you recommend one size over the other? TIA
posted by:
Meer
Los Angeles
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  • I've made a couple hoops using PEX 3/4 inch and I like the sturdiness and weight. The biggest problem I've encountered is finding appropriate connectors. I've used both brass and plastic couplings that secure the hoops from the inside of the tube, and while the hoops have been functional, neither coupling has provided an incredibly secure hold at the joint. I've also seen copper couplings that secure the tubing from the outside, but I never tried those thinking that it would make an obvious bump on the outside of the hoop.

    A friend of mine has tried making hoops with 1/2 inch PEX and has found them to be too light to use.
  • I use only pex tubing and love it. I use 10 foot pieces of 3/4" tubing and join them with brass coupling using the metal rings that you crimp. this leaves a small bump but that is easliy fixed up with some elictrical tape (or whatever tape you are using. I also made my fire hoop out of this tubing.

    I don't find this tubing at all tricky and it is very nice and sturdy. I once used a hoop made from different tubing but the hoop didn't even hold shape! I would only recommend PEX tubing.
    • Jill, could you tell me more about the brass couplings? Do you need a crimp tool to attach them? The ones I tried were from Home Depot and looked like this: ==[]==
      They fit right inside the tubing with little trouble. I didn't use any reinforcement to hold them in aside from regular taping with electrical tape and they loosened slightly upon using the hoop a few times.
  • I've used a high-heat version of Pex for years. Thing is, it's tough enough that an "appropriate" connector isn't necessarily needed. You could get a short dowel, metal tube, or the next size down... anything that will fit snug inside and connect with permanent connectors (screws, rivets, etc)
  • I often use PEX for hoops because you can buy it in 20 ft lengths for about $10, which is good if you only need to make one or two. The connector that works best for the 3/4 inch PEX is a white plastic insert connector that is called a nylon connector and is 5/8" ( the same as the inner diameter of the hoop). I wrap both sides of the connector with plumber's tape (threading sealer) and this helps keep the connector from sliding out. I also use a small piece of duct tape to cover the connection. The center of the nylon connector is flush with the ends of the tubing, so there is no bump.
    • $0.50 a foot? I gotta shop with Helen... :) Oh, wait, actual 3/4' outside diameter? Yeah, that sounds about right. I'm used to getting the 1".

      I doubt the plumbers tape is doing any good. It's meant for compressing a sealing holes, not ofr added friction (if anything, it reduces friction). I'd wager the duct tape is doing significantly more.
  • I have used the 1/2 inch pex tubing for my glow stick hoop. The connector I used was the pex polyalloy coupling. The connector does not stay without being taped, but since I need my hoop to open it hasn't worried me much. This coupling is one that needs to be crimped. I have no idea if crimping it would create a bump or not. The 1/2 inch is very light and not easy to hoop with. I would definitely go with the 3/4 inch first and then go to the 1/2 inch if you still want to go lighter.
  • Thank you for the responses everyone! You guys are so helpful :). I'm going to go with the 3/4 inch then. I guess I'll have to experiment to find the most secure coupling method.

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