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Using Aviation aluminum tubing for garden projects

Apr 03, 2011

I have some great aviation aluminum tubing that I'd like to use, to create items for my garden. I tried using some for lining paths, but that didn't work out well. I've thought of making garden chimes, but all the information that I find is too complicate. Have received some suggestions to use some for staking up plants. Looking for more ideas!!


Tubes are good for making frames to support growing plants like beans or for supporting plant protection nets or fleece. The problem is connecting the tubes at the corners. One solution is to connect them with old tennis balls. You need to drill an undersize hole in the tennis ball at the position you want to make a connection. Then you push the tube home to make a tight connection. It would probably work OK for up to 3/4" tubes, or bamboo. I,ve not tied it yet but have had some tennis balls in my shed for over a year now. I,ll post some pictures when i do. Glenn
... you have to work with would help with brainstorming. Is the tubing shiny or dull patina? What have you made, considered or experimented with so far?
I'll take some pics of the tubing ... there are varying lengths, from a foot long to over 6 ft. Dimensions are approximately 2" to 3".
-- it could also contain something? Your photos will be interesting.
here are some photos that I took today... showing the aluminum aviation tubing (from old hanggliders: hmmmm... I don't see how I can attach the photos .. I tried copy and paste but that doesn't work .. and I don't see an attachment icon here ... help .. I'll post them on my blog:
... an interesting inventory for sizes & volume! They are now entered into my "incubate ideas" mind ... back soon! Are your aerial photos from a hang-glider, light-plane or both? My son is/was an expert-rated hang-glider pilot who retired his equipment when his kids got old enough to do things with him. :-) Hang-glider tubing creations have a thought-affinity with birds - which I see you do also. Please persist with photo attachments at KGI - Perhaps you can comment on what would make that process clearer, since website considerations are ongoing. There are KGI members who post photos easily & those who are still stumped, although they can post photos on Facebook. Here's David Kelley's advice for KGI again >>> "Go to GROUP photographs for instructions. Stay natural, David"
Hi .. thanks, looking forward to ideas! these are from my dh's collection of hanggliding parts .. I would love to use them in the yard (and yes, I love birds!!)... good association, I hadn't thought of that! My dh has been flying since he was a teenager .. and he is looking for a good Atos right now (more of a rigid wing). And thanks, I'll go and try to post those photos again .. I'm used to just inserting photos or, in WordPress, I just click on an icon on the toolbar and can easily download photos and enter just one or a slideshow. :) A.M.
Well, I am having challenges with posting pics. I went to my page, and above my name I have my hummingbird photo .. and I don't see a download or browser button. the tabs on this page show: View, Apply for Role, Edit Profile, etc. I went to my workplace page and tried to download pics there, but, no luck. :(
Sign up for a mentor role. Go to homepage to apply. There is no obligation, and it opens more options for posting. Stay natural, David
... are much appreciated! Hello Drupal? Online experience-context matters! Wordpress really is as full-service as publishing online - for so many functions. I am wondering, where were you "used to just inserting photos"? That is my dream for KGI! Thanks for your input on this question ... Curious, I thought Roger announced he had enabled photos for everyone? without Mentor status?
Yes, WordPress is just amazing! There is so much support and information on how to blog and how to enter photos and slideshows (I use slideshows all the time and love this feature). In WordPress, when I'm working on my daily blog, I simply click on an icon (a little square) so that I can start downloading photos. I'm brought to a screen where I am able to choose from 3 sources (Media files, URL or computer). I just browse my computer, download as many photos as I want (one at a time) and then upload them. I can make basic alterations to the photo (size), add any captions and then save them. I usually download any number of photos, then I just save them and add a slideshow. thanks, A.M.
I plan to use Wordpress for a blog that documents all the food-production resources & people in our County - we're going to look at our relative food self-sufficiency & aim to be progressive. When you size photos on WP, do you see pixel numbers you can use to make a series same-size? That IS one of the good features on the KGI site which even iPhoto on my Mac doesn't offer ... But I love the idea of being able to browse from the whole computer - composing at the speed of thought ... :-) Have you ever knocked any of the aluminum pipe lengths together to see what kind of sound you get?
Hi .. um .. no .. I haven't ... I searched for details on the wind chimes and became immediately intimidated by the details .
... I like to invoke Albert Einstein's quote, to the effect that "If you really know what you are doing you can explain it to an intelligent ten-year-old." :-) There will be some better instructions out there ...
ha ha ha .. that is too funny!!! And thanks, I'll look for some "plain" instructions. there is hope yet! A.M.
thank you! I'll do that right now.
Hi DW - I'm starting over at the top for a full line-length ... I just refreshed my memory on your gardening style at your Profile & visited your blog again. I remember "happiness is tide pools" & the beach - and wild, weathery "coastal" time in Oregon as a child. :-) Three positive attributes of 2-3" caliper aluminum aviation tubing are > [1] long-lasting; [2] elegantly simple; and [3] too hard & sleek for cats & squirrels to climb. I think I would be tempted to use some lengths as vertical stands for decorative bird feeders and/or bird houses. These can be truly sculptural installations around your garden or located as the view out a window - dining room would be ideal! Would you and/or your dh know how to seat the tubing in a narrow hole of cement in the ground? I can provide simple instructions. You probably need 1 foot in the cement/ground to keep the tube perfectly vertical. Some great gardening friends have an array of multiple bird feeding stations outside their dining room window in some Pine trees. The table is against the window/wall & on the table is always a bird-identification book & binoculars. I love this setup. :-) You could plan for multiple lengths of AA-tubing of different heights - supporting individual platforms <to be designed> at different levels. The group could be like a little grove of bird feeders. You could include a bird bath top, which pollinators need too. We offered bird-nest materials such as old yarn - dryer-lint was popular. For a multiple group, you'd probably want to mock it up first by just standing the tubing in soil to test the grouping effects & platform heights. You could mock-up the platforms at first with cardboard box material. For such an installation I would want to play with the setup for about a week. You might work differently. :-) More can be said about healthy bird-feeding ... Bird house heights could be higher - a lot depends on your local bird population. Over to you ...
Hi Jessica .. what a marvelous idea!!!! Yes, and then I could put a tray on the top to hold the bird feed, which would then not fall onto the ground for the squirrels. And by keeping the food on top, the cats will not have contact with the birds! I'll try the mockup and then will play around with the final design. Many thanks to you!!! I'll work on this and will post pics (most likely not for another week) A.M.
Happiness is lots of design options! :-) Looking forward ...
... and how to attach them firmly & horizonally to the top of the vertical 2-3" caliper aluminum aviation tubing, and also make them easily removable & interchangeable. Do you know the tool "plastering hod"? If not, you can see one at this link - shown upside down > I think I would want to make some "plastering hod" bases out of 1/4" plywood & a 1.5-2" wooden dowel like the hanging dowel in a clothes closet. Hod-type bases would let you fit the feeding platforms and/or bird houses firmly & squarely into the vertical tubing. And it would also allow you to slip them in & out easily for cleaning, painting or trying new combinations. The screw attachment to the bottom of feeding platforms could be very light. The plywood part of the base need not be large or conspicuous. The dowel part should be ~6" long & will not be as wide as a 2" caliper tube but can be padded out with readily-available packing-foam & duct-tape, for a snug press-fit. The tricky part is cutting the dowel at a clean, 90-degree angle so your platforms or other tops sit as square as you want them to look. If you do not have home-shop capability, the hardware store will probably be able to cut them on a saw that moves wood through the blade braced-to-square against the cutting frame. The dowel can be screwed square to the plywood base if you can-do. Inexperienced or not equipped could lead to a crooked result. Since I am not equipped at this point, I would use Super Glue, or ask the hardware store or a cabinet-maker-type to do the job. Super Glue would also work for attaching hod-bases to non-wood platforms or trays. I hope this is clear - some editing could probably shorten it up, but - over to you & back to work! :-)
Hi .. thank you .. I will check out this information .. looks interesting ...thank you very much!! I'll check back later! A.M.
I am sure that you can always create new racks, or use the excess tubing to fortify some of the shelves in your house. Using them for plant support Is good, but they do not look that appealing in the garden.

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