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Old 04-27-2008, 02:27 AM   #16
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Hello Analogmusicman

For a homeowner I would suggest cutting it with a hacksaw or your recip saw. However you must ream the inside of the cut to deburr it. Other wise you run the risk of skinning your wires when you pull them on the sharp edges.

There are several types of reamers. This is one that fits on your screw driver.....


Greenlee makes a emt cutter that I have never used but it is pricey. Do not confuse this with a soft copper tubing cutter!!


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Old 04-27-2008, 11:43 AM   #17
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I usually cut EMT with a battery operated sawzall. An 18 or 24 tooth blade works well for smaller sizes.

As stated above, the inside of the cut must be de-burred. I usually stick the nose of my channelocks into the end, and twist it a few times. It's good practice to ream the outside as well, especially if you're using compression fittings.

The el-cheapo bender will work just fine. Bend on a flat, level, hard surface, (like a garage floor) and remember to use ALOT of foot pressure. If you just pull the handle, and don't push hard enough with your foot, the pipe will kink. Read the instructions, you'll need to add or deduct from your measurement to get the bend to fit.

Rob
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Old 04-27-2008, 11:45 AM   #18
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Stubby is right as usual.

I do a lot of emt work and some time ago, I bought a pair of Klein locknut and reaming pliers.

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These are great for tightening locknuts in boxes as they are shaped to grip the slots better than a regular set of pliers and the nose is thin enough to get on the nuts in tight spaces. The nose is tapered and box shaped with hard corner edges to fit into 1/2" and 3/4" emt for inside deburring. Also, the rounded inside surfaces include serrations so that you can grip the cut end of the tube and deburr the outside as well. Plus, theres a nice serrated flat jaw on the end which comes in handy for a multitude of tasks including pre-twisting of solid conductors. Really a handy tool; I never do emt work without them. I think they cost me about $15 at the BORG. Even for a small job, they are entirely worth it.

Quote:
Greenlee makes a emt cutter that I have never used but it is pricey. Do not confuse this with a soft copper tubing cutter!!

I bought one of these long ago too, mostly based on Greenlee's claim that conduit cut with one of these tools will not require deburring. This tool does not cut entirely through the wall of the tube. Instead, you tighten it down and after only a couple of turns, it makes a deep groove in the conduit. You then remove the cutter and break the pipe over a solid surface (I often use a knee or thigh). Interestingly and perhaps contrary to what you may think, it does not distort the pipe.

The whole thing is based on the design of the cutting wheel. The cutting surface is machined in the middle of the cutter face. As it cuts into the wall of the tube, the face will eventually bottom out which prevents it from fully penetrating the wall of the tube.

Now, onto the deburring issue. As I mentioned, Greenlee states that the cut ends made with this tool do not require deburring. After the cut (or should I say break?) is made, the end of the conduit has a slight ridge around its full circumference that protrudes into the internal space. However, the ridge is entirely uniform and is dull to the point where it will not cut your finger if you run it along its edge. In fact, when you sink it into a set screw coupler, it's hard to tell the difference between this ridge and the formed stop in the coupler. Oddly, if you go ahead and try to deburr it, you wind up distorting the outer diameter of the conduit, to the point where it won't fit into a box connector, coupling, etc.

One last feature are the rollers which engage the outer wall of the conduit. They are pretty wide which tends to keep the cutter perpendicular to the conduit throughout the entire turn. Therein, you wind up with a very flat cut end (much more difficult to get this with a hack saw).

I think I paid like $35 at the BORG. For as much conduit work as I do, it's a totally wise investment.

Now the cons (this is turning into an honest to goodness tool review, n'est-pas?):

1. Since you have to break the ends, there is a limit to how little you can remove from the end of a pipe. Usually, if I'm cutting a short section, I'll often put the end of the conduit inside the handle of my bender and line up the cut groove roughly with the opening of the handle. With the bender on the floor, I'll step on it and pull up on the pipe to break off the end. Unfortunately, if the cut is too close to the end of the conduit (say 2" or less), the waste piece will not break off but will usually just collapse. In these cases, I whip out a hack saw or cut the pipe on my chop saw if handy (both types of these cuts do require deburring of course).

2. As I mentioned, you actually break (i.e. snap) the conduit at the cut groove and as I mentioned, I often use a knee or thigh. Well, let's just say that if you don't make enough turns, i.e. the groove is not deep enough, you can send yourself to floor in a big hurry when you try to snap it over some body part. Unfortunately, while writhing in pain on the floor, the kids usually take that as an invitation to test their pro-wrestling moves on me (no, NO-not the flying butt pliers!!).

3. Regarding the cutting wheel, it takes a little practice to make sure that you've cut the groove to depth without continuing to tighten down the handle and turn. It is possible to start distorting the pipe. In general, it only takes 2-3 turns and you can tell when you're turning and no longer cutting from a tell-tale appearance on the conduit wall.

Take care,
Jimmy
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Old 04-27-2008, 11:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analogmusicman View Post
is 3/4" easy to bend with a cheapo bender from Home Depot or should I invest in a real good one?
Around here, all HD's only sell Ideal brand benders which work very well. They're not terribly cheap though! Also, all Ideal benders usually come with a bending guide (unless someone has removed it). You can download the guide from the manufacturer's website too and its nice to have since it will illustrate how to make the most common bends, i.e. 90's, offsets, etc. Plus it explains what the star, arrow and notch on the shoe are for. If you continue to do more conduit work, you'll definitely get to know the first two!

Feel free to PM me with any questions about making bends when you get going. Micromind gave perhaps two of the most important things to keep in mind when bending: level surface and constant foot pressure.

Good luck,
Jimmy
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:14 PM   #20
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Bigjimmy, yeah I know about Joba. Gives us conservatives a bad name.

I have a pair of those nut pliers like you have and I like them a lot.

Analog, As for cutting EMT, I use a hack saw or sawsall. When I was a young apprentice, anyone caught cutting EMT conduit with a tubing cutter was told to get a job as an HVAC mechanic. Just takes to long.

The cheapie bender will do the job for you just fine. I've done a lot of conduit bending over the years and I'm sure some of the others have also. When you get ready to bend, we will guide you right through it. I think someone already mentioned that on outside corners you might want to use a pull elbow or LB. There are ways to bend the conduit around an outside corner, it involves changing height as you go around the corner. Easier to use a pull elbow.
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Old 04-28-2008, 08:39 PM   #21
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so, when I get my panel up-graded (to 150A ) I'll run my conduit and slap in a 50A breaker for that range. I've looked at some breakers at HD and the more expensive ones have a white pigtail, is that for GFCI? goes to neutral?
BTW what color wires should I get? white,black,red and bare copper?

tnx,
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Old 04-28-2008, 08:55 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analogmusicman View Post
so, when I get my panel up-graded (to 150A ) I'll run my conduit and slap in a 50A breaker for that range. I've looked at some breakers at HD and the more expensive ones have a white pigtail, is that for GFCI? goes to neutral?
BTW what color wires should I get? white,black,red and bare copper?

tnx,
The breaker you want is one that matches your type of panel and is a 2 pole 50 amp. Yes the ones with the pigtails are GFCI. You don't need that for a stove but you would for a hot tub. Normally I would run black, black, white, and green. Black, red, white, and green would also be fine. Your black and red and white will be #8 copper and your green will be #10 copper - all THHN/THWN.

Did you ever resolve what to do when you re-enter the house with the conduit? Switch to #6 romex in a box? Continue with conduit to the stove box or receptacle? You can't string these individual conductors without conduit.
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Last edited by jrclen; 04-28-2008 at 09:17 PM. Reason: added wire size
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:42 PM   #23
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yes,I understand that breakers have to match the panel by manufacturer.
the contractor said he'd use Cutler-Hammer...is that a good brand? I read that FPE isn't too good!
I plan on terminating the conduit with a weathertight box then continue through the hole with Romex. what do I use to seal the hole?

tnx,
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:59 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analogmusicman View Post
The contractor said he'd use Cutler-Hammer...is that a good brand?
Yes. Eaton/Cutler Hammer is good but I prefer their CH style over the BR. If it was me, I'd ask that he used the CH. Just a skotch more expensive.

Quote:
I plan on terminating the conduit with a weathertight box then continue through the hole with Romex. what do I use to seal the hole?
Duct seal. It's like a clay. They sell it at my local BORG but you have to find it. I asked the 18-year old "electrical specialist" at my local store and he looked at me like I asked him for a bag of weed.
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Old 04-29-2008, 08:25 AM   #25
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All you need to know about bending pipe is, 30 degree offsets and stub 90's


Oh, and don't be afraid of the Ericson's
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Old 04-29-2008, 08:52 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analogmusicman View Post
yes,I understand that breakers have to match the panel by manufacturer.
the contractor said he'd use Cutler-Hammer...is that a good brand? I read that FPE isn't too good!
I plan on terminating the conduit with a weathertight box then continue through the hole with Romex. what do I use to seal the hole?

tnx,
Yes, Cutler Hammer is a good panel. I install a lot of those. I install the BR, it's cheaper and easier to find circuit breakers for it.

As Jimmy said, seal the hole with duct seal. Hardware stores sell it and so do most big box outfits. It's like the clay we used to play with. Why not continue inside with the conduit and mount a box inside? That would keep the box and splices out of the condensation, sunlight, and other possible problems. Just put a pull elbow or LB outside.

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