Pultruded Fiberglass Information & Resources

Fiberglass Sleeving / Reinforcement Guide

We offer your choice of three “sleeving sample packs” in two sizes which include varying assortments of our sleeving fiberglass tube and rod. These packs are ideal to examine fit, finish, mechanical properties, etc. on a variety of our products. Included are either approximately 6 inch long pieces or 2 feet long pieces of  (all round.. no square included)  products as detailed and shown below:

 

Fiberglass samples, tube samples, rod samples, RT-SPL-01

Sleeving sample pack Series 1
(6 inch length)

Diameter (OD)
Wall
Thickness
Length
Color
1/8″
Rod
6 inch
Black
1/4″OD
(9/64″ ID)
1/16″
6 inch
Black
1/2″OD
(1/4″ ID)
3/32″
6 inch
Gray
3/4″
1/8″
6 inch
Gray
1″
1/8″
6 inch
Gray
1 1/4″
1/8″
6 inch
Gray
1 1/2″
1/8″
6 inch
Gray
1 3/4″
1/8″
6 inch
Gray
2″
1/8″
6 inch
Gray
Shipping weight : 2 pounds.
Order our stock # RT-SPL-05-01
Price each:  
$14.95 ( Order Now ! )

Sleeving sample pack Series 1
(2 feet length)

Diameter (OD)
Wall
Thickness
Length
Color
1/8″
Rod
2 feet
Black
1/4″OD
(9/64″ ID)
1/16″
2 feet
Black
1/2″OD
(1/4″ ID)
3/32″
2 feet
Gray
3/4″
1/8″
2 feet
Gray
1″
1/8″
2 feet
Gray
1 1/4″
1/8″
2 feet
Gray
1 1/2″
1/8″
2 feet
Gray
1 3/4″
1/8″
2 feet
Gray
2″
1/8″
2 feet
Gray
Shipping weight : 8 pounds.
Order our stock # RT-SPL-2-01
Price each:  
$44.45 ( Order Now ! )

Fiberglass samples, tube samples, rod samples, RT-SPL-02

Sleeving sample pack Series 2
(6 inch length)

Diameter (OD)
Wall
Thickness
Length
Color
1/8″
Rod
6 inch
Black
1/4″OD
(9/64″ ID)
1/16″
6 inch
Black
1/2″OD
(1/4″ ID)
3/32″
6 inch
Gray
3/4″
1/8″
6 inch
Gray
1″
1/8″
6 inch
Gray
1 1/4″
1/8″
6 inch
Gray
1 1/2″
1/8″
6 inch
Gray
1 3/4″
1/8″
6 inch
Gray
2″
1/8″
6 inch
Gray
2.25″
1/8″
6 inch
Gray
2.5″
1/8″
6 inch
Gray
Shipping weight : 2 pounds.
Order our stock # RT-SPL-05-02
Price each:
 $19.95 ( Order Now ! )

Sleeving sample pack Series 2
( 2 feet length )

Diameter (OD)
Wall
Thickness
Length
Color
1/8″
Rod
2 feet
Black
1/4″OD
(9/64″ ID)
1/16″
2 feet
Black
1/2″OD
(1/4″ ID)
3/32″
2 feet
Gray
3/4″
1/8″
2 feet
Gray
1″
1/8″
2 feet
Gray
1 1/4″
1/8″
2 feet
Gray
1 1/2″
1/8″
2 feet
Gray
1 3/4″
1/8″
2 feet
Gray
2″
1/8″
2 feet
Gray
2.25″
1/8″
2 feet
Gray
2.5″
1/8″
2 feet
Gray
Shipping weight : 8 pounds.
Order our stock # RT-SPL-2-02
Price each:  
$69.95 ( Order Now ! )

Fiberglass samples, tube samples, rod samples, RT-SPL-03

Sleeving sample pack Series 3
(6 inch length)

Diameter (OD)
Wall
Thickness
Length
Color
2.25″
1/8″
6 inch
Gray
2.5″
1/8″
6 inch
Gray
Shipping weight : 1 pound.
Order our stock # RT-SPL-05-03
Price each:   
$7.95 ( Order Now ! )

Sleeving sample pack Series 3
( 2 feet length )

Diameter (OD)
Wall
Thickness
Length
Color
2.25″
1/8″
2 feet
Gray
2.5″
1/8″
2 feet
Gray
Shipping weight : 4 pound.
Order our stock # RT-SPL-2-03
Price each:  
 $24.95 ( Order Now ! )

Fiberglass Round Tube to Fiberglass Round Tube Sleeving Diagram
Fiberglass Round Tube and Fiberglass Round Solid Rod Nesting into Fiberglass Round Tube

Please note: The sleeving and reinforcement guide below is for Max-Gain Systems’ proprietary line of tube and rod only .

These same stated sizes of tube and rod from other manufacturers probably will NOT mate with our line!

Round Tube
Tubing Size
Accepted Sizes
1/4″ OD X 9/64″ ID
1/8″ OD solid rod
3/8″ OD X 9/64″ ID
1/8″ OD solid rod
3/8″ OD X 3/16″ ID
3/16″ OD solid rod
1/2″ OD X 1/4″ wall
1/4″ OD X 9/64″ ID round tube
1/4″ OD solid rod
3/4″ OD X 1/8″ wall
1/2″ OD X 1/8″ wall tube
1/2″ OD solid rod
1″ OD X 1/8″ wall
3/4″ OD X 1/8″ wall tube
3/4″ OD solid rod
1 . 25″ OD X 1/8″ wall
1″ OD X 1/8″ wall tube
1″ OD solid rod
1 . 5″ OD X 1/8″ wall
1.25″ OD X 1/8″ wall tube
1 . 25″ OD solid rod
1 . 75″ OD X 1/8″ wall
1.5″ OD X 1/8″ wall tube
1.5″ OD solid rod
1 . 75″ OD X 1/4″ wall
1 . 25″ OD X 1/8″ wall tube
1 . 25″ OD solid rod
2″ OD X 1/8″ wall
1 . 75″ OD X 1/8″ wall tube
1 . 75″ OD X 1/4″ wall tube
2″ OD X 1/4″ wall
1 . 5″ OD X 1/8″ wall tube
1 . 5″ OD solid rod
2 1/4″ OD X 1/8″ wall
2″ OD X 1/8″ wall tube
2″ OD X 1/4″ wall tube
2 1/2″ OD X 1/8″ wall
2 1/4″ OD round tube X 1/8″ wall

 


 

Fiberglass Square Tube and Fiberglass Round Tube Sleeving Diagram

Fiberglass Round Tube and Fiberglass Round Solid Rod Nesting into Fiberglass Square Tube

Note: Our square tube to square tube sleeving combinations, while perfect for reinforcement or extension applications, will be too snug for full-length slip-fit applications, such as push-up masts .  The square tube to round tube mating combinations will yield less strength at the joint (due to only 4 point contact) than either round-to-round or square-to-square combinations .

Square Tube
Tubing Size
Accepted Sizes
1″ on-side X 1/8″ wall
3/4″ OD X 1/8″ wall ROUND tube
3/4″ OD solid ROUND rod
1 . 25″ on-side X 1/8″ wall
1″ on-side X 1/8″ wall square tube (snug fit)
1″ OD X 1/8″ wall ROUND tube
1″ OD solid ROUND rod
1 . 5″ on-side X 1/8″ wall
1 . 25″ on-side X 1/8″ wall square tube (snug fit)
1 . 25″ OD X 1/8″ wall ROUND tube
1 . 25″ OD solid ROUND rod
2″ on-side X 1/8″ wall
1 . 75″ OD X 1/8″ wall ROUND tube
1 . 75″ OD X 1/4″ wall ROUND tube

ImageNameDescriptionPriceBuy
Fiberglass Sample Packs - 2-1/2" OD & 2-1/4" OD, 2 FootSleeving sample pack Series 1 (6 inch length) Diameter (OD) Wall Thickness Length Color 1/8″ Rod 6 inch Black 1/4″OD (9/64″ ID) 1/16″ 6 inch Black 1/2″OD (1/4″ ID) 3/32″ 6 inch Gray 3/4″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1 1/4″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1 1/2″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1 3/4″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 2″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray Shipping weight : 2 pounds. Order our stock # RT-SPL-05-01 Price each:  $9.95 Sleeving sample pack Series 1 ( 2 feet length ) Diameter (OD) Wall Thickness Length Color 1/8″ Rod 2 feet Black …$24.95
Fiberglass Sample Packs - 2-1/2" OD & 2-1/4" OD, 6 InchSleeving sample pack Series 1 (6 inch length) Diameter (OD) Wall Thickness Length Color 1/8″ Rod 6 inch Black 1/4″OD (9/64″ ID) 1/16″ 6 inch Black 1/2″OD (1/4″ ID) 3/32″ 6 inch Gray 3/4″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1 1/4″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1 1/2″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1 3/4″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 2″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray Shipping weight : 2 pounds. Order our stock # RT-SPL-05-01 Price each:  $9.95 Sleeving sample pack Series 1 ( 2 feet length ) Diameter (OD) Wall Thickness Length Color 1/8″ Rod 2 feet Black …$7.95
Fiberglass Sample Packs - 2-1/2" OD - 1/8" OD, 2 FootSleeving sample pack Series 1 (6 inch length) Diameter (OD) Wall Thickness Length Color 1/8″ Rod 6 inch Black 1/4″OD (9/64″ ID) 1/16″ 6 inch Black 1/2″OD (1/4″ ID) 3/32″ 6 inch Gray 3/4″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1 1/4″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1 1/2″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1 3/4″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 2″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray Shipping weight : 2 pounds. Order our stock # RT-SPL-05-01 Price each:  $9.95 Sleeving sample pack Series 1 ( 2 feet length ) Diameter (OD) Wall Thickness Length Color 1/8″ Rod 2 feet Black …$69.95
Fiberglass Sample Packs - 2-1/2" OD - 1/8" OD, 6 InchSleeving sample pack Series 1 (6 inch length) Diameter (OD) Wall Thickness Length Color 1/8″ Rod 6 inch Black 1/4″OD (9/64″ ID) 1/16″ 6 inch Black 1/2″OD (1/4″ ID) 3/32″ 6 inch Gray 3/4″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1 1/4″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1 1/2″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1 3/4″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 2″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray Shipping weight : 2 pounds. Order our stock # RT-SPL-05-01 Price each:  $9.95 Sleeving sample pack Series 1 ( 2 feet length ) Diameter (OD) Wall Thickness Length Color 1/8″ Rod 2 feet Black …$19.95
Fiberglass Sample Packs - 2" OD - 1/8" OD, 2 FootSleeving sample pack Series 1 (6 inch length) Diameter (OD) Wall Thickness Length Color 1/8″ Rod 6 inch Black 1/4″OD (9/64″ ID) 1/16″ 6 inch Black 1/2″OD (1/4″ ID) 3/32″ 6 inch Gray 3/4″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1 1/4″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1 1/2″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1 3/4″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 2″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray Shipping weight : 2 pounds. Order our stock # RT-SPL-05-01 Price each:  $9.95 Sleeving sample pack Series 1 ( 2 feet length ) Diameter (OD) Wall Thickness Length Color 1/8″ Rod 2 feet Black …$44.45
Fiberglass Sample Packs - 2" OD - 1/8" OD, 6 InchSleeving sample pack Series 1 (6 inch length) Diameter (OD) Wall Thickness Length Color 1/8″ Rod 6 inch Black 1/4″OD (9/64″ ID) 1/16″ 6 inch Black 1/2″OD (1/4″ ID) 3/32″ 6 inch Gray 3/4″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1 1/4″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1 1/2″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 1 3/4″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray 2″ 1/8″ 6 inch Gray Shipping weight : 2 pounds. Order our stock # RT-SPL-05-01 Price each:  $9.95 Sleeving sample pack Series 1 ( 2 feet length ) Diameter (OD) Wall Thickness Length Color 1/8″ Rod 2 feet Black …$14.95

Connecting Sleeved Fiberglass

There are several satisfactory methods for joining fiberglass tubes together when they are sleeved inside one another (as they are when making a quad spreader.)

One method is to cut a slot in the end of the larger of the two tubes using a hacksaw. The slot should be 2 to 3 inches long, and well centered in the tube. You may then use an all-stainless hose clamp (also called a screw clamp) to fit over the outside of the larger tube and compress the portion with the slot around the smaller tube inside, holding it firmly. This method has the advantage of being easily removable for disassembly if required. A second screw clamp may be used for greater security at the joint.

A second method is to glue the tubes together. You may use epoxy (the 50/50 type….consistency of syrup….not the “filler” types of epoxy which are the consistency of putty.) Note that epoxy adhesives do not want to bend or flex. They get quite rigid, so if you are using the fiberglass in an application where the joint will be subject to bending, epoxy is NOT the best choice. If you have adequate curing time, adhesives such as “Goop” (or the very similar and cheaper “clear elastomeric caulk” )  are sold in paint departments of many stores with the caulking products. A caulking-gun sized tube is usually around $5, and will do a large number of tubes.

The best adhesive to use is JB-Weld, 2 part epoxy, “Originial Cold Weld Formula”. This adhesive sets in 30 minutes and cures in 4 hours, ready to use in 24 hours. This adhesive comes in two tubes colored red and black. When the two are properly mixed together the mixture will turn a medium gray color. Do not apply until you fully mix the adhesive. This adhesive is sold in most hardware stores and also in the paint department. Usually sold in a blister pack that has a red coloration.

Another adhesive is one called 3M 5200 fast cure. (24 hour cure and 14 day set)  Sealant, 3M  TM Marine Fast Cure 5200 Adhesive

This is a boat building adhesive rated for above and below waterline work. Rated for constant water contact, fresh or salt. Single part adhesive (no mixing) that comes in a caulk sized tube.  Very fiberglass friendly. Fumes are not toxic, either! This adhesive is NOT for pulling or pushing applications. It is great for applications where you do not need the tubes to separate under use horizontal.

A good method of applying all of these adhesives inside tubes is to squirt the adhesive on a dowel or rod of smaller diameter than the inside of the tube to be glued. Roll the dowel around on the inside of the larger tube, evenly spreading the adhesive on the inside wall. This is easily done from both ends of the tube. As soon as adhesive is spread, slide the smaller tube or rod you wish to secure inside the larger tube and allow to cure. Be sure the tube is not bent when curing, or it will set in that form!

The third method is by use of a couple of stainless machine screws which go through both tubes. An illustration of this method is below:

Connecting Sleeved Fiberglass

When drilling holes for the machine screws to hold sections together, assemble the spreader joint with the exact overlap in place, and drill all the way through both sides at once (taking care to drill straight through the centerline of the tube, perpendicular to its surface.) This method also allows for disassembly if desired. For additional security, apply a little thread lock or glue to the nuts after tightening.

Max-Gain Systems spreaders (in almost all of our spreader combinations) provide enough extra length to allow some of the smaller tube to be cut off (using a hacksaw or an abrasive blade on a chop saw) and inserted into the bottom end of the larger tube. This doubles the wall thickness at the point of greatest stress, and the point where the U-bolts or screw clamps hold the spreader to the spider hub. When installing this internal reinforcement, one of the adhesive methods should always be used. Always try to keep a passageway clear down the center of the tubes for moisture to drain.

Always allow for moisture to drain through any fiberglass spreader. Any water actually trapped in the spreader can freeze and damage the tube. For our Type 2 spreaders (ONLY), which use the SOLID ½ inch rod as reinforcement for the ¾ inch OD tube (where the U-Bolts clamp the tube), the reinforcement joint must not be completely sealed. A small amount of adhesive on one side only of the solid ½ inch rod before insertion into the ¾ inch OD tube is sufficient to hold it in place. No adhesive at all should be used at the point where the sections are joined together-the machine screw method will do the job!

Any fiberglass, no matter how UV-stabilized, will eventually degrade after prolonged exposure to sunlight. Make your spreaders last many years longer-and decrease their visibility to wife and neighbors-by spray painting them flat black. First clean/degrease them with a good solvent such as acetone or methyl ethyl ketone…”M.E.K.” (follow their label directions!) Then use a good primer-allowing it to cure at least two days. Finally, finish with a good top coat of flat black. This paint treatment is suitable for most any fixed-position use of fiberglass tube or solid rod which will not require sleeving movement between sizes.  NOTE: We do NOT recommend painting our fiberglass push-up masts, or any application in which the fiberglass tubes will be frequently sleeved inside one another. The inside of the tubes is much more abrasive in nature than the smooth outside, and this abrasive inner surface will quickly scar most paints. Thick or multiple paint coats in sleeving applications will also decrease clearance between the tubes, possibly causing binding.  In the case of push-up masts, count on our high percentage of UV stabilizers to provide long useful life.

“Pinning” When attaching antennas, rotors, etc . to fiberglass masts or crossbooms, the following precaution is HIGHLY recommended:

Normally, solid rod is used in these applications, because of its great strength, and resistance to crushing when compressed by U-bolts and mounting clamps . Even though it is very strong, the fiberglass is not as hard as the metal clamps or brackets .  As a result, as wind and vibration from antenna rotation act on the point where the clamp and fiberglass meet, the vibration will slowly loosen the clamp by “chewing” on the fiberglass .

The remedy for this is to drill a small hole through the mounting bracket, and about half way into the fiberglass rod . Insert into this hole a TIGHT FITTING stainless machine screw . It does not need to be a large diameter, just a very tight fit in both the metal bracket AND the fiberglass rod .

A few drops of a good strong adhesive in the screw threads or in the hole in the fiberglass will also be helpful . An adhesive should be chosen that would  hold tightly, but still allow removal of the screw if desired at a later date .

The goal of this procedure is to prevent ANY motion between the clamp and the fiberglass, therefore preventing any loosening over time .  It is well worth the effort .

Dimensions

Minimum spreader lengths required for quad reflector loop at various frequencies*

  • 6 meters = 3.7 ft.
  • 10 Meters = 6.6 ft.
  • 11 meters = 6.9 ft.
  • 12 Meters = 7.4 ft.
  • 15 Meters = 8.8 ft.
  • 17 Meters = 10.2 ft
  • 20 Meters = 13.1 ft.
  • 30 Meters = 17.9 ft.
  • 40 Meters = 25.9 ft.

 

*(calculated for bottom end of bands)

 

Useful formula

In order to estimate how far out (measured from the center of the boom) a quad wire of a given length will intersect with a spreader, use this formula:

Take the total wire length of the quad loop in feet (for example, 70.79 ft for a driven element on the 20 meter band) and divide it by 4….(about 17.7 in our example). Then square the result…(about 313.3 in our example). Divide this figure by 2….(about 156.65 for the example) and then take the square root. For our example, this yields the result 12.51, so you know that the wire intersect point will be 12.51 feet out the spreader, measured from the center of the boom.

A far less complex method (with thanks to Ed Niemi, K6EDJ) is to simply take the cosine of one side of the quad loop (.707 times the length of one side of the quad loop) and measure out the sp reader (measure from the center of the boom) to determine the point of wire attachment! The measurement from corner to corner, measuring down one sp reader, through the boom, and up the opposite sp reader, (wire attachment point to wire attachment point) of each quad loop will be 1.414 times the length of one side of the quad loop.

 

Cutting our fiberglass yourself, here are a few helpful notes:

A fine-toothed hacksaw will do the job on very small quantity jobs. Be certain to support the back side of the tube / rod when cutting through to avoid splintering of the fiberglass as the blade comes through the back.  Rest the fiberglass on a piece of scrap wood at the point of the cut. Also, a wrap of masking tape at the cut point also helps.  Also support the piece of fiberglass level with the cut all along its length. You do not want the ends to fall down as the cut nears completion, splintering the last few strands of fiberglass on the back side of the cut.

Abrasive Ceramic Wheel Cutting Fiberglass Round Solid Rod

Do not breathe the fiberglass dust.  It is a good idea to cut outdoors. Use a good protective mask.

If you have the equipment, a far better cutting method is by use of a power miter saw or “chop saw” with an abrasive blade.  These tools will give you a perfect, square, smooth cut every time. NEVER use a toothed blade. The finer the abrasive on the abrasive cutting blade, the nicer the resulting cut, but the cut will also take longer than with coarser blades. Even the very common (and cheap) “metal cutting” or ceramic / concrete cutting abrasive blades that fit these tools will work fine, and they are commonly available at Home Depot and other home improvement and hardware stores.

In all cases, use care when cutting, use breathing protection, and cut outdoors where possible. If you are not knowledgeable in the use of these types of tools, seek professional help / advice, or leave it to the pros!

*****On whole sale / OEM quantity orders  ($400 minimum order) of round tube and round solid rod that we can ship direct from our factory, there is NO CHARGE for cutting.

Tolerances:  At our retail warehouse, we do “rough cuts” only, with best tolerance of 1/8 inch. At the factory we have far more elaborate diamond saws, and can easily cut to tolerances of 1/16 inch at no extra charge. Tighter tolerances ARE possible from the factory, but usually carry additional charges.  (Inquire) Let us quote on your needs!