Iron pipe most often comes in black or galvanized. Galvanized finished fittings are more popular. Galvanized pipe and fittings have been dipped in zinc to help prevent rust.
Common black iron pipe is actually made of steel. The steel is rolled into a tube and then welded. You can usually see and feel the seam on the inside of the pipe. The dimensions of a pipe refer to the inside diameter. The schedule of a pipe refers to the thickness of the wall. Note that when referring to the dimension of a tube that this refers to the outside diameter.
Black iron pipe fittings are usually cast from malleable iron, which is not quite steel, but better than iron.
The most common pipe wall thickness is referred to as schedule 40. Heavy duty, high pressure pipe is referred to as schedule 80. There are many other schedules and classes of pipe.
Short pieces of pipe that are threaded on both ends are called nipples. They are often painted black with paint, black tar/asphalt, or something that seems like raw steel coated in graphite. I prefer the raw steel and tar/asphalt. It can be difficult to tell the difference between paint and tar/asphalt.
Special couplers used to finish and pull together a closed section of pipe are called Left/Right Nipple And Coupling Sets.
Avoid welding galvanized pieces as they will release poisonous fumes. See Metal Fume Fever for more safety information. This does not mean welding galvanized steel should never be attempted under any circumstances. Even outdoors you will should use a fan to keep fumes away from your face.
It is easy to remove the galvanization from iron. Simply soak the parts in plastic bucket filled with hydrochloric acid (HCL, or muriatic acid). Muriatic acid at a strength of 31.45% HCL is available at most hardware stores. It can be used full strength or diluted 1:1 with water. Hydrochloric acid quickly dissolves zinc, but it only very slowly attacks iron. You can tell when the part may be removed when the acid bath stops fizzing. Remove the part and wash with water. The acid should have almost no effect on the iron.
If you have not used hydrochloric acid before then you should familiarize yourself with its safe usage. The reaction with zinc is extremely energetic. It will bubble and fizz and release acid fumes and hydrogen gas. Hydrogen is flammable. You do not want to be downwind of the acid fumes as they will burn your eyes and lungs. Even a small whiff can be very painful.
My favorite brand of black-iron fittings is Anvil, which are made in the USA. My second favorite brand is TSP (Tri Sinar Purnama), which are made in Indonesia. SCI is another common US-made brand. Their fittings are fine, but a bit ugly. They have a nice web site, which is easy to browse. My least favorite brand is Mueller, which is made in China. Unfortunately, most consumer retail stores seem to be moving to Mueller. My main complaint is that their fittings are ugly, both in terms of their finish and the haphazard way they cast marks and codes into the iron with no sense of style or craftsmanship. Granted, most people using pipe don't care how it looks. Style is not usually associated with iron pipe.
Anvil International http://www.anvilintl.com/product/pipefittings.aspx
TSP (Tri Sinar Purnama) http://www.trisip.com
Jinang (trademark looks like a spiral inside of a diamond)
SCI (Smith-Cooper International) http://www.smithcooper.com/cat.php?g=2757
Mueller Industries http://www.muellerindustries.com/
Cutting a pipe so that it may be welded to another pipe requires a saddle cut. There are coping calculators that print templates to trace onto the pipe to be cut. There are tools to imprint a cut pattern and transfer this to a pipe to be cut. There are tools to clamp and pipe and hole saw at the desired angle and just cut the hole directly without calculating the cut line.
Search for "tube coping calculator" and "tube miter calculator" and "tube saddle calculator" and "tubing notcher".
lamp, small table
Use 1/8" steel NPT fittings.
- 2 - tee fittings Anvil 8700120309, Malleable Iron Pipe Fitting, Tee, 1/8" NPT Female, Black Finish
- 3 - 90 degree elbow fittings Anvil 8700123550, Malleable Iron Pipe Fitting, 90 Degree Elbow, 1/8" NPT Female, Black Finish
- 3 - plug fittings
- 3 - 3" nipples Anvil 8700136255, Steel Pipe Fitting, Nipple, 1/8" NPT Male x 3" Length, Black Finish
- 1 - 1-1/2" nipple Anvil 8700136107, Steel Pipe Fitting, Nipple, 1/8" NPT Male x 1-1/2" Length, Black Finish
- 1 - 12" nipple Anvil 8700136701, Steel Pipe Fitting, Nipple, 1/8" NPT Male x 12" Length, Black Finish
NEMA power cord blades: Wide/White/Neutral, Narrow/Black/Hot
HPN Heater cord -- HPN cord (AKA HPD cord -- HPN is specifically Neoprene (a brand name of Dupont), whereas HPD is generic rubber): Heater, Parallel, Neoprene. Required for heater applications, such as heaters, irons, and toasters. Works well for other applications because the neoprene insulation is soft, flexible, and resists burning.
wire abrasion protection
Wire should have abrasion and/or stress relief at points where it passes through a hole or turns a sharp angle. Braided sleeves for this purpose are available. The braided sleeve may be made from fiberglass, plastic, or stainless steel.