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A Park Crew’s Feature Handbook – Part 1: Material

You raised a thousand bucks, and now you’re ready to get a new feature – with no guidance, no mentor, maybe no experience. Let’s get to it.

Foreword

This handbook/blog is a mix of what we’ve learned with our friends from various park crews, intended to help any park manager at any experience level. Plenty of managers are stuck with a small quiver of rusty junk and don’t have the time, help, or money to build anything new, much less buy an entire feature.

If you have input, or if I goofed, leave a comment or email [email protected]. We’re trying to help park crews make better rails so people have more fun, more safe.

That said, it’s easier to imagine ideas when you know what you’re starting with, so let’s find some METAL.

What to look for

Other than not being too rusty, size is the most important. You don’t want to build something that a rider is going to be able to dent or bend. Here are some rules of thumb:

  • 2″and smaller pipe: 1/8″ wall is okay.
  • 2-6″ pipe: look for schedule 40 (our favorite), but 3/16 is a good size as well.
  • 8″+: you shouldn’t need more than 1/4″. A poop tube with 1/2″ walls is just going to be too heavy to move.
  • Legs can be the same diameter, or roughly 1/3 the diameter (at a minimum of 2″ legs)

Start Looking

In order of best ways to find it, this is #1. It’s the most work, so you find the best stuff.

All this pipe has been scrapped by now.

It’s easier if you tell everybody that you’re looking for pipe.

Eventually someone will text and say “hey Karl there’s a huge pile of pipe out in the field here and it looks like they’re cutting it up for scrap!”

Look for contractors, pipe yards, anywhere there’s a pile of rusty pipe. Farmers have stuff sitting around all the time.

With any luck, they’ll let you sneak out with a few sticks at a good price.

Classifieds

Classifieds get picked over the fastest, with everyone and their dad scrapping metal to make a few extra bucks. But it’s worth shooting out an email or whatever and letting them know your purpose, and usually you can get them to hold it for you, over a guy that’s just cutting it up for cash.

Search Craigslist (<– link): use the “search with X miles from zip code” sidebar. I leave a tab open on my phone and refresh the page every now and then.

Search Facebook(<– link): Usually pipe disappears on Facebook faster than craigslist, so keep an eye on it. Facebook sellers seem to be a lot more willing to let stuff go for cheap or free.

Use keywords like pipe, tube, tubing, sch 40, steel, black pipe, etc, then sort through the tricky ones like this:

Tempting, but don’t buy it – a 1/16 wall is going to taco the first time you pull it out of the snow.

The Last Resort

(That would be a sick name for a resort, by the way.)

New metal is always double the price of any other option, but sometimes we’re just out of luck.

A price grab from MetalsDepot, summer 2019

It’s the simplest for a reason. Pretty much just hit google, search for pipe suppliers in your area, pay them an arm/leg happy meal. Might as well beg them for a discount. Most people will help you out when they know what you’re doing with the material! IT’S FOR THE KIDS.

Part 2 – Designing Features coming soon!

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