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Finally found! Accurate 1.5" OD pipe for blaster builds!


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Well guys I finally did it - I found a ready source (in fact several ready sources) of accurate pipe or tube for Sterling receiver tubes for E-11 builds!


The whole problem seems to be that we've been looking for the wrong thing. We've all been using or shopping for PVC tube (possibly as a legacy of the BBC plans) which only comes in a 40mm OD. For those who don't want to use metal pipe, because (like me) they live in a country in which this could cause legal issues or because (like me) they have no metal working skills, having an accurate pipe but in plastic, is a god send.


We should have been looking for polycarbonate tube or butyrate tube which comes in, not only a 1.5" (38.1mm) OD but also has the accurate wall thickness of 1/16". This means the outside diameter, inside diameter and wall thickness all match the original sterling receiver tube perfectly! No need for any more inaccurate 40mm pipe builds!


Here is a link for the polycarbonate tube:



And the butyrate tubes:



And for anyone just looking for a quick order of a small amount willing to pay just a tiny bit more it's even available on Amazon:



It's slightly tougher to drill or cut than PVC pipe but is also much tougher and crack resistant in the long run.

It's also available at many other suppliers - just google it. With this info in hand there's really no reason why we should even need the 40mm templates anymore since it was just a default choice anyway.


Having made the tube templates recently I can safely say that this tiny 1.9mm difference in OD does actually make a big difference in accuracy once you spread the receiver details out across the new circumference.


So what are you waiting for? Get ordering!

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Good question Michael. The polycarbonate glues with plastic weld or E-6000, and paints with plastic primer undercoat. Basically it's identical to acrylic in terms of its properties. If anything it takes paint a little better than acrylic, but it's so smooth a light sanding is important to give a tooth for the paint to prevent easy chipping.


It's stronger than PVC (the 1/16" wall thickness is about the same rigidity as the 1/8 PVC) but is more brittle so care must be taken when drilling and cutting. To be fair I've never worked with polycarbonate in tube form but it's sitting there waiting to be drilled so I'll be sure to report back :)

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  • 3 years later...

This is certainly an old thread, but having built 6 blasters with the polycarb tubing listed here, I can give the following feedback :

1) the polycarb has a tendency to melt more than resin or PVC, so take your time with the cuts if using a dremel - if you go too fast a melted ball of polycarb will obscure your cut lines - start just a little at a time until you learn just how fast you can go.


2) ive found that polycarb bonds only moderately to weakly to other plastics. Usually the weakest bond is between the paint and the polycarb, so if you assemble it THEN paint, it will be a bit (~20%) stronger. I've actually resorted to screwing my cast pieces to the polycarb tube and not rely on the bond strength of JB weld or CA glue, but I like my guns to be able to take at least a 4 foot drop without exploding (glue still has to be used for the ejection port and gas port deflectors, however, as these walls are too thin to be screwed on).


3) Drilling polycarb is also a bit more tedious, a step bit is suggested, but I've drilled it with a standard bit as well and have been able to keep a pretty good alignment for the most part.


If anyone has found a better adhesive, that would be awesome, and ease share! If I could glue reliably to the poly, then my kits could have a working trigger, remove able magazine, removable rear cap, AND be cockable!


Just a heads up - may wanna teamm up on the poly tubing, though, because its only sold in 8 foot sections (5 blaster lengths), and with shipping it will be around $40, but two sections (10 blasters) will be $60, 4 pieces (20 blasters) would be $100 - you get the idea. Because of the shipping and minimum length, it gets a bit spendy for a single build.


Just my gained knowledge from my recent projects:)

Edited by bigkilo
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