Don't make it more difficult than it needs to be. Many suggestions on how to do mechanical things here are posted by tool freaks, of which I am one, so I know about this affliction...
Unless you want to invest big time in finding a press to use, which very well might break if it isn't at least 10 tons (an extensive search here will come up with many sad cases of presses breaking) just have a small sledge hammer (3 or 5 pounds) party. If you can't round up an anvil, find a nice piece of steel, or even a concrete surface you don't mind messing up a little. Use goggles if doing it on concrete. There is talk of how hand pounded ends are weaker, but why have none of mine ever failed in 5 installations on the playa?
I've done two 4 freq. domes (that's 250 struts times 2 ends = 500 poundings) by myself and it is not impossible, and even fun as one has to make sure to put the seam (yes, there is a seam in conduit... it is buffed down and hard to find) at 45 degrees to the blow delivered, as you don't want the seam opening at the top, where it will split and make drilling a nightmare, or at 90 degrees to the blow, where it will open up a nice razor sharp edge.
And a drill press is very, VERY
nice, but what your really need is a center punch
to make sure your handheld drill (don't use a small one) doesn't skip on the surface of your newly pounded end. PLUS, using a center punch will assure you that the distances between the holes is perfect. (fashion up a jig, putting the drilled out end on lets say, an inverted plumb bob, and then measure from the center of that). The handheld drill route is the most challenging part of the process if you decide to go cheap. However, a drill press isn't too costly:http://www.harborfreight.com/garage-sho ... 38119.html
Using either a hand held drill or a drill press, use cutting oil in one of those oil squirter cans, and if you can't find cutting oil, use 2 cycle oil... used in 2 stroke lawnmowers, chainsaws etc. Using cutting oil will allow your drill to last longer, but best to get three bits just in case. If using a hand drill, be sure you can get your body weight above the drill, don't depend on arm strength, plus, you need to keep the bit straight, easier to do when standing over the drill. If you need to buy anything
, I would suggest a vise. A must have for drilling if you don't have a drill press, which needs its own specialized vise as vise grips don't work so well.
A drill press vise:http://www.harborfreight.com/4-inch-jaw ... 30999.html
Also a vise is nice for keeping the gentle bends on the ends consistent. NEVER use a vise to try to flatten the ends, even the biggest will fail. Here's an adequate one from Harbor Freight for $40http://www.harborfreight.com/garage-sho ... 67035.html
BTW, if you get to the playa and find your "bends" are off a little, don't worry, they will be just as they are supposed to when you tighten down the bolts.
For cutting the pieces, forget a pipe cutter, those tools you spin around the tubing. Takes a long time. Have a hacksaw party, or get a fiber blade for a circular saw or cut off saw. Measurements don't need to be 1mm tolerance, as it is the distance between HOLES that is critical.
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