I'd like to make a colapsable set of turtledog stands. Primarily I want it to be easy for my wife to set up if I'm not around, and I want it to pack down for storage and car travel. Second to those goals is to make them on a budget, and do them in a way that is easily repeatable.
I'm thinking of making the legs out of 1/2" (EMT) conduit; each leg would be two 3' sections of pipe joined by a conduit coupling, which is like a little sleeve with a set screw. Conduit is the absolite cheapest material I could find for building the legs (even cheaper than 2x2 pine when you factor in the couplings), and the load is spread out so much between the two stands, that it's still way overbuilt imo. But what about the couplings? is there a side load on them that I'm not thinking about, or some other reason that this might not work?
The spreader bar
I'm not sure what to do about the spreader bar. I have several ideas for this, but what I'd really like to do is make it out of 10' piece of 3/4" (EMT) coundit, cut in half and coupled like the legs. I understand that the spreader bar is under a lot of compression. is any of that compression force transferred latterally, such that it would put a side load on the coupling? Do any of you guys who use a spreader bar see it bow when you're in your hammock?
If there is any chance of that joint failing, then my next idea was to use a piece of 3/4" rigid conduit (which is much heavier than EMT) cut in half and screwed together at their threaded ends. I'm fairly certain that will work, but it's much heavier, and also costs quite a bit more.