it's not the prettiest way but it works pretty good. find a 1 1/2- 2 inch wide chisell, put the chisell in the center of the tube (length wise with the tubing), using a hammer hit the chisell and start the crimping, get all 4 sides started before you crimp one side all the way. You may need to crimp the steel up as far as 4 1/2 inches or more. hope this helps.
I have never done this but i think a steel dowel pin and a vise would work great. I would guess a 3/8" or 1/2" dowel pin. You could put one pin on opposite side of each other and put in a vise and crank shut until desired crimp.
I assume you trying to crimp one end to allow it to slide inside the next stick.
This is a hard thing to do by hand and have it come out with a good fit and be safe to use.Unless you are a highly skilled welder with a good shop. I suggest you weld a short piece the next size tube larger to make a connector. This is a good way if you are making two 10ft. sections.
If you are making shorter packable 4ft. sticks don't connect them at all. Do a search on here for climbing sticks. There are some examples of good home made sticks to build from angle iron. One example uses one chain in the middle of the stick and "Y"s at the top and bottom
Another idea to do is just get a chunk of steel a size bigger then the tubing you have. Cut about 5-6" off and use that as a sleeve to slide over the two ends. Then just drill through the sleeve and your tubing and put a pin in them. You would want to drill and pin both sides. If you know how to weld just weld the sleeve on one side of your tubing then slide it over the other end and drill that one out and pin it so you would have 2 sections and can take them apart. My hunting buddy and I made about 15 sets of sticks (made them in 10' sections then pinned them) out of square tubing doing it this way.
I've used 3/4" black pipe to make ladder sections. To connect them I get an 8 or 10 inch bolt that fits inside the pipe pretty close to snug. Then cut the head off the bolt, insert it half way in the pipe and weld the perimeter. The next section slides right on.
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