Fiberglass tubing — $14 for 14 tubes worth more than $3,000! What will I do with these pretties?

I went to my Re-Store Habitat for Humanity in Pittsfield, Mass., on Saturday to poke around. This Re-Store is, hands-down, my favorite place in the world to shop. There were lots of treasures, which for the most part I could admire and pass by, but then, at the very end of my meander, perched in the scrap wood section: What are theeeeeese shiny things?
Shiny, golden, textured plastic(y) tubes! I know they are some kind of man-made material, but what matters is that they remind me of bamboo. There’s no price marked, but I know they won’t be much, so I pick up three, thinking I’ll make some sort of artsy fartsy glamorous palm tree out of them for my Mahalo Lounge

I carry the three tubes up to the front desk and ask, “How much?” The attendant looks and says, “$1 each.” “Okay,” I say. I change my speed from ‘meander’ to ‘hustle’ and hustle back to get the rest o’ those tubes. I am ready to fight for them as in, “Oh, I just took the first three up to the desk because that is all I could carry at one time. I was going to get them all.” There is no competition (it’s a gorgeous Saturday afternoon outside, so it’s slow at the Re-Store) but even so, I carry (drag) the remaining 11 to the desk all at once.

I don’t know what they are — what they were originally used for — but I know they are “something” — I know they are very cool — and I know that with so many, I can do something epic with them.

And, at $1 each, not only can I afford to buy them all, but I also know that if I don’t I will regret it.

$3,276 worth of tubes!

So, yes, I am now the proud owner of 14 fiberglass tubes. Each tube is 2″ wide.

But: What are they?

There are a variety of “fiberglass tubes” online that look similar, and after a few minutes of playing with Google I find near-identical looking examples on this site that sells “fiberglass wet exhaust tube connectors” used in the marine (boating) industry. These must be what I have.

How much is my find worth? I find the tube connectors available for sale retail on this site. My 72″ long, 2″ wide tubes are worth $234 each, I calculate. That’s $3,276 for 14! I am rich! 

Alas, I am not keen on selling things like this online: Perhaps they are seconds or rejects. I will keep them and upcycle them into something neat-o for my Lounge. Aren’t they pretty! 

What should I make with them? 
I have 84 linear feet to work with!

Categoriestiki and bars
  1. Tonia says:

    lay them out side by side and create a wooden frame around them, then use them as a divider lit from behind or wall art lit from behind.

  2. Kristina says:

    You are like me. I too am “not keen on selling things online”. I could start a website on my “cool finds” alone. I’ve many items that I’ve purchased for pennies and could sell for much more, all second-hand, but there is something in me that makes it feel dishonest and vulgar to re-sell at a huge profit! I don’t know why, but I find the practice abhorrent.

    But, good for you!! and PS I’d been thinking about visiting our ReStore for months now, especially since we moved from a teeny apartment to a real house. God, I am so grateful for being out of that “multi-unit housing” blechh.

  3. Leila says:

    I am a plant person, so the first thing that came to mind was a cool planter…a long window box ( you can cut the tubes in half and get twice the length ) lay over an mdf box . They’d look great vertically placed around a round planter for a palm tree. Make a tall container to hold umbrellas.. one can be used as the foot rest across the front of a tiki bar or bar stools.. or the rail that folks lean on across the bar. Cut short lengths for towel holders ….

  4. Kim Evans says:

    GREAT find! I know that “I’ll regret it if I don’t get this”; feeling even if I don’t know immediately what I’ll do with it. They do look like bamboo. Cut in half and line them up on the wall…?

  5. Mary-Catherine Meek says:

    I did not read all the comments, but the first thing that came to mind was a tiki hut facade……only maybe 18″ deep that could actually have a buffet board across the 2 sides with an “entryway” in the middle…..3′ buffet boards with a 2′ entryway that actually is open to the “door”.
    Palm frond thatched roof as an overhang sloped from where the wall and ceiling meet down to what seems an appropriate level, overhanging the buffet bar by 3-4 inches.
    The fiberglass tubes could be used in a post and lintel style framing, with grass cloth filling in between…..
    Fake door frame could be fashioned out of the tubes in some way too…..or just a colorful piece of “tropical” print fabric that accents your drapery material, as a doorway “curtain”.
    You will need to carefully figure the tube lengths and how many cuts you will need….to make sure your design uses no more tubes than you have!!!!
    Remember that there is a lot of dust when cutting fiberglass….super duty mask and safety glasses, hat or shower cap, long sleves, pants, etc……you don’t to get that dust on you!!!

  6. Neil says:

    I just KNOW your lounge needs a Tiki Hut Beach Bar!
    These are plenty of poles to fashion a fabulous half-square hut – support poles and roof poles; maybe even outline your bar – all of which you’ll then thatch with some realistic, charming, faux fronds and woven grass-cloth.
    As you’re constructing your inviting hut you’ll run tiny fairy-light strands through the tubes; when you switch on the lights your heart will melt with the glowing, golden invitation to smooth your mumu, pour your relaxing island beverage, and sink into the embracing surf .
    When your guests enter they’ll be transported to the most magical of South-Seas luaus and fall under the lingering spell of Liliuokalani herself, enchanted by the shimmering, swaying, island bar that says, ” Aloha”.

  7. Phillip Dudas says:

    So cool. I used to live in Westfield, MA before moving to Portland, Ore a couple years ago. Pittsfield has a lot of cool architecture in concrete. I heard there was an architect with a large influence on concrete due to the concrete supplier there.

      1. Phillip Dudas says:

        Yeah pretty neat. There is a cool building on Merrill Road next to the Napa auto parts. I also worked one day a week at the TD Bank office downtown and the TD Bank in Adams that closed. I think they were all designed by the same place.

        1. Phillip Dudas says:

          The Adams location had a neat concrete drive up teller with a cutout so the person in the next lane over could see the cars coming too.

  8. Phyllis says:

    I’m very late to this party but I do work for a marine propulsion manufacturer and can safely say that everything made for marine environments is made to a very very high standard, hence the original high price. I suspect these are used in the exhaust of a waterjet propulsion system.

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