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DIY Height-Adjustable EMT Conduit Sun Shade

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

Plan to spend time outdoors for play, gardening, or other work? Sun shades offer an attractive and playful way to provide protection from excess UV light and heat for yourself, your family, and your pets! In this article, I share a step-by-step build to build your own adjustable sun shade using telescoping poles made from EMT conduit! This sun shade can be created out of three or four conduit poles, or from two poles if a tree or the side of a building is used as another anchor point.


DIY Adjustable Sun Shade Made from EMT Conduit
DIY Adjustable Sun Shade Made from EMT Conduit

EMT (electric metallic tubing) conduit is a type of steel tubing available from most hardware stores, which is typically used for routing electrical wires in buildings, but which has grown in popularity for do-it-yourself (DIY) projects due to its low-cost, strength, and convenience for purchase. Elation Sports Technologies offers a UV-resistant adapter to easily create a telescoping pole from 1/2", 3/4", and 1" sizes of EMT conduit!


Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.


Supplies:


Step 1: Measure and Cut

Decide on the maximum height of your sun shade (note you can independently adjust each pole as desired after construction.) Let's say we want each of the sun shade's anchoring poles to be extendable to a maximum of 12 feet tall. Each of the three sections of each pole will be four to five feet in length in order to have a bit of overlap between the sections. The bottom section will be a section of 1" size conduit, the middle section will be the 3/4" conduit, and the top will be the 1/2" conduit. Measure 5 feet on each piece of conduit using a tape measure, and mark it. Wearing appropriate safety gear (e.g. safety glasses), cut your conduit pieces at the marked points using a rotary tool cutter. Remove any sharp edges or burrs using a rotary deburring tool, metal file, or Dremel tool where needed.


EMT Conduit Cutting and Deburring Instructions
EMT Conduit Cutting and Deburring Instructions

Step 2: Assemble the Telescoping Portion

These EMT conduit telescoping clamps make it easy to create a telescoping pole out of EMT conduit! They're made of injection-molded UV-resistant and durable plastic which is suitable for outdoor use, and they clamp onto the outside of the conduit - no drilling required!


EMT Conduit Telescoping Pole Assembly Instructions
EMT Conduit Telescoping Pole Assembly Instructions

Add one pole clip to the top piece of 1/2" EMT conduit using a Phillips head screwdriver. These will serve as the anchor points for your sun shade.


EMT Conduit Mounted Clip
EMT Conduit Mounted Clip

Step 3: Stake the Poles

Find an area in the ground with minimal rocks, where the ground stakes can be inserted. Lay your sun shade flat on the ground (steaming/flattening the sun shade may be necessary prior to hanging it, in order to remove wrinkles.) Position the 4 x ground stakes approximately 1 foot beyond each of the four corners of the sun shade, and insert them into the earth, pressing them with your foot, or using a mallet to install them.


If you're using a triangle sun shade such as this one, only 3 x EMT conduit poles are needed, instead of four.


Insert the 1" EMT conduit (bottom section) of each telescoping pole into each of the ground stakes. The fit may be a bit light and require the use of a mallet to install - this tight fit helps to strengthen the hold.


Sun Shade Footprint Planning
Sun Shade Footprint Planning

1" EMT Conduit Ground Stake
1" EMT Conduit Ground Stake

Step 4: Attach the Sun Shade

Use the carabiners that come included with the pole clips to attach the sun shade to the 4 x EMT conduit poles. Adjust the heights of the poles to create an aesthetic sloping or saddle effect for the sun shade as desired.


There you have it - a DIY sunshade using telescoping EMT conduit poles! This project is not only cost-effective, but also provides the flexibility of adjusting the height of the shade according to your needs. Enjoy your time outdoors while staying protected from the sun!


Telescoping EMT Conduit Clip
Telescoping EMT Conduit Clip

Height Adjustable EMT Conduit Sun Shade
Height Adjustable EMT Conduit Sun Shade

Height Adjustable EMT Conduit Sun Shade
Height Adjustable EMT Conduit Sun Shade

DIY Adjustable Sun Shade Made from EMT Conduit
DIY Adjustable Sun Shade Made from EMT Conduit

Conclusion

In this article, I showed how you can construct your own DIY sun shade using telescoping poles made from EMT conduit! The telescoping couplings used for this project are available for purchase from Elation Sports Technologies:

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Elation Sports Technologies LLC offers mechanical and electrical engineering design consulting. I'd be happy to discuss your project's needs to see how we may assist you - simply reach out to schedule a chat.


Thanks for reading!


Austin Allen

Founder and Owner

Elation Sports Technologies LLC




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