I jumped on it. Been wanting to do some acrylic and figure good a time as any. So far..not bad. Couple things I noticed with this stuff. The fittings are larger than I thought they would be. It isn't a big deal, as they are not any larger than other fittings. For the same size standard tubing, 3/8 id x 1/2od...the rigid fittings are larger. I should clarify "larger". Larger meaning overall diameter. The same size in a standard compression fitting..like these EKs is about 19mm. Height, not counting threads, about 21mm. The new rigid fittings are 24.5mm wide and only 13mm tall (not counting threads).
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I found installing the tubing into the fittings was fairly simple. Depending on how you decide to cut it, you will STILL need to do a little clean up work as any excess on the outside diameter of the tubing will prevent it from going thru the fitting top or going into the recessed inside of the fitting. Here are a few pictures of the fittings, inside and out. Figured it may help some guys as there are no good pictures showing them close up. Also some pictures with a small piece of tubing installed. As you can see, I used a nice cleaned up end and also the kinda ragged one. Both go right in and tighten right up. Me, I am still gonna do the cleanup on both inner and outers.
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What I was wondering..and probably some others as well, what is the tightest 90 and 180 you can do with these. Sometimes you need a bend that comes right out of the block for clearances and other times you need the tubing to start in one direction and then go directly the opposite way. Well, I managed to get a very tight 90 out of a block but I don't think it is as tight as using a 90 adapter and standard fitting. You can get the bend closer to the end making is shorter, but then you run into issues with the threaded top getting into the radius of your bend. One, it makes is very difficult to turn, and two...it scratches the tubing. I imagine you could tighten up the distance by installing the tube, oring and cap at once, and then turning them all in unison, but I would think there would be very limited places that could be done and you will prob only shave 1/4 inch of the overall height of the 90.
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For 180s...I was able to use a ceramic nozzle about 3/4" diameter and get an overall width of less than 2" That is not bad. Not sure if you can go much tighter, but if you can..it will not be too much more.
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Another issue I ran into. With normal compression fittings, there is a base and the top like these. The difference with these...once the top is threaded down, there is NOTHING to hold onto to either tighten or loosen without the whole fitting turning in the block, let alone just taking the fitting apart in the first place. 8 out of the 10 I got I needed to gently use a pair of toothless taped covered pliers to hold the threads to take the tops off. Also used this same technique to remove them after test fitting and such. To me honest...complete pita. I would be happy to sacrifice some overall height to have a bit of a base to work with. Maybe once these get more widely used, they will come up with a revision with such a setup. These can't use the same type internal design of the Monsoons but possibly a internal hex would work. Anyway...just giving my experience in hopes it will help some guys make a decision about using them. Overall, I am pleased so far. I ran out of tubing and need one more fitting to finish the l00p, then I will go about pressure and leak testing and report back.
Side note: You can get some crazy bends with this stuff, but be careful how crazy you go. Get too many twists and turns and you have some troubles pulling the inner tube back out. (even with the oil like that suggested) I did manage to break one of my more complex bends trying to do just that. Few of the bends. They look so nasty due to the sanding dust and oil still in them. Sorry.
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