Creating Elegance With a Plastic Pipe Project

Just like with any Woodworking or Furniture Building project, the key element in doing elegant work with PVC Plastic Pipe & Pipe Fittings, is craftsmanship. Work carefully and pay attention to details. Some people do not understand that making things from Plastic Pipe can lead to beautiful creations. That is what needs some explanation.

For example, making a project like the Platform Bed out of PVC Plastic Pipe is easier than making it as a woodworking project. For instance, making a bed with this much detail out of wood, would require cutting each piece to width, height and length. With our Plastic Pipe Platform Bed, you just have to cut the various pieces of Pipe to the lengths in the “Cutting Schedule” provided in the Project ePlanSet. The equivalent woodworking project requires making special joints. The Plastic Pipe project does not. The assembly of a Plastic Pipe Project requires the use of a rubber mallet. If you choose to build our Platform Bed, the alignment of all the pieces and gluing are made very easy, if you follow the Project ePlanSet instructions.

As another example, making a very simple project, like our Under Desktop CPU Holder out of CPVC Plastic Pipe, is much easier than making it as a woodworking project or a metal working project. All PVC Plastic Pipe fittings have a natural aesthetic beauty. It has something to do with the implied flow or flowing characteristics. Adding to the beauty and character is the way the socket bells of each fitting are expanded to fit around the Pipe.

There are, however, some inherent distractions to this natural, flowing beauty. But those can easily be corrected by the craftsman. For instance, Plastic Pipe fittings are made of injection molded Plastic. This requires the craftsman to remove all the flashing, and stubs from the sprues, spurs, gates, risers and flues. Knockout bosses, manufacturer’s logos, and mold parting lines all need to be filed or sanded flush and smooth to the contour of the fitting. All stick-on labels need to be removed. Also, the glue for the labels must be removed with a solvent  if you dont, it will mess up your finish later.

The other item the craftsman can do to add elegance to a project is to round over the sharp corners of the Pipe Fitting’s socket bells. This can be done by hand filing, but that is quite tedious. The best way to do this is with a small wood router with roundover bit. As the Table below shows, the roundover bit should have a pilot bearing and be of the correct size for the socket bell wall thickness.

A small wood router can work well for this task. In fact, if you can gently hold the router in some sort of clamping or holding device like a vise, bit side up, then hold the fitting as you feed it into the cutter. Be careful not to squeeze the router case too hard. A router table may work, but sometimes it can be too restricting. Be careful not to get your fingers too close to the cutting blade. Also, it’s always a good idea to wear safety goggles, a dust face mask over your nose and mouth, plus ear plugs.

Platform Bed – Roundover Instruction

Nominal Fitting Diameter

Bit Cutting Radius
CPVC
(Beige Color)

1/2″ – 1″

1/16″
PVC
(White Color)

1/2″

PVC or ABS
(White or Black Color)

3/4″ – 2″

1/8″

3″ or More

1/4″

The photograph shows how the rounded over fittings look on the footboard of

the Platform Bed. They have even been accented with simulated brass trim. http://www.eplansets.com/
About The Author

Doug Stahnke

I design & build elegant furniture, furnishings & fine crafts out of PVC Plastic, CPVC Plastic or ABS Plastic Pipe & Pipe Fittings. From each design, I create a set of Project Plans called Project ePlanSets. These projects are great alternatives to traditional woodworking, using basic woodworking machines & woodworking tools. Also, these projects are generally much easier & more economical to build than an equivalent project made of wood. http://www.eplansets.com/

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