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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, guys!

Last year, I attempted to make a tall, static "pumpkin man" for my spooky circus display. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get the arms and legs to stay in position. i thought that tape would be enough, but after a short period of time, his arms began to fall, and his legs bent in a way that no longer supported his structure. I opted to rearrange his limbs and seat him instead.

pumpkinman.jpg

This year I've begun making a different, paper mache pumpkin head for him, and want to go in more of a scarecrow direction, so I want him standing/walking. I'll be adding some bulk to his body, so I need to be sure his arms and legs won't move within the connectors. I also need to be able to take him apart for storage, so gluing them into place isn't an option right now. I've thought of drilling holes through the connectors and pipe for screws, but that's all I've got so far. Any suggestions?

TIA!
 

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Keeper of Spider Hill
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You are on the right track. We use self drilling screws for all of our static and animated PVC prop kits and they work great. The trick is not to over tighten them. You want to make sure you slow your drill down as the screws tighten so you don't strip the PVC. This will also allow you to remove them if you need to break your prop down for storage. You can find self drilling screws at Home Depot and Lowes.

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I bend 3/4" pvc pipe with a spring inside and a heat gun, this way I can get any angle I want. About $25 at Harbor Freight for the gun and $5 for a spring that fits inside. Attach an unbent wire coat hanger to the spring and slide it into the section that is to be bent. Do this outside with plenty of fresh air, because if it burns the fumes stink and is probably not good for you. Heat it till it softens being careful not to burn it, rotate the pipe heating evenly. Once it is pliable bend to the desired angle and allow to cool. Once it is cooled pull out the spring and your done. There are videos on YouTube you can watch with this and other techniques. To me this was the simplest way to get good results.
 

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I "stabilized a cheap plastic skeleton (That looked "Good!" by running 3/8 steel rebar behind his bones where nobody can see it. I think I might have used those nylon "Zip-ties to hold it to the skeleton?
I also welded some thin, flat steel to the ends of the rebar and drilled 1/4 inch holes and bolted it together.
(I Really don't like having to keep fixing the same stuff over and over. "Steel " slows down the fixing rate time.)
 

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Funeral Crasher
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Yea, I just drill a small hole through both PVC pieces then put in a small wood screw. Make sure the screw is long enough to go into both PVC pieces.
I've done this for years and never had a problem.
 

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LoveAndEyeballs, Sorry I wasn't very clear, I use one solid piece of pvc to make each leg or arm eliminating the joints. I make the joint at the waist slip apart for storage. You could also try gluing the end of the joint that weight makes twist or move, leaving the other end of the connector dry to allow disassembly.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ah, I see. :) Yeah, I do need to use connectors so I can break the figures down further (not much room to store.) I may try your suggestion of gluing/cementing one side of the connector; that's a good idea. Thanks!
 

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LoveandEyeballs, Diabolic and DaveintheGrave have the absolute best answer to your problem. While Dave uses regular screws and drills a small pilot hole I use the method from Diabolik...the self taping screw. Either will work great to stabilize your PVC props and after Halloween just remove the screws and pack the frame away until next year.
 

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Find the position you want and drill a 1/8 hole all the way through the connector and PVC pipe. Inset a # 6 finish nail and the joint will not move. Take the nail out and the joint will come apart for storage. I mark the joints with a sharpie so assemble goes faster the next year.
 
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