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Discussion Starter #1
Quick and easy movable PVC joints for your ground breakers or the like.
Warning: PVC gives off toxic fumes when heated, do this outside or in well ventilated area, use a mask if necessary. Also its hot so don't burn yourself.

Tools: Heat gun, clamp, sander or grinder, & drill
IMAG0741.jpg

1. Heat the bottom 2" of the PVC with the heat gun, 2-3 minutes or until the PVC become pliable, you can test by gently pressing the PVC on the work bench/ground to see if its flexible.

2. Once the PVC is heated clamp the bottom squeezing it as tight as possible. Let it cool till you can comfortably touch it.
IMAG0742.jpg

3. Draw a half circle. Then sand, grid file whatever your tool of choice is. (I used a Gatorade lid to draw my circle and a palm sander with heavy grit)
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4. Drill a hole in the center about 1/2" or so down, use your judgement based on your project needs.
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5. Bolt the two sections together (use a locking nut) insert a washer in between (vinyl if you have it otherwise a standard steel will work).
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Tip: If you plan to do both ends make sure the flat surfaces you clamp line up or your prop may not move properly. Prior to heating draw a line down the length of the PVC to ensure the two ends match or use the existing print on the PVC.
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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Pretty smart! I NEVER would ahve thought of that. Best part is that it is real simple and I like simple!
Same here, I wouldn't have thought of something so simple either!!

This is yet another example of why this place kicks so much butt!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the great feedback, Im glad I can contribute to this place.

Addition
To allow the joints to rotate as well as bend.
1. Cut the joint 2"-3" below the flat part .

2. Cut two notches in the pipe on opposite sides leaving about 1/2" in between the cuts. Using a table saw would be best, I tried a drill press drilling several holes in a row. (worked , wouldn't recommend it)
IMAG0752.jpg

3. Sand the notch making sure its smooth.

4. Place your joint over the PVC that will be your arm or leg mark the center of one of the notches. Drill a hole though the PVC. Run a bolt with some washers and a locking nut. Now your can flex and rotate.
IMAG0753.jpg

NOTE: The notches should be square, mine weren't and it did cause a little binding.
 

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Outstanding!! I've been using PVC for the structures of my "monsters" from day one, but this is a great way to get better poses. Excellent idea!!!

In cases like the elbow, or event the shoulder, I could see placing two of your joints close together, perpendicular to each other in order to get certain natural poses. Thanks for the great inspiration!


However, for your rotating joint, if you are just trying to position the angle of that joint, a dry fit slip joint would work just as well. Sometimes I place a screw through the slip joint and the tubes to assure no movement and/or if there is weight (like a hand holding a lantern).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
However, for your rotating joint, if you are just trying to position the angle of that joint, a dry fit slip joint would work just as well. Sometimes I place a screw through the slip joint and the tubes to assure no movement and/or if there is weight (like a hand holding a lantern).
My thought on the rotation was to accommodate some rotating movement if the placement of the limb for visual effect hinders the bending of the joint.
 

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cheap and easy
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discozombie I hope you won't mind if I add something to your how to


If you don't have a heat gun you can use hot/boiling water to soften the PVC only takes a few seconds in the water.. 10-20

I do this to make the cams for another prop so I use small pieces (usually do 10 at a time) but if your piece of PVC is longer just hold it in the water





Also after you get the PVC flat cold water sets it instantly
 

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This is so great and simple that I can't stop laughing in amusement. :D I envision many propbuilders making revisions to their assorted goodies!
 

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cheap and easy
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As long as an inch or two of PVC is sticking out of the water you should be OK but I have really tough hands. To be safe grab it with pliers and with in a second or two the PVC that was sticking out of the water will be warn to hot but will not burn you. The end in the water will stay soft longer. I probably did 200 pieces like that in boiling water and never got a burn. The water is only a inch or two deep.

Hot glue is a different story...ouch just about every day.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm so confused but have a need to form PVC. Can someone make a phone video and post! I learn by watching!
Their are two different methods at work here, the heat gun method I started the thread with, and the boiling water method added later. I can make you a video when time permits.
 
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