10 Life Hacks with PVC #20
Here is the 20th Edition to our “10 Life Hacks with PVC” Series. We built and tested these projects with success. I hope you can benefit from some of these awesome life hacks.
1. Car Pet Barrier
2. Screwdriver Helper
3. Sink Drain Helper
4. Simple Curtain Rod
6. Plant Holder
7. Plug Reach
8. Taper Holder
9. Sandpaper Rod
10. Strut Helper
If you would like the video version of this Instructable and the embedded video does not appear, here is an alternative link
Find other awesome projects at www.specificlove.com
Just remember that PVC is only a form of hard plastic. It can and will break if too much weight or force is applied and injuries can occur. Please use caution when using anything made from PVC. Use of content for personal projects is at your own risk.
Step 1: Car Pet Barrier
Car Dog Barrier
Have you ever tried to travel with your dog? If so then you know that they love be up front with you which can become a major distraction when you are the driver.
Now here is a great dog barrier you can make to solve that problem.
- 1/2-inch PVC pipe
- (1) 4-way connector
- (1) T-connector
- (4) 45 degree elbows
- (2) 90 degree elbows
- Zip ties
Starting with the 4-way, you want to have it centered between the seats and height wise between the top of the seat and the bottom of the head rests. Then you can place a pipe reaching to the floor on the bottom of the 4-way once the position is found.
Then place a pipe on the top that is around 5-6 inches long. You can adjust this length to fit your cars needs. On the top, place a T-connector.
Next you will need to run pipes out the sides of the 4-way and T-connector. These pipes need to stop about 2-inches from the sides of the vehicle.
I found that the bottom pipes were longer than the top pipes because the slope of the sides of my car. This should be common with most cars, but adjust as needed.
On the ends of the top pipes I added a 45-degree elbow, a short section of pipe, another 45 elbow which connected to a 90-degree elbow that held the bottom pipe. Both sides looked similar.
I then used some zip ties (cable ties) to attach the bottom pipes to the head rest posts. This secured it in place.
Now my dog will stay in the backseat, which is safest for both of us.
Step 2: Screwdriver Helper
Have you ever tried to use a screwdriver, but you just needed some additional pushing and twisting force? Here is a great way to help.
- PVC T-connector (sized opening must be just slightly smaller than screwdriver)
- Short piece of PVC pipe (sized with T-connector)
- High output Hairdryer
First find a PVC T-connector that is slightly smaller than the screwdriver that you are using. A 3/4-inch version worked with mine, but your screwdriver might be different. In one of the side outlets, place a short piece of pipe. This will help protect your hand from being burned.
Now take a hairdryer and start to heat the T-connector. Keep the connectors moving back and forth to keep it from burning. (Burning is very bad.)
After a while the T-connector will begin to become soft. Be careful not to get burned because it can be very hot.
Now carefully wedge the screwdriver into the connector. Then give the connector 10 minutes to cool down and the screwdriver helper is complete.
Step 3: Sink Drain Helper
Sink Drain Helper
Have ever been working in your sink and you either have really hot water or chemicals, and you really do not want to reach you hand in to grab the plug? Here is a great tool to make for that situation.
- 1/2-inch PVC pipe (about 8 inches long)
- Thin saw
- Small file
On one end of the pipe, use a thin saw to cut a slot that goes just past the halfway mark and stop.
Then make a second cut, at a 45-degree angle that connects to the first slot at its stopping point. (see attached photos)
If needed, use a small file to clean up any burs.
Now you can use this tool to grab the sink plug anytime you need. It can be stored behind the faucet or in a cabinet.
Step 4: Simple Curtain Rod
Simple Curtain Rod
Do you have a small area were you could use a curtain but you just do not want to spend the money on a custom fitting rod? Here is a simple way to make one.
- 1/2-inch PVC pipe
- Small trim nails
- Lightweight cloth fabric
- Small saw
I had a bathroom in my basement that really needed a small curtain under my sink.
So I grabbed a piece of 1/2-inch PVC pipe marked the width of the opening, and trimmed it to size.
I then added a small notch with a saw to only one side of the pipe. The notch was just big enough to slide in a small trim nail.
I then found the location underneath the sink where I wanted the pipe to hang. I added a nail to each side, making sure to leave about half of it sticking out.
I tested fitted the pipe by sliding the pipe over the first nail, and then slipping the second nail through the small notch.
I them added the fabric to the pipe and the underside of the sink was now hidden from the world.
Just remember that this is for narrow areas only or the pipe could warp quickly.
Step 5: Shoehorn
Have you ever had a hard time trying to get your foot in your shoe? Then you might need a heavy duty shoehorn.
- 1.5 inch PVC pipe (about 8-inches long)
- File or sandpaper
First take the pipe and cut the pipe long ways about 5-6 inches. Make sure the cut is offset from the center. By doing this, you should be cutting the pipe into a 2/3 section and a 1/3 section.
Next, you will need to remove the 2/3 section by cutting in from the side of the pipe.
Once the larger section is removed, use a file or sandpaper to flatten and sharp edges.
Now you should have a heavy duty shoehorn with a nice comfortable handle.
Step 6: Plant Holder
- 4-inch PVC S&D pipe (thin walled version)
-  4-inch S&D end caps
- PVC glue (cement)
Take the PVC pipe and cut it in half long ways. This will allow you to have two equal halves of the pipe. This will also allow you to place one inside of the other and change the size of the opening to your choice.
Now glue the end caps to only the outer half, making sure not to get any glue on the inner half.
Once everything is dry, you can add potting soil and the plants of your choice.
As an option, you can place some hooks in the end caps so you can hang it from a rope.
Step 7: Plug Reach
- 1-inch PVC pipe
Have you ever had an electrical outlet that was just a little out of reach? Whether it was in the ceiling or just past a large desk or cabinet, they are just a pain to know they are there but useless. Here is a great way to fix that.
Get some 1-inch PVC pipe to your desired length.
Cut a notch in one side of the pipe. (see picture) The notch will need to be about 2 inches long. (I have found that this can sometimes be easier if you drill a hole into the pipe first.) Then take a file and smooth all of the rough edges.
Then take your plug and slide the cable through the notch. The plug should fit into the end of the pipe. Then stretch the cable down the length of the pipe and hold it with your thumb.
Now you can stretch the pipe to the outlet and insert the plug.
Simple and easy.
Step 8: Tape Holder
- 1/2 inch PVC pipe
If you are like me, you use a nail to hang tape on the wall in your garage, but that can get a little bulky and messy. He is a simple way to organize that tape.
If you use a piece of 1/2 inch PVC pipe, you can easily organize the tape on the wall.
You can use string or about anything to attach the pipe to a nail.
I used a carabiner on one side and some string on the other so I could use the existing nails.
Step 9: Sandpaper Rod
- 1-inch PVC pipe
- sheet of sandpaper
If you do a lot of work with sand paper, then you know how hard round valleys can be to sand. Here is a great tool for you.
I took a piece of 1-inch PVC and glued a section of sandpaper on to one side.
With this setup you can have a separate grit of paper on each side.
Once the sandpaper has become warn, just peel it off and glue on some more.
This is a great accessory tool to have in the tool box.
Step 10: Strut Helper
If you happen to have a car with a strut assembly to help with your rear door or hatch and it has worn out, it can be a real challenge when you are loading anything.
But if you can find a piece of PVC pipe that will fit over the existing strut, it can act as a strut holder when you open the door.
If sized correctly, the pipe will sit below the bottom of the strut and hold the weight. (see pictures)
Make sure the pipe is not longer that the needed area or it will not hold.
Make sure the area around the strut is wide enough to house the added size.
Step 11: Other Great Uses for PVC Pipe
Other PVC Life Hack Videos
Find other awesome projects at www.specificlove.com
Just remember that PVC is only a form of hard plastic. It can and will break if too much weight or force is applied and injuries can occur. Please use caution when using anything made from PVC. Use of video content for personal projects is at your own risk.