This is my first Instructable. I figured I'd start small with a helpful hint. This Instructable shows how to bell the end of a PVC pipe so that another piece can be nested in it.
I was a Peace Corps volunteer for three years. In Panama, I had a chance to work with a few aqueduct projects. These projects basically amounted to laying a PVC pipe in a stream at a high elevation and diverting water over a distance to a home or field kitchen. PVC pipe in Panama comes with a bell (or hub) on each end of the tube, so consecutive pieces can be nested, one in another, for infinity. This works great for a single line, but eventually you'll have two non-belled ends which you need to join. This could be solved with a coupler and some cement. But, since most of the pipe we worked with in Panama was donated, and the patrons never thought that far ahead, people learned to improvise. Using fire, you can soften the PVC to the point that you can work another piece inside it, such that a bell is formed. I had to use this technique recently, while installing some electrical conduit. I found myself closer to a blow torch than to a hardware store, so I figured the belling technique was the way to go.
Step 1: Materials
PVC Pipe: I used 1" electrical conduit. This could work for other sizes, but I imagine thinner-walled pipe would be easier to work with on this technique.
Pipe Cutter: or a hacksaw.
Fire: I used a blow torch. In Panama, the people were prone to use camp or cooking fires. Either works. After I took photos of this demo, I was informed that a heat gun works for this technique, as well, without the scorching.
"Round file": this is optional and is used the remove any scorched material.