Glueless PVC Joints That Stay Stuck Together But Can Be Taken Apart in Seconds!

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Introduction: Glueless PVC Joints That Stay Stuck Together But Can Be Taken Apart in Seconds!

About: Special Effects designer, nerd, maker, a monocle and high collared cape away from being a mad scientist.
I love PVC pipe and tubing.  You can build awesome projects with it like Trebuchets, Steady cam systems, Light stands, Green houses, and tons more. Its a grownups (and kids) big erector set. But some things are too big to glue together so you want to disassemble them. Problem is sometimes your project just wont stay together without some glue. Using PVC glue is messy and smelly.

Now some have asked why I did not just buy some metal spring pins or clevis pins. There are a few reasons. Metal on plastic tends to wear down the plastic and make sloppy joints. The metal spring pins are too tough to push into a tight fitting hole and hard to drill to add a key ring. Plus you can make hundreds of these for pennies where as hardware can end up costing you a lot more money.


Here is my quick, easy, cheap and light solution to this problem:

(the next steps show you what I show you in the video below)

Step 1: First Gather Your Supplies


You will need:
  • Key rings, you can get 50 for a couple bucks at a stationary store
  • 1/4" poly tubing. You can get 25' of this at a hardware store for less than 5 bucks
Tools:
  • Drill
  • 1/16" drill bit
  • 3/32" drill bit
  • Utility or hobby knife
  • Pencil sharpener

Step 2: The Less Than 30 Second Build


  • First cut about a 1" section of tubing off
  • next drill a 1/16" hole in one end of the tubing to put a keyring on
  • taper the other end of the tubing
  • cut a slot along the length of the tube starting from 1/8" from the edge of the keychain hole to the end of the taper
  • pinch the tubing so that it curls under itself

Voila little plastic spring pin! 

Step 3: Drill Holes in Your PVC Fittings and Tubing...


Now take the PVC structure you have made (I just have some scraps here to demonstrate) 
Fit the parts together so they fit snugly
Drill a 3/32" hole thru the fitting and into the PVC pipe like shown in the pictures
Insert your new handy dandy whizzy pin!

Your done a glue-less joint that wont fall apart. This can be handy when prototyping, you have something big you want to break into smaller pieces, or something you just need to take apart.

Have fun!

Let us know how you use these, we want to know. 

Again here is the video for you to see first hand how its built. they take about 20-30 seconds each but this video is 6 min to show you how... thanks for checking out my ible, dont forget to comment and like it. We have fragile egos and need a boost now and again :) 

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    17 Comments

    0
    Ogredude
    Ogredude

    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is fantastic! This technique will surely see some use in the fan-run convention I help out with. We build lots of stuff out of PVC.

    0
    Rosh_17
    Rosh_17

    Question 8 months ago on Introduction

    Can I use this technique to connect heavy parts? So the reason I want to connect two PVC pipes, is to connect a heavy cosplay 'wings' that I made to fit to the base. I can't use a screw connecter because it will hard to rotate and screw the wings onto the base, if you get the picture. So I want to know it it can hold a weight of 5-7 kgs?

    0
    paulalarsen214
    paulalarsen214

    1 year ago

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing a neat trick. People like you make the world a cooler place.

    0
    Kseaman
    Kseaman

    Question 2 years ago

    Hello!
    I’m new to building gadgets with pvc, and I’ve got a question... I watched your video on how to pin pvc together but my problem is the fittings are too tight. I struggle to get them apart... is there a trick to making it smoother/easier to pull apart? I’m working with 1 and 1/2 pipe

    0
    gravityisweak
    gravityisweak

    Answer 2 years ago

    Try sanding the inside of your fitting with some sandpaper wrapped around a cylindrical object. Swirl it around a few times and test fit. It shouldn't take much.

    0
    MechanicalMashup
    MechanicalMashup

    Answer 2 years ago

    No idea on how to pull them apart easier. Maybe not push them in so hard to start with? To be honest I have not worked much with larger pipes so I really do not have anything to offer. Sorry!

    0
    diyaggie
    diyaggie

    3 years ago

    Hey, thanks for the idea and video! I'd buy a package if they weren't an exorbitant amount of money. I can handle a drill but I'd rather be ready to go instead of having another step to climb. (This coming from the lady of the house).

    0
    Dahlia Romain
    Dahlia Romain

    3 years ago

    Awesome ! I make tons of halloween projects and cannot wait to try this !

    Keep posting !

    0
    KelloT
    KelloT

    4 years ago

    how strong is this setup?

    0
    DennisTheBald

    That's nice. The key ring doesn't seem to add much tho. Make the circle of wire bigger, then fold it in half like a taco, with the one end of the fold right through the end of the plug. Then, after you push the pin through the two pipes you can hook the loose end of the wire taco over the other end of the pin and kinda lock it in place, like the metal "grenade" pins they sell at the hardware store.

    0
    Dream Dragon
    Dream Dragon

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Love this idea! I'd like to see some projects that use this system.

    0
    MechanicalMashup
    MechanicalMashup

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    The projects using these are coming soon :) thanks for the pat on the back!

    0
    momm
    momm

    8 years ago on Introduction

    great idea, love the idea of functional easy erecter-ible objects. thank you.

    0
    technovative
    technovative

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Interesting alternative to using screws to fasten PVC pipe and fittings together.

    0
    MechanicalMashup
    MechanicalMashup

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Ya I tried screws and wanted something for a faster tear down, that did not take any power tools and did not slowly make for lose joints. You can also carry these in your pocket and not worry about being stabbed in the leg from a screw :)