I was recently working on a project where I needed to bend pvc pipes into smooth, round shapes. After some trial and error I found an easy way to get great results.
Step 1: Testing
First of all, cut your pipe to size, I used a variation of different sized pipes for this test. I found that if you heat up the pipe only with a heat gun from the outside it's hard to get a smooth curve, and you easily get kinks. Plus, you can only heat up a small section at a time. What I needed to do was find a way to heat up the pipe from the inside out.
Step 2: Tape the End
Duck tape on the end makes a nice block and then I measured out how much sand fit inside the pipe. I used regular sand that I had on hand and then I heat it up in a pot until it was pretty hot.
Step 3: Filling the Pipe
I filled the pipe almost to the top, maybe with two inch empty space, and taped it shut.
Let the pipe rest for a few minutes to heat up thoroughly. Then with gloved hands you can start bending and manipulating the pipes. You can either do this freehand, or bend around something, like a jig or something round to get a precise shape.
Step 4: Different Pipes
Once I held the shape for a little while, I poured out the sand, and there you go!
I tried this technique with a couple of different sized pipes. The larger pipes took longer to heat up and were a little harder to bend, however it's still possible to get slight curves. The thinner pipes however become very maluable and easy to bend into all sorts of crazy shapes!
Step 5: Conclusion - Watch the Video
For a much better perspective, make sure to watch the video that goes over the steps, and to see how easily the different pipes bend.
Second Prize in the
PVC Contest 2017
Haunted Spider made it!