Make a Chain From a PVC Pipe

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About: Innovative Projects, Diy's, Life Hacks

In this Instructable, I demonstrate a way to make a chain from a PVC pipe.

It's a pretty simple and cheap thing to do.

What will you need:

  • PVC pipe
  • Some kind of cutting tool (e.g rotary tool, saw, pipe cutter)
  • Sandpaper or sanding tool
  • A blade that you can attach to a soldering iron or a blade and a candle.

Step 1:

I started with a short PVC pipe.

I used a rotary tool and a custom made attachment to cut 60 rings.

Of course, you don't need an attachment to do it.

A rotary tool or a saw will do just fine.

You can also use a pipe cutter.

Step 2:

Then I changed the rotary tool's accessory to a sanding disk and sanded those rings a little bit.

Make sure to wear a respirator when sanding and cutting PVC pipes.

Expect to have a lot of dust.

Step 3:

I could have made a chain with round rings, but I wanted it to look more traditional.

I heated up the rings with a heat gun for around 10 - 15 seconds.

Then I slid them onto a USB card reader. It happened to be a perfect shape for this project.

When the links were formed, I did the same thing with rest of the rings.

Step 4:

I made a cut in every other link.

Then I joined them.

Step 5:

I attached a blade to my soldering iron to make the procedure easier.

Alternatively you can heat up the blade on a candle or torch.

I used the blade to melt the plastic. Then I pressed the link together to close it.

Step 6:

That's it!

Our PVC Chain is ready!

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    17 Discussions

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    AshaiRey

    22 days ago

    To reduce some of the work. You only have to cut half of the rings to make this work as a chain. Just cut one. Add two uncut rings to on cut ring.

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    CathyNoyb

    Question 4 weeks ago on Step 6

    What do you think the breaking strength of this chain might be? I'm considering this for a small bird feeder that weighs only a few ounces empty, but with food and a bird or two, I'm not sure how much it would total and if this chain would be strong enough.

    2 answers
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    ShakeTheFutureCathyNoyb

    Answer 27 days ago

    Can't give you the exact weight-hold number, but It's pretty strong. Holding a bird feeder should not be a problem. Pull the chain in different places to make sure there are no weak links. If they are melted together properly, the chain should be quiet strong.
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    peterman921

    4 weeks ago

    using CA glue makes a stronger bond than the pvc itself

    of course the cuts need to be clean and square

    1 reply
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    Kdemon

    Question 4 weeks ago

    Do you have an STL / Thingiverse link for the PVC rotary tool attachmnet?

    1 answer
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    ShakeTheFutureKdemon

    Answer 4 weeks ago

    Unfortunately, I don't have an STL.
    This project was done more than a year ago and the attachment was something I made just for single use and never bothered to save the file.
    I should learn from my mistakes and always keep the files.

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    seamster

    4 weeks ago

    Nice to see a new project from you, and a very very clever one at that. Well done!

    You're a brave man (step 4) . . my fingers felt a little pain just seeing the proximity of the rotary blade to your own fingertips!! ; )

    3 replies
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    ShakeTheFutureseamster

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    Thanks Seamster!
    Those blades are not that sharp. Sure, I could cut my finger badly, but because it's so small and light, it's easy to control.
    I would not put my fingers that close to a proper blade :)

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    MikBShakeTheFuture

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    I can't quite tell from the picture, but if it's the mini razor-saw slitting blades, then I don't even like using them handheld, at all, because they have tendency to catch and take off (cartoon style) across the workpiece and aim straight for any body parts :(

    If it's the cut-off discs (thin grinders), then maybe you get away with it, like when you accidentally file your finger: A file will remove material from wood/metal/plastic but not so much with skin ... !

    But I echo seamster's thought. :)

    I do like the "hot knife" attachment though, gas-soldering iron kits often come with a hot-knife attachment, though not as sharp as yours.

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    ShakeTheFutureMikB

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    Yeah, Maybe I should start using gloves :)

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    caitd3

    4 weeks ago

    This is super cool! I am going to try it for sure. Thanks. Great video too.

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    arawn

    4 weeks ago

    I'm working on a prop of the Combat Cross from Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, and this comes very handy. Thank you.

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    bakichmg

    4 weeks ago

    Good idea using the blade in the soldering iron.

    1 reply
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    ShakeTheFuturebakichmg

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    Thanks!
    It was actually a while ago when I did this project. After doing it, I found a proper soldering iron- blade attachment that you can buy and I did.
    I guess it's for people who do wood burning.