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pvc pipe building Answered

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After seeing the pvc stepladder project (one of many projects on this page), I'm temped to make some pvc scaffolding for low height applications.




5 years ago

Schedule 40 is the white fittings and SCH 80 is the grey. SCH 80 is much thicker and much more $$. I see the weakest links here as the SCH 40 fittings.

I think for scaffolding the spans would be to great and you may need to sleeve the pipe.....adding weight

Great link, thanks

I do not see how PVC pipe ios better than lumber. After the scaffold, the lumber might be a better better reused.
If you are concerned about making the joints true and strong, you may wish to use corner clamps and/or various galvanized metal connectors.
I always like to talk to my local lumber store ( Craftwood Lumber) I always walk out of the store smarter than when I walked in. And I imagine those guys are always more amused by the time I walk out.

I think the costs for all the fittings would add up real quick. I would feel more secure with wood or metal pipe scaffolding as they would not have as much bounce as with pvc pipe and fittings. Depending if you were to weigh down your scaffolding with say a 5-gal bucket full of tools or paint, you would have to engineer that in your scaffold design.

When you need building maintenance completed and the building is taller than just a few stories, there are usually only two options available to get high access: scaffolding hire or a rope access company. There are costs that are involved with any kind of building maintenance, so it’s important to look at the two options carefully to see why rope access is so much more affordable.


My first thoughts on constructing a scaffold was to use 3" schedule 80 piping.

I mostly work by myself on hobby construction (ex I'm finishing up a two story barn at the moment) and it took me a whole day to build temporary wood scaffolding. Admittedly, I haven't priced metal scaffolding but just assume it would be expensive. And given the fact that I live in northern Canda, I would have to drive for a few hours to rent scaffolding.

One of the reasons I like instructable so much is that I live in a community where people are relatively affluent; our dump is a treasure trove of project material, including PVC pipe.

Thanks for your thoughts. I think I will price out buying some metal scaffolding first, but experiment with some low height pvc scaffolding for cleaning windows and painting trim.

For stability you wouldn't want any of the pipes to be longer then 2 feet. I would recommend no longer then 1 foot. Any longer and the pipe will bow and could break. That would mean allot of joints to get a decent sized scaffold together. You can see how short the pieces are in the picture and how short the lengths are. That was necessary to make a step ladder that wouldn't flex and break on you.