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How to flatten PVC Pipe

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How to flatten PVC Pipe

Unread postAuthor: meatballs » Mon May 07, 2007 1:41 pm

This is a simple easy way to get sheets of pvc.

Materials:
-PVC pipe
-An oven
-A saw
-Two flat surfaces (plywood, sheet metal, etc) to hold the soft pipe flat
-Weights or clamps
-Cookie sheet, brownie pan, etc.
-Tin foil
-Leather gloves, tongs, an oven mitt, etc.

1) Select pipe to be flattened. choose based on the desired thickness, and the area you need. the dimensions of the finished product will be the length of the pipe used x the diameter times pi.

2) Cut one side of the pipe lengthwise so that it will be able to open up and lay flat.

3) Put this on a cookie sheet or brownie pan (the clear glass kind, idk the proper name) or something else suitable. It is best to first cover the pan, cookie sheet, etc. with tin foil to protect it from any pvc. this isn't vital but its a good idea especially if it is a nice piece of kitchenware, or if, like me, you are borrowing it from your mom while she's gone.

4) Heat oven to 300ºF (150ºC) and put the pipe in the oven. Watch the pipe carefully.

5) When it starts to deform, (about five minutes for 3" Sch 40, more for larger sizes and less for smaller sizes) remove the pipe from the pan/cookie sheet (i like to do this with leather gloves, but use whatever you like - oven mitt, tongs, whatever) and place it on on one of the two flat surfaces.

6) Flatten out the pvc and put the other flat surface over it. Apply weights, or clamp it, so the pipe is held flat. wait for it to completely cool before removing it.
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Unread postAuthor: Fat Pants » Mon May 07, 2007 1:43 pm

Nice, to the point guide.

But what would you need pvc sheet for?
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Unread postAuthor: meatballs » Mon May 07, 2007 1:47 pm

many things. Large pvc washers, parts for piston valves, i need it for an idea i had of how to put a valve in a threaded end plug to vent the chamber of my combustion with a chamber fan without having to unscrew it each time. layers may be glued together to make a block and you can make stuff like vortex blocks out of it. very useful. see other topics for more examples, thats all that comes to mind right now.
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Unread postAuthor: pyromanic13 » Mon May 07, 2007 1:49 pm

I've done this... but I boiled the pvc.

nice guide
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Unread postAuthor: homedepotpro » Mon May 07, 2007 2:01 pm

pyromanic13 wrote:I've done this... but I boiled the pvc.

nice guide

you boiled it, that makes it hot enough?
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Unread postAuthor: meatballs » Mon May 07, 2007 2:09 pm

I've tried boiling it too, both in water and in oil (well the oil was just hot, not boiling) and i found that oil works well but its a pain to clean up and uses a lot of oil. the water is ok but it takes a while to get pliable, the pipe has to be fully submerged, and its annoying to have to deal with boiling water. and you cant touch boiling water but you can have your hands and arms in 300 degree air for a short time with no effect. Plus the oven gets the pipe hotter, and is simpler. Boiling water with salt added to raise the boiling point can also work, but having tried all these things, i think the oven method is the easiest.
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Last edited by meatballs on Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: Abigor » Mon May 07, 2007 2:10 pm

Thanks I've been wondering how to make PVC sheeting for ages to base my sparkers on, it used to cost me a fortune buying medicine bottles just to use the lids
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Mon May 07, 2007 2:25 pm

I use a heat gun, takes about 30seconds to heat and flatten a 15cm(6") long piece of 40mm(1 1/2") pipe.
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Unread postAuthor: clide » Mon May 07, 2007 2:27 pm

Yep, heat forming PVC is very useful. Apart from flat sheets you can also use the heat forming method to make a variety of shapes.

If you are making a shape other then a flat sheet you must have parts available to constrain each part of the pipe to the desired shape. It will naturally try to keep it's original tube shape. You must be prepared to do the shaping fast because the piece will quickly lose the ability to do any dramatic shape changes fairly quickly. If the shape is very complicated you probably won't get it on your first try. Just pop it back in the oven and give it another go. You'll have to start all over because it will return to it's original shape, but this time you'll be more prepared to deal with it.

Here are some examples of the useful things I have done with it
<a href="http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/gb-semi-t7899.html">GB Semi</a>
-Sheet PVC used to make the sear, trigger, a small piece that holds the trigger to the handle, and the front piston support.
-Shaped clamp to hold the sear to the gun
-Shaped trigger assembly to be sturdy against the gun and provide the more comfortable oval shaped handle.
-Shaped coupler/spacer piece to help guide the trigger wire.

<a href="http://www.spudfiles.com/spudtech_archive/viewtopic.php?t=12392">Horseshoe Launcher</a> (Updated picture in very last post)
-Shaped stock
-Shaped horseshoe supports
-Shaped trigger assembly
-Shaped scope mount.
-Shaped plate for the rear of the stock.

It has also come in handy to make parts for non spud gun related projects.
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Unread postAuthor: meatballs » Mon May 07, 2007 7:48 pm

good point, you can take the whole reshaping pvc way beond just flattening it. it is a great medium for making all kinds of shapes. that gave me a great idea for a handle i'm making. i'l reshape the T section so it will fit flush against a piece of 4 inch pipe. great ideas, clide
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Unread postAuthor: ammosmoke » Mon May 07, 2007 8:26 pm

Did you guys know that you can just order pvc sheets? They aren't that much, just go to usplastic.com.

Check some of their stuff out here.
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Unread postAuthor: pyromaniac » Mon May 07, 2007 9:15 pm

can this be used to make pvc burst disks? i was just thinking because when it gets flattened it pressure capabilities drop. So maybe this could be a heavy duty burst disk for some cannon.
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Unread postAuthor: meatballs » Mon May 07, 2007 9:58 pm

perhaps if you used thin walled drain pipe it would work for a burst disk. using schedule forty would hold a ton of pressure, since their ratings already include a safety margin and it is very strong. thats a cool idea tho. i would use thin stuff, do some experiments.
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Unread postAuthor: frankrede » Mon May 07, 2007 10:24 pm

Hmm Class 100 pipe would work miracles for a burst disk.
I wouldn't use it in anything short of a sch 80 metal cannon.
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Unread postAuthor: goathunter » Mon May 07, 2007 10:32 pm

Cut cellular core for a burst disk. Take the individual layers apart and use that.Of course that is after you've heated it.I prefer boiling because it stays pliable longer.But oven cooking PVC is faster.I've made knife sheaths out of thin wall 3",using the oven method.And boiling for bending stuff.
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