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Video:Cut and Bend PVC Pipe

with Serge Abellard

Learn how to easily work with PVC pipe. We'll explain the materials, then show you how to cut and bend PVC pipe.See Transcript

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Transcript:Cut and Bend PVC Pipe

Hey everyone, my name is Matt Underwood with About.com and today I am here to teach you how to cut and bend PVC pipe into any shape you want.

Supplies Needed to Cut and Bend PVC Pipe

You will need, a hacksaw, clamps, oven mitts, a funnel, tape measure, pan, PVC pipe, fittings and some sand.

Cut the PVC Pipe

OK everyone so your first step is to cut your PVC pipe. Most hardware stores when you buy the pipe will offer to cut it for you. If you don't want to do that or you are more of a do it yourself person you can use a miter saw or hack saw.

So we take our PVC pipe, measure out the length that we want. Let's say for this section about 2 feet. Now we will use our C-Clamps to clamp the pipe to the table. When you start this cut, your first cut should be one smooth long motion to get a grove into the PVC pipe. When you finished with your cut, make sure to smooth off all of the shavings at the end of the cut so the caps can go on nice and smooth.

Bend PVC Pipe

One well known way to bend PVC is using a propane torch. The only problem this presents is it gives you an elbow joint bed. The trick to getting a nice smooth bend in PVC is hot sand.

So our next step is to heat up the sand so its good and hot by the time we are ready to use it. As a quick side note, to ensure this process will work, you need to make sure you buy the thin walled PVC. The thick walled or schedule 40 will be too strong for the sand to bend. In order for the sand to effectively bend the PVC pipe, it needs to be really hot. So we are going to set our oven to 525 degrees. Leave the sand in the oven for about 15-20 minutes so it gets good and hot so in the meantime lets prep for the rest of the project.

Take one of your caps and place it on one end leaving the other end open to pour the sand in. You won't have much time once you take the sand out of the oven because it will cool fairly quickly so make sure you do this before you take the sand out of the oven. Remember that when removing the sand from the oven and pouring it into the pipe, the sand is 525 degrees so make sure you wear protective hand gear.

Now we are pouring our hot sand into the tube one scoop at a time until the tube is full. Usually two scoops will do it. When the tube is full, take the funnel out and cap off the other end. Now slip on your other glove and the tube is warm enough to bend in any direction you like.

Hold the Shape, then Empty the Sand

Make sure you hold the shape while the sand cools or it will spring back into it's original position. Now that our pipe is cool it's time to empty the sand. Remove one end of the cap and pour it back into the pan like so. Now we have one smooth continuous piece of PVC pipe. There you have it, a simple way to cut and bend PVC pipe into any shape you want. To learn more, visit us on the web at about.com.
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