There's a ton of videos on the web of musicians playing homemade PVC instruments, but I just recently stumbled upon the impressive work of PVC pipe player Kent Jenkins, aka Snubby J. His most recent video features a duet with his faux-twin, playing "Wizards in Winter" by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Turns out, he's been a PVC maestro for awhile now and even auditioned for his inspiration, the Blue Man Group, at the age of seventeen. Though he wasn't picked, they saw potential in him and aske...
Not all of these involve PVC, but the majority do, and they all have their merits.
The thing about building your own stuff is that it's incredibly satisfying. There's just something about taking the time and dedication to construct something beautiful out of virtually nothing but the necessities.
This goes through to a how-to on how to make a skein winder. For the uninitiated, a skein is the default unit of thread, and it's that windy log that yarn comes in as well. With this snappy tool, you can wind your own skeins as well. If you combine that with the newspaper into yarn concept, you can make your own yarn and wind your own skeins when you're done.
A DIY car laptop mount that uses the cup holder... You think texting and driving is bad, wait until it's true multitasking and driving. Ouch.
Now, I know what you're thinking... "I need an extra sexy coffee table that is like no other."
I am completely fascinated with pedal transportation. Many of us have pedalable commutes that we end up driving just because we don't like bikes. There's a whole wave of do-it-yourself pedal vehicles, from the Hennepin Crawler down to vehicles like this one.
I have to admit that I am an environmentalist wacko. That may sound strange, considering my life is tied up in PVC, which is considered one of the most poisonous materials on earth... but it's true. I love this planet, and I want it to be inhabitable for as long as the sun is in this phase of its life.
You're never going to see a project from me that involves straight pipe. You would have when I was a kid, but after too many years in the construction industry, I need to see a good finish. If the project doesn't look slick, I don't want to say I did it.
What would MacGyver do if he was stranded on a trash dump in the middle of the ocean? If he had the right supplies, chances are he'd come up with something very similar to this PVC and duct tape boat. C'mon, we all know MacGyver always has duct tape on him!
I know it seems a little redundant to post this when I've already posted a video, but it is kind of hard to get more than a vague idea from the video alone. I hope this sheds a little more light on the subject. I'm sure it also seems like I'm beating this idea to death, but this one concept opens doors to further innovation. After I finish this article, I'm going to put another one up that shows a hinged, raised bed house and talk about some amazing things you can do from there.
Tom Price used nothing more than PVC pipes, nylon cable ties, and a large hot plate to melt together the blossoms.
It's about the same thing as this except you can buy it and it's painted.
If you haven't had a pile of pipe and fittings to play with before, it's hard to see what is so cool about a plain, plastic pipe. All it does in the house is carry the poop away. Really, who cares?
PVC isn't something you want to send to the landfill. It's not going to do anything good for the ground when it's buried. It is also something you really, REALLY don't want to send to an incinerator. When burned, PVC releases some really nasty chemicals, including hydrochloric acid and dioxin.
Now how's that for alliteration? WOO! Anyway, this has already made the rounds, but if you haven't seen it yet, check this out. When you take a low-slung four wheel bike frame, a crap load of PVC pipe, miles of duct tape and about 1,000 hours, you, too can drive a Porsche without the high insurance payments.
With about ten bucks and some imagination, you can make some cool stuff.
I stumbled across this amazing structure today, titled B(h)uis. It was built by Hoogte Twee Architects, using entirely PVC tubes. I think it's beautiful, considering the simplicity of the material and construction.
This is a build-along for making a flattened PVC pipe bow. This style of bow made with PVC is more durable than the non-flattened kind, and looks more authentic. This bow, when finished, drew about 80# at 28".
1000 words, or this:
Super cool DIY PVC skeleton from the Robot Group: "At this point it is not much more than a mannequin. With the recent acquisition of a lot of cool pneumatics, it should be possible to make a very interesting animated human..."
This is actually a forum page, but they're discussing making you own finder scopes and medium power telescopes. There's a lot of information here.
This guy is serious about home made dart guns. He's got some cool ones on here.
PVC can literally be a life saver in the developing world, as well as in the wake of a disaster. This little article is a picture of innovation after a disaster in the developing world, and it is a perfect example of the simple ways we can do good for each other.
OK, most of us remember the Super Soaker series of squirt guns. Probably all of us. What I didn't really know is that there are hardcore enthusiasts out there who have taken the whole thing to another level.
There's been a proliferation of pitched PVC xylophones in recent times, but a lot of them end up being somewhat cumbersome when it comes to actually get good sound quality. This guy has come up with the solution by making strange drum skins over the ends of the pipes. The result is a super cool sound coming out of a ridiculously cool-looking instrument.
DIY Photography has an interesting tutorial on creating a focusing mechanism/lens for around $4. Combine two PVC pipes of different radiuses with a magnifying glass. Cool project.
This misting tunnel was at the World Maker Faire in NYC this September. It is based on a design for a greenhouse that has watering integrated into the frame. We used a tool called a PVC Bendit to make the bends.
I know, I know, you've probably seen entries about Theo Jansen's Strandbeests here before, but this goes straight to his url and has the smoothest video I've seen of them yet.
This is definitely the work of a Trekkie.
I've had a few short chances to see 3d printing in action, namely at the World Maker Faire in New York this year, and I have to say, the technology is very interesting.
It's a little late for Halloween, but I'm thinking about making a creepy lawn ornament for the Holidays. Nothing says Christmas cheer like something a little weird.
This link drops into a middle page, but this guy has step by step photos of the whole process.
This is a sort of supplement to the Four-Element Table, with the additional four legs added for stability. The pipes are squished flat at the ends and riveted on, allowing this table to bear a much heavier load without compromising style.
Just check out the video.
These guys take found item recycling to the max. This isn't exactly the most useful application for recycling, but if the stuff is going to be around for the next couple of thousand years, it might as well look cool.
I really like home made squirt guns, and some of these people go completely nuts in their designs. Here's another.
This forum has a discussion about painting PVC that has some opinions from very accomplished people, including Volpin Props. They go over primers, adhesion promoters, sanding and more, and if you see these people's work, they are the go-to guys for informed ideas on this subject.
My goal here is to eventually show every single thing that people have come up with using PVC pipe so that we can be truly innovative here. What I'm starting to notice is that the cutting edge is in constant motion. We, as human beings, continue to improve on yesterday's ideas. While this page in particular is not extremely remarkable, it continues to show the versatility of this material. Sooner or later though, this coarkboard should have a nice rundown of everything that people are doing. ...