Polypipe is your friend :)

David BoccabellaDavid Boccabella Moderator
edited December 2015 in Fabrication
Something I use in my workshop a lot is Poly pipe.  The PVC piping you can buy in the hardware store, or even pick up from the side of the road.. building sites etc.. council throw outs.

You can get it in various thicknesses and it is remarkably strong with some give for 'knocks' and strain

Working with it..

1. Get a piece of scrap poly tubing
2. Cut down one side
3. Using your trusty heat gun heat it for 30 secs to a minute till it becomes plyable
4. Put a heavy block on it to flatten it out until it cools (2 mins or so).

I find about 120c to 180c works really well.  You can push it into molds but it will not become a liquid. You can also use it for vacuum forming although finding it thin enough is a little more difficult.  Pushing it into a chest plate mold or some other armor is very easy.

And you can then cut, trim, glue, screw as you need. And additional advantage it that heating and resetting it does not affect the structure at all.  I have my main heat gun and a small hot air gun that is with my soldering station for fine tuning.
Bandsaw/scroll saw is perfect but you can also use tin snips.

Any solvent based paint will work very well as it will etch the surface and bond.

Have I mentioned how cheap it is too :):)



  • PVC pipe is great stuff to work with when prototyping or quickly fabricating something.  I've not used it much lately, and never did try flattening it out with a heat gun.  Something to keep in mind for future projects!

  • Hi Folks..  Here is a werewolf head I am working on using the Organic Mechanics method.

    I am using Poly Pipe here..

    This is all strips of poly pipe that I have cut into strips and heat formed.

    Look at the shape of the jaw mechanism - all strips. No pre traced and cut out.

    As mentioned this is in progress  so after I have cut and drilled a few times I can take a piece off and use it as the forming/drilling template the a clean piece.


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