A couple of weeks ago I posted an invitation to join my effort to build a musical bench of PVC. Thank you to TC Makers Becca, Bill D, Bob G, Colleen, Jon, McSteve, Roxanne, Scott and Shawnuk for their generous help over the past 2 weekends.
Because of them I now have a paddle prototype, 4 sections cut, 2 sections in welding progress and one section complete!
My original plan was to have the bench finished by last night—not even close! Several complications arose as we started to build:
1. Two circles = 0 surface area
Fellow TC Maker, Steve M, pointed out to me that before I began solvent welding, it would strengthen the bond if I increased the surface area where each pipe intersects.
I tried using the band saw to shave off some of the pipe exterior and flatten the places where each pipe meets another but that was really messy and slow.
Bill D generously made a jig for me to use with a router which tremendously speeded the process back up.
2. Four inch diameter pipes are not musical
My friend Shawnuk stopped by the Hack Factory to help me work out details before I geared up to start building. As soon as he saw my 4” diameter pipe samples, he pointed out that they would have to be much taller than bench height in order to make a musical note.
We tested this out and he was right. Luckily, I had purchased only one pipe. Recognizing that a 2” diameter pipe would probably work, I had to re-draw my design in Sketchup. In order to keep the bench reasonably large, I now need to solvent weld 270 pieces!
3. Welding pipes takes TLC
TC Maker, Colleen, can solvent weld better than anyone else I know. She showed me that although bungee cords and rubber bands can be helpful to hold pipes together as they dry, as the welded section grows there is no substitute for just holding the pipes in place until they are dry enough to stand on their own. This really slows the overall process when I am working alone.
Please stay tuned for future volunteer opportunities!
Hey, thanks very much for checking out my blog!
Last week I promised to discuss the influence of Chuck Taylor shoes on my chair design. However, I need to take a short break from my rocker to create a bench for a block-improvement effort in the Dayton’s Bluff Community.
In this post, I will describe the bench design and invite you to help build it! Interested? Shoot me an email at [email protected]!
All participants will learn how to solvent weld PVC. The skill is used to build many exciting maker projects from potato launchers to musical instruments like the ones played by the Blue Man Group. In fact, the bench that we build can be used both for rest and to play a few tunes while waiting for the bus!
To make construction easier, I designed the bench in 6 sections. Each section is 39 inches long and 19 inches wide. Five of the sections are identical (just oriented differently) and one section is unique. Once I have all of the sections on site, I will bolt 3 pipes from each section to 3 pipes in an adjacent section.
The design uses PVC pipes of 5 different lengths with the longest pipes serving as the legs of the bench. Standard bench height is 18 inches and each section of the bench has four 18 inch-long pipes. Placement of these bench legs will be important for balance and stability.