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There are a few stand out names in the world of props, costumes and models, and their opinions are of extremely high value when it comes to finishing PVC pipe projects.
It's that time of year. They're starting to play those freakin' songs everywhere, and if you're lucky, it's even snowing now and then. You know what that means: It's time to go hunt down unique Christmas gifts for your loved ones. There's about three ways you can go: the funky boxer shorts with the candy canes on them, a gift card, or a present that they're actually going to use.
You'd have to be a seasoned electrician or PVC afficionado to bend even close to the amount of PVC that I do here at the shop. I'm not trying to brag, I'm just trying to share a few tricks that I've picked up along the way. I'd say there are ten things you need to know to become a PVC bending master, and I'd say it's high time that you knew. Most top ten lists start at ten and count down, but there's no punch line here, so here they are, starting at number one:
Even though PVC is cheap, it's still nice to find some for free every now and then. When you're bending PVC for business, you really don't want to cut corners on your craftsmanship. In today's weird economy, however, it really does help to cut costs somewhere. Sometimes, a little boost is all it takes to keep your business afloat. Even if you're riding high on the greasy hog, it still doesn't hurt to find a little something for nothing. Don't worry, your good friend craigslist.org just may be able to come to the rescue.
Theater Groups and Drama Departments are Early Adopters of the PVC Bendit System - Sets, Props and Costumes
We've been facing a big surprise here at the shop. It turns out that theater groups and drama departments are bending a lot of PVC, and they happen to be our #1 clients. Making props, sets and costumes using bent PVC is nothing new, but the methods that they were using can't hold a candle to this.
What I want to see is a bioplastic product that has most, if not all of the properties of PVC.
I want to work with pipes made from these plastics and see what we can come up with here. I would like to see pipe extruders buy bioplastic resins and give them a shot. There is certainly a market, and that market will only continue to grow. A lot of the projects that we're working on here are geared toward self-sufficient living, and certain toxic facts about PVC just don't sit all that well.
Underslab work is demanding. Not only do you have to compete for space with rebar and/or remesh, but you've got to get it perfect the first time. When you say you're done, everything you just did is going to be permanently cased in concrete, and from there, a mistake is a disaster. Add on to that the fact that you're going to have a concrete crew working right on top of your work, and you've got more than a little cause for concern.
The average retail cost of a single PVC pipe fitting is about $2.00, but the price for certain bend fittings can run up over $40.00. Obviously, if you're only going to do one project with PVC, you might as well go buy some bends. For people who work with PVC every day, like electrical contractors, doing your own bending can save you and your clients thousands, if not millions of dollars. There's another cost to consider as well: the appearance of the finished product. While appearance is not the most important for certain applications, like electrical conduit that is hidden by drywall, there are other times when it is vital.
The World Maker Faire, NYC, 2011, was a great opportunity for us to share what we're doing with people from around the world. But better still, it was a chance for them to share with us.
We'll be at the Maker Faire in New York City this September 17th and 18th!
If you're going to be in the tri-state area, you NEED to be at the Maker Faire. This is a collection of some of the nation's best creative talents. From robotics to food and everything in between, this is an event you don't want to miss. There will be thousands of Makers and thousands by the dozens of visitors. If you can, think of it as the Technological Burning Man.
(Please excuse the gratuitous capitalization – I like this subject.)
I love to garden, but here in Colorado, the radical shifts in weather, dry climate and strange cycle of seasons can be somewhat limiting. The dryness of the air can sap moisture right from plant leaves, and the hail can leave beautiful plants looking like Bonnie and Clyde when the law finally caught up with them. Surprise frosts can show up as late as July and as early as, well, July. On the opposite end, daytime temperatures can easily exceed 100 degrees in the summer. We sometimes have 80-degree shifts in temperature in less than 24 hours.
I have to confess that I am an unwitting victim turned complete addict. This all started over a year ago. A friend and business associate of mine came to me and told me about a friend who invented a machine to bend PVC. At the time, I was running a small but successful restoration and remodeling company and selling art on the side. The thought was somewhat intriguing, but I was in a world of boards, nails, drywall, mud, tiles and the like.
For me, PVC was the stuff that carries poop away.
In a world of seven billion people, we’re in a world of about a billion innovators. Even that is probably a conservative estimate. Since we’ve learned that we can improve the quality of life through new ideas, it’s become nearly instinctive. You can hardly go a day without hearing some new idea that could revolutionize the way we live, and if you’re the right sort, you can hardly go a day without having a new idea yourself.
Your customers will visit your hardware store every time they make a new project with PVC Bendit
PVC Bendit is a tool that has no real competition. While there are other benders on the market, they are generally overpriced, bulky and very limited in the length of bends that one can make. We provide the longest bends and most affordable solution available today, and with this, we are dramatically increasing the amount of things that people can do with PVC pipe. Because of this new versatility, and as the applications unfold, more and more people in many different industries will seek it out as the best way to bend PVC.
PVC Bendit has made is easy to bend pvc. Our book will show you just how easy and fun it can be to bend pvc and make numerous creations.
We had a request from a customer to bend 3 inch PVC in a 21” diameter arc. For a demonstration prototype they were building for a navy customer. After reviewing their design sketch we suggested using two ½ inch Bendits with a 1 ½ inch sleeve to increase heating diameter. We also suggested that they could get a tighter bend with a little smaller diameter pipe and still prvide a curved conduit that would meet their needs. The photos are of the finished bends. The Aerospace customer said:
“Just wanted to say thanks for getting me the equipment so quickly. I have attached a picture of successfully bending a 2.5” White schedule 40 PVC as well as 2.5” Harvel clear schedule 40 PVC pipe into a 9.25” radius. Everything worked out fantastic and we’ll be testing things next week.“
As the inventor of PVC Bendit, you can imagine I have some pretty strong opinions regarding this topic. But the simple truth is, during the 18 months I spent developing this tool, I bent a serious amount of PVC. During this time, I found exactly what works, what fails, and what the best practices are. This experience allows me to comment on the topic with a certain degree of authority.