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Made anything with PVC pipe?

Posted by Wendy_the_Pooh USDA 2003 z5/6 (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 23, 03 at 15:55

Has anybody made any trellises or other garden structures out of PVC pipe (versus copper)? I am trying to think of the advantages/disadvantages. You can paint PVC any color you want. Any input? Make me smart on this matter, please. I am seriously considering making an obelisk out of PVC pipe and painting it purple.

Wendy


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Made anything with PVC pipe?

Advantages: lighter weight, cheaper, easier to cut

Disadvantages: gets yellowed and brittle quickly, not nearly as strong.

I have a PVC "greenhouse" .... just a box made of PVC that I shove together whenever I need frost protection or a shadecloth holder.


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Oh, I didn't think about it getting brittle. Thanks for the input! Maybe I should stick with copper. I have some left over from my last project. I want something that lasts outside year after year...the PVC looked easier to work with, BUT...

Wendy


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I can't speak from personal experience, but a gal pal uses PVC to create a bird net cover over her blueberries - and I have not heard her comment on brittle being a problem - but that certainly isn't to discount the reality of that. I know she has been using it for at least 7 years.


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I have been debating the same thing. I plan on building an arbor into one of my beds. I was going to use copper and when I went to home depot and priced copper vs. pvc the pvc was cheaper. I will also be using picket fence planter boxes on either side of the arbor and I may also add a 2'x 4'panel of lattice on the side in between the poles so I am thinking that the pvc will look better next to the white fence and lattice.
Penny


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I made bird house poles out of PVC. I painted them with black slashes so now they look like Aspen/birch tree trunks. They blend in the landscape better that way.


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  • Posted by Angelia 9a, AZ, Phoenix (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 24, 03 at 15:15

What about conduit? It's lightweight, easy to cut and inexpensive. You can also paint any color you wish. Just a suggestion.


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Angelia.
Forgive my ignorance. What's the difference between PVC pipe and PVC conduit?
Wendy


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Checked w/ gal pal regarding PVC shelter she has been using to protect blueberries - I was off by a few years - it has been 15 years since her now deceased husband created them, and they are fine. She DOES take them down each winter, as they are not needed then ---- but it would seem that in this case they are resilient to getting brittle. HTH

Vicki


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Vicki -
It's sunshine (UV) and heat that makes them brittle. This is Phoenix, so they go brittle quickly.

Wendy -
"conduit" is a steel pipe, cheap and easy to make shade structures of.


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  • Posted by Pesky1 7, Pacific NW (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 25, 03 at 15:24

There are different grades of PVC...found this out on accident! Also irrigation pipe is made from pvc. I'd check with the folks at the plumbing supply places about durability of the pvc outside.

Conduit is metal, similar to working with copper, but the dimensions/fittings are different. Also, the thinner conduit WILL bend and twist out of shape. We learned this the hard way when we put up a tent structure using the 1/2 inch conduit. The winds bent them like pretzels!! I'm sure the PVC would too, but it's lighter and easier to bring in during the winter if that's what you wanted to do.

Not laughing...I built an obelisk out of 1x2's and painted it fuschia. I could hear my late father shouting out fits about me painting such a lovely structure such a horrid color...but it set off the ivy so nicely!!


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Sounds good to me (LOL)!


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Penny,

I'm curious about your arbor. It really sounds like something I could get in to. (I've seen arbor's that people have done and it really looks like just a bunch of pvc pipe put together).

Will you be using the plastic type lattice? I used it for the first time this year to make a privacy fence. I found it very easy to work with, although it is a bit pricy. The great thing about it is no painting etc. and it is flexible.

How will you attach the lattice to the pvc??
Great idea!

Good luck

Mike


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Hi Mike,
Well I haven't fine tuned my pvc arbor yet but I am thinking I can just bolt the lattice to the the pvc. I will be using the plastic lattice even though it is more expensive, as you mentioned, but the upkeep and appearance, I think will outweigh the cost since it won't have to be maintained or painted. I will only need one sheet of the 2 x 8 lattice and I will cut it in half to get two 4ft. long pieces to use on the sides. At the base (on each side)I am going to have planter boxes to fit over my cheapo flower pots. The planter boxes won't be attached to the arbor but will sit right next to it on both sides (easier to take down and store for the winter this way). I am making the planters out of scrap lathe strips that Home Depot uses to stack their concrete edging. They throw them away as the stacks go down so I pick them up whenever I am in the area. I have already made a picket fence to go around the area where the arbor is going to go so all I will have to do is construct the arbor and set it in place.
Penny


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Penny,

Thanks for filling me in.

My mind is starting to come up with numerous ways to incorporate pvc and lattice in my gardens.

Bolting the lattice to the pvc seems like the best way to go to me. I think one must be careful not to tighten things to much lest the pipe crack.

Thanks again,

Mike


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  • Posted by Pesky1 7, Pacific NW (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 26, 03 at 15:30

Could you run screws into the pvc? If you predrilled a hole I think a woodscrew type screw would secure the lattice to it. I attached my plastic lattice to some bamboo that way and it's held up great.


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How about a molly bolt, like for drywall?


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I wouldn't use a molly bolt. I would pre-drill the pvc and the lattice and use the screws that are flat at the end (not pointed like the wood screws) and a wing nut or hex nut on the back to tighten (but as Mike said don't over tighten as you are working with plastic).
Penny


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I made a 6' sprinkler out of 1" pvc. Works great..


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Or, rather than bolts, how about cable ties? They come in white, hold tight, and there are no ugly bolts and washers to hide. Plus, they can be cut off and replaced easily for storage and reassembly...

I made an arbor/grotto on the north side of the garage for my houseplants to 'summer' in. Made a frame of 2x2's, nailed it to the garage and then fastened wood latice on the top and two sides with cable ties. It's been up for three years and it's holding just fine.


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I bend 3/4" pvc over the growing beds. Some have been up for 11 years. I don't take them down in the fall. I found if I try to rebend them back in the spring, the plastic crumps. I slide 1/2" solid emt (conduit) inside the 3/4" pvc when I build something that needs the extra strength. It paints up beautifully. I have sqeezed the length of a 't' fense post so that a 2' pvc will slide down over it to use as electric posts going through the gardens. Painted motted brown they blend in with the gardens. Plastic will not ground the wire and it is grounded through the circuit box. Plastics are great because I can't tolerate the smell of hot metals. They make you gagg.


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PVC is wonderful stuff. If you paint it, the sun won't damage it so it won't get brittle. I've built antennas out of it (with copper wire), a chicken "tractor", a gate for the side yard, a fishing pole holder for my kayak, an awning frame for my old powerboat, etc. It is cheap, flexible, easy to cut and glue and takes paint well.


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I don't know if you have seen the website which shows birdhouses made out of pvc pipe.
Ann

Here is a link that might be useful: pvc birdhouses


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Check out www.thepvcstore.com they have all kinds of projects to make with PVC.


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I've made Tiki Torch holders out of them. I paint the PVC like camoflauge with brown and black spray paint. I then pound them into the ground and leave them about 2 1/2 feet above ground. I place my tiki torches into them instead of pounding the torches in the ground. Remove them easily when I'm not using the torches. Works great.


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Tommy, got any pics of those tiki torches? They sound great...


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I built a rose bower using PVC pipe this year. A builder gave me the idea. I used 2 20' lengths to build my arches and covered with hog wire. Someone on the forum told me that my two climbing Cecile Brunners would eventually crush it, the builder says no. It seems very sturdy. I can place a bench or a table and chairs under the bower.

Betty


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FYI: there's several types of PVC. cheapest is "200" and its worthless for anything except a Halloween costume hoop. "Schedule 20" is light weight - will last a year exposed. "Schedule 40" (usually used for irrigation underground.) and the Best is "Schedule 80" (in electrical dept - used for exposed conditions - its light gray color and really resilient will last decades ) You can drill in it and bolt will hold good weight. If Schedule 40 painted with latex paint will last in exposed conditions for several years. There's also black pipe called rigid ABS - used for drains. Comes in large sizes - could be handy for some uses.


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Emtnest... No pictures, but all it does is allow you to take your tiki torches out when not in use. The tiki torches are the kind that you buy at Target with a long metal pole (about 6 feet). Instead of pounding the poles into the ground, you first pound in the PVC and just leave them there. Then when you need the torches out, just take them and place them in the permanent PVC thats in the ground. I spray painted mine brown. You hardly notice them. This summer I am going to use the PVC for tomato stakes. One thing you might want to do is drill small holes in the portion that is in the ground. Rain does collect in them. Also drill about 3 one/quarter inch holes just at ground level so it drains. I have a new digital camera, so I'll post some pics this summer. Nothing special though, it just works.


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Lot's of good stuff here :-)

gardenlady58102

Here is a link that might be useful: Free PVC projects


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Hello everyone:) just popped in from Hypertufa section to look for something...(can't remember what now...)
anyhow stumbled across this heading and I have been making stuff with pvc for a while:)

I made a desk top and a little table for my toddler, and put plexi glass as the top. Came out great:)I have been putting off any projects with PVC until now:)

you have given me great ideas for my exterior decorating projects that will compliment the hypertufa planters and garden statue art I have been working on:)

Thanks...The trellis structure sounds nice:) and looking at the bird feeder site with the trellis there...gives me a great deal more projects to work on....ahahahh..hehe

Sorry to bust in :)
thank you hawaii50mom


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I have two arbors made out of pvc fenceing. Fell into a closeout sade when builders square was going out of business about 7 or 8 years ago. They make the fence posts and many other parts that they use in fenceing. They are holding up beautifully. We used Plastic lattis. Try your building supply.


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I just finished building TWO GATES of PVC pipe to our horses' paddock fence, also recently installed. The gates are covered in the same page wire mesh as the fence they allow entry to. One gate is large enough to drive a large hay truck through, and the other is a small gate to allow easy access in and out for horses, dogs and humans. I built them a bit taller than they needed to be, but otherwise I'm pleased with the way they turned out. I have pictures at the link below

Here is a link that might be useful: Photos of PVC pipe Gates


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I made some mini green houses out of PVC. Used shade cloth, and it worked great. Made them long and put them over the garden to keep pets and pests out.


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You guys are too cool - I am glad I wandered onto this thread - I have a pile of PVC out behind the barn and I LOVE making stuff out of stuff I have already!!! Thanks for the tips & the great links. Gardeners are awesome people (me included LOL).


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I was looking for a thread I remembered about Cecile Brunner not blooming as I have two that aren't and they have been mostly that way all summer.

Didn't find it but found this thread instead. I made a cover from some roses the deer were eating. A pic is on the gallery, or was there a week or so ago, title starting with Elmshorn, Morgengruss and "Folly". Arching pvc connected at the top and center. So far the deer have avoided coming in.


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does anyone have the wind spinners out of pvc pipe have seen a star shape I would like to make. thank you


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Look at this site on a pvc trellis. Just would love to know where she got her lattice. I would love to make several of these to hide my neighbors weeds. Live in the cold country so not sure if it will hold up.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trellis PVC plans


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Looks like nobody here has read that pvc article on the greenpeace site. The URL included below has a section titled 'why pvc is bad news'. If in doubt, look around in the internet because cheap does not mean safe or good. Besides, I personally think plastics in the garden are plain ugly.

Here is a link that might be useful: pvc = bad news


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Just like everywhere else in the world, everyone has their own opinions. . . .

Personally, I don't believe anything of what Greenpeace prints on ANY subject . . but that's my OPINION.


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Here is the link to the pvc garden twirler

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Twirlers


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--If in doubt, look around in the internet because cheap does not mean safe or good.---

I don't entirely disagree with you, but...

PVC releases carcinogenic fumes when created via heating process, and when destroyed, ie by fire for example. During its useful life, it is pretty harmless.

The thing is, PVC pipe is in widespread use, and recycling leftover sections or purchasing a few lengths for a garden project will not make any difference in the grand scheme of things. Only a government ban on the manufacture of PVC pipe will have any effect, and that is unlikely to occur.

Overpopulation and the habitat destruction and burning of fossil fuels to sustain this disproportionate explosion of numbers, as well as the pollutants that are its by-product are the real root causes of our on-going destruction of our planet. Only an unprecedented effort by the entire international community to decrease the human birth rate to below the death rate and keep it there until the world population was down to a sustainable point could reverse the damage we have done. And the chance of that happening is about a snowball's chance in hell, unfortunately.

So there's really not much point in stressing over a few pieces of plastic pipe that have already rolled off the assembly line.


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Anybody ever take a look at this fellows webpage on making birds with pvc? It intrigues me!

Here is a link that might be useful: To make PVC birds


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Hi There,
like PVC because they are affordable, i built tunnel greenhouse by using PVC and latice. i am planting to build a back porch, with large PVC(8 inch dia) for vertical pole. currently, i have two Large PVCs (fiberglass pedestal kit sell at Lowe's.) to supported the eave of my house. sand down the pvc with fine sanding paper then paint, they hold up paint better than wood. i painted the front porch poles(made out of PVC) in 2000 and don't like they need repaited any time soon. as for attach latice panels to PVC, i used tin top 1" screws and they screwed right on, no need to pre-drilled hole. if you use tin top screws remember, to adjuste low torque so that you don't strip the hole. i hope you all succesfuly on yours project, tuanh

Here is a link that might be useful: PVC tunnel greenhouse


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Tuanh, your tunnel greenhouse is absolutely beautiful!

My sister sent me a link to the stable where she rides, and it looks like they sell show jumps constructed out of PVC pipe. So light weight a small child can lift them, apparently, and probably a lot less danger of leg injuries to a horse who misjudges the height and bumps a leg on the top pole.
http://www.appleknoll.com/

Here is a link that might be useful: lightweight pvc equine jumps


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look what vickysbirds.com is doing with pvc pipe.

charlie


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I can warn you that the stuff is not sturdy enough to support a heavy plant like wisteria. a good wind can and did snap the pipes. It also pulled it apart at the joints. For smaller stuff it should work fine, but i must admit it is not the most attractive stuff. I'd consider it for a vegetable garden where I don't care as much about "looks".


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Once I had a shady backyard with a tiny patch of full sun and tried to make the best of it by growing vegetables vertically. So I used 1" sched 40 PVC as frames for garden netting and made trellis "cages".

I found that you really need to put lots of joints and crosspieces in it because long spans will bow and flex. But joints are relatively expensive and of course the more joints you have, the more places it will fall apart. I made mine without glue so I could break it down each season.

And anchoring it to the ground was problematic. I tried using what I thought was rebar (those green vinyl covered metal garden stakes) but those snapped in two because they're just aluminum tubing. Then I tried metal electric fence posts. Those bend. Rebar would work better. And even with the corners sitting over rebar, the rest of the trellis would lean farther and farther until it would just fall over one day. Then it's very hard to put back together.

I've also made a trellis panel out of 1" copper pipe that I soldered together with stained glass flux and solder and a regular propane torch. Took a bit to get the hang of it, but it was no more difficult than working with PVC. You still have to measure and cut all those pieces. And I used a pipe cutter with the copper...light years easier than cutting PVC with a hacksaw. (Didn't have the pipe cutter when I did the PVC.)

Hope this helps.


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tuanh

Your tunnel greenhouse is beautiful. Do you know where to buy 8" PVC pipe? Thanks much Sheryl


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  • Posted by lagata S.E Alabama (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 27, 05 at 20:11

I Love PVC; so many possibilities!!

As I saw above, I've built/used PVC gates for years; one has so far lasted 10 yrs. with one repair required in that time. The PVC gates with lattice screwed onto them have been used with no repairs for at least 8 years now. We replaced the wood lattice with PVC lattice last month, and the pipe was in great shape, and needed nothing. The wood lattice gave up before the PVC!

I've also used the big stuff, cut in half, with wood on the ends as feeders for the goats geese and chickens. Drill a few holes in the bottom to let water out however.

Living in the south, it only freezes a few times in the winter, so I run the PVC along the top of my fence, and paint it silver so it looks like a top rail; but it's a waterline, and it's super easy to add a faucet wherever I need one. I put a water shut off valve at the source, so I can turn it off and drain it if I need to.

It also makes great combo insulators/fence posts for electric fencing which I put around the gardens and flowerbeds to keep the dogs out. The thin wall stuff is all but useless; I use the sched 40 for water lines and projects both; none goes to waste :)


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Here is an example of PVC painted to look like a tree trunk. (Scroll down to see the PVC idea). I have also seen it painted to look like white birch bark

Here is a link that might be useful: native america feeder shield


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Akso here are instructions to make a hoop house for your gardening

Here is a link that might be useful: Hoop House Plans


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Hi Sheryl, check your local LOEW'S or HOME DEPOT you might be able to find 8" PVC pipes there, i got mine at LOEW'S.


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PVC; UV resistant conduit (1/2" thru 3" dia.) can be purchased at any electrical supply store, Home Depot, Lowes, etc. It is grey in color. (sched. 40 & 80 available; 80 has a thicker wall and is stronger than 40)


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Here are some birdhouse that I made from PVC. Still have to get the cap for the smaller one. They look quite pretty when the ferns grow in and the Elephant ears grow in the back corner. Sure looks better than just an ole A/C unit, kind of takes the eye away from the A/C unit.

Here is a link that might be useful: PVC Birdhouses


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The impact strength of PVC is only one-half that of ABS at 72 F. And, one-third the strength of ABS at 40 F. The low temperature value of PVC is only 32 F. That is, it has lost its impact strength at this temperature. By comparison, the low temperature value of ABS is minus 40 F.

If you live in the cooler zones ABS is obviosly the choice. Also you avoid the pollution problems of pvc and its poor recyclability. For example, it releases dioxin when combusted.


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This arch support for the Eleagnus I grew was made by my DH with PVC pipe:



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That is absolutely....marveous!

I want to build a Garden Tent with PVC, that will pack and go to the Lake as well.

I was going to use 6 7' PVC as support. Vinyl Cover for a shade of approximately 15 '. I would use re-bar anchored to the ground, slip the 6 PVC poles over that. Cover with vinyl. Problem is I would like to bend the PVC for 3 arches. Am I better off to use the straight method. I don't want water to catch in it.

Does this seem feasible? From the Looks of the Arbor it is holding the weight well.

Any thoughts? Anybody?


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I can't help much, my DH built the arch and he did allude to the fact that bending the pvc was challenging. Think he used a variety of methods from hot water to heat gun. His comments just now when I asked him were if he had to do it over again, he wouldn't! Heat gun melted PVC, he finally managed to get a few "short" sections bent. Yes, it is holding the weight of that eleagnus pretty well, but mostly I think it is the very woody plant just growing that way.
Pauline


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Well, he did a wonderful job.


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Annoyingly this site does not allow people to edit or even delete their own posts. I guess the best I can do is post the new url to the photos of my PVC horse gates. (The link in my original post above no longer works.)
The gates have held up well, except that I did end up having to add 2 bolts to each of the 4 joint/corners of the smaller gate. I'd thought because it was smaller, plumbing cement alone would hold it.

Here is a link that might be useful: PVC horse gates


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thank you spedigrees! I knew I'd seen your gates before so I did a search - and was glad you reposted.
I'll be making one small one this weekend as a gate in my pvc latticed arbor.
GH-


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Last time I checked, pvc was still not recyclable.

This material is toxic while being produced and it will pollute soil and water when discarded, or turn into carcinogenic fumes if burnt. This is why I prefer to use it only when it is really needed.

Looks like I am alone here, but cheapness is not the main criteria I use to decide what I buy, specially if environmental costs can be considered. I assume people in this forum are not starving, since we all have access to a computer, and it puzzles me that such emphasis is being given to using as little money as possible in what it is, after all, a hobby.

Anyways, there are many articles out there that can be googled, even a movie (called Blue Vinyl) which have more info.


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Using PVC for a frame, + a 20 gal barrel, I made tumbling garden mixer which is used for blending fertilizer, potting soil etc. Also did a small composter the same way for the mother inlaw. I'm guessing its best use is to use as a repository for kitchen waste, but may be too small to finish the job. We'll see this season!


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I am in South Texas for the winter, & see where some people make Geese of different sizes.out of white PVC pipe.. The cut them, bend them, & paint the feet & beaks orange.. Can anyone direct me as to where I can get patterns to make PVC Geese??
Thanks


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The arch support looks great but the mention of using a heat gun on PVC made me shudder. I'm with you Lapageria. I remember Greenpeace was involved in making the Sydney Olympics as PVC free as possible. Don't think the issue attracted much interest from the public though.


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pvc birds

try one of these links
http://www.birdartforthegarden.com/

http://www.vickysbirds.com/index.html


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an old friend gave me a wind spinner made from pvc pipe. when the wind turns it looks like a six pointed star and changes image to a square. after many years it came crashing down. and the gentleman who made it has since died. i have tried different angles but have not be successful. does any one have the pattern or do you know where i can get one.


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I drove through a small town last week where they had these really cool lamp posts down each side of their main street. They had hanging baskets of flowers on each side. The flowers sort of filled in and looked like a solid band of color around the post. So I want to make something similar. A post, painted, with baskets and maybe a solar light , (those tacky ones you see lining a drive way ). Small and round that would sit right in the top of the pipe. Does this sound do-able? How is the best way to anchor the post ? Concrete ? I ran this by my husband and got those rolling eyeballs we all love to see. But I really think I can do this by myself. Any suggestions or ideas would be appreciated.


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In the spring I made 2ft high cages out of pvc and netting to cover my newly emerging plants in my planting beds. How many..I lost count! Any way we put up a fence around the garden area to keep the deer out when the plant got too tall for the cages. So what to do with all that PVC...I utilized alot of them to now hold up my tall plants. I sprayed them with that Krylon plastic spray paint (dark green) and they are virtually invisible.

We also created a gate from the garage to the last fence post going across the driveway. My husband thought that if the deer were really desperate, they would stroll down the driveway to my garden. Now I just have to spray that green.


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One can purchase plastic conduit . Sames as PVC pipe but printed on side of pipes that they are sunlight resistant. They are a lot less expensive than using pvc pipe. I made a canopy frame for my 3 seater swing out of it and its so easy to work with and it relly hold up to the weather, wind , etc.


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Anybody like to fish??? I have made cases for my fly rods out of PVC. You can use any size you like. Mine's 3". Just glue a cap on the bottom and put a cap, with a screw in clean out, on the other end. Slip your rods in and screw the top on. I've had one for almost 15 years and it's great. Also, if you capsize, they float!

AlaskaLady


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i want to build a pvc shelter, arbor, awning type thing onto an ugly futon that i plan to move onto my deck. i want to be able to sleep out there at night. i live on a carib island so its either hot and sunny or hot and hurricainy. [i wont sleep out there when its hurricainy] i am only missing 1 tool - a man to build the dam thing.


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