PVC pipe fittings just for building stuff

If you’ve used PVC as a building material in your projects you may have run into trouble finding a way to make three pipes joint at right angles to each other (like the corner of a box outline). That’s because there’s no need for that type of joint when plumbing, the intended purpose of the PVC pipes. But [John] tipped us off about FORMUFIT PVC Fittings designed for construction use instead of plumbing. There’s a lot of interesting options, such as the ninety degree connectors, rounded end caps for aesthetics, and end caps designed to receive casters. We also enjoyed seeing the T connector that slides onto a pipe and can function as a swivel. We haven’t tried them out ourselves, but we think they’d come in hand whether you’re building complicated moving structures or just making a desk.

Comments

  1. biozz says:

    nice but expensive … i never had a problem with fittings i got from lowes … these would look nice but unless they sell a kit for cheep … im not buying

  2. Luke says:

    Most are a dollar or two you cheap bastard.

  3. biozz says:

    @luke

    $2 for a single fitting is allot of money
    go to lowes and get most of these same peaces for $0.60 a peace and you get that DIY feel
    im sorry im not paying 4X as much for a fitting i can get at every hardware store in america
    you also need to factor in shipping and all those DIY points you loose for taking a shortcut ;-)

  4. buzzkill says:

    The only thing better than pvc pipe is legos.

  5. NackTheHack says:

    Yeah,
    $2 or even $1 for that matter is allot for a fitting and if you want artistic appeal you might want to use another material than PVC. Like metal tube because most PVC has those annoying red letters on them and there a pain to remove.
    And besides where is the fun in this?

  6. biozz says:

    @buzzkill
    what about kenex?!

  7. anonymous says:

    @biozz
    “im sorry im not paying 4X as much for a fitting i can get at every hardware store in america”

    The point is these are fittings you can’t get at ANY hardware store in America. I think I’ll find these quite useful for things like building small practice soccer goals.

    Instead of using a T connector and an elbow, a single piece from this company will cost about the same as both put together, look better, and require fewer glue joints, which have a tendency to fail when pvc is used outdoors in non-plumbing projects.

  8. anonymous says:

    @biozz
    do you really feel the need to disagree about everything?

    Legos are clearly superior to kenex. I would consider changing my mind if you can show me a kenex printer, a kenex autonomous battlebot, a kenex city, and a life-size kenex yoda.

  9. biozz says:

    @anonymous
    i have yet to see any peace here that can not be made easily with $0.60 peaces at lowes or harbor freight and yes i spent my good time looking at all of them

  10. anonymous says:

    @biozz
    If it takes 4 $.60 pieces to make one $2 piece, you do realize you would be spending more money, don’t you?

  11. android three says:

    sure they look nice but i can buy the same fittings at home depot if i just sacrifice the sleekness
    like others said not one thing here can not be made from hardware store mass produced parts

  12. biozz says:

    @anonymous
    where the hell did you get that?
    if your talking about the 6 joint it can be made with 2 4 joints making it $1.20 and thats just one peace
    im done here its dinner time,
    peace

  13. Anonymouse says:

    The last time I needed a corner joint I used an $0.60 elbow and lashed the third pipe on with string. It worked rather well.

  14. CutThroughStuffGuy says:

    Good lord guys – these fittings are extremely cheap compared to the metal version (known as Kee Klamps). You can get those in aluminum or steel and they START at $5 a fitting and can easily go up to $15 – $20 each.

    But I guarantee you they are stronger than these :) They can take some serious loads. Also look at 80/20 – awesome stuff used a lot for industrial applications when you don’t want to engineer a solution because you are making one off units but really useful (expensive though!)

  15. Anonymous says:

    biozz

    piece piece piece piece piece piece

    sorry, it was building up…

  16. osgeld says:

    I have to agree, those are PVC

  17. strider_mt2k says:

    OH the crap I could build with a bunch of these and some pipe!

    Very VERY cool.

  18. the great sage says:

    i was raging hard when it was said that two dollars was expensive yet metal piping was an alternative. then i noticed quickly

    yalls been trolled

    “@anonymous
    where the hell did you get that?
    if your talking about the 6 joint it can be made with 2 4 joints making it $1.20 and thats just one peace
    im done here its dinner time,
    peace”

    peace peace, yep. troll

    on topic: these are pretty sweet.

  19. Alex says:

    Neat stuff. Horrible photos. Washed out white on white. :|

  20. tim says:

    this is called market fragmentation, take some products of a larger catalog, make a nice web page dedicated to it.

    Charge X 2 the price

    profits

  21. Travis says:

    Hey, where are the requisite “This is not a hack” comments :J

  22. snapdragon says:

    To the author: there are several companies that make these types of “DIY” fittings. I did a bunch of research last year and used PVCFittings.com for my project, but they aren’t the only ones out there. In fact, my project required a 6-way and I don’t see that listed from the vendor in the article.

    What we really need is someone who will make threaded PVC fittings (UV resistant) that use left-hand threads; I talked to a bunch of manufacturers, and apparently no-one makes them. Next step, buy a riprap and make my own…

  23. j says:

    Funny, I was just looking at similar pieces earlier this week. Some of the ones here are a little cheaper:

    http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/default.aspx?catid=555&parentcatid=690

  24. Terry says:

    Sheesh. Why’d he use a crappy Arduino for this proj… oh wait.

  25. octel says:

    pvc is horrible for you and horrible for the environment as a whole

  26. strider_mt2k says:

    This is called a bunch of people doing a lot of useless bitching and moaning instead of building stuff or even bothering to apply themselves to utilization fantasies.

    No, it’s much better for everyone to find something to cry about. LOL -pathetic- on a hack site if you ask me.

    Personally I’m thinking how much easier it’s going to be for my brothers and sisters in amateur radio to make some of the home-brew beam designs in an enclosure that can stand up to some weather and/or being moved around, just for starters.

    Everything is bad for you. You start dying the moment you are born.
    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    Shut up and hand me the glue, or at least make a coffee run for the builders, okay?

  27. goto says:

    In comment to market fragmentation, what larger catalog has these fittings cheaper? I want to get them, please tell me!

  28. octel says:

    some things are worse for you than other and cause you to die quicker

    you’re a low effort troll and it shows dude :(

  29. kuuk says:

    thank you octel!

    “pvc is horrible for you and horrible for the environment as a whole”.

    Chemical PVC is not even “plastic” without the addition of

    And this doesn’t start with toxical additives needed to make anything stable/useful out of Polyvinylchloride: The “invention” of using PVC as plastic is based on the idea to get rid of chemical wastes/byproducts from other processes*.

    Burn some PVC and you get hydrogen chloride as a gas. Solve this in Water and you have hydrochloric acid. Hydrogen chloride is cool in labs, not our lungs.

    I won’t judge the random maker using cheap material for prototyping their inventions. But please don’t go pubicly partying about the cheap price of PVC without mentioning the reasons. It was born as waste, and it will end up in waste.

    I think toymakers in the US and Europe had to get rid of PVC. (Good) Computer makers are stopping using it. The EU is talking about making it an illegal material as a whole. I bet there are some informative sites on the net that hackaday could link to, next time PVC makes it into a headline.

    i think this is my first comment on the internet in 2010. So: Hello World.

    //kuuk

    ———————-
    *German wikipedia article on PVC mentions this in the History paragraph about Fritz Klattes work at Hoechst/Griesheim-Elektron. English Wikipedia is missing that information. Any Wikipedians here?

  30. kuuk says:

    “Chemical PVC is not even “plastic” without the addition of…”

    some of you may have already guessed the missing word. It is [drumroll]: “plasticizers”.

  31. tantris says:

    I must feel humanitarian or something today, because out of the goodness of my heart I decided to send you this link:
    http://www.pvcplans.com/pvc-suppliers.htm

    Now,stop your whining and be grateful.

  32. Derek says:

    not only do i agree with the face that legos are better than kenex but i think when u go into a lowes or a hardware store you end up seeing 10 other things that make you go, YOU KNOW WHAT I COULD DO WITH THAT! i would much rather wander around lowes for 3 hours than spend 10 min on that site to over pay for them pvc parts.

  33. Mr. N. Required says:

    Formufit say they’re happy to ship to any country, but did anyone tell them the rest of the world uses the METRIC system? Using their search box brings up no hits at all for ‘metric’. So they’ve effectively got NO market outside of the USA.

  34. Chunka says:

    @ Mr N.

    Actually they would have a pretty large customer base outside of the US. The UK, Australia and Canada still us the English system for PVC, as well as many countries that import the pipe from those countries (South Africa). Also, if you do your research on Nominal Pipe Size (NPS) you will see that there is crossover between Metric and English fittings. Quit your hating.

  35. localroger says:

    If they had icosahedron corner joints I would so be buying 12 of them right now.

  36. pall.e says:

    so when i was a kid i have a set of pvc pipes with these joints, but the joints were brightly colored. you could make carts and forts and stuff out of it. anybody remember what this was called? (also on the kenex vs. lego debate, anyone remember construx? Those things were doing simple mechanics in the 80’s, how i miss childhood)

  37. JMLB says:

    At my hardware store, they only have that flexible pvc now :(

  38. badpixel says:

    PVC is a great building material . You can also make your own fittings out of regular pvc pipe fittings and a radial arm saw. Cutting parts in half, quarters and joining them. As long as the seems are tight you can glue them with the same pipe cement to make one new fitting.

    The best toys but harder to find now, for home prototyping is erector sets. the orignals from the 60’s and 70’s can sometimes be found at yard sales. They were all steel and metal and includes bolts and screws for the joints. Awesome for building robots.

    In 1949, an Erector Set was used to build the precursor to the modern artificial heart by Drs. William Sewell and William Glenn of the Yale School of Medicine. The external pump successfully bypassed the heart of a dog for more than an hour.

  39. badpixel says:

    Too bad children today don’t know the fun of constuction, they know legos, but legos are so limiting.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Erector_Set_Ad_1922.JPG

  40. Dosbomber says:

    Well I for one am glad to see this. I’ve built a lot of things with PVC tubing and fittings from Lowe’s or Home Depot like robot chassis, material racks, and electronics enclosures (think pipe bombs, sans the boom) — (strangely, no furniture), and some shapes just can’t be configured with the parts they have available at the hardware stores. Some of them can be bodged together with a few parts, but then you’re taking up more physical space (smaller is better in most cases), and it looks sloppy.

    Thanks to everyone for all the links to places dedicated to making the oddball shapes that aren’t covered by the big box stores.

    @Legos v. Kinex: Legos. They even do CNC fabrication machines (well, sorta).

  41. Deebster says:

    @pall.e

    I came to the comments to find the answer to that question too :)

  42. Plautus says:

    @pall.e and Deebster

    I believe you’re referring to Omagles; there are still some in my parents’ garage, and I used to love them. A Google Images search on Omagles turns up lots of examples.

  43. pall.e says:

    Thanks Plautus! These are basically them, I think I had a ripped over version b/c mine weren’t yellow but these are basically them.

  44. IsotopeJ says:

    “Burn some PVC and you get hydrogen chloride as a gas.” -kuuk

    burning wool releases cyanide gas. KILL ALL THE SHEEP! THEY’RE RUINING THE ENVIRONMENT!

  45. kuuk says:

    or use cotton

  46. plumbing says:

    Just for those who don’t khnow what is “Pipe fitting” : is the occupation of installing or repairing piping or tubing systems that convey liquid, gas, and occasionally solid materials. This work involves selecting and preparing pipe or tubing, joining it together by various means, and the location and repair of leaks.

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