Building on the Flat

Posted by Bob Bawden on 9/24/2018 to Technical
Have you ever built a frame or a structure and found at the end that it has bent and warped instead of retaining the flat, even look that it had when you started? You need to learn about building on the flat!

Let's say that the first section of your frame consists of four pieces of pipe and four three-way elbows. You fit them all together, tap them in snugly with a wooden mallet, and then move on to the next section. If you just keep building from that section, adding more weight and moving it around to access different parts better, it is quite likely that your frame will end up bent and warped. In order to retain that flatness you started off with, you need to secure the joints properly.

Finish constructing the first section of your frame and then pause to secure it. You can do this three ways: with white plastic rivets; with self-tapping screws; or with PVC glue. The plastic rivets and self-tapping screws are both temporary solutions - this means that you can take them out and dismantle your frame again if you want to. The glue, however, is a permanent solution, because once the glue is dried you won't be able to dismantle your structure. If you do use glue, make sure you give it time to dry before you start building from the section. 

No matter which of these solutions you choose, as long as you choose one of them, you will give your design a much better chance of retaining the flat, even structure that it needs to work or to look good!

If you would like to see a demonstration of building on the flat, you can watch our YouTube video!