We have shown you how to cut your pipe, paint your pipe, use your pipe to make a structure, glue your pipe together, and more. Today, we are going to show you the best ways to make your structure sturdy!
Posted by Bob Bawden on 10/8/2018
As with any material, the bigger your furniture grade pipe structure is, the more likely it is going to bend and move. If you want it to be stable and steady, you are going to have to make it sturdy using one of the following methods.
One option you have is fixing your structure to the wall or floor. If you use four-way elbows on a few of the corners, you could use end caps to secure your structure by drilling a hole through the cap and bolting it onto the wall. Then your pipe just slides into the cap and you have a solid fixing. You don't need to do this for every corner of the structure, maybe only a couple - depending on the size of it.
Another option available to you is using a table cap. Table caps are generally used for doing the obvious: making a table. They fit onto the end of a pipe and have a flat surface with three drill holes in them so that you can attach a disc to the top of the pipe to make a small table to be used beside the pool, for example. The three drill holes mean that table caps can also be drilled to the wall, floor, or ceiling, and the pipe can just be slid into the cap like a normal end cap, giving you the solid fitting you need.
If you are making a structure that requires work to make it sturdy, but it is going to be free-standing and out in the open, away from any walls or ceilings, or you want it to be easily and quickly dismantled, the solution for you is using slip tees. An example of this kind of structure is a large photo-booth you might make to bring to a wedding. A slip tee is useless in normal pipe systems because it is blocked off inside, meaning nothing can flow through it; however, this means it is great for making structures with furniture grade pipe. The slip tee slides onto a pipe and can move to any point of the pipe, while extending outwards to hold another pipe at any angle you like. To use slip tees to make your structure sturdy, you need to slide two of the fittings on two separate pipes. Then you connect the slip tees with a piece of pipe, and that acts as a brace for your structure, holding it steady. Again, four-way elbows could come in handy here, because they could enable you to attach the bracing at the back of the structure, so that for your photo-booth, for example, you can still drape whatever material you're using on the inside of the structure.
The last effective solution for making your furniture grade structure sturdy is gluing together all of your joints. Remember, gluing is a permanent solution - you won't be able to disassemble your structure after you have glued it all together. Also, if you are using slip tees, do not glue them! If you apply glue to your slip tee and then slide it onto and down your pipe, you are going to smear glue all down your pipe. Similar to gluing, but temporary rather than permanent, is using plastic rivets or self-tapping screws to lock your slip tees and/or joints in place. They will give you a solid fix, but will allow you to disassemble your structure and reassemble it whenever you like.
If you would like to see a video explaining this topic in more detail, you can watch our YouTube video here