DIY Home Improvement
PVC plastic pipe is readily available, reasonably priced and ridiculously versatile. These ingenious hacks utilize this useful, DIY-friendly material.
- Lift the front edge of the stone with a pry bar and slip two pipes underneath. Place one near the front and one about midway so the stone rests on the pipes.
- Position the third pipe a foot or two in front of the stone.
- Roll the stone forward onto the third pipe until the rear pipe comes free. Then move the rear pipe to the front and repeat.
This technique works best on relatively flat ground. On mild slopes, you’ll need a helper to shift pipes while you stabilize the load. Don’t use this method on steeper slopes.
PVC Knife Holders
Make a Mattress Sling
Here’s an easier way to carry a mattress: Make a simple rope sling that will give you and your helper a lot more control. Thread the rope through the mattress handles. Slip a 5-in. piece of 1-in. PVC pipe over the rope ends and then loop and tie each end to create a comfortable sling grip. Flip the mattress over so the sling is on the bottom and you’re on your way.
Fishing Rod Organizer
Drill 1-in. holes spaced every 4 in. in the PVC pipe. Use a utility knife to cut slits in the foam noodle, spacing them 4 in. apart. Line up the pool noodle on the wall so that at least two of the slits sit over studs. Pull those slits apart, slide in a fender washer, and screw the noodle to the wall with 2-in. screws. Then screw the PVC pipe to the wall beneath it at a comfortable height and insert your fishing rods. Look Ma, no more tangles!
Want some more garage organization ideas? Check out 27 Easy Ways to Organize Your Garage
String Pipe Cutter
Storage Pockets for Skinny Things
Vacuum Attachment Holder
Bungee Cord Organizer
Accessorize Your Mower
Fast, Inexpensive Table
Cheap Storage Cylinders
Build cheap storage cylinders from PVC pipe, end caps, female adapters and cleanout plugs. Parts are available in an assortment of diameters at any hardware store or home center. Cut the pipe to length with a handsaw or chop saw. Glue an end cap to one end and a female adapter to the other pipe end with PVC cement. Twist in a threaded cleanout plug for a cap. If sealing isn’t important, you can drill holes in the pipe to decrease the cylinder’s weight. Use the cylinders to store and protect fishing rods, drill bits, cross-country skis, blueprints or anything long and skinny—you name it.
PVC Hammer Holder
Get a Grip
Get a better grip on your straight-handled shovel by epoxying a 1-in. PVC tee to the end.
Oil Recovery System
PVC Sanding Files
- 1/2-in. i.d. = 7/8-in. o.d.
- 3/4-in. i.d. = 1-in. o.d.
- 1-in. i.d. = 1-1/4-in. o.d.
- 1-1/4-in. i.d. = 1-5/8-in. o.d.
- 1-1/2-in. i.d. = 1-7/8-in. o.d.
To apply sandpaper to the pipe, spray both the paper and the pipe with a generous layer of adhesive. Let both surfaces dry several minutes before joining them. Use two grits on each pipe—80-grit for sculpting a precise radius, and 100- or 120-grit for finish sanding. When the sandpaper’s worn out, just pull it off, spray fresh adhesive on a new strip and go back to having fun. Check out these other genius sanding tips.
Fake Plumbing Pipes
PVC Curling Iron Holsters
Overhead Storage in the Garage
Gift Wrap Rack
Here’s a terrific way to keep rolls of wrapping paper and ribbon handy, dust-free and unwrinkled. Simply glue a bunch of 30-in.-long pieces of 3-in. PVC waste pipe with all-purpose PVC glue. The rack can sit right on your worktable and you can store it underneath or in a closet. Learn more about working with PVC plastic pipe here.
Caulk Tube Nest
Before I made this caulk nest for my shop, the tubes rolled all over the shelves like slippery logs. To build one, cut 10-in.-long pieces of 2-in. PVC pipe and glue them side to side with PVC cement. To get straight glue lines, use the print along the side of the pipe as a guide. As you glue, hold the pieces together for 60 seconds with hand pressure or a clamp until the glue sets. Be sure to apply the glue only in a well-ventilated area. Glue on one tube at a time to fit the available space. That’s it— your caulk tubes are now organized.
In the plumbing aisle, you’ll also find PVC and rubber ‘reducer’ couplings that let you connect your vacuum hose to a different-size pipe.
Fill a sturdy cardboard box with sawed-off shipping tubes or scraps of larger PVC pipe. Then use it to store and organize all those short pieces of molding, pipe and dowels.
Quick-Draw Table Saw Accessories
Keep your table saw’s miter gauge and push stick within easy reach with a couple of sections of 1-1/2-in. PVC pipe bolted or zip-tied to a convenient spot on the frame under the table. Attach the miter gauge holster using the existing frame bolts, or drill holes in the legs for machine screws. For the push stick holster, we drilled a couple of sets of matching holes about an inch apart on the pipe and tautly zip-tied it to the leg.
PVC Dust Catcher
Vacuum dust and chips right at the source! Bolt a 2-in. pot magnet (available at home centers and hardware stores) to a 4-in. x 2-in. PVC pipe reducer and position it near the sander, saw, router or lathe that’s making a dust storm in your shop. A 2-in. shop vacuum hose ‘press-fits’ nicely in the 2-in. reducer end, and the pot magnet ferociously grips any metal surface.
If the working surface near the dust source is wood, screw a blank steel electrical box cover to the surface to hold the dust chute on target. Find many more tips on using your shop vacuum for workshop dust collection in this guide.
PVC Storage Hangers
It’s true—we love PVC pipe. Or let’s say we appreciate the way it inspires and accommodates tool and hardware storage. Here’s the latest PVC gem. Cut 2-in. pieces of 3-in. PVC and saw away a 2-in. section so it looks like Pac Man. (Remember Pac Man?) Drill screw holes and attach the hangers to studs or shop walls. Space pairs for convenient horizontal storage of longer tools such as levels and glue clamps, and use single segments for ropes, electrical cords or anything else that you want securely stored yet easily accessible. Try this tip and you’ll learn never to be peeved by leftover PVC.
PVC Pipe Clamp Rack
To make the rack, cut 2-in. lengths of PVC, and with a hacksaw or band saw, slice them lengthwise about 3/16 in. past the diameter’s center line. This creates the gripping action to firmly hold the heavy iron pipe. Drill and countersink two holes in each PVC piece, then space and screw them along a pair of 2-in.-wide boards. Attach the upper board to your shop wall and snap a pipe clamp in either end to position the lower board for screwing to the wall. Plus: 28 secret clamping tricks from woodworkers.
PVC Tool Pockets
Holster your screwdrivers, chisels, files and other hand tools in 3-in.-long pieces of 1/2- and 3/4-in. PVC pipe. Cut away the upper open section with a hacksaw or band saw, drill a hole, screw the piece on a board, and drop in the tools. If you’re using a band saw, slice off the cutaway section from a long length before cutting off the 3-in. holster.
Panpipe Tool Storage
Check out this speedy method for staining a whole staircase’s worth of spindles.
Cut a 2-in.-diameter PVC pipe 6 in. longer than the spindles you’re staining, wash it thoroughly and glue a cap on one end with PVC cement. Drill or saw a 2-1/2-in. hole in one end of a scrap board and screw the board to a sawhorse to support the pipe. Twist a small screw hook into each spindle end and a screw eye into a 6-in. dowel handle.
To stain, suspend a spindle in the pipe and fill the pipe until the spindle is submerged. Wear a garden glove over a plastic glove and pull up the spindle while wiping off the excess stain. Then hang the spindles on a knotted rope to dry. Add small amounts of stain to the tube each time to compensate for what gets used.
No-Ladder Gutter Cleaner
This gutter cleaner is inexpensive, takes about 10 minutes to make and will help you avoid ladder climbing. Buy 3/4-in. PVC pipe, two elbows, a garden hose coupling and a cap at a local home center. Drill 1/16-in. holes in the cap as shown. Make the handle long enough to comfortably reach your gutters, and cement the parts together with PVC glue.
I-Spy Rain Gutter
Here’s a quick and easy way to eyeball rain gutters for possible clogs—before the next downpour causes an overflow. Cut a 60-degree angle on the end of a piece of PVC pipe and tape a hand mirror to the angled end. Hoist the mirror above the gutter to spot leaves and mini jams.