I have a 3" dia. PVC pipe I'd like to put into a PVC coupler that looks
like a brimmed hat with a hole through the top. I think the coupler is
sometimes used for toilets. I'd like to be able to rotate the coupler
I could sand the the top of the pipe. I tried a simple experiment with a
1" dia pipe and a coupler by using 3-1 oil between the two, and it works
pretty well. However, that has a huge lever mechanical advantage. The 3"
device will be outdoors exposed to the hot sun in the summer. I could
put a lever arm on it to help turn it.
Any further ideas?
On 4/9/2010 10:38 PM, hr(bob)
I've built pistons from PVC pipe to be
used to move stuff at Halloween. I've
used both lithium grease and powdered
graphite. The graphite is usually
better at it isn't as messy as the
grease. But, if the 2 pieces were made
to be normally glued together, I think
you need to remove some material to make
them slip better. Of course, that
depends on how often or how much you
Are you building a merry go round for the kids? Will it be
used for plumbing, and carry water?
What's the temperature range?
Off the top of my head, if it's summer only, then axle
grease might work. Maybe grease with some graphite mixed in.
Silicone spray might do it.
I suspect I might be able to get away with leaving it pretty much as it
is, and use my oil filter (strap) wrench to turn the upper portion. That
gives me a good lever arm.
Wind is probably only a factor in keeping the (vertical) pipe from
swaying. I can pour sand down the tube, or guy the base about 4' from
If I can find a way to easily sand the top of the 3" pipe effectively, I
think I'll try that.
Wayne Watson (Watson Adventures, Prop., Nevada City, CA)
I think I would leave that upper fitting made up (leave it not
glued, but quite firm) and install a lubed coupling low on the
pipe to allow turning without climbing a ladder. It would be easy
to drill a through hole to insert a rod for turning leverage. PVC
pipe deteriorates when exposed to UV rays. If this is semi
permanent, protect with a coat of paint.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
What's a lube coupling.
Here's the set up. The "hat" coupler is on a heavy steel plate, and
screwed to it. the 8' PVC pipe slides into the coupler about 3", maybe
4". The pipe is screwed into the coupler. At the top is a coupler like
that on the bottom. Reversed of course. On top of that is about a 10"
tube with a dome on it. Inside it is a camera. This enclosure is screwed
into the coupler on top. I want to be able to turn the upper 10" high
enclousre on occasion if the top of an image is not close to north in a
I sanded the top of the 8' pipe fairly well by turning a belt sandpaper
inside out. The camera enclosure moves reasonably easy. Heat in the
summer tops out here from 90F to 100F for about 60 days of the year.
I use Dow Corning DC4. Its a silicone dielectric grease but works well
for making moving objects out of PVC. While you are at it put some on
all your light bulbs and you will never have another stuck one again.
I posted a question similar to yours a few months ago (maybe under a
different user name -- I'm not sure), but for a different reason.
The reason that I posted my question was that I was dry-fitting a series of
PVC toilet drain fittings to make a strange turn through a floor and over a
basement wall to get to the sewer stack. I wanted to be able to dry-fit the
fittings first and then be able to turn them to get the right series of
angles. So, I wanted some type of lubricant that would work so I could make
the adjustments and then mark the final positions for each fitting.
I received a number of replies regarding possible lubricants, and I tried a
bunch of ideas on my own (soap, silicone spray, powder, etc). Nothing
worked, but someone pointed out the the male and female fittings on PVC pipe
are actually tapered slightly, and they are made so they don't quite go all
the way in until the two pieces are being glued. The glue works like a
solvent which softens the PVC enough to allow the two pieces to seat fully
and then the glue dries and the joint becomes watertight.
So, here's the bottom line in terms of what you want to do. You will need
to sand the male end of the pipe and/or the inside of the "brimmed-hat"
toilet flange to get them so they will rotate smoothly with one inside the
other. Then I think that almost any lubricant will work -- silicone spray,
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