Making a Giant Candy Cane by Mark Wendorff
Making candy canes from 10' x 4" PVC
You will need:
1. A radial arm saw or be very talented with a back saw. I used a 10 " radial arm saw. But, a 12" would be easier.
2. A heat gun.
3. A plastic welder, available at Harbor Freight for $29.99, when on sale. Please note that a compressor is needed to use this tool.
4. Some sort of sander, unless you have big arms.
Step 1 - Attach a piece of scrap 1/4 or 3/8 inch plywood to the PVC pipe with 2 screws, to keep it stable under the radial arm saw. Make sure to use short screws, so they are not going to hit the saw blade. This piece of plywood should be placed on the end that you are going to "bend".
Step 2 - Starting at 81", make a pencil mark every 3 " to almost the end of the pipe. You should have 12 marks. Then, starting at 82", make another pencil mark every 3". You have marked each side of the V you are going to cut.
Step 3 - Remove the blade guard. If you can't be careful, do not proceed! Tilt your saw blade at 7 degrees, like this \ . Lower your saw blade to make as deep a cut as possible, not all the way through, though. A 10" saw will not cut as deep as you need. A 12" saw may, I don't know. So be careful not to saw all the way to the table with the 12 " saw.
Step 4 - Now tilt the saw blade 7 degrees the other way. Like this /. And make cuts at all the second marks. With a 10" saw, the first and second cuts will not meet at the bottom of the V. You will have to finish both cuts, with your back saw, to complete the V. Again, I don't know how a 12 " saw will work, so be careful not to cut all the way through the pipe.
Step 5 - Remove the scrap piece of plywood.
Step 6 - Turn the solid side of the pipe up. Hang part of it over the end of your bench, and slowly heat each V, one at a time. So one at a time, the weight of the pipe will close the V's. If the pipe twists, the V's won't close in line. Just reheat that V, and twist it slightly the opposite direction. Hold it a half a minute til it cools slightly. Then move on to the next V. By the way, it is almost impossible to keep from burning some of the PVC. Don't worry about it. We will fix that later. Work slowly, carefully, and don't breath the fumes. Can't be good for you.
Step 7 - Heat up your HB PVC welder. Set it at about 7-10 PSI. Feel free to experiment with the PSI. Just don't let the welder overheat with too low PSI. I used the grey welding sticks at first, then realized the white ones melt at a lower temp, and I had fewer burn marks.
Step 8 - Sand the welds. You can remove a lot of the dark spots with the sanding. When it is smooth enough for you, spray paint it with white Krylon Fusion, then put duct tape stripes on it. If you feel your welds are too rough, even after sanding, use some Bondo Home Solutions All Purpose Putty. Don't mix much, it hardens pretty quickly. Fill the low spots and re-sand, then paint.
DO NOT LET THE NEIGHBOR KIDS EAT THE CANDY CANE!!!