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A trowel is such an inexpensive tool, it’s hard for me to imagine making my own for anything besides the experience of making and having made it myself. Still, I can see why someone might want to make this one described by Instructables “PVC whisperer” Thinkenstein: It starts from ubiquitous scrap material, looks good, and is made using an unusual process that involves softening PVC pipe under heat (a delicate trick, safety wise) and forming it by hand.


Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

  • craig

    I’ve been heat manipulating PVC for decades, my first project was a PVC extoskeleton H.R. Giger ALIEN halloween costume I made in the early 90s. I found that a heat gun used in paint stripping does not scorch the PVC if you keep it moving. Scorching/burning PVC releases acidic fumes, and a propane torch scorches too easily. I have R2s and a ‘naked’ C-3PO made from PVC, the R2 Builders Club refers to me as the ‘PVC GUY’. To this day I’ll soften PVC pipe segments in the oven a bit to flatten between two sheets of MDF, the material around the workshop is very handy to have for various projects.