A garden arch is a frame that you can use to create an opening in your yard where plants or vines can grow. It’s also used as decoration and fencing for walls, paths, etc. This archway is very easy to make, and depending on your design it can be free-standing or attached to a fence.
Benefits of the garden arch made with PVC pipe:
- Strong & sturdy construction;
- Compact design that doesn’t take up too much space;
- Chemical resistance;
Do you want to have a garden arch in your backyard? If so, this article will help give you the instructions for making one out of PVC pipe. Anyone can do this easy DIY project! This blog post includes information on how to make a garden arch with PVC pipe as well as considerations before starting the project.
Tools Required to Get Started
- PVC pipes;
- PVC pipe cutter (regular or ratcheting);
- A pencil and a straightedge to mark the cut;
- A drill;
- An electric sander (optional);
- A PVC primer and glue;
- A saw (consider using the battery-operated type because it makes quick work of branches, but you can manage with just about anything. Just be safe);
If you’re using a regular PVC pipe, experts suggest getting an extra cutter so that both ends can be cut at one time. This helps speed up the process and will save your hands from hurting as much! Also, note that cutting this stuff is a messy business – if you have clippers go ahead and clip off any stray pieces of plastic around where you’ll be working later on.
PVC pipe caps to cover the ends of your pieces are also optional. They’re great for keeping out dirt, debris, rusting—basically anything you wouldn’t want in your arch. But they can be pricey (about $0.50 each), so consider skipping them if you like the raw look! Just make sure that both ends are completely sealed off with waterproof sealant or it’ll eventually succumb to moisture damage which will cause cracks and leaks over time; then no one gets their money’s worth on this investment.
Step-by-Step Guide of Making a Garden Arch With PVC Pipe
1) Cut your pieces of PVC pipe to fit the arch you want. Leave one piece uncut until all three are cut and ready for placement. This way, if something happens while cutting—you’re covered! Some people like their arches tall or wide depending on how much room they have in between two trees that form a gateway into their yard. Others prefer them as middle segments (like ours) where it’s just enough space to walk through without feeling closed off from nature because those “windows” look really pretty too; especially when there is foliage growing up around each segment which will give us an additional pop of color against white plastic once it grows back out again.
2) After deciding and marking where all the pieces of PVC pipe need to be cut, it’s time for cutting! For this step, you can use either a regular cutter or one that is battery-operated. Just make sure whatever type you’re using is well-sharpened before attempting any cuts – this will help reduce slipping and the chance of injury.
3) Now that your pieces are all lined up according to how they should fit together, take them down from their resting spots on top of each other (they’ll probably fall over if left there) and find the piece with an uncut end. Line it up at the bottom point where the arch contacts the ground. Then push until about half an inch pokes out of the top.
4) This is where the drill comes into play! Insert your pilot bit (this helps us keep things nice and clean since it’s smaller than the size of our saw blade, so basically a little tunnel for all the excess plastic to fall out once you cut), plug in your power cord, and get ready to go.
5) Now time to pick up that sander if you have one – or you can just use an old or cheap handheld version. If so, make sure it has a handle because this should be done by hand. Go over every inch of each piece paying special attention to any joints/edges that may need work since they’ll probably look rough from cutting through PVC pipe. That’s okay though – experts can sand it down so that everything is nice and smooth! It’ll be worth the effort since you won’t have to worry about anyone getting hurt from sharp edges if they accidentally brush against one while walking through our gateway arch into a garden or yard space.
6) Now, let’s get back to work on that top piece of PVC pipe which should still have half an inch sticking out at this point. Take your primer tube and apply a generous amount of glue around where it meets with a PVC pipe cap (if you’re going to add caps) then push in place until snugly resting on all sides. You may need someone else for help holding these pieces together because once they have been pressed onto each other, they’ll be a pain to separate again.
7) Now that all 3 pieces have been glued onto one another with caps on either end (if you chose to use them), it’s time for the saw! This is where you make those pretty notches in each arch segment so everyone can see outside or whatever else there is around us without feeling closed off from nature because of our garden archway/gateways. With your pilot bit still inserted into this top piece of PVC pipe, take an extra-long length of electrical cord and plug it into your handheld power saw then get ready to go – hold down firmly until you’ve made complete contact around every edge before releasing pressure.
8) This step requires a little bit of steadiness so your cuts are nice and smooth. Take your handheld power saw (plug in the cord for it first) and do not press down with much force—just enough to cut through PVC pipe so that you can fit our pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle.
9) Stat filling gaps between each arch segment using one of two methods:
- Using some caulk along every single gap you just made by cutting pieces to size then smoothing them out until flush against both sides;
- By taking that leftover white plastic from making these horizontal lines on either side of this top piece, slice off small strips about an inch thick which should be plenty since this part is only about 5 inches wide and you only need to fill the gaps along this top part;
10) Make the notches for where the archway begins and ends using a hacksaw. Make two small cuts at either end then remove the PVC pipe cap from that first piece since it’ll be easier to see what you are doing without having caps in the way. Now slide everything together like before but don’t forget about those pieces of leftover white plastic! They come into play now as spacers that will help us line up each segment so they fit snugly against one another – you may want them touching everywhere because no one wants their head bumping around an open-ended doorway/gateway arch!
11) If you’ve gotten this far, now comes the fun part – the sanding down the process! Take your handheld power sander with a nice set of coarseness levels and get to work. Go for a “smooth as glass” look. But it’s important not to go overboard because then all those edges will be smoothed out too much which won’t make things like walking through our archway gateway safe anymore since there are no longer any corners or rough spots where people could scrape their knees or toes on if they weren’t paying attention while doing so. You may want to leave these edges sharp instead of rounded out.
12) Once you’ve got that nice smooth texture across the entire surface area (including over those notches where each piece meets), it’s time for a paint job! Consider choosing something earthy and neutral-colored like brown or grey so this archway/gateway will blend in nicely wherever you choose to put it without being too distracting from our garden either. If choosing a shade lighter than its surroundings is more your fancy, then go right ahead – just make sure there isn’t anything behind us outside when doing so since the sun shining through all those lines might be able to slightly show itself otherwise which would defeat their purpose entirely.
13) Now, once all your paint is dry and you’ve taken your last step in making this archway/gateway to the garden complete, it’s time for a little decoration! Consider putting some small flowers or plants along these horizontal lines that run on either side of the top piece. Try not getting anything too large just yet since there isn’t much room here, but if you wanted to add something larger later down the road then feel free to do so after testing its stability first – you don’t want any accidents happening with an entire flowerpot falling over onto anyone passing by.
Is PVC pipe bendable?
One of the main questions people have when they want to make a garden arch with PVC pipe is whether their piping will bend or not. Well, it depends on what type you use! The easiest and cheapest kind for bending purposes is Schedule 40 at two inches in diameter, but these can be hard to find because most hardware stores only sell up to one inch in diameter (which isn’t very graceful).
You probably won’t need an entire foot-long piece; that’s way too much material if your project is small enough. So keep looking around until you find some nice tubing that fits your needs – it may take a while. After all, this stuff has practically become obsolete since metal arches gained popularity!
Does heating PVC pipe weaken it?
Yes, as PVC pipe becomes heated, it loses strength. If a PVC pipe is sufficiently heated to catch fire, dioxins are released into the air, which is detrimental to both people and the environment. When PVC is merely warmed up, it produces carcinogenic vapors that can cause cancer. PVC pipes that are being used should not be heated above 158 degrees Fahrenheit.
How long does flexible PVC pipe last?
Flexible PVC pipe may degrade over time. It can last anywhere from 5 to 25 years, depending on the conditions of where it’s located and how much direct sunlight hits it throughout the year.
Can you use a heat gun on a PVC pipe?
Yes. The heat gun melts the PVC material to create a flexible piece of pipe that you can bend into many different shapes. You should wear protective gloves when using a heat gun, as it may cause burns if touched with your bare skin. It is also recommended that you use safety glasses to protect your eyes from any possible flying debris or vapors given off by the melting process.
Can you paint your arched garden pipe?
The heated PVC will not be able to take on new color as regular plastic tubes do; however, there are spray paints specifically made for plastics such as ABS and polycarbonate (two types of thermoplastic). Before spraying, make sure all dirt is removed from the surface area in order to avoid clogging or corroding the spray nozzle.
Do you need to use glue when assembling your garden arches?
It is not necessary to apply any type of adhesive in order for your PVC pipe arch garden structure to remain to stand and intact, however, if you choose it gives added stability, all-purpose PVC cement can be used effectively on most types of plastics.
The recommended amount should be applied evenly along with both connecting parts, but care must be taken so that none enters into the inside cavity where fumes may cause harm.
Let dry before inserting the next section flat end first until fully connected together. If desired after assembly, additional paint or even a clear coat sealant may also help protect against weathering effects such as rusting or deterioration due to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) sunlight rays.
How do you mount your garden arch onto the ground?
To fully secure your PVC pipe arches into place, they can be buried around two-thirds of their length in order to help prevent them from moving or tipping over due to wind gusts and other harsh weather conditions. Although a shovel may work for this task on level surfaces, it is recommended that you have access to a tractor with hydraulic arms mounted at the front frame of the machine instead as this will allow much faster digging without unduly taxing yourself by having to lift heavy loads too frequently.
If possible, consider using an auger drill attachment as well which may enable you to easily dig through even hard-packed clay soils that are common throughout some regions such as the American Midwest.
At what temperature does PVC pipe soften?
PVC pipe becomes soft and workable at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. When heated, the tube will become less rigid and much easier to bend without kinking or splitting. It’s important to note that PVC pipes should not be exposed to direct sunlight while heating as it might cause the material to crack or warp during installation.