How to Connect PVC Pipe
without Glue

So you're the type of person that loves DIY smart home projects, and recently started working with PVC plumbing and maybe you're even designing your own PVC furniture? You came to right place! Here is a quick guide to everything you need to know about PVC pipes and all the material around them, including special PVC software to design your PVC projects or plumbing plans. Welcome to the process of learning how to connect PVC pipes without glue, enjoy!

What are PVC Fittings ?

If your goal behind these PVC DIY home projects is to assemble and disassemble, then you are definitely not in need of PVC glue. But what is the best way to keep your design sturdy? Let's talk about PVC fittings.

Rubber Coupling

Your first option is a Rubber Coupling. This part has a rubber sleeve with stainless steel clamps on each end to provide a flexible and watertight connection between pipe.

PVC Elbows

Other Push-to-Connect Fittings you can use could be elbows at 90 degrees, or elbows at 90 degrees plus (they have a third opening in case you need the pipe to branch in a different direction).

PVC Adapters

You can also use adapters to connect different sized PVC pipes since they have different sized openings on each end.

Caps & plugs

And finally, caps and plugs: While the cap seals the open end, the plugs are used on threaded fittings or pipe ends.

- Caution - Some recommend using heat to bend PVC pipes, but we don’t recommend it since it can release toxic fumes. PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a type of plastic that contains chlorine, and when heated to high temperatures, it can emit harmful gasses such as hydrogen chloride and dioxin.

Try Our PVC Pipe
Design Software!

Cutting PVC Pipe with Different Tools

According to the tools you might have at home or might want to buy, these are the ones that can help you while cutting PVC pipes with different sizes. It’s very important you have on your protection gear, like goggles and gloves. Also make sure that the PVC Pipe is secured since you will add pressure to it while cutting.

Hand Saw

A hand saw or hacksaw, this is normally used on up to 2” PVC pipe. Make sure the pipe is marked and steady while sawing it. Make sure to have your gloves to protect your hands.

Pipe Cutter

A pipe cutter is a tool made specifically for this purpose. This tool makes clean cuts since it’s a sharp cutting wheel that tightens up around the pipe. It's also recommended for 2” PVC pipes.

Miter Saw

A miter saw, this is very useful and fast when you cut multiple pipes at the same length. This is suitable for larger PVC pipes over 2”.

Rotary Tool

A rotary tool has a cutting wheel attachment that can be used to make precise cuts in PVC pipes. This is recommended for PVC pipes that are tight or hard-to-reach areas.

Hack Saw &
Miter Box

A Hacksaw with a miter box is great for angled or precise cuts. The miter box guides the saw, which is very helpful for making straight or angled cuts accurately. This can be used for various PVC pipe sizes.

- Caution - Some recommend using heat to bend PVC pipes, but we don’t recommend it since it can release toxic fumes. PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a type of plastic that contains chlorine, and when heated to high temperatures, it can emit harmful gasses such as hydrogen chloride and dioxin.

Try Our PVC Pipe
Design Software!

Sanding PVC Pipe for a Perfect Finish

Sometimes PVC pipes can be dirty or have other imperfections. For that, we recommend sanding it with sandpaper or a sanding block. You must protect your eyes and use a dust mask, since there will be a lot of dust floating in the air. 

When sanding PVC pipes, it's recommended to use sandpaper with a grit between 80 and 220. Here's a breakdown of the recommended grits for different purposes:

Coarse Grit (80-100)

Use this sandpaper to remove larger imperfections like rough edges, or burrs from the surface. This grit is ideal for initial shaping or rough sanding.

Medium Grit (120-150)

Transition to medium-grit sandpaper to continue smoothing the surface. This is suitable for refining the pipe’s surface and removing medium-sized imperfections.

Fine Grit (180-220)

This sandpaper is perfect to achieve a smooth, polished finish on the PVC pipe. This grit is ideal for a uniform surface texture.

Gluing PVC Pipe Steps

If you decide to glue your PVC pipes, there are some simple steps to follow. First of all you need to be in an open space, since the PVC cement has a very strong smell. Also make sure to use your mask and gloves.

Step 1

First you need to have all your PVC pipes clean, make sure it doesn’t have dust or water. Also, you must have sanded the rough surfaces before, so it makes it easy to affix other parts to it.

Step 2

Select a PVC cement or solvent specifically designed for PVC pipe applications. These glues normally come in a can with an applicator brush attached to the lid.

Step 3

With the applicator brush add the glue to the outside of the pipe end and the inside of the fitting socket. Make sure the coat of the surface is evenly. This glue dries fast so make sure to have all the parts nearby.

Step 4

Insert the pipe through with a twisting motion, this also helps to distribute the glue evenly and ensures a tight bond.

Step 5

After you glued your entire project, avoid putting any pressure on it and let it rest for the next 15-30 minutes.

Painting PVC Pipe Recommendations

When painting PVC pipe you must also work in a very well ventilated area. All these products have solvents and a very strong smell. Also use your mask and gloves. In order to have a perfect finish of your PVC pipes, you must have cleaned and sanded all the pipes to the smoothness you desired. You can clean the surface with soap and water, then apply a solvent like acetone or rubbing alcohol to ensure the surface is clean and dry.If you don’t need to go through all the different grits we mentioned before, just use a fine-grit to sand the surface. This way the paint will adhere better.

PVC Primer

After your pipes are clean and smoothed, we recommend to use Primer specifically designed for use on PVC, this will help the adhesion and durability. Allow it to dry before using the paint.

PVC Paint

As for paint, acrylic latex or spray paints designed for plastic are good options. Double check with the provider that the paint is suitable for plastic surfaces and PVC Pipes.

Paint Coat

You have the option to apply a clear coat for enhanced durability and protection. This clear coat sealer, formulated for use on plastic surfaces, safeguards the paint from chipping, scratching, and UV damage.

- Extra tip - You can use a brush, roller or a spray gun, just make sure to start by applying thin and evenly coated material from one end of the pipe to the other. Making the paint look even is accomplished faster with spray. If your paint isn't a fast drying material, allow at least 24 hours of rest to avoid scratches.

Try Our Free
DIYer App

DIY Ideas for your Next PVC Project!

If you’re curious about working with PVC pipes for your next DIY Smart home project, our DIYer App has a library with some good, fun and creative PVC projects. Check this out and remember you can edit the free 3D design according to your needs.

This DIYer App has all the
Parts You Need!

Here's a brief overview of the current parts we've included for PVC designs! If you don't see what you need, just notify us, and we'll promptly add it for you! In addition to all the standard PVC parts, we've also incorporated numerous HVAC parts for your convenience.

Why Use this DIYer App
for PVC Projects?

Originally this app was intended for plumbing purposes, but PVC pipes have gained popularity due to their affordability and versatility in a wide range of home projects. From crafting baby PVC walkers and setting up hydroponic systems to building small cold frames and even constructing geodesic domes, individuals have discovered numerous inventive applications for PVC.

Explore our gallery to discover practical and smart PVC plans and innovative construction ideas. PVC connections are also compatible with steel, allowing for seamless integration of PVC tubes.

Extra points for this material since PVC is renowned for its durability and resistance to weathering, chemical corrosion, and abrasion, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications especially if you have painted the tubes.

The affordability of PVC components allows for the acquisition and  experimentation without concern of overspending. Nonetheless, it's crucial to recognize that PVC tubes, being hollow, may not adequately support heavy loads without a robust framework, especially for longer tubes.

Our platform is completely free and accessible since it's a web-based app. You can switch between PVC, aluminum 8020, HVAC or wood according to your needs! Enjoy the process!

Do You Want to
Make Something Cool?

This PVC tube design software is Free and Super Easy to use! Unleash your Imagination!

Start a PVC Project!


Is this a downloadable app?
No! It all works on the browser. It works on your phone as well as your computer!

Is it free?
Yes the app is 100% free.

Can I save my design?
Yes! You can save your design in your account.

Can I share my design?
Yes! You'll have a unique URL for every design you save which you can send to anyone! They can then see or clone the design. They cannot edit your design. You can also delete it whenever you'd like.

What materials do you support?
Crafty currently have 1000 parts across
aluminum 8020, steel, wood, HVAC and PVC! Let us know if we're missing a part.

Where did the idea for this app come from?
I spent a year building an off grid farm and knew nothing about construction / plumbing / electrical work…
I saw that most people had to go the hardware store multiple times and many times they weren’t able to finish their work that day because the vendor didn’t have the part. So I thought if you can design your project beforehand, it will allow us to check for compatibility while you’re designing and then be able to send you all the parts! Much easier!

Can I connect PVC to wood, t-slot / aluminum 8020?
Yes. There are transition parts that allow you to connect PVC to wood or wood to aluminum 8020. If there is interest, we will start adding parts like motors and electrical components as well.

The idea for Crafty is to be a place where you can design your entire project with all of its components so when you want to get to building, all you need to do is order!

Do you have everything in stock?
No, not everything. We currently have about half of the parts and our goal is to little by little add more.
For the parts we don't have, we will give you a link for the provider that you can buy it from. Hopefully as the app gets more traction, we will start to carry more and more items so we can ship you everything in one set.

How do you deal with long and heavy parts (like 2x4s)?
When you have parts longer than 36" or of a certain kind (like lumber beyond a certain WxH), we just give you the dimension / exact length for you to go buy that at your local store. It doesn't make much sense to ship a 2x4 :)

Are you going to add more parts?
Yes. This current set of parts that you see on the app is our initial set. We just finished this version in late April 2023 so we’re listening to the feedback we get and will evolve the app to be the best that it can be for all of you!

Why not just use CAD?
You can! If you have all the parts downloaded already and are an expert in CAD software. Also, I would hope that your CAD software gives you a clean output of all the parts / their exact measurements.
What CAD software won't do is allow you to share the design online and allow others to see your design and specs.

Do you have tips I can follow for different materials?
Sure! Here are some basic concepts.
How to Use 80/20 Aluminum
How to Cut PVC Pipe
Can I Connect PVC Pipe with Metal Threads?
How to Connect PVC Pipe without Glue

Do you have any tutorials on how to use the app?
Yes please visit our YouTube Channel and learn about:
Crafty Amigo Tutorial: Design Your Woodworking Project!
Crafty Amigo Tutorial: How to design your DIY PVC Project!