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Making A Large Tower (part one)


There was no serious plan or sketches done prior to the start of this project. Our plan changed constantly as we built these structures, and our assembly of them didn’t go quite as smoothly as we would have hoped. However, that is the nature of projects like this, and luckily they turned out very nicely despite all of the little problems.


We started this project with 4” PVC pipe as the central core of the buildings. To that we added cups, bowls, and even a small trash can. All of these items had similar tapers, so they made cohesive structures.


Using a hole saw, we cut out several rings and discs out of MDF. We like to work with MDF because it’s very sturdy and cheap, but foam insulation would have worked just as well. The rings and discs were then glued together and the corners were rounded off to form the balconies of these buildings.


At this point things became tricky as we had to start gluing dissimilar materials. If you have enough varieties of glue, you can stick almost anything together with a little bit of experimentation. Sometimes it may be necessary to even use two glues at once. For this project we used wood glue, Epoxy, and PVC glue. As a general rule, always try to get your glue from the same place that you got the material from. As an example we are using PVC pipe that we got from the plumbing section, so the glue we used on it was plumber’s PVC glue. In this case, our only issue was that because we used wood (which is very porous), we had to apply a liberal amount of PVC glue to the wood before applying it to the pipe.


Once the balconies had been attached to the bottoms of the cups, bowls, and trash can, we then cut out the holes that the PVC pipe was meant to fit into. We used a drill press for this process, but a hand drill will also work if that is all you have. Once the proper notch had been removed from the pieces, it was fairly straightforward to glue them onto the side of the PVC pipe central core. At this point the basic shape of the structures is complete. Next we will need to add all of the architectural details, which will be covered in another article.





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