ESPcat Making Beams #solarboat

Holy shit!  I’m making these huge 9 meter (29.5 ft) PVC beams out of drain pipe.  What am I doing?  Where is the instruction manual?  Will they be strong enough.  Will they bend to that radical curve I need.  There is only one way to find out.

If you look at this side view of ESPcat you will see that the length of the curve of the roof is approximately 9 meters long.  Side Vies

In order to hold the roof together, I need 4 long beams that run the entire length of the roof.  I can only purchase 3 m lengths of PVC drain pipe so I have to glue pieces together.  To make matters even more complicated, the 6.618 meter part is going to be made from 100 mm x 50 mm PVC pipe while the remaining 2.478 meters is made of 50 x 50 pipe.

I will start by making a 200 mm long, joining socket out of PVC bits that fit together.
2016-08-01 15.24.08  2016-08-01 15.35.46

Then I will glue the socket in one end of the pipe then quickly glue on the second piece before the glue dries.  What can go wrong?  The pen is pointing toward the finished joint.
2016-08-01 15.40.02

Former Prime Minister David Lange once said something to the effect that being Prime Minister was a game of pretending to be confident while feeling inside that you have absolutely no idea what you are doing.  Man oh man am I feeling confident.2016-08-01 15.40.42

Tomorrow we will see how strong it feels.  I made a test joint and sat on it.  It didn’t snap.  If everything seems OK,  I will glue on the remaining bits for the finished 9 meter beam; the first of 4.  Once I finish the first beam, I will test it to see if I can bend it to the required angle.  What are my chances of success?

I just figured out what being on the leading edge of technology means.  It means that you have no idea in hell, what you are doing.

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2 thoughts on “ESPcat Making Beams #solarboat

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