Let's Make Robots!

Cutting PVC

Note that this is not related directly to robotics, but it is still going to be part of an autonomous system with feedback...

I need to make some straight, lengthwise cuts in a pvc pipe. Each cut has to be 1 meter long. The challenge is that the pipe is already mounted onto the ceiling and I have to do the straight cuts while holding the cutting tools overhead. I tried using a dremel on a piece of scrap pipe and it cuts fairly easily but I can't control it and the tool wanders all over the place.

Does anybody have any practical advice for this type of situation?

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Mark your cuts with a chalk box, and use a fine tooth blade (180 tooth) in your circular saw.

Remember to wear your safety glasses.

I would try to make a guide by using 1/2 or 1/3 of the crap pipe. Mayby use some polymorph or Sugru to hold the Dremel in place.
If only one had a 3D printer then you could probably build a rig quit easily :-)

The secret to dealing with all pipe (the long way) is to stick it in angle-iron. If you have a piece of L-channel (angle-iron), you can at a minimum, mark a nice straight line down the length. From there, it is a matter of attaching this "V" shape to the bottom of your cutting tool allowing it to slide down the length of the pipe, while keeping the blade centered. That's it. A round thing inside of a 90 degree corner --Works every time.

A plastic plate, chunk o' plastic a couple inches/few cm square, with a hole the right size for the dremel head along with a hole for a screw that allows you to adjust a second plate that holds the dremel at a set distance from the angle iron that Chris has mentioned.

The angle iron could actually work very very well, I just need to make some kind of adapter for my dremel, this adapter will come in handy in the future too...

Thanks guys!

As for using a circular saw, I like the idea but unfortunately I don't have that kind of saw, the closest thing I have is an angle grinder...

My jigsaw has a slot for a jig to attach to, and it cuts fairly straight since it uses a blade. Making a simple jig with angle iron guide as CTC suggested should keep you aligned with the core of the PVC.