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Build a Village Support Table using PVC pipe, by Dan Collander.

 

PVC is lightweight, cuts easily, come in a variety of sizes (1/2 inch and inch are recommended) and is strong enough to support all your village.  The PVC Pipe to use is the white Schedule 40 pipe also known as furniture grade PVC.  It is sold at all home improvement stores and runs $1.50 to $2.00 per 10 foot length. The furniture type “elbows” or "tees" are more expensive running as much as $1-$2 each.   The elbows and tees are available at all home improvement stores as well as Amazon, do a web search for "furniture grade pvc elbow".  Make sure they are also Scheduled 40

 

Tools needed include a PVC cutter ($15-$20) and a rubber mallet.  That’s it.  You can use a hacksaw or a power chop saw, but the cutter is very easy to operate and slices through the smaller sizes of PVC cleanly and with no mess. 

 

Pick the size of the frame you want. cut the PVC, set the PVC pipe into the elbows and  tees secure by tapping with the rubber mallet.   The result is completely open PVC frame suitable for supporting a great deal of village weight.  The village base can be just 2” Styrofoam will do for spans of 2 1/2 feet or less.  Beyond that an additional PVC support or some 3/8” plywood to set on the table is recommended.   The PVC frame allows for storage of building boxes underneath the table. 

 

The flex in the frame is normal.  If you are concerned about the flex in the PVC box, you can add cross supports as needed.  See picture attached.

 

When you are done, it all breaks down to pieces of pipe, tees and elbows, easy to store and almost no weight.

 

If you want to secure an elbow joint, just use PVC cement or pre-drill and use #8 3/8” sheet metal screws in the elbows/tees you want to secure.  The cement is permanent, the screws are not.

 

It must be “sched 40” pipe.  See the pictures below for your reference.