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Launch Pad Construction - Cutting Parts

(2) Drill a 1/2" hole in the center of one 1/2" PVC slip cap. Some caps are rounded on the end. For rounded caps, start drilling from the inside so that the drill bit will self-center. Clean the burrs off on the inside and outside. Test fit the tire valve to make sure it fits snug inside the hole. Reem the hole if necessary a little larger. Don't make it so large that the tire valve slips with no effort. If the tire valve has a hole size on the package then try to find a drill bit that size.


(3) Cut a 1" long segment of a 7/8" ID rubber hose. This is used with the 1" hose clamp to hold the compressed spring when locking down the handle.

(5, 6, 11, 15) Cut 1/2" Sched. 40 PVC into the following segments:

(5) 2 pieces - 2" length,
(6) 2 pieces - 3 1/2" length,
(11) 1 piece - 9" length, and
(15) 4 pieces - 12" length

If you purchase 10ft lengths of PVC, you can cut them up for production in the parking lot and toss the segments into the trunk. That is better for people like me that have a small car and no pickup truck.

sched40_cut.gif (2834 bytes)

(7)a. Take the 9" length of Sched 40 PVC and drill the inside with a 5/8" auger bit to a depth of 2" on one end.  The auger bit will be a tight fit but it will insert into the end if you squeeze the PVC with pliers.

sched40_reem.gif (1863 bytes)

(7)b. Glue the 9" Sched 40 PVC piece into the 1/2" PVC Slip coupler.  Glue the end in that has been drilled out.

sched40_reem_glue.gif (1959 bytes)

(7)c. Cut the Sched 40 PVC off right at the 1/2" PVC Slip coupler. File the end flat and smooth with the flat file. Be carefull to keep the surface square and flat.

sched40_reem_glue_cut.gif (1445 bytes)

(7)d - (8). Drill one hole, straight through the center, 1/2" from then end of the 1/2" PVC Slip coupler. If you don't have a drill press, mark both holes and hand drill them separately for more accuracy. Start the 1/4-20 tap in one whole and cut only 2 threads into the hole. Don't tap the entire hole because the removal of too much material makes a poor seal around the bolt. A tap is necessary to gaurentee starting the bolt without stripping out the hole.

half_slip_slip_drill.gif (2217 bytes)

(9) Glue CPVC inside the drilled end of the 1/2" Schedule 40 PVC. It will push in easier until the depth of the reem out has been reached. Wipe off excess glue. Cut the CPVC off to 1/2" remaining past the end of the Sched 40 PVC.


(10) Drill one hole using the 1/4 bit, straight through the center, 3/8" from then end of the 1 1/2" PVC Slip coupler. If you don't have a drill press, mark both holes and hand drill them separately for more accuracy.



(1) Mark 4 holes equal distances around the 3/4" - 1" copper pipe adaptor bushing, and center them in the length. Drill two holes on opposite sides of the bushing with the 5/32 bit. Drill two more holes 90 degress from the first two holes with the 17/64 bit. There should be 4 holes 90 degrees apart alternating small and large. Tap the small holes with the #10 -24 tap and the large holes with the 5/16-18 tap. You can use a reversable, variable speed drill to tap the holes. Just be carefull not to stip the holes. The bushing may have an internal ridge that needs cleaning off along with the drilling and tapping burrs. If it does, file off the ridge after drilling and tapping. Use the round file to smooth the interior and possibly a piece of sand paper to smooth the filing marks.


(4)  Cut then end off of the 1/2" Sched 40 PVC slip plug. This piece must be cut with a hack saw. The PVC used for the plug is brittle and easily shatters the wrong way if you use a pipe cutter. Clean the burrs off the small part.

plug_cut.gif (1671 bytes)

(12) Print a handle pattern out of sturdy paper. Download and open the image provided in an image editor and change the page settings so the boarder is 1/2" all around for 8 1/2" x 11" paper. Other size papers you might have to scale differently to make the image 7.5" x 10". Cut the handle patter out and hole punch out the holes.

You may have to make a pattern if you can't print to scale. Start at the end of the 2" PVC pipe and make a center line down the side. Make the 1/4" hole mark about 3/8" from the end on the center line. Mark the second hole 2" down the center line and 1/16" offset to one side of the center line. Important: the offset holes must be offset to the same side of the pipe. If you mark the first hole as shown below to the left of the center line, then the opposite hole must be offset to the right of the center line. Then draw the curve of the handle approximating the shape given in the picture.

handle_cut.gif (4838 bytes)

Layout the handle pattern on the 2" PVC pipe and mark the outline and the hole centers.

handle_cut_layout.gif (3656 bytes)

Drill the holes first. Then cut the patterns out with a jigsaw. Be sure to rotate the piece under the jigsaw while cutting so the blade remains in the center of the pipe. The standard jigsaw blade will fit inside the 2" pipe without bumping the other side as you saw.

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