Mangineering with PVC.

Definition I submitted to Urban Dictionary. Will they post it?

Note: I submitted the above definition as an alternative to the existing bitchy one.  It has since been accepted and you can vote for whichever definition you prefer.

When most people think mangineering they think of the handyman’s secret weaponduct tape.  While I do respect the classics, I have come to prefer PVC pipe instead.

PVC bunk bed a man created for his 3 year old.

It is easy to find, easy to work with, strong, light weight, and comes in a range of sizes with all sorts of connective fittings to choose from.  It is a grown man’s erecter set.  Oh, and the pipe and fittings also come in handy for fixing sprinkler problems too!

PVC Jungle Gym a man created for his granddaughters.

I first started building with PVC when I was rigging my fishing kayak.  The guys on the kayak fishing forums have made pretty much anything you can imagine from PVC and pool noodles, including truck and trailer racks for hauling kayaks and carts for taking them to and from the water.  I ended up making a light mast and a set of small stowable stands that keep the kayak off the concrete launch ramp I use.

My kayak on PVC stands with PVC light mast (mast not extended)

Mast collapses for storage/transport and protects the globe.

Mast fully extended with globe attached to end of light.

Once I started using PVC to rig my kayak I realized how useful it was for any sort of building project.  I’m always tinkering with something or the other, so it comes in quite handy.  Most recently I needed a way to stabilize my HD video recorder.  The thing is really nice and small, but it doesn’t have optical stabilization so you have to hold it very steady especially if zooming.  I use a tripod when practical and a monopod whenever a tripod is too much.  The monopod works great at stabilizing side to side and up and down motion, even if I keep it in it’s shortest form and use it as a sort of handle for the video recorder.  Unfortunately the monopod doesn’t help with rotational motion.  I noticed this when I took zoomed video of our daughter sitting on Santa’s lap last year.

This year I decided to plan ahead and started thinking about how I could add a short arm on the monopod.  Here is what I came up with using some 1/2 inch PVC pipe and fittings, some hose clamps, and some Krylon multi surface paint:

Monopod with handle raised.

Monopod with handle down.

Closeup of how it is attached.

The paint cured just in time to take videos of our daughter in her Halloween costume.  It worked perfectly, even without the leg portion extended.  This is my new favorite way to take videos.  I used a threaded connector to attach the handle and when I bring the arm up it tightens up exactly the way I wanted it to.  It really helps keep the camera steady while allowing me to move around freely.

All of this is a very good thing, because if you put a five year old in a Super Girl costume, she’s going to run!

See Also:  Share your own feats of mangineering.

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21 Responses to Mangineering with PVC.

  1. Anonymous says:

    When I saw the word “Mangineering” I thought it was “Mangina-engineering”

  2. dalrock says:

    Any suggestions on a better word?

  3. J says:

    Interesting post, with some cool stuff that you made!

    I had no idea PVC pipe was that strong. I wonder if I could get my husband to make a closet organizing system from PVC pipe if I promised not to roll my eyes.

    I noticed that the site you linked had some womangineering (vagineering ?) as well. Maybe the hubs and I could make something together.

  4. dalrock says:

    Interesting post, with some cool stuff that you made!

    Thanks J!

    I had no idea PVC pipe was that strong. I wonder if I could get my husband to make a closet organizing system from PVC pipe if I promised not to roll my eyes.

    Yeah, I was tentative at first when I saw all of the stuff on the kayak forums people made with PVC. Especially the carts and kayak racks. I think just like anything else you have to have a good sense for how to design it and make sure you use the right size & grade.

    As for the eye rolling, I should have linked to the existing definition on urban dictionary to put mine in better context. It will be interesting to see if they actually post mine, especially given the amount of trash they have on their site.

    I noticed that the site you linked had some womangineering (vagineering ?) as well. Maybe the hubs and I could make something together.

    lol. I don’t know what the right term is. I left room open in my definition of mangineering if you want to fit in the loophole. I think the distinction would be that mangineering would tend to be more practical purpose stuff, and vagineering would be more decorative/crafty/etc. But there would still be a significant overlap. And either way, those who can’t do any better themselves (or come up with better names) would still feel compelled to criticize the work of others. Oh, and as for women working with PVC. That just proves the point. It is so easy, even a woman can do it! 🙂

  5. dalrock says:

    One more thought. I keep checking to see if the urban dictionary has accepted my definition, and I noticed today that this post is 5th on the google search results page for the word mangineering. Pretty funny.

  6. J says:

    I should have linked to the existing definition on urban dictionary to put mine in better context.

    Yeah, you should have. It’s funnier as a rejoiner to the existing definition. My DH has mangineered according to that definition though, and I have laughed at him. He is King Duct Tape.

    Oh, and as for women working with PVC. That just proves the point. It is so easy, even a woman can do it!

    LOL. Actually, I find dealing with the PVC cement a pain in the butt. It looks so easy to use, but when you have to cut it to fit existing pipe under a sink and the whole thing leaks..What a pain!

  7. dalrock says:

    @J
    LOL. Actually, I find dealing with the PVC cement a pain in the butt. It looks so easy to use, but when you have to cut it to fit existing pipe under a sink and the whole thing leaks..What a pain!

    Working with new pipe in a clean, dry, easy to reach environment is a totally different experience. And you don’t have to have the cement perfect for projects since it won’t usually be pressurized. You do still have to get the pipe together quickly and in the right orientation. But often you don’t even have to use cement. I didn’t for most of the joints on the kayak stand, for example. It sticks together well but folds up for storage.

  8. J says:

    Good to know. Do you think a clothes rack system would hoild together without glue?

  9. dalrock says:

    Most of it probably would be fine not gluing. I typically don’t glue if I don’t have to. You would only need to glue sections under a tensile load (pulling apart). Most of it would probably be under a compression type load and wouldn’t need to be cemented. Also, you can drill a pilot hole and put a screw in sections you don’t want to glue but want extra hold with. If you avoid gluing it will be easier to move or even reuse the pieces later. The connectors are the expensive part, so that can make a difference.

  10. J says:

    You would only need to glue sections under a tensile load (pulling apart).

    Like a horizontal crossbar I wanted to hang clothes on?

    [D: Exactly!]

    Most of it would probably be under a compression type load and wouldn’t need to be cemented.

    Like the verticals that hold up the crossbar?

    [D: You got it!]

  11. dalrock says:

    BTW J. When you ask your husband to help with the project, just tell him you want him to lay some pipe in the bedroom. 🙂

  12. Gorbachev says:

    I’m going to mention Mangineering all the time now, because we need this word.

    BTW, PVC pipe is awesome. I used it to make a video camera stabilizer, too. basically, you’re right – it’s a construction set for adults. What was that old toy, made from wood, I remember it, … all the parts, little wheel things with holes and spokes you could put in, … ?

    Men are so damned useful.

    We should appreciate ourselves more.

  13. J says:

    When you ask your husband to help with the project, just tell him you want him to lay some pipe in the bedroom.

    Great idea. Everyone loves to do things they’re already good at!

    However, when he realizes he’ll also have to cut some pipe, he might object.😉

    [D: Just like Mrs Dalrock’s extreme disappointment when she realized there was only an earthquake.]

  14. J says:

    Gorb–

    Ever watch Red Green and all the duct tape projects? His motto–“If you can’t be handsome, you can at least be handy.”

    [D: Did you notice the link in the post?]

  15. dalrock says:

    @Gorbachev
    I’m going to mention Mangineering all the time now, because we need this word.

    Outstanding! The urban dictionary just emailed me that they accepted my definition and are going to publish it. When they do maybe I’ll ask readers of the blog to vote for it. I see they already are panning the bitchy one. These are small steps but I think they aren’t without value. Part of what we have to do is not let the feminists control the language entirely like they have for decades.

    BTW, PVC pipe is awesome. I used it to make a video camera stabilizer, too. basically, you’re right – it’s a construction set for adults. What was that old toy, made from wood, I remember it, … all the parts, little wheel things with holes and spokes you could put in, … ?

    Did you see the underwater camera housing on this page? Amazing! I’d be interested in learning more about your own creation. I’ve been thinking maybe I should create something from scratch just from PVC, instead of modifying the monopod. All I would need is a bolt or machine screw with the right thread pattern.

    Men are so damned useful.

    We should appreciate ourselves more.

    If you don’t mind I think I will quote you on an upcoming post. No need for men to get overinflated egos, but I do agree. I think feminists instinctively fear this sort of self awareness among men, and this is why they go after men’s ability to fix/create things with such a vengeance. It challenges their mythology too much to tolerate.

  16. MW says:

    Ahh, Red Green….. the Ottawa Valley’s gift to the world!

  17. J says:

    D: Did you notice the link in the post?

    J: Just now. That was the funniest show!

  18. dalrock says:

    My favorite is when he changes the oil.

    If you have someone else do it, you can’t be sure if they did a bad job. If you do it yourself, you know.

  19. Badger Nation says:

    The urban dictionary definition is up!

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=mangineering

    You are correct, def #2 is so bitchy. My one question: who the F are those women married to? Obviously they picked slobs and are now projecting their faults onto the entire male population.

  20. Pingback: Share your own feats of mangineering. | Dalrock

  21. Pingback: Awkward Family Photos. | Dalrock

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