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HowTo: Creating a PVC Candy Cane  (Tim Fischer)


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Step 1 : Materials Needed


This how-to will show you how I created some candy canes out of PVC pipe. Thanks to Marilyn Caron and her postings on the Planet Christmas chatroom for the inspiration and advice on how to do this.

You can check out our website at www.fischersplace.com/christmas to see how these were incorporated in our display.

What you need:

- PVC Pipe. I used a 1" ID, Schedule 40 pipe cut to 5' length
- Bucket with appropriate diameter to form the hook of the cane.
- Leather work gloves
- Standard Kitchen Range
- Cookie Sheet
- Turpentine and rag
- Red Tape

Step 2 : Preparing the Heat Source


Turn on the broiler of range. Position top oven rack so top of pipe is five or so inches from the flame (we used a gas range). Place flat cookie sheet on top of rack to support pipe.

Step 3 : Heating the Pipe


Before proceeding, make sure you have PLENTY OF GOOD VENTILLATION. PVC fumes are toxic -- open some windows and turn on your range hood if its vented outside.

Place pipe under flame, keeping oven door wide open. You can support the free end of pipe on a chair. Rotate the pipe frequently. It took me approximately 3 minutes of rotating before the pipe was ready to be bent. You know you're getting close when you lift the pipe and it "flops around".

Step 4 : Forming the Cane

To make the shape of the cane, I simply wrapped the pipe around a small bucket, laying it on a throw rug on the floor. If the pipe isn't hot enough, it either won't bend at all or will want to 'fold' rather than bend smoothly. If that's the case, just heat it longer. (I'm not sure what happens if you heat it *too* much, as I didn't let it get that hot. I suspect the pipe would collapse).

Step 5 : Finishing the Hook


Support both ends of the pipe, to keep it from straightening out before it cools. I used a chair leg and a knife block (two nearby items). Once the pipe is cool, it will keep it's new shape.



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