Cheap and Easy DIY Rod Tubes

Discussion in 'Boat Yard Basics' started by disporks, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. disporks

    disporks I Love!

    Sorry if this is too long and detailed.

    Here is what you will need and how I go about making rod tubes.

    -Tape Measure
    -Marking Device
    -Sandpaper and small block-I used 80 and 180grit
    -Chrome Metal Shower head Flange (I believe thats what its called, picked mine up at lowes for about 6$)
    -Scrap peice of wood
    -Heat gun

    I used 1 1/4" thin walled pvc. This can be done with larger pvc I found no need to go that big though as I wont be storing the full length of the rod in the boat. If you go bigger with the pvc you will need to find a different size flange to "mold" the lip with.

    Ok, first off measure your pvc to desired length and add about an inch and a half (you can always trim the unflared end down to fit in your space)


    Using a peice of wide masking tape I tried to make my line to cut as square as possible...This WILL affect how your rod tubes look. Mark your tape edge with your marking device.


    Make your cut


    Now you will have some fuzzies that need to be removed. This will also finish "squaring up" the end of the tube. I used 80grit on a small block to do this.


    Alot smoother now


    Come back and get any deep scratches out with the higher grit paper and smooth the edge out a little more


    Note* I believe pvc is harmful if sanding dust is inhaled, wear a mask!

    Now you have a nice clean edge to work with


    Here is what I did with the flange, Mounted it to a small 2x4 scrap I had laying around.



    Now be careful when doing this next step. Begin to slowly heat up the pvc and the flange with the heat gun, apply heat around the entire flange but dont get it too hot.


    Once its warmed up pretty good, you want to spin the pvc around the hot flange and apply downward pressure, this will begin the rolling/flaring of the tube.


    Once you get your desired roll/flare turn the heat gun off but dont move the pvc, it needs to stay in position on the flange so it will cool down and stay perfectly smooth and circular. Blowing on it will help it cool quicker.

    I go about 50% so that the tube will sit flush with the panel you are mounting it on.


    And there are your rod tubes!


    Be careful not to melt your pvc, if you have the desired shape but a little discoloration no worries you can wetsand it off...or since its so cheap you can try to make another one lol

    Now as for mounting, for the sealing of the tube to the panel, I'd use some 5200 and run a good bead filling up the area inside the flare then press in place and clean off any excess.

    I have yet to mount mine in my boat, im waiting on my spool gun for my welding machine so I can weld the rests for the rods on the side of the boat.

    Enjoy and make sure you practice with some small peices before going at it, I only screwed up a couple times and found it fairly simple after that
    State fish rob likes this.
  2. oysterbreath

    oysterbreath Well-Known Member


    That shower head idea is great!

  3. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    Looks easier using the heat gun than a deep fryer.
    Square cuts are important alright. End up with lopsided flares if you don't.
    Hacksaw and a miter box is good, large diameter tubing cutter is easier.
  4. Rosco

    Rosco I'm probably sanding something...

    Thank you for posting this tutorial. Just added it to my favorites.
  5. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

    power miter saw is even easier ;)

    I dig the shower head flange idea!
  6. mudd_minnow

    mudd_minnow BE THE LURE

    Another fantastic idea.
    Thanks for sharing.
  7. oysterbreath

    oysterbreath Well-Known Member

    I used a miter saw. One of my most useful tools!
  8. disporks

    disporks I Love!

    Yea a miter box would definitely make life easier, maybe a chop saw or something.
    If you guys make some post up pics id love to see how everyone elses turn out
  9. bourbon

    bourbon I Love!

    Exactly the info I needed. Thanks!
  10. Hardluk81

    Hardluk81 Well-Known Member

    I was just thinking about this last week but couldn't figure out what to press the pipe on to make it flare like that. THANKS! To secure it to my bulkhead I was thinking about taking a die grinder and removing the lip inside a coupling so it would slide down the pipe. Then insert the tube in bulkhead slide the coupling on the back and secure it with a little clear pipe glue. You could also get some long couplings and cut them in half instead of grinding out the lip on the inside.