wrapping pipes

now that i’ve got most of the pipes built, the next thing is to make them paintable, strengthen the bond between them, and keep prying hands from messing with them.

there are one or two joins that didn’t take.  it was between the white pvc pipe and the gray plastic pipe, which must be some other kind of plastic, and even tho i’m using a multi-purpose pvc glue, the gray stuff doesn’t want to stick.  so i’ve got one joint in all the dozens of joins that isn’t staying together no matter what.  i’m going to have to figure something else out.

but for today, i wrapped.

i had a bunch of cheesecloth from other projects, several yards.  so i cut it into approximately 2″ 2-ply strips, and kind of jagged, too, at least at first.  then i dipped the strips in diluted acrylic molding paste, and while wet, i spread out and untangled the individual strips, flattening them and undoing the folds, and then carefully wrapped it around the pipes.  i’ve seen pipes wrapped like this, even at the aquarium.  not sure why, but i’m assuming it makes them quite a bit stronger.  anyway, i can’t paint pvc except with krylon, and it scratches.  but gauze will take the paint just fine.  so i’m doing that.  low tech is best.  and cheapest.

here you can see the individual pipes, not very well because of the glare, even tho i tried to deal with that.  each wrap slightly covers the fabric underneath it.  just like you’d wrap a bandage.

and here is the ever-helpful home depot dolphin helping me out.  he’s holding the end of the pipe in his snout so i can use both hands to wrap gauze around the pipe.  the part he’s got in his mouth is the part i wrapped yesterday, which is bone dry today.

and this is all the ones i’ve finished, laid out on the floor.  the next step is to start using two-part epoxy to cradle them against the fiberglass base, and then use straps to bolt it onto the dolphin.  i’ll be getting to that tomorrow.

some thoughts on the home depot dolphin have been occurring to me as i’ve been working on the mckenneys’ dolphin.

he’s got stuff in his back pocket, maybe a take measure.  he’s got a walkie-talkie. both of these an be cast resin and painted.

i suddenly saw the grommets in his shoes made out of hardware, little bolts, say.  i can put a hammer to his right at the base, and a drill to his left.  both cast resin.  i can decorate the curlicues of the waves with little hardware parts.  washers, bolts, screws, nails.  all glued down in patterns, like marching ants.

it’s all been very slow in coming together, but here as the deadline nears, it’s all coming together at last.

the final step will be the painting.  and then it’ll be as if i hadn’t done anything so far, because every inch has to be painted realistically, and that’s as much of a job as gluing stuff down.  and more important.


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