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View Full Version : ABS vs. PVC- marine application- building a shark cage



fishinwithagun
10-21-2009, 08:54 PM
Hi all, well I don't think this is an "everyday plumbing question", but I am desiring a pretty specific application for pipe and need to know what you all think.

I am building a shark diving cage, and want it to be inexpensive. This rules out aluminum or other metals; you know, things that sane people would use. Anyway, I am looking to construct it out of either PVC or ABS, but I'm not sure what would be best for this application. The cage will be held together at the corners with fittings- tee connecting to street elbow- the structure will be a 7x5x5 ft rectangle. Every 14 inches up the vertical frame will be a tee connecting horizontally to the opposite side of the cage. Probably going to go with 2" pipe.

The question is: Given the fact the piping will be used in the water(but not kept there permanently), have some sun exposure, and possibly be bitten/rammed by a shark, is it better to go with PVC or ABS? I basically require durability.

Thanks!

Ryan

PS. This is not a joke. Can I please get some serious replies?

Winslow
10-22-2009, 01:00 AM
Hi all, well I don't think this is an "everyday plumbing question", but I am desiring a pretty specific application for pipe and need to know what you all think.

I am building a shark diving cage, and want it to be inexpensive. This rules out aluminum or other metals; you know, things that sane people would use. Anyway, I am looking to construct it out of either PVC or ABS, but I'm not sure what would be best for this application. The cage will be held together at the corners with fittings- tee connecting to street elbow- the structure will be a 7x5x5 ft rectangle. Every 14 inches up the vertical frame will be a tee connecting horizontally to the opposite side of the cage. Probably going to go with 2" pipe.

The question is: Given the fact the piping will be used in the water(but not kept there permanently), have some sun exposure, and possibly be bitten/rammed by a shark, is it better to go with PVC or ABS? I basically require durability.

Thanks!

Ryan

PS. This is not a joke. Can I please get some serious replies?

In doesn'tmatter which is more durable, you are going to be the sharks lunch in either case.

Peter Griffin
10-22-2009, 03:06 AM
How big are the sharks ? :D

johnjh2o1
10-22-2009, 04:06 AM
First I would at least use SCH 80 pipe and you do realize that if you leave no way for water to fill the pipe it will float.

John

Cass
10-22-2009, 04:15 AM
Your nuts.....

hj
10-22-2009, 06:22 AM
Your heirs will be happy to know that by saving money on the cage you were able to leave them a little larger inheritance. Sharks bend metal cages, your PVC one will only slow them down, regardless of how you "reinforce" it. A 7' section of 2" pipe with 14" spacing will allow the shark to go right through it with just a little acceleration run. Please get a competency hearing before proceeding with your plans.

Redwood
10-22-2009, 06:48 AM
Can you post a video of you using it?:rolleyes:

jimbo
10-22-2009, 06:58 AM
Well, I certainly agree that you are about to be shark bait.

But specifically on your question: Pressure rated PVC, shc. 40 or preferably sch. 80, is solid plastic. Many DWV pipes, both ABS and PVC, are cellular foam core. Not as much structural strength there.

Water is not a problem, but PVC turns brittle after sun exposure. This would be over a year or more, and we don't expect you will last long enough to worry about it.

Runs with bison
10-22-2009, 07:28 AM
Being in the water with a few sharks is no big deal. I'm usually swimming toward them rather than away--the sharks are the ones who are skittish. Being in the water with a lot of big sharks, chumming and such is not on my activity list though.

This thread reminds me of a Far Side cartoon about "Don's discount shark cages." I wouldn't trust plastic pipe for something like this. I've never seen PVC pipe hold up well as a structural member for a framework. Cheap soccer goals are often put together this way and it seems like they are always broken.

Gary Swart
10-22-2009, 09:43 AM
This question reminds me of the old movie clips showing early attempts a flying. The contraptions that had flapping wings, guys with wings jumping from cliffs, and on and on. Although these guys risked breaking their necks, they weren't going to be eaten by sharks. I really suspect you are jerking our collective chains with this idiotic question, but if you are serious, are you older than eight or nine and does your mommy allow you to go in the deep end of the pool? If you are for real, make your PVC/ABS cage and hang a bag of fish guts inside. Then lower the cage into shark infested water and see how long it will take for the sharks to smash into it.:eek:

Lakee911
10-22-2009, 12:24 PM
I'd have someone weld me one out of rebar for dirt cheap before making one from plastic pipe.

hj
10-22-2009, 01:36 PM
Preferably #4 rebar minimum, and preferably #6 if the boat has a big enough crane.

Ian Gills
10-22-2009, 02:55 PM
I have green, yellow, red and brown nuts...you know...down stairs.

fishinwithagun
10-22-2009, 06:09 PM
Thanks for the feedback and the laughs guys... I like the pictures! In hindsight, PVC is a no brainer... went to HD today and got some SCH 40. The reason why I wasn't sure on PVC vs. ABS was my friend said "get the black PVC(ABS), it's stronger." It sure didn't feel that way, he obviously didn't know what he was talking about- but you guys do!

I'm still working on a few things, one being how to get the cage to sink. I don't really want to drill holes through the PVC as that could weaken it; perhaps I can find a 4 way fitting so that as the cage goes in the water the pipes fill up. Also, the spacing between each horizontal bar; HJ brings up a good point, 14 in. is probably too big. Bad things happen when a shark gets his head caught in the cage! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_EIGI9qFp4)

However, the sharks I would be diving with would not be that big. Off southern California we have blue sharks, makos, threshers and great whites. I don't think I would dive with a shark bigger than 8'. I know a spot where some smaller great whites have been hanging out <8' that I am excited to dive with; better hope mom doesn't show up though <15ft! :eek:

Again, thanks for the opinions. I won't let you guys down... pictures of the finished product as well as in the water with sharks are on the way; give me a few weeks. :)

Doherty Plumbing
10-22-2009, 06:32 PM
Thanks for the feedback and the laughs guys... I like the pictures! In hindsight, PVC is a no brainer... went to HD today and got some SCH 40. The reason why I wasn't sure on PVC vs. ABS was my friend said "get the black PVC(ABS), it's stronger." It sure didn't feel that way, he obviously didn't know what he was talking about- but you guys do!

I'm still working on a few things, one being how to get the cage to sink. I don't really want to drill holes through the PVC as that could weaken it; perhaps I can find a 4 way fitting so that as the cage goes in the water the pipes fill up. Also, the spacing between each horizontal bar; HJ brings up a good point, 14 in. is probably too big. Bad things happen when a shark gets his head caught in the cage! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_EIGI9qFp4)

However, the sharks I would be diving with would not be that big. Off southern California we have blue sharks, makos, threshers and great whites. I don't think I would dive with a shark bigger than 8'. I know a spot where some smaller great whites have been hanging out <8' that I am excited to dive with; better hope mom doesn't show up though <15ft! :eek:

Again, thanks for the opinions. I won't let you guys down... pictures of the finished product as well as in the water with sharks are on the way; give me a few weeks. :)

You have to be kidding right? I mean seriously. You're worried about drilling holes in the pvc because it will weaken it...... This doesn't make sense to me because if you were worried about strength you'd be going with something much more durable then sched 40 PVC.

If I were you I would of ATLEAST gone with a 3" sched 80 main frame and 2" sched 80 for re-enforcing bars.

But then again if I were you I wouldn't be stupid enough to swim with great whites (of any size) in a PVC shark cage...

Oh and you should try and paint that cage to keep the UV light off it. PVC likes to shatter once it's been exposed to the sun for a bit instead of bending.

Good luck to you though!:cool:

Cookie
10-22-2009, 07:22 PM
My head hurts from laughing.

ChuckS
10-22-2009, 07:34 PM
Your nuts.....

Is that a pre-existing condition?

I hope his health care doesn't deny his coverage.

Cookie
10-22-2009, 08:56 PM
Chuck, maybe check out this site for some info:

http://www.ehow.com/how_2154299_build-shark-cage.html

Redwood
10-22-2009, 09:11 PM
I nominate this thread for this weeks Darwin Was Right Award...:eek:

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f2/Redwood39/darwinaward.jpg

Peter Griffin
10-23-2009, 02:51 AM
I second that motion and call for the vote ;)

Cass
10-23-2009, 05:16 AM
OK so you want to have it be able to fill with water...then install some 4 ways here and there at the top and bottom and it will fill....

Cookie
10-23-2009, 05:23 AM
This is from someone from another site having some fun.

Cass
10-23-2009, 05:29 AM
I would suggest you install a door so that you can let the sharkes in so you won't ruin a perfectly good shark cage...after all others will want to use it when your done with it.....

Redwood
10-23-2009, 09:03 AM
Have you considered PEX tubing...:rolleyes:

davesnothome
10-23-2009, 09:31 AM
Pex is the way to go....use the 1/2" it should be fine. Get the stainless clamps so they dont rust. A bunch of plastic tees and it will be lighter
and flex alot better. If they hit it hard, they,ll just bounce off...that stuff is
really tough. If you get the blue, it wont even be noticeable in the water....
Mount a camera on the cage itself, so we can all watch.

Cass
10-23-2009, 09:34 AM
Sounds like something Cheech & Chong would have done...

hj
10-23-2009, 11:23 AM
quote; I would suggest you install a door so that you can let the sharkes in so you won't ruin a perfectly good shark cage...after all others will want to use it when your done with it.....

You also might want to put a sign over the door with "FISHINGWITHAGUN'S SHARK ROACH COACH" on it. You might want to change your name to FishingwithTNT around sharks.

fishinwithagun
01-14-2010, 05:34 PM
Hi all, well I don't think this is an "everyday plumbing question", but I am desiring a pretty specific application for pipe and need to know what you all think.

I am building a shark diving cage, and want it to be inexpensive. This rules out aluminum or other metals; you know, things that sane people would use. Anyway, I am looking to construct it out of either PVC or ABS, but I'm not sure what would be best for this application. The cage will be held together at the corners with fittings- tee connecting to street elbow- the structure will be a 7x5x5 ft rectangle. Every 14 inches up the vertical frame will be a tee connecting horizontally to the opposite side of the cage. Probably going to go with 2" pipe.

The question is: Given the fact the piping will be used in the water(but not kept there permanently), have some sun exposure, and possibly be bitten/rammed by a shark, is it better to go with PVC or ABS? I basically require durability.

Thanks!

Ryan

PS. This is not a joke. Can I please get some serious replies?

Hey all-

Well, I just wanted to follow up on my original post. I built the shark cage out of sch 40 PVC a few months back and today got to take it out- and pictures to prove it was "not a joke". Anyway, thank you to those who did offer advice and constructive criticism.

Now, I have not had the opportunity yet to tangle with any great whites or makos, which would perhaps be the best chance to test the structural strength of the cage. But today's encounter with these blue sharks (4-6 ft long) was a nice warm up. So nice in fact that we decided the cage wasn't needed...

The last picture is a photo of the cage under construction some months ago.

Thanks,

Ryan

Randyj
01-14-2010, 08:28 PM
I don't understand the desire to use PVC or any kind of plastic. For safety, economics and durability I'd use cattle panels reinforced with at least 1/2" rebar not more than 24" apart. I assume that one concern is the weight of the diving cage but you've got to sacrifice some things for safety. IMO, any significant lenghts of plastic pipe is going to be far too flexible for this application. Cattle panels will be somewhat flexible but will at least keep a sizeable shark from easily going through the fence.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3PluNR5lXs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3PluNR5lXs)

toolaholic
01-14-2010, 09:30 PM
In the past they used 1/2" pvs for the tiger tiger cage . A worthless punk was killed by the escaping Tiger. Poor animal was shot. I believed the failure was traced to a cleaner primer mix up .:confused:

hj
01-15-2010, 07:29 AM
Try playing with some great whites without the cage and have the survivors tell us how it went. I suppose you have NOT seen the videos where great whites bend the bars of a steel cage. One bite on a PVC pipe, and it will be history, and the rest will follow it in short order.

Erico
01-15-2010, 10:30 AM
Hey all-

Well, I just wanted to follow up on my original post. I built the shark cage out of sch 40 PVC a few months back and today got to take it out- and pictures to prove it was "not a joke". Anyway, thank you to those who did offer advice and constructive criticism.

Now, I have not had the opportunity yet to tangle with any great whites or makos, which would perhaps be the best chance to test the structural strength of the cage. But today's encounter with these blue sharks (4-6 ft long) was a nice warm up. So nice in fact that we decided the cage wasn't needed...

The last picture is a photo of the cage under construction some months ago.

Thanks,

Ryan

You go in the cage, cage go in the water. Shark in the water.

"Farewell and ado to ye fair Spanish ladies
Farewell and ado to ye ladies of Spain
For we've received orders for to sail back to Boston......"

jadnashua
01-15-2010, 11:08 AM
Both of those plastic pipe are so soft, if the shark decides to bite, it will be like tissue paper. A good bump will likely crack it as well. This is a really dumb idea, but might improve the gene pool results...just don't cause society to spend a bunch of money on you to care for you if there's anything left at the end...

ilya
01-16-2010, 03:04 PM
Nice knowin' ya, Ryan.

frenchie
01-16-2010, 03:53 PM
Not seeing the point of a cage, if it's made out of PVC, you might as well do like Rutzen or Hartman:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4LgFyDkWoU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDbbgKt2VFc


just tap em on the nose when they come check you out.