How to Bend Acrylic Tubing

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You can bend acrylic tubing to enhance a variety of projects.
You can bend acrylic tubing to enhance a variety of projects. (Image: gel tubing macro image by laurent dambies from Fotolia.com)

Acrylic tubing is used in a variety of projects from plumbing to crafts. This type of tubing is also useful in keeping soil from becoming saturated when irrigating plants in your yard. In some cases, you may need to bend acrylic tubing to properly join sections or work around fixed objects. Bending acrylic tubing is a fairly simple process, although it can be easy to scorch or melt the plastic.

Things You'll Need

  • Boiling water
  • Propane torch
  • Pliers
  • Vise grip

Boil a pot of water on a stove or over a fire. Suspend the section you want to bend over the boiling water for about 10 minutes.

Remove the tubing. Quickly place the tube in the vise grip at one end of the section you want to bend. Place the pliers on the other end of the section and slowly pull the tubing into shape. For large bends, you may need to repeat this process several times. Because this is a time consuming process, it is better for slight bends.

Hold the section of tubing you want to bend about 3 inches over the flame of a propane torch. Allow the tubing to heat until it becomes pliable. Place it in the vise grip at one end of the bend and shape the tubing with pliers. This method works well for larger bends, but there is a greater risk of melting or scorching the plastic.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear gloves and protective eye gear when bending acrylic tubing to avoid burns.
  • Always bend acrylic tubing in a well-ventilated area. Heated plastic can release fumes that can damage your eyes and lungs.

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