I realize that this information will be exceedingly boring to anyone who is handy with tools. I am not, and most power tools frighten me.
I made myself six NADAC slightly-smaller-than-standard hoops, total expenditure $106.64, which counts a few extra things that weren’t completely necessary (decorative tape and end caps for the legs). It took about an hour, not counting on-line time to find the PVC parts (Patios to Go) and the trip to Home Depot for the tubing.
Herewith the instructions and the shopping list:
From Patios to Go:
Nine lengths 3/4″ 5 foot PVC
Twelve 3/4″ pipe caps (optional)
Six 3/4″ smooth elbows
Six 3/4″ four-way connectors
From Home Depot:
Ratcheting PVC Cutter (the smaller one)–we had one, but they cost around $15
50 feet 1/2″ pex tubing
5-pack multicolored electrical tape (to decorate the tubing) (optional)
The ratcheting PVC cutter is not a power tool and it’s really easy to use. It would be possible, I think, to cut off a finger with it, as it’s quite strong, but you’d have to try. I put the wide base on a table and then used body weight to ratchet the mouth closed, as my hands weren’t strong enough. That method worked very well, though, and I made all the PVC cuts in about ten minutes, without breaking a sweat, while talking to my son.
Cut 3 pieces of the five-foot PVC in half, creating six 30″ pieces (hoop bases). Standard NADAC hoop width is 34 inches, but I didn’t want them quite that big.(Also, it made the math easier.)
Then cut 3 pieces of five-foot PVC into 12 15″ pieces (i.e., cut them into quarters).
Take the last three pieces and cut 12 pieces, each 12″ long. You’ll have one piece 36″ long when you’re done.
Assemble this way:
Put an elbow and a 4-way at each end of the longest piece. Put a 15-inch piece into the elbow and into the 4-way. Put a cap (if you’re using them) on one end of the 12″ pieces, which are the feet; insert the feet into opposite sides of the 4-way connector.
Now you have topless hoops; you’ll need to cut the pex tubing to the right lengths. I found about 84″ (7 feet) worked. I did some experimentation, though, to find the right length. I put on end in the upright, pushed it all the way to the bottom, and then eyeballed the length and cut it too long. Then I tried that length by pushing the tubing down into the other upright. Yep, too long. Cut about six inches off. Tried again. Repeated until I was happy with the height and the arc I was getting, then used that piece to measure the other five pieces.
Once I had the hoops all assembled, I added some decorative colored electrical tape to the top. That’s another optional step.
I assembled my hoops without glue. I want to be able to take them apart to pack them in the car if I need to, and they fit together pretty tightly. If I were planning on leaving them outside, I’d probably glue them.