A homemade truss can make great framework for an outdoor shed roof. Smaller models can be used indoors to hang lighting for a family living room or a community playhouse stage. Building a truss out of pipe is much like building a truss out of wood. Getting the angles of the pieces cut just right is the biggest challenge. Otherwise, building a truss from pipe should take only an afternoon of work to accomplish.
Make a plan. Write down the specifications you require of the truss. Determine whether you will build framework for a roof or a lighting apparatus. Sketch out what you want the truss to look like.
Gather materials. Determine how much pipe will be needed. Look around the garage for spare pipe, or head to the hardware store.
Start cutting. Use a hacksaw or a table saw for PVC pipe. Try more heavy-duty equipment, like a mule, for steel pipe. Check with a hardware store if you'd like to pay for the pipe to be custom-cut for the job.
Cut the angles. Use levelling tools to help make the ends of the pipe fit together to achieve your design.
Match the edges of the pipe. Sand down any edges that must line up to be sealed.
Join the pipes. Use a solvent cement for PVC pipes. Apply the solution liberally, and push the pipes together until they hold. If using metal pipes, clamp together and heat the connection with an arc welder until the separate pieces become one.
Unless you are an engineer, it's best to keep truss plans simple.
Tips and warnings
- Unless you are an engineer, it's best to keep truss plans simple.