Monday, 22 March 2010

Making exhausts

The other day i was trying to be helpful in suggesting a way of making some exhaust pipes for a very cool anti grav bike he's building but looking back at my explanation it's useless without pictures. So here it is in pictures. Been a while since i did this last and that time i used brass pipe but out of brass at the moment so picket up some ali pipe instead. First cut the ali pipe down to the required length and insert a smaller length of plastic pipe, and it needs to fit inside snug.
Then you need to crimp the ali pipe "gently" with pliers and if you have it use some leather to stop the pliers marking the tube. Also crimp the plastic pipe so it matches your ali pipe.

Now mark out where you want holes in your pipe and make a pilot hole using a scalpel point, then drill out the holes. I don't need to say it but will anyway DON'T DRILL YOUR FINGER! IT HERTS! A LOT!

Then cut the plastic pipe to required length and find a heat source. A candle is best or in this case a zippo as it's a constant flame and you don't have to hold it whilst warming your pipe. Don't put it in the flame, that will just result in a mess, hold it above the heat for a few seconds and gently bend in the desired direction. I've put a cocktail stick in the end to help bend it.

You may find the plastic pipe warps a bit but at this point a rub with a sanding stick will bring it back into shape and sanding over the drill holes to remove any burrs from it.

A spot of putty around the point were the 2 pipes meet will blend them together nicely.

And finally here's a couple i painted up to show what you can get for half an hours work per pipe.

I did this on the fly tonight after thinking about it at work today and i think it's worked out quite well even if the holes are a bit dodgy and should have left the putty to go off more before painting lol
Hope this gives you the gist of how to add custom smoke pipes to your tank or grav bike or mek or what ever you need an exhaust for.


  1. Very interesting technique. I've never seen something like this before. Do you think this could be done using hollow plastic rod instead of brass/aluminum?

  2. Well i use plastic rod for the smaller section and it seems to crimp ok but to be honest the price difference is minimal between ali and plastic. Aluminium keeps it's oval shape better where as plastic tube may split but i'll try an experiment to see what happens and report back. Brass is probably the best type to use, both hollow and the solid type for the smaller section.

    Good advice. I can second that it hurts!

    As an alternative to the open flame and the inevitable scoring and marking, I'd suggest using hot salt. I've had an article on it in the works for months now that I really should finish...

    Cheers and thanks for the neat tip. I'd have just sculpted it but this is sharper, cleaner and quicker.

  4. Your welcome and we need to see that tutorial on hot salt, sounds a lot safer than zippos and i've since realised it's right next to my airbrush cleaner ooops.