Growing up I have always had a fascination with building things. I can remember back in the day Mom would sit me down in front of some Lincoln Logs, Lego’s, Erector Sets, or Tinker Toys and I would be happy for hours. My favorite thing to build with were Tinker Toys. It allowed me to build anything and everything my heart desired. It had wooden sticks, joints, and extensions that allowed me to construct some of the finest engineering a 7 year old could think of. Now, after 20 years, I have graduated to the adult version of Tinker Toys aka PVC pipe. My goal for this project is to construct a lightweight duck blind for under $50.
I began by posting a couple of sketches on our Waterfowl forum to ask for opinions and suggestions from other waterfowl hunters. You can read the entire thread here: http://www.huntingnet.com/forum/tm.aspx?m=1623687.
After some deliberation and terrific suggestions from Hunter06FlKy, duckhunter669, SwampTHING, DUMB BASS, and waltwittman I now have a well thought out plan and am ready to gather my material and build this blind..
Looking at the final version of the sketches I compiled my shopping list of 5-90 degree corners, 3 tee sockets, 3-90 degree elbows, 2-45 degree elbows, 6-10′ pipe, and PVC Cement. I decided to use 1 1/4″ pvc, and strongly suggest not using anything smaller because of the flex in the pipe.
Option 1 is the material needed to build the final sketch
Option 2 is the material needed to build the modified sketch if you cannot find the 90 degree corner fittings.
Unfortunately for me I wasn’t able to find any of the 90 degree corner fittings and was forced to build using Option 2 supplies. Below is the modification to the corners using Option 2 supplies.
Before going out shopping make some calls to your local plumbing supply stores and inquire about the 90 degree corner fitting. Explain to them what you are trying to do and they might suggest a better method of making the corners. I visited 3 hardware stores before I began calling around only to find out that these fittings are very rare and my best chance of buying them would be online. This was not an option for me because the total cost with shipping and handling would have been at least $25, and would have busted my $50 allowance. My alternative was to use Tee Sockets and 90 degree Sockets for my corners (Option 2).
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The total amount of pipe needed is 52 feet, so I purchased 6 - 10 foot PVC at least 1 ¼ inch diameter. Remember, the larger diameter PVC you purchase the heavier and more expensive this blind will be.
Once you purchase all of the material you are ready to begin making your cuts. The cuts needed to construct this blind are as follows:
2 - 72"
1 - 42"
11 - 36"
1 - 6"
2 - 18"
**If using Option 2 you will need to cut 5 smal pieces (4 inches) to connect the elbows to the tees.
When completed you should have the following pieces:
Now that all of your cuts have been made you are ready to begin assembling your duck blind. The first thing you will want to do is to construct the larger pieces first (front, back, and bottom) Then connect those three pieces together. Do not glue the pipes to the fittings just yet, you will want to make certain all of your cuts are good and everything fits. Once the blind is assembled it should look like the picture below.
If you are happy with everything you can now remove the pipes from the fittings and begin gluing the pieces together. The PVC cement sets up really fast so you will have to be quick and accurate while gluing.
When finished you can spray paint your blind with a matte finish. I used 3 different colors to get the look I wanted (black green, and brown).
You now need to decide how you plan to conceal your blind. You can spend a lot of money on store bought material such as fast grass or camo burlap, or you can make your own using grasses from the marsh or prairie to supplement your concelement. This blind has a high profile, and will need to be camouflaged with large amounts of grass arranged to make it look like a mound. The grass found along any state highway right-of-ways will work perfectly. Just make sure you bring some snips and enough bailing wire to collect the grass. Then simply connect what you have collected to the frame and you're ready to hunt.
The final cost of this blind after paint was just under $60 which was over my initial budget, but still cheap enough for me to make a couple more. One of the benefits this blind has over others is the weight. It is light enough for me to move quickly if the wind should happen to change directions. This is in addition to the self gratification you receive when you harvest any animal out of something that you constructed by hand.