[[We were asked by a teacher to make a specific shopping list and that can be found here: Shopping List. Even if you use that list, please read this page and the Tools page to get an understanding of the process]]
One of our goals when creating this resource was to design the mouthpieces so that they would fit into parts that can be found in most hardware stores. Another goal was to make this system as modular and reconfigurable as possible.
In order to achieve these goals, we came up with two methods:
1) Multi-sized shanks
Most of the mouthpieces have three outer diameters – this allows them to be connected to 3 different sizes of plumbing materials.
The SAE(standard) mouthpieces fit:
1/2″ PVC pipe,
1/2” PVC couplers
1/2” ID Vinyl tube and
3/8″ ID Vinyl tubing
The metric mouthpieces fit:
15mm PVC pipe
15mm PVC couplings
8mm vinyl tube.
A lot of the fun of this system occurs because of the variety of PVC couplers that can be found at your local hardware store – elbows, tees, crosses and wyes. Here is a screenshot from McMaster Carr that shows some of the many variations of pipe fittings available:
2) Tape Gaskets
Despite the measurements that are provided, there will be slight variations in the thickness of your printed pieces and in the various pipes that you get from the hardware store. Additionally, when you use PVC elbows, Tees and connectors, you will find that they do not always form a very tight seal on the pipe. There is a bit of a gap that is usually engineered in to allow people to apply adhesive to the pipes. You can apply your own adhesive OR you can wrap the smaller side of your junction with a few layers of electrical tape. This will provide a sort of gasket that can help you to hold your pieces together. Glue will be more permanent but tape will allow you to easily disconnect the pipes and reconfigure your instrument.