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I was planning on building some kind of piston toy gun like this one. However, I have trouble finding the pvc pipes in europe (France and Switzerland at least). I looked at the webpage of Hornbach, Leroy Merlin, Brico Dépôt and others, but with no luck. I find bigger pipes, mostly for water sewage or collection from roofs.

However, in the US it seems to be very easy to find. For instance at Home Depot.

Do you have an idea why it is so?

Bonus point: Do you have any idea for an alternative with european available materials?

  • Are you actually walking into stores and finding nothing? Or is this a "what keywords do I type into the search engine" question? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Apr 10 '18 at 18:32
  • @Harper I sometime go to these stores, but as I didn't remember seeing those pipes, I searched thoroughly on their websites to see if they had them. Which seems not to be the case. The online catalogs seem to be pretty complete and showing most of their products. – Legisey Apr 11 '18 at 6:22
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They don't have the DIY market as it exists in the USA - many homes are older and there are a ton of regulations regarding who can build what, when and where. Also it might not be legally allowed by law to sell it directly to an end user. The fact that it has PolyVinyl Chloride is probably a regulatory issue but I do not know that for sure.

I know that Industrial supply companies do have them as a previous European employer of mine built machines with PVC, given you are mentioning France too that side of Switzerland .. I am thinking Germany might be some distance.

If you are desiring to weld it together make sure it is all of the same type as US and European PVC do not weld together - I am not talking glue together - I am talking welding.

Also you might want to check with Local Laws as to whether or not you can even make that toy 'legally' .. European Laws can be strangely different and somewhat constricting in comparison to any one who has lived in the US, for example the Hitler salute can be done in the USA but not in Germany and there are plenty of other such laws besides this more well known law.

Bonus: Wood is the best alternative material in Europe.

PVC PIPE Suppliers in Europe

  • Thanks for your answer. I don't see how wood could be an alternative to PVC pipes. Or do you mind specifically for this project? But even like that, I don't see how I can manufacture some wood pipes easily. – Legisey Apr 11 '18 at 6:27
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    Wood can be easily cut, whittled, sanded into the shapes you require, also long round wood 'sticks' are probably easy to find in Europe as well. Now if you wanted the toy to have a hollowed out barrel that would be different - copper pipe might be an easier alternative. Depending on durability cardboard cores for industrial plastic wrap or other types of materials is also a possible alternative - which you could harden by wrapping with fiberglass if you so desire. – Ken Apr 12 '18 at 5:30
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Try "waste pipe" - it is available in several diameters near the size in your linked article. It may be made from a different plastic such as polypropylene instead of PVC. You can obtain various types of bend, tee and other joints for it. It can be glued or solvent-welded.

Diameters available in France or Switzerland may vary, they still use sinks/basins and have small pipes to take small quantities of waste water away from them.

Otherwise you'd need to contact a plastic pipe manufacturer and get a list of their distributors.

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