This is my first cake where we are building a skeleton of PVC and I have 2 questions for all you seasoned sculptors / builders.
I am picking up wooden board, pvc pipe, flange and possibly some joints.
The flange screws onto the board and the pvc pipe goes into it.
1. How does the PVC pipe stay put in the flange? Do I need to glue it?
2. So I would be sliding my cakes down the PVC pipe. However, won't the raised flange at the bottom make for an uneven surface to stake the cake? I am afraid the cake will tear.. I just cant visualize this!
Thank you so much for your help and suggestions!
This is definitely not an easy project. Compared to PVC, I tend to use drinking water grade pipes (black). The pipes screw into this "flange" I believe it's called, and that flange can then be screwed into your board. The flange is essentially a flat piece of metal with about four screw holes and hole in the center that allows the pipe to be screwed. Just make sure your board is at least 1/2 inch, if not 3/4" plywood, so the screws have enough material to hold onto.
PVC piping is a little different, and can be tricky to secure to a board. Adhesives work very well to bond PVC to PVC (it actually kind of bonds it by dissolving the PVC a bit), but PVC to wood will NEVER hold. Best bet will be to get your pipe through the board, and then sandwich it on both sides with couplers (PVC that fits over the PVC pipes).
It's hard to explain. Maybe you could even find a flange for the PVC piping and screw holes through it and secure to the board.
Yes I am planning to use a flange which will be screwed onto the board.
I also now have threaded fittings for the PVC to screw into the flange like you mentioned. So there won't be any need for adhesives or whatnot. It will work like you've described yours below.
My biggest concern now is when I am looking at the flange it is obvious it will not be flush with the board. (I will cover the flange with food safe wrap)
How much of a problem is stacking a cake on top of the flange where its not flat going to cause? Do I just push the cake firmly so that any raised part of the flange goes into the cake?
Yea, I'd just stack the cakes over the flange...you shouldn't have a problem. If you want, you could carve a little out from underneath to level it. But since it's a carved cake, I'd imagine it doesn't matter.
Some examples of PVC in cakes:
Examples of wooden support:
I use the PVC/Flange method for all of my wedding cakes nowadays so I can deliver preassembled. I use the white "water grade" pipes....just like the ones used for plumbing inside many homes. I attach the flange to my 1/2" board, then use a "coupler" that is threaded to screw into the flange, then that coupler will accept my pvc pipe with no problem...it's not going anywhere! All of my cake tiers are placed on 1/2" foamcore, so I carve out a bit of the underneath of the bottom board so it sits flush against the flange. Good luck to you!
Cambo - that is the exact description I needed - thanks!
Where do you buy your foam core btw?
Hi, I've used variations on the pipe and flange method before. I understand how that secures a tall cake from horizontal slippage. But I can't seem to find a description of how you use it to support multiple floating tiers? With stacked cakes, I use bubble straws between the tiers to support the next tier, regardless of which central support i use, but what if you need to "float" a tier? Particularly for ball-shaped floating tiers, I've managed before with using all-thread (one really long bolt) that screwed into the plywood board, then screwing a nut down onto the all thread at the right place, putting a huge washer over that, and then slipping the ball tier (into which center I have previously inserted a bubble straw so it slides easily with no contact) over the all-thread. This works great for supporting the cake but is awkward to dismantle if you have multiple floating tiers like this, since after removing each upper tier you must unscrew the nut that was holding it up before you can slide the lower tier up and off! Does anyone have a better way to float multiple tiers using the pipe-and-flange system?