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Canoe Stand

When my wife got her canoe, there were only a few instructions on the net for building stands. There were many pictures of PVC canoe stands but not much, if any, detailed instructions on making them. Here is my shot at a detailed tutorial (this was also on a site that is no more that I had awhile back).

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Getting Ready
    • Materials
    • Tools
  3. Pipe Cutting
  4. Hole Drilling
  5. Assembly
  6. Finishing Touches


Project: Canoe stands x 2
Project Time: About 3 hours
Material Cost: Around $45

Easy to make canoe stands made out of PVC pipes. These stands have rope padding in place of the standard foam padding I have seen. Personally, I think the rope looks better than foam.

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility if your stand fails to do its job or if you get hurt making the stands. I am writing this because seems like every project has a disclaimer because someone somehow screws up.

Getting Ready


The following items were purchased from Home Depot except for the rope which was purchased from City Mill. Home Depot was out of the foam I wanted so I headed to City Mill. They too were out. I saw the rope on my way out, so I got that instead. The cost is a little more than foam but the rope adds a nice look.

Item Qty Price Total
PVC Pipe 1-1/4" x 10' 2 $4.39 $8.78
Stainless Steel Bolt 3/8" x 4" 2 2.35 4.70
Stainless Steel Washers 3/8" 8 0.17 1.36
Stainless Steel Nut 3/8" 2 0.30 0.60
Pipe T-Joint 1-1/4" 4 1.41 5.64
Pipe Cap 1-1/4" 12 0.72 8.64
Rope Solid Braid 1/2" x 35' 1 14.69 14.69
Grand Total $44.41

You will also need masking tape and a small diameter rope (~5/16"). I had these lying around at home.

Glue for the caps and joints.
Thread Lock for locking the nut to the bolt.
Stickers to make it look nice.


  • Pencil
  • Measuring Tape
  • Hack Saw (or a some sort of pipe cutter)
  • Drill
  • Drill Bits 5/64", 3/8", 5/16" (or size of your small diameter rope)
  • Scissors
  • Lighter

Pipe Cutting

Use your measuring tape and mark the PVC pipe every two and a half feet (2-1/2'). You should have three marks that section off the pipe into four pieces. Label the sections A, B, C, and D. Pieces A and D should be the end pieces.

Use a hack saw to cut the pipe at the marks you have made. You should now have four pieces that are two and a half feet in length.

Set aside the two pieces that have the flat edges from the manufacturer's cut (A and D). The cuts on these ends tend to be perfectly perpendicular. You will use these ends to measure from when marking the hole for the bolt.
Use the inner piece (B) and mark it half way (15"). Mark the last piece thirteen and a half inches (13-1/2") from any end.

Note: You may mark both pieces at the half way point (15") if you wish. The offset on the second piece is to have the end of the leg bases flush when the stand is folded-up.

Use your hack saw and cut at the marks. You should have two fifteen inch (15") pieces, one thirteen and a half inch (13-1/2") piece, and one sixteen and a half inch (16-1/2").
Repeat the above steps for the second piece of 10ft pipe.

Hole Drilling

Take the two pipe pieces you set aside earlier (A and D) and mark the the flat end into quarters. I do not have any special tool. I just marked one side, then eyeballed the opposite end trying to keep the marks as center as possible. Then I made marks in between those two marks as center as possible.
Note: If you have a special tool to draw straight parallel lines on pipes or round surfaces, you may skip this part.

Mark a straight line down the pieces from the quarter marks. I do not have any special tool so I just use a door frame. Place the pipe in a corner and use the corner as your guide.

Use one set of opposite marker lines to mark each side fifteen inches (15") from the flat good edge (the manufacturer's cut). These marks will be for the bolt. Label these marks as axis.
Use the other two marker lines and mark each side twenty-three and a half (23-1/2") from the flat good edge. These marks will be for the adjusting rope. Label these marks as rope hole.
Use the 5/64" drill bit to drill pilot holes at all of the marks. Then use the 3/8" drill bit to drill the axis holes. Finally, use the 5/16" drill bit for the rope holes.

Repeat the above steps with the second set of pieces.


Connect the two pipe pieces by putting the bolt through the axis holes. Place a washer on the outer ends and two washers between the pipes. Just hand tighten for now.

String the smaller diameter rope through the rope holes. Placing masking tape on the ends helps to keep the rope stiff while passing through the holes. I used pieces that were about 3ft in length. Tie off at the ends to prevent the rope from slipping out.

Attach the pipe T-Joints to the bottom of the stands (side closest to the rope). Attach the two fifteen inch pieces to one of the T-Joints. Next, use either the shorter or longer cut base piece on the opposite T-Joint so that the ends of the base are almost flush. Cap all the pipe ends. Tie off knots on the rope ends to adjust the height of the stand.

Finishing Touches

Use the 1/2" braided rope and wrap the top part of the stand. If you keep the wrap tight and make about 17 turns for each support, you will have just enough rope for both stands.

Use thread lock on the nut and bolt to prevent the bolt from loosening and falling off.

I decided to glue all the T-Joints and caps to prevent them from falling off while moving the stands.


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