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  • 1.  Periaktoi/Peristyles/Etc - A PVC Build

    Posted 01-16-2024 09:45

    Back in the fall, my daughter the Producer approached me to come up with a way to build a 3 sided flat known as a Periaktoi or a Peristyle out of PVC. After watching a few YouTube videos, I found that everyone uses wood! My experience has been that wood can be too heavy and difficult to assemble, disassemble, and reassemble. Since her productions are mainly middle school kids, all props must be lightweight and safe. Wood scares me in that situation, if it ever fell over and hurt someone that would be awful. 

    Off I went to create this 3 sided idea and bang! Right out of the gate a BIG issue! PVC fittings are not made correctly to make a triangle as each corner needs to be 60 degree angle and that is NOT used in plumbing as that is where PVC is normally used. Onto my computer to create a fitting for me to print on my 3-D printer. After a few failed attempts, I was not only able to perfect the design but also came up with the Caster Adapter Plate that fits into the bottom of the PVC pipe and can accommodate two different types of casters! The steel Swivel Caster and the Single Stem Swivel Caster used on office chairs. 

    After fully assembling, I discovered a side product - The Snap Clamp - This clamp can be used to attach fabric onto the PVC in a snap!

    So here are the links to my videos showing you how to build the Peristyle and my Snap Clamps - If you are interested in ordering the fittings just contact me after watching the videos.

    How to Build a PVC Peristyle - Peristyle Promo Full Version

    YouTube remove preview
    Peristyle Promo Full Version
    Looking for an easier and lighter option for building a Peristyle structure? PVC is the answer now that I have designed a special fitting to make triangle shapes! Also included in this video is How To Assemble A PVC Peristyle. If you wish to purchase the custom corners contact
    View this on YouTube >

    How to Make a Snap Clamp - PVC Clamps

    YouTube remove preview
    PVC Clamps
    How to attach fabric to PVC piping with using tape or screws
    View this on YouTube >

    Steve Tobis

  • 2.  RE: Periaktoi/Peristyles/Etc - A PVC Build

    Posted 01-17-2024 05:45

    What a great idea!   Any way to purchase the file for the 3D printer?

    Amy MacCord
    Musical Theatre Teacher
    Westwood Middle School

  • 3.  RE: Periaktoi/Peristyles/Etc - A PVC Build

    Posted 01-24-2024 09:07

    Hi Amy

    Sorry but the corners are patented and I only sell the corner kits. Too many hours went into creating this idea but if you wan to buy some kits please contact me at

    Steve Tobis

  • 4.  RE: Periaktoi/Peristyles/Etc - A PVC Build

    Posted 01-19-2024 15:19

    PVC and Styrofoam are both inappropriate to use on stages as they violate NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, Chapter 13, prohibition against using flammable materials on stage without encapsulating them with a fire retardant.  Additionally, both create toxic smoke should there be a fire.

    PVC pipe used for plumbing is white (the pipe shown in the video) and has NO fire retardants in the formulation.

    PVC pipe certified for use as electrical conduit is gray in color and has fire retardants in the formulation.

    The corner fittings should be made from a material that has fire retardant properties as well (this would be the manufacturer's responsibility).  Alternatively, and more expensive, would be to use the Kee Safety KeeKlamp #19-8 hinged fitting (   Note that the web site has errors in both the part numbers and the drawing, but I checked with Kee Safety and the device will rotate to allow the 60 degree angle).

    The foam-board product  suggested in the videos is a styrofoam (EPS - Expanded Poly Styrene) variant.  Other similar products commonly available (blue, white, green, pink, etc.) are ALL designed to be used INSIDE a wall / floor / ceiling structure where the material is NOT exposed to the user environment (usually covered with sheet rock / gypsum board) as a fire protection.  When used in stage scenery the foam materials must be encapsulated in a fire retardant paste / plaster.  Simply painting the material with a paint compound with fire retardant mixed-in is NOT sufficient.

    Erich Friend
    Theatre Consultant
    Teqniqal Systems LLC

  • 5.  RE: Periaktoi/Peristyles/Etc - A PVC Build

    Posted 01-24-2024 09:12

    You may have a point but I have seen hundreds maybe thousands of sets made from wood, paper, and cardboard, and none are ever treated with fire-retardants. It may be a requirement but it is a law that may be overlooked by many. Now this is not to say that if someone wanted to treat my kit and the PVC pipes with a clear spray that is possible but since this was a project for our Youth Theater, I wanted to share it with others. 

    Steve Tobis

  • 6.  RE: Periaktoi/Peristyles/Etc - A PVC Build

    Posted 01-25-2024 15:20

    Erich does have a point and it's worth remembering that the regulations that cover these areas are written in blood. It's our responsibility as theatre educators to prepare our students to know how to approach situations with safety at the front of mind and also to feel empowered to call out practices that are unsafe. 

    The materials you mentioned - wood, paper, and cardboard - can all be treated to be appropriate for theatrical use. It's an added cost, but a cost that must be factored into any set construction budget. Here are a few resources:

    Ross Hoppe
    Production Manager, Theatre and Dance Department
    St. Catherine's School