Hand-Held Hubble: PVC Model Shopping List



What is PVC?

PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. It’s often used to make plastic plumbing pipes. You can find PVC pipes in any hardware store that sells plumbing supplies. Since you need only a small piece of each size of pipe, see if they’ll give you some cut ends or scraps.


Finding a Mirror

You can find a 2" mirror at most craft stores. If not, get a small, round “blind spot” mirror from an auto parts store or, alternatively, wrap some aluminum foil around the 2" plastic test cap (item E, at right).

Here’s a list of the materials and tools you’ll need (in addition to the wrapper on the previous page) to build your model of the Hubble Space Telescope. You should be able to find all the items at craft and hardware stores. If you can’t find certain items or want to customize your model, try substituting similar items.

Hardware (plumbing) supplies:

2" PVC pipe, at least 6 3/4" long (A)

3" PVC pipe, at least 2 3/4" long (B)

3"-to-2" PVC bushing to connect the pipes (C)

3" snap-in drain cap (D)

2" plastic test cap (E)

Craft supplies:

One 2" diameter round mirror (F)

One 3/16" diameter wooden dowel, at least 21" in length (G)

Two 1/2" diameter wooden beads with pre-drilled holes (holes should be big enough for the end of the dowel to fit inside) (H)

One sheet of 8 1/2" x 11" black construction paper

One sheet of posterboard, at least 11" x 17"

Silver paint (spray paint works best)

Small paint brush (not needed if using spray paint)

Cellophane tape

Duct tape

White glue and/or permanent gluestick

Dish soap for washing PVC

Tools Needed

  • Drill with 3/16"drill bit
  • Saw
  • Miter box (optional)
  • C-clamp or vise
  • Sandpaper or file
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Stapler
  • Ruler
  • Pencil

Now you’re ready to start building!


Parts of the model

Be sure to read all the directions before you make your shopping trip. You may have an idea for an improvement to customize your model!