Friday, February 17, 2012

PVC Fittings

PVC is a huge part of making agility equipment. You can make everything from jumps, teeter toter bases and even dog walk bases.

The easy part is finding lengths of PVC pipe in a variety of diameters. Schedule 40 PVC pipe is the most common in home improvement stores. Furniture grade PVC is harder to find a bit more pricey.

The hardest part I find is finding the right fittings for your projects. Most hardware stores will carry the basics like Elbows & 3-way tees. Unfortunately, the most used fitting we use in our jumps & weave poles, the 4-way tee, is not carried in stores. I have searched the web for the cheapest seller of these hard to find fittings.

And then I found Formufit. They offer all those hard to find fittings as well as Free PVC Plans for a few agility items.

You can purchase fittings on their
and like them on Facebook

I hope I have helped you in your quest for fittings!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sorry for the absence

Wow, I can't believe its been over a year since I have posted anything on here. I truly apologize for my absence! I will do my best to post something at least once a month.

Whats been happening around here? I have continued working with Toby, my Chow/Rottweiler. It has become sorely apparent that he is not cut out for an agility dog, at least not AKC Agility. I think he would love NADAC Tunnelers class which we are going to be training for and possible Hoopers. So, stay tuned for a blog on making Hoopers.

Just four weeks ago I brought home the newest member of our pack, Chancho's Epic Journey, aka Epic. He is my first pedigreed dog I have ever owned and my second Border Collie. He is already showing great promise as my new agility dog. Epic just loves tunnels, what dog doesn't? He is also fearless when climbing new obstacles, which has been one of the major issues I have Toby. I look forward to seeing his progress as he ages.

Again, sorry for the long absence and thanks for viewing my blog!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tunnel Braces

PVC Tunnel Braces

Difficulty: Easy
Price: $6.00-$10.00 (Per Brace)
Supplies: 3/4" or 1" PVC Elbow Joint (8 Per Brace), 3/4" or 1" PVC Pipe (Appox. 7' Per Brace)
Tools: Pipe Cutter or Saw, Tape Measure

What you need

How To: Measure and cut your PVC pipe two inches shorter than the diameter of your tunnel. Since my tunnel is 24" in diameter I cut the 3/4" PVC pipe to 22". You will need 6 pieces of this length. Next cut two pieces 7" in length, this will be how wide your braces will be, pieces can be cut to your preference.

Now that all your pieces are cut lets put the elbows on. Place an elbow on the end of a 22" piece of pipe, doesn't matter which way it is facing. The direction of the second elbow on this piece does matter. You are going to put it on with the second opening facing 90 degrees to the right. Take another 22" piece and place an elbow on one end. The second elbow goes on facing 90 degrees to the left. This completes the right side of the brace. Now make another identical set for the left side.
Both sides will look like this.

Now taking another 22" piece you will connect one piece from the right side to it's opposite piece from the left side. This gives you a three sided box. The open end of the elbows should be facing in the same direction. Do the same with the remaining 22" piece.

Take the 7" pieces and connect the two halves together. Check to make sure it is square when you stand it up. No glue is required to keep the brace together.


A 6' tunnel will only need two braces and tunnels 10' to 18' will need three braces.

Next up, sandbags to hold it down on breezy days and for those enthusiastic tunnelers!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Affordable Tunnels

Difficulty: Easy
Price Point: $18.74-$314.99
Supplies: Tunnel

About Tunnels: Tunnels are probably one of the funnest agility obstacles for dogs, I know Toby loves his! Tunnels range form $18.74 for a child's play tunnel, all the way up to $314.99 for a heavy duty competition tunnel. Choosing a tunnel depends on your budget and your preferences. The tunnel I chose was on the cheaper side at $36.99 but offered better construction and size than the cheapest tunnels available. Now lets explore your options!

Toys R' Us: Toys R' Us carries several different child's play tunnels that are 6'-9' long with diameters ranging from 19"-22" and starting at $18.74 for Pacific Play Tents Find Me Tunnel up to $54.99 for Find Me Giant Tunnel. These tunnels are great if you have a small yard and/or a smaller dog. The 19" diameter tunnel didn't work for my Rott./Chow 70lb puppy as he had to crouch down to get through it. Any dog 20" at the withers will fit perfectly through the 19" tunnels without any problems.

Shop eBay: eBay is a great place to shop for tunnels. Sellers offer the shorter, light weight tunnels starting at $19.99. My preferred tunnel is a 18 foot 24" diameter tunnel made of 600D Dacron. This tunnel cost $37.00 with free shipping, by far the best deal around for the length and diameter. The material is a bit heavier than the kid's play tunnel but no way near as heavy as a competition tunnel. It also has grommet tabs along the length and included 7 metal stakes to secure it to the ground. My ground is hard so these stakes bent on the first try going in the ground. I have since made braces to avoid using the stakes. So far it has held up well, as long as it is not left in the sun it should last for some time.

But It Now

Competition Tunnels: Competition tunnels range from 10'-20' with diameters of 24". They are made of a heavy vinyl material with rib spacing at 4" intervals (per AKC regulations) There are a number of online retailers that offer tunnels in a variety of colors, lengths and prices. Below are some of my favorite places that have great tunnels.

AKC Open Tunnel Regulations: Regulations tunnels are to be 10'-20' in length with diameters of 24" with a tolerance of 2" and a 4" rib spacing is recommended. They are to be made of a flexible, durable material that can be formed into curved shapes. No portion of a tunnel holder that is underneath the tunnel shall be more than 1½-inches thick and tunnel supports when used in location other than the beginning and end of the tunnel shall not have a rigid upright (i.e., steel/wood) that is capable of fitting between the ribs thus possibly projecting into the tunnel. Open tunnels must be made of an opaque material. To ensure safety, the color of the material of an open tunnel may not be black and if the tunnel is double lined, dark interiors such as dark blue, dark brown, dark green, dark red/burgundy, and dark purple shall not be allowed.
Happy Tunneling!

Updated 2.14.12

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Q & C Weave Poles

Quick & Cheap Weave Poles

Difficulty Level: Easy
Price Point: $2.27 each
Supplies: Fi-Shock 4ft Utility Step-In Post

How To: This is the quickest and easiest way to get started with weave poles. Fi-Shock Utility Step-In post are the perfect height at 4ft tall. They feature a 6" steel spike at the bottom and a step-in flange for easy placement.
According to AKC regulations, weave poles are to be placed 24" apart from the center of one post to the next. Novice agility classes use only six poles in the weave and all others use 12 poles.

Where to Buy: Lowes carries these both in-store and online [Click Me]

Keep an eye out for more ways to make weave poles!


Welcome to Homemade Agility! I am pleased that you have stumbled across my little blog. This blog is dedicated to bringing the public a complete guide to building an agility course all in one place!

Since I brought home the newest addition to our home, Toby I have been surfing the web looking for plans for building agility jumps, weaves and contact equipment. After finding bits and pieces scattered throughout the web and broken hyperlinks at every turn, I figured it was time that all this information with photos be available in one spot.

The plan is to create every element on an agility course with guides, plans and photos to help the backyard handler make their own course. I will also be providing information on where to buy the cheapest supplies as well as links to the sites I have used to create my equipment.

Just a side note, all the information I am providing has been found surfing the web and speaking to other dog owners. All the ideas and measurements have been shaped by free information I have found on the net. I don't own any books that have blueprints for agility equipment, so if my plans are similar it's only by coincidence.

I look forward to building my agility course with everyone! For updates on your Facebook click the 'Like' button below.