Design Elements

The Antitruss

Bruce Schwarz from First Protestant Church in New Braunfels, Texas brings us this how-to for fake aluminum trussing (super cheap).

The first ones Bruce made were 6′ each (2 of them). Materials from Home Depot:

  • (4) 38″ – 3/4″ PVC for bottom
  • (4) 24″ – 3/4″ PVC for top
  • (12) 9″ – 1/2″ PVC for side bars on T’s
  • (10) 14.25″ – 1/2″ PVC for cross members
  • Chrome paint
  • Spray primer
  • Drywall screws

Keys to remember:

  • Pre-drill all holes.
  • Cut 45 degree angles on 14.24″ cross pieces and screw them on
  • Premake your side bars to assure they lay flat

Both pieces cost about $50 to complete. (Remember…these aren’t made to hold weight.)

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47 responses to “The Antitruss”

  1. Aaron Springer says:

    I’ve tried this a couple of times, but I have trouble with the diagonal pieces… Could you be more specific with how you cut and attach those pieces to the rest of the structure?

  2. Bruce says:

    I cut 45 degree angles on all cross pieces with my mitre saw. The more teeth the better. Predrill a pilot hole from the inside out on each mitre. Then lay out the main pieces flat on the table and lay out cross pieces for fit and spacing. Put a mark on the main part approx. where you want the hole to go. Then predrill those holes as well. Remember the screws will go in at a 45 as well. Fine thread screws work best. Dont have to make them super tight just snug. Hope this helps.

  3. Dillon says:

    That’s so simple, but genius. Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. johnson says:

    How about it’s durability?

  5. This is awesome! Could have used this about 6 months ago, but I’m certain we will utilize this design in the future. Way to save the budget. Thanks.

  6. Josh says:

    How much did all the materiel wind up costing for just one truss, like in the picture?

    • Ben says:

      I am currently using this design to create 4 of these 6ft truss and am about to complete the project. Total cost is going to come right at $100, so it’s about $25 per 6ft truss.

  7. Bruce Schwarz says:

    Cool, would love to see some pics when you are finished!

  8. C. Perez says:

    What size drywall screws?

  9. C. Perez says:

    Cool! Thanks Ben!

  10. Bruce Schwarz says:

    Thank ya Ben

  11. Chris says:

    what part of the truss did you use the dry wall screws for

  12. Aaron Bailey says:

    love this, i have been lookingfor a cheap alternative for Trusses for our stage. this will work great. we can use our real metal ones to hold lights and use these for looks. awesome thanks for posting

  13. jaime says:

    Greetings all the way from Honduras in Central America, awesome design, do you have like a blue print or a design………thank you so much

  14. Glen says:

    Hey Bruce you said that you could mount lights, But you had to mount it and you gave a link to a picture but the picture will not load is there another place that you have that picture that I could look at. Thanks for shareing your creativity.

  15. Bruce Schwarz says:

    Glen, I am actually using them tonight and will take a picture. I have a par 46 on top to light vocals on drummer and inside truss mounting a par 64 LED to side light drummer. Would like to post pic here when I do but it takes a while for it to go on here. How can I post them faster?

  16. Glen says:

    If you dont mind you could just email me a picture, also one question? Is there a reason that you went with 1/2 piping inbetween the 3/4 piping. I have a bunch of 3/4 piping laying around and if i can get away using that pipping I will. My email address is Once again thanks

  17. Bruce Schwarz says:

    Glen, been raining pretty hard down here and I couldnt use last light at our gig. had to scale down equipment due to playing inside. Will take some detail pics and give you some more details.
    You can use any size pipe you want to, I just used 1/2″ since I also had extra around. Plus if it didnt work, I didnt want to spent too much. 3/4 will work great. I will email as soon as I take them, hopefully tomorrow.

  18. this is a great idea for camp…

  19. Thomas says:

    Bruce, could you email me pics as well with details of construction and lights?
    Thanks man, these are great!!!

  20. Diane McDaniel says:

    I would love to get the details of the constructions and pics emailed to me if possible. Just tried to print but did not work. We are doing Coaster World VBS in couple of weeks and love these. Thank you and may God bless.

  21. Patrick K says:

    These look awesome! I am going to try and make them today for VBS. Would you please send details of the construction and pictures? What are the joint pieces? Thanks, Pat

  22. Josh says:

    How much load/weight can these take? Can anyone email me pics?

  23. Ryan says:

    How much load/weight can these take?

  24. Dan W says:

    Hey Bruce,

    Thanks so much for the idea and the pictures BUT for everyone attempting this design there are some BIG things that were left out.

    First off you will need 24 T’s to connect your PVC together (3/4×3/4×1/2).

    Then you will need 12 ‘connecting pieces’ of PVC to connect the T’s together.
    Use the 3/4″ PVC and cut it into 1.5″ pieces.

    These were BIG OMISSIONS from the original plans! Hope it helps with construction in the future and happy trussing :)

  25. Jared says:

    Bruce, could you email me pics as well with details of construction and lights?

    Thanks man, these are great!!!

  26. casey Mac says:

    Hey Bruce this is a very good idea and it is so crazy because I was just discussing with my church about making trussing out of PVC but not know if it was possible until I came across this now. We are looking to hang the trussing however, and they wanted me to be sure it would work because it will hang above young children. Can you email me pictures also of the one which hangs across like you were trying to show on that link to . It would not come up for some reason. Thank you for any help you could give us

  27. Brad says:

    Hey could you send me some pics of the lights mounted on your trusses and the horizontal hanging truss that others referred to. Also if you have any plans you may have made. I am trying to update the stage at our church and love your design. Thanks

  28. Pam Johnson says:

    I would also like to see lights mounted on these as well as the horizontal truss. My email is Thanks!

  29. Justin says:

    How did you attach the “T” pieces to each other? Did you use a small piece of pvc or just glue them together?

  30. I’m looking at this and would like update on this before I tried this. Many have asked for pics but have not seen any so are you sending them to those that ask?
    If so I would like to see as well

  31. Sammy says:

    Please, can you send me pics, I would like to see lights mounted on these and the horizontal truss! Thanks…

  32. Lavelle Jeane says:


    Could you please send me the pics of the lights mounted on these and the horizontal truss? Thanks! I appreciate it.

  33. Jamee says:

    This is awesome!!! Ive been looking for some ideas for our new church plant. If you don’t mind will you please send me the pics as well?

    Also If anyone has any experience using air filters for displays please share your info. I’m trying to figure out how to make a air filter wall for our stage.

  34. Matthew Anderson says:

    Would love to see the trusses with lights. What was the weight that the trusses could handle? Send pics to Thanks!

  35. Joe says:

    What did you do for a base plate?

  36. Ron says:

    Could you use electrical conduit to add more vertical strength?

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