If you're building a set, an installation or props, it might be helpful to have a ready source of wooden poles of decent diameter. But the dowel rods at your local hardware store stop at 1 1/4 in diameter, and turning longer, larger pieces isn't practical.
Pennsylvania-based Jason Poplinski has come up with a quick, straightforward way to modify PVC pipe into a convincing facsimile of wood. Best of all, it uses inexpensive and commonly-available tools and materials.
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By the bye, there's holes in the one in the last photo because he's making a musical instrument. Obviously you could make whatever you wanted, though. Check out his full Instructable on it.