Adjustable Jump Cups

Jump cups

Adjustable cups for holding cross-bars make constructing standard ju

mping obstacles a piece of cake. The secret to our cups is to raid the do-it-yourself irrigation section at Home Depot. Each cup will take just a few minutes to make and cost about $1.

The clip-on part of the cup is sold as a “1-inch Snap On Saddle” for irrigation systems and can be found (usually) sharing the same aisle as the pipe fittings. Making cups this way means that your cross-pieces need to be ¾” pipe (ideally). The smaller pipe for the cross pieces will be easier on your dog’s paws if they do strike the bar, too.


You will need your PVC cutter, a marker and a measuring tape or ruler.


Each cup will require one saddle piece and one 2″ section of 1″ diameter PVC pipe. You need two cups to hold up one bar.


Important Safety Note: When you use the PVC cutter to make the lengthwise cuts in the PVC pipe, you are using it in a way it was not designed for. It’s pretty safe but take your time and be very aware of where your fingers are when you’re making the lengthwise cuts. The cutter cuts as slowly as you squeeze, but it is sharp, so be careful!

Cup assembly

Here are the (uncleaned) pieces you need to make one cup. On the left is the “Snap Saddle” as can be seen from its label, and on the right is a two inch section of 1″ diameter PVC pipe. Make a pen mark ¾” from the end of the pipe; this will guide you when making the cut partially through the pipe.

Cup assembly

Using the mark you made, cut a little more than halfway through the pipe, as illustrated above. Certain professional organizations have precise measurements for the depth of the cup, but “a bit more than halfway” is fine for casual agility.

To remove the partially cut pipe from the cutter, open the jaws and use a rotating motion parallel to the blade .

Cup assembly

This is what your pipe will look like when you remove it from the cutter.

Cup assembly

I have made a mark on the pipe to guide me as I place the blade to make the long cut. I eyeballed it by looking at the cutter from above to ensure the mark was under the blade, but you could be more precise by extended the mark out to the end of the pipe.

As mentioned in the safety note above, I’m using the cutter for a purpose other than which it was designed. I have a firm grip on the pipe, my fingers are out of the way, and when I squeeze the cutter I am doing so very slowly.

Starting the cut is the only tricky part; the pipe will want to push away from the blade. Use your hand to hold the pipe firmly in place as you start the cut (see above illustration). Once it is started, the cutter will pretty much finish the cut itself, though keeping a bit of pressure on the pipe will make it easier. As you approach your previous cut, proceed very slowly for best results.

You cutter will probably not open wide enough in any case, but don’t be tempted to try both cuts at once. Do one side at a time, slowly and with awareness at all times of where your hand is in relation to the blade.

Cup assembly

Here the cut is almost complete. You may wish to open the cutter and adjust the pipe so the blade is closer to perpendicular to the pipe for a neater finish.

Cup assembly

The cut is complete. Repeat the process for the other side.

Cup assembly

Both cuts are complete. The piece is almost done!

Cup assembly

Dry fitted together, all this needs to be complete is some glue (see the top image of this post for a pair of completed cups). Note that this join is a pretty tight fit, so you will probably not be able to smoothly twist it into place. Use enough glue and press it firmly home using pressure on the inside of the saddle and the remaining “entire circle” section of the pipe. The cups will work fine even if they are a few degrees out of “perfect” when the glue sets.

Alternative Designs

You can make permanent jump cups out of “T” connectors. You do so by using a saw to mimic the cuts we made here on the “90 degree” side of the “T”. Cups made this way will use 1″ cross bars, assuming you use 1″ “T” connectors on 1″ uprights.

I’ve seen (on eBay) at least one enterprising person making clip-on cups out of “T” connectors by cutting them down, cutting out enough of the back side to allow them to slip over a section of pipe, and making the cup part. These are undoubtedly handsome, but would be a lot of work for the casual home enthusiast to construct.

Related posts: Bar Jump or Hurdle; Alternatives for Jump Cups.


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Reader Comments

This is just what i was looking for ..amazing
tks very much


One of my favorite ‘jump cups’ for home use are paper binder clips. Just go into an office supply store and purchase binder clips for paper. I put the plastic part around the pvc upright and the metal part straight in front to hold the bar. What size clips you use will depend upon the size of your pvc.
I’ve also seen people put the loop part of sticky Velcro(use craft or industrial strength) on the pvc uprights. The hook side is on the bar. This is worth it for a dog who needs to move to height in very slow increments.
sorry I have no idea what allow comment to float. Feel free to use the comment any way you want.

I found it easier to use a hacksaw to make the cuts… That PVC cutter is a little hard to handle on 2″ pieces of pipe! However they ended up perfect, thank you so much!

Save yourself a lot of time. Just google “Dura 3/4″ Snap Clamp” the actual part number you can google as well. That is 463-007. It is the same part number with Dura and Spears. Just cut it in half and snap it on you pvc pipe. One snap clamp makes 2 cups ready to use in about 10 seconds. Cost is about .60 cents for two!

This site is just blooming with information. The dura snap clamp tip is just what I was looking for.

Try this: Cut a Tee connector in half, and use a rubber band to keep it in place. The Tee connector should be the next size up from your verticle pipe size. If you are working with 1/2″ PVC, us a 3/4″ Tee connector. The next bigger size will slip over uprights. To get it to stay, first put a rubber band around the upright so the half tee rests around the rubber band. The half round will then hold the cross bar.

I am enjoying your website so much and look forward to your additions. I am terrible with my hands, but I’m going to attempt the bar jump (hurdle) because your instructions are so well done I think I may do it. However, I’m still complletely stumped on the jump cups, I haven’t been able to find a snap saddle that fit the PVC pipe the way yours seems to fit.

I saw the suggestion about the Snap Slip Tee 463-010, but I wouldn’t know how to go about cutting plastic that’s that hard (like I said, not exactly a handy woman).

The thought of completing the jump on my own but having to buy the cups on eBay makes my head and pride hurt.

Have youn seen any parts on store or online that might work? I’ve checked Lowes and Osh with no luck.

Well my jump is now complete since I finally just decided to attempt the jump cups on my own (SCARY!). It took me forever and ever to even find snap saddles yesterday.
The only thing is my cuts were a bit off (i’m still impressed I didnt chop off a finger though) so the bar is not very secure. It’s fine for my 7 pound dog who clears the height i’ve set for him with ease but I think I need something sturdier for when my friend brings her Lab over.
Going to see if i can find the Dura snap slip tee in a store as it seems awesome.

Awesome! I just finished making a set of jumps for a student and found I was 1 set of jump cups short. I usually buy the ‘Clip N Go’ variety and though I like them, and the $9.95/10 price is reasonable, paying another $10 for shipping is not. I’m going to just make the last pair. Thanks much !!

I easily got the jump put together EXCEPT for being able to find the snap on saddles. I’ve tried 2 Home Depots, 2 Lowe’s, and 1 Ace Hardware in the Phoenix area. Hopefully, I will have better luck at an irrigation store tomorrow. :/ Really excited to get it going! 🙂