The Wall
Forum / THE MAIN WALL / Thought some of you might enjoy this
  • Post a Reply to this Thread

    Thought some of you might enjoy this (20 Posts)

  • KC_Jones KC_Jones @ 7:46 PM
    Contact this user

    Thought some of you might enjoy this

    These are pictures of some of the old pipe dies my grandfather gave me.  Not sure what vintage they are other than old.  I have actually used these and fully understand why he was so strong and in such good shape.  I used the 1" die to make a custom length nipple for one of my small radiators wow I don't want to do that too often, at least not on black steel pipe.  I also couldn't help but notice that was the biggest size he  Anyway hope you all enjoy these!
    Just another homeowner trying to find his way through.
  • Charlie from wmass Charlie from wmass @ 8:24 PM
    Contact this user

    my "new" power threader

    I got last year was a Toledo 999 with a short carriage throw. I am guessing 1940's vintage. It still threads like a champ. Amazing the work people did when they had to work. Also explains why so many never bothered reaming the pipe. They were too tired after cutting and threading.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • KC_Jones KC_Jones @ 8:32 PM
    Contact this user

    They aren't pretty

    But they still work great.  I only had trouble doing the 1" because well it was 1" black steel pipe.  I was literally lifting the work bench off the floor.  I had the pipe in my bench vise (no pipe jaws unfortunately) and a pipe wrench jammed against my bench.  I then put a cheater pipe on the die that was 24" long, it was tough to say the least.  The threads it cut were beautiful, honestly better than the "factory" threads on the other side.  I couldn't imagine doing anything much bigger and honestly don't know how big the "manual" dies go?!  Oh and as my grandfather says, "We worked hard back then because labor was cheap, materials were expensive".  They did some beautiful work though.  I know some people that swear by some of the old tools, like wood lathes.  The old heavy cast iron wood lathes with electric conversion run super smooth because they are so heavy.
    Just another homeowner trying to find his way through.
  • Timco Timco @ 8:05 PM
    Contact this user


    I have two very similar. My big one is up to 2". Estate sales. Love that stuff.
    Working on steam and hot-water systems isn't rocket's actually much harder.
  • Paul48 Paul48 @ 8:25 PM
    Contact this user

    Old Timers

    When I redid the upstairs bathroom, I broke the 1920's cast iron tub in half. My son and his buddies lugged the 300 lb halves down the stairs, with a lot of grunts and groans. When I told my father, he laughed, and said," I lugged those up the stairs, whole, by myself ".
  • KC_Jones KC_Jones @ 9:14 AM
    Contact this user


    Just the concept of that scares me.  That would need a very long handle for sure.  Leverage is your friend on that one.
    Just another homeowner trying to find his way through.
  • Timco Timco @ 10:03 AM
    Contact this user

    Big boy

    Wasn't there teeth for these that made offset threads for pitch?
    Working on steam and hot-water systems isn't rocket's actually much harder.
  • KC_Jones KC_Jones @ 10:19 AM
    Contact this user


    2 handles 2 people I guess.  Not sure what you mean about offset threads?!  I believe that style took different sets of "teeth" for different thread count and diameters.  The lever could adjust for different diameters.  The one I have that is sort of similar to that is frozen up so I am not 100% sure exactly how it works just from what my grandfather told me.  I am a hands on learner so words don't always work with  I think the removable jaws allowed more versatility on the tools because some pipes have the same threads per inch so you could just adjust the tool without changing dies?  Not sure if that's true just a guess.  Some of this knowledge gets lost with more modern equipment.  I work in an engineering department and I am one of the few that has any knowledge on how pipe threads work and I am not an expert by any means.  We had some people trying to design extra short nipples with threads cut off.  I had to shake my head on that one.
    Just another homeowner trying to find his way through.
  • icesailor icesailor @ 6:03 PM
    Contact this user

    Offset threads/Crooked Threads:

    If what you mean by "Offset Threads" are what I call "Crooked Threads", I'm not sure if the die stock shown will do them. That looks like a Ridgid when they were painted black. Later, the came red. My late, old dead boss bought a bunch of stuff from an old retired plumber/heater when I went to work for him. One of the things that he got was a black Ridgid 1" to 2" adjustable die stock. He also owned a  Ridgid "65R TC" adjustable diestock. The difference was that the 00R had "True Centering" which when you adjusted the rear collar, it automatically centered the pipe so that the thread was straight. The other die stock had a form of centering but had a screw that you tightened up when the die stock was on the pipe. However, the back part being adjustable to fit on the pipe size you were threading could be set between two pipe sizes and still be used. And when you did, the die stock wouldn't cut a parallel thread. So, if you came out of a boiler and the threading wasn't plumb, you could cut a crooked thread and because the pipe would swing in an arcing orbit. it would swing into a plumb plane if the thread was cut crooked enough. When I went in business, I bought such a die stock because I knew how handy it was. With the normal setting, it gave you a normal thread. But if the back wasn't centered for the pipe being threaded, it wouldn't be straight. When you cut a thread using a power drive, the die stock handle would run up and down the machine bracing bar.
    Whenever I mention a "crooked thread", guys today look at me like I'm nuts. Until they see the need of it.
    I never saw the use or need for a crooked thread on a horizontal pipe until someone just mentioned it. Its another "Slap me up-side the head" moment. But of COURSE those old dead Steamheads cut crooked threads to pitch their pipes without offsets.
    When I first went into business, I bought the threading equipment but couldn't afford a power drive. I had to pipe a oil tank one day. I was pretty rugged back then. After the tenth thread with the pipe on the chain vice stand, cranking away, I decided that that old hand threading was too much like hard work. I bought a Ridgid 300 power drive.
    If you think that's bad though, try the 2 1/2" to 4" geared threaders with the square drive and the two man 4 handle spoke that two guys spun to thread the pipes. The handles are 3' lengths of 1" pipe. That's when you put the 2 1/2" to 4" pipe on to a chain vice and connect the threader to your power drive with a big driveshaft with universal joints.
    Now THAT was work.
    This one will cut a "crooked thread".

    This one won't.

    The 65 "TC" means "True Centering". Notice the paddle on the collar where you tighten the collar to the pipe. With the 65RC model, you can make a nipple holder and cut ant size nipple that you want from 1" pipe to 2" pipe. Close nipples too. You just have to make your own nipple holders. The commercial ones won't work.
    If anyone cares.
    This post was edited by an admin on March 17, 2014 8:35 PM.
  • KC_Jones KC_Jones @ 6:11 PM
    Contact this user


    My grandfather did gas lines exclusively so I am guessing he never had the need for that function?!  That is pretty inventive though.  Thanks for that learning for the day.
    Just another homeowner trying to find his way through.
  • icesailor icesailor @ 8:44 PM
    Contact this user


    If you have the threader and you know what it can do it and how to do it, you'll find ways to use it.
    I had a job where I had to re-pipe some gas and soe other lines on a steam boiler.  One of the overflow lines wasn't square with the wall or the pipes below it. The installer, just took a piece of 1" black pipe and bent it around something. I couldn't leave it like that because someone might say that I did it. So, I replaced the bent pipe with one with a crooked thread on one end, the pipe lined up, and the other end was straight.
    Those old dead guys had a lot of piping tricks. I was fortunate to get to learn some of them.
    The absolute most important number I ever learned and use it still is the Square Root of 2. 1.414. If you know that, you can pipe anything and lay out anything.
    Ask any Piper what the most important number they can know. If they don't know, they're not Pipers. And it has nothing to do with playing a flute.
    This post was edited by an admin on March 17, 2014 8:47 PM.
  • Those old tools

    are a treasure! To think that your grandfather used them in his daily work and now they are yours. I miss my grandfather, but have nothing of his to remember him by other than his grave site which I visit often.

    Have you ever noticed the threaded lug on a rigid tristand? You can take a piece of 1" pipe and wedge it between the stand and a ceiling joist for stability so that the stand won't lift when threading. It's there, but I have never used it or seen it used.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
    This post was edited by an admin on March 17, 2014 11:43 AM.
  • KC_Jones KC_Jones @ 11:27 AM
    Contact this user

    they are a treasure

    My Father has some stuff too.  My grandfather is still alive at 91...I'm gonna brag about him a bit now.  He was in the Merchant Marines during WWII and was an engineer in the boiler room of Liberty ships.  He knows steam boilers and engines quite well.  He worked for BGE (steamhead knows them) for 45 years in the gas division and ended in the fossil generation division (you should see those boilers).  He has his Mechanical Engineering degree from the Merchant Marine academy, but also went to Johns Hopkins engineering school for a couple years.  He is still sharp as a tack and honestly one of the smartest people I know.  He is my mothers father, but is super close with my father and I.  My father has some of his old wrenches and tools he collected over the years and has them on display behind his bar.  I got all the pipe threading equipment because well I am handy and I have gas in my house so he thought why not?!  lol  He has taught me a lot and that knowledge is used almost daily for my job as a designer.  Sorry guys, but he is amazing and I always take opportunities to brag about him!
    Just another homeowner trying to find his way through.
  • ScrewLoose ScrewLoose @ 9:53 PM
    Contact this user

    Old tools

    My great-grandfather was the first American-Standard dealer in this area "back in the day" and thankfully I have bunches of tools, many still in their boxes with their price tags from when they were in his shop.

    I've used most of them.

    I have a particular love of a "NYE receding stock automatic thread cutter".
    It's amazing, it threads up to 1-1/2" black pipe with that same ease as threading 3/8" pipe, and NEVER have had a broken thread on these old cutters.

    I had to borrow another guys modern made "Rigid" ratchet threader, and I just about died from just 3/4" pipe, and it made poor threads.

    Sadly, I've not been able to find a modern-made equivalent to my lovely NYE receding stock thread cutter; so if any of these 90 year old cutters break I guess I'm SOL.
  • icesailor icesailor @ 9:29 AM
    Contact this user

    Old Tools Redux:

    The Ridgid 65R C and TC are receding head diestocks. Attrition sort of left them as "Last Man Standing". It cuts threads just fine. Some of the problems are from cheap foreign pipe. Some of it is the quality of the dies.
    The supply house I used to frequent had a Ridgid 400A for the guys (their customers) to use. They also had all the drop in dies from 1/8" NPT to 2" NPT. They were usually screwed up because not enough oil was used or they were just worn out. I always brought my own if I needed to just thread something and I didn't want to drag out my Power Drive to cut a couple of threads. The looks I would get when I carted my 65C through the door. The manager always gave me grief. I told him that his dies were junk and needed to be replaced. I didn't cut leaking threads.
  • KC_Jones KC_Jones @ 9:38 AM
    Contact this user

    Cutting oil

    I was taught if you didn't have a puddle under the die when finished you didn't use enough oil.  Also if you use enough it coats the tool and acts as a corrosion inhibitor.  In my pics you can tell which ones were used the most often because they are shiny with a thin oil coating.  I agree about the pipe.  I cut some threads on some old piece of pipe I had laying around probably older than me and it cut nice.  Recently I grabbed some pipe from a home center and had to cut ended up in the trash.  I should have known better the metallurgy on the Chinese pipe isn't up to snuff if you ask me. 
    Just another homeowner trying to find his way through.
  • icesailor icesailor @ 10:02 AM
    Contact this user

    Oil Puddling:

    I wouldn't know about the oil puddling. I recycle my oil into a oil bucket and pump it back on the threads. I start pumping before I start the machine and don't stop until I stop the machine. I also set a 2"X4" block under the back leg so the pipe is pitching forward and the oil doesn't run back inside the pipe.
    My late old dead boss used to tell us that the oil raised hell with the boilers. I didn't understand that concept until I came here. I found out that steam boilers don't like to steam properly with a film of oil in top of the water. The old boss also told us to never take a piece of pipe out of the machine that didn't have a thread on it. So, you always had a fresh thread to measure from. Before you shut off the machine, you ream the pipe. That way, the oil doesn't dam up behind the ridge that shouldn't be there. Easily wiped out with a rag.
    Another make work, finish out the day at the shop. Cut and thread well pipe until quitting time so as to be ready for the next fornication with the ground.
  • KC_Jones KC_Jones @ 10:08 AM
    Contact this user

    I was reffering to hand cutting threads

    What my grandfather taught me.  Admittedly I have never actually run a powered machine, though we have them at my job I haven't had the opportunity to run it.  I work in the office (ducks out of way of flying objects).  lol
    Just another homeowner trying to find his way through.
  • icesailor icesailor @ 10:23 AM
    Contact this user

    Power drives:

    If you haven't tried one, you don't know what you're missing.
    Its kind of like what someone said about ice sailing. "Its the most fun you will ever have with your clothes on. Garrison Keillor once did a tale about the virtues of fresh sweet corn, picked fresh from the field and put in a salted boiling pot of water within 5 minutes of being picked. So very good. Almost as good as sex.

    If you ever thread a piece of 2" pipe by hand, and the next thread you do with a power drive, you'll understand the above comparisons. Threading by hand isn't fun. Like the lady in the commercial says about riding in the side car of her son's motorcycle. Threading with a machine is almost not like work. Almost as good as asparagus and definitely not as fun as ice sailing. But close.
  • KC_Jones KC_Jones @ 10:40 AM
    Contact this user


    When I install my new boiler I will have the opportunity to use our power threading machine.  Not sure if I am allowed since I haven't been properly "trained".  I work for a manufacturing company so there are safety and training concerns all the time.  I don't mind them, just saying that prevents me from being able to "play" sometimes.  Yeah I have hand threaded isn't fun after the first time.  Although I do come from the school of everyone has to pay their dues.  lol  My sons will thread pipe at least once just for the daughter too for that matter.
    Just another homeowner trying to find his way through.
Post a Reply to this Thread