PLumbing Method

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ccvstmr
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PLumbing Method

Postby ccvstmr » Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:59 pm

Okay guys...been helping a few people do some plumbing work on their locos lately. Hobby fittings, hard brass tubing and hard/soft copper tubing are all exposed to the wrath of tooling marks during the installation. Really frustrated about leaving serrated tool marks on fittings and tubing in an attempt to tighten components up.

Figured I'd "consult" with other Chaski folks...what do you use to grip parts and reduce the collateral damage during installation? Or, are you hard soldering components together and rely on unions to separate various parts of the plumbing assembly?

An inquiring mind would like to know. Thanks in advance for sharing any tips, tricks and/or techniques. Carl B.
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FLtenwheeler
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Re: PLumbing Method

Postby FLtenwheeler » Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:25 pm

Hi

I use a small drill chuck to grab the parts that I am working on. No Marks.

Tim
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Builder01
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Re: PLumbing Method

Postby Builder01 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:09 pm

For bending copper tubing, I use a wooden former shaped like a pulley. I push the tube into the radius of the "wheel" to make the bends. All of the terminations of the tubing is with cones and compression nuts onto threaded fittings. All of the plumbing in the photo was done this way.

DSCN1487 - reduced 4.jpg

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Bill Shields
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Re: PLumbing Method

Postby Bill Shields » Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:47 am

I cannot say as I have ever plumbed a loco since none of mine have toilets or sinks on them, but when it comes to PIPING, I have some additional suggestions to those good ones already offered:

Use UNIONS that have hex flats on all 3 components otherwise you have problems everywhere.
Short pieces of pipe are not tubing but brass rod, drilled down the middle or thick wall tube available from McMaster-Carr
When working with short pieces of pipe (as above) that are threaded and tool short to hold from the outside (called a close threaded nipple), I broach a hex down the center so that I can hold / drive the piece with a hex key. I made the broach from an old hex key.

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ccvstmr
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Re: PLumbing Method

Postby ccvstmr » Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:40 pm

I dunno Bill. There may not be "plumbing" on a steam loco as you see it, but there is plumbing...it's call a coal scoop!

Be that as it may, the purpose of the post was to find out how live steamers assemble threaded tubes, pipes or other to threaded fittings without buggering up the finish by leaving serrated tool surface marks? Is there a method or tool out there for tightening ROUND components that doesn't create so much surface damage? Suggestions? Ideas? Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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Re: PLumbing Method

Postby BillF » Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:41 pm

I found that the unavoidable operation that requires clamping onto round tubing was cutting external threads. The die part of a flaring tool firmly clamps standard sizes of tubing without leaving any serration marks. (This is the part that has a line of countersunk holes for the different tubing sizes, the holes straddling the two halves which are clamped together with wingnut-tightened bolts. The really useful ones have a protruding piece that can be clamped in a vise.) If you use enough union-style fittings that all of the final assembly on the locomotive consists of union tightening, the piping sub-assemblies can be built on the bench using the flaring die to hold the tubing while tightening the unions onto the threaded tube.
- Bill Frensley

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Builder01
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Re: PLumbing Method

Postby Builder01 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:00 pm

Plumbing, piping, tubing, whatever! I think we all understand what is being discussed here. If all of the terminations of the tubing is done with cones and compression nuts onto threaded fittings you will never foul the ends with any sort of tool marks and it is always easy to take apart.

David

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Re: PLumbing Method

Postby blff cty lcmtv wrks » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:27 am

when i plumb up an engine, i use the various sizes of copper refrig tubing. i use the coles unions. i have made fixtures so that i can hold the male and females separately so that i can ream the threads out of the unions. then, i carefully silver solder the copper tubing to the respective union end. when i come out of a valve, i always make up a nipple out brass of stainless steel bar stock and thread that into whichever end of the union that i decide not to ream out. nipple end, threaded; copper tubing end, reamed and silver soldered. i hope that makes sense. i use mostly 5/16, 1/4, some 3/16, and very little 1/8 size tubing and fittings.

my union holder is made from a piece of i inch round stock, of a material of your choice. in the case of a 5/16 size, i drill and ta one end of the material for 5/16-/27, screw in a long nipple that has either a male or female union end silver soldered to it. you have to make two fixtures for each size male and female. now, you screw the other piece of the union half to the fixture, chuck it into the lathe, and carefully proceed to ream that piece out, remove union half, insert and carefully silver solder your piece of copper tubing to the reamed out union half. connect as usual.

i used to thread 5/16 copper tubing, but when i looked into the end of the tubing and saw the threads starting to show through, that was real spooky.

any connection coming out of a boiler or the manifold starts off with a homemade nipple. i usually make the with a somewhat narrower inside diameter, just to have a thicker wall. the threaded half of the union is attached at this point and, the silver soldered half makes up the set. it goes manifold, nipple, valve, nipple, threaded union half, and then connected to it's other union half that has been reamed.

i hope all this gobbledegook makes sense. i can do this in real time, but splaining it is another story.

respectfully submitted;
big c
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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: PLumbing Method

Postby BigDumbDinosaur » Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:53 pm

Bill Shields wrote:I cannot say as I have ever plumbed a loco since none of mine have toilets or sinks on them, but when it comes to PIPING...

Ahem...the words plumbing and piping are generally synonymous when discussing the mechanical conveyance of fluids. In everyday conversation, plumbing is usually understood to refer to the piping as well as the fixtures at which the piping is terminated. Where the two terms tend to separate is in a discussion of the tradesmen who install pipes and connect them to fixtures, as well as where the piping has been installed. Some differentiation also has to do with the operating pressure—pipe fitters generally working with systems operating at much high pressure than do plumbers. Incidentally, the word "plumber" comes from the Latin word for lead, which was the material used in the first metal pipes.

So, yes, you have plumbed your loco, as well as piped it. Hopefully, nothing was out of plumb as you routed your pipes. :shock:

Incidentally, I spent a number of years in the transportation industry around, under, in and on top of locomotives, and among other things, developed a practical standby heating system for Diesel units. That heating system kept the coolant and lubricating oil near operating temperature while the prime mover was stopped and involved quite a bit of plumbing...or piping—take your pick. :D
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Bill Shields
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Re: PLumbing Method

Postby Bill Shields » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:55 am

try and tell an journeyman industrial pipefitter that he is a PLUMBER...and ask a plumber to do some industrial pipefitting where more than just screwing pipes together is required and you will quickly begin to understand the difference. Ever seen a plumber miter pipe to fit odd angles and weld on flanges?

Sure, it is an an often greyed distinction, but an industrial pipefitter only does plumbing when he has to.

BClemens
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Re: PLumbing Method

Postby BClemens » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:00 am

Can an journeyman industrial pipefitter change a light bulb? No - that's not in his union job description - nor can he stand on a stepladder....he can't even move the stepladder! So how many will it take to change that light bulb? Lack of grey what?

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Bill Shields
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Re: PLumbing Method

Postby Bill Shields » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:48 am

not just a union description but one of trained capabilities


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