Author Topic: Pipe Threading  (Read 3231 times)

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Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3866
Pipe Threading
« on: May 08, 2019, 03:24 PM »
Since I've started to work with more slab materials, I've been thinking of investing in some pipe threading capabilities for myself, so I am not limited to putting together table bases just from off the shelf components from Home Depot or a plumbing supply place.

I'm not talking about taking it to production level, so I think I would be fine with a manual/ratchet driven threader.  But it's a bit of a mystery to me all the price variation between sets.

It looks like the Ridgid 12-R set is the safest bet, but the full set is $700.

But then I see some sets for less than $60 on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Goplus-Ratchet-Threader-Ratcheting-Threading/dp/B01AD32PPQ/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=pipe+threader&qid=1557342785&s=gateway&sr=8-6

They admittedly have a smaller selection of dies, but still, 10% the price?

I guess what I'm asking is whether there is a cheaper way to get a full pipe-threading set (or at least, capabilities of working the larger pipes between 3/4" -- 2" NPT) or if it's just safer to go with the Ridgid set right off, and not mess around with cheap alternatives.

I might also look at craigslist, as this seems like the sort of thing that would be available on that forum. 

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Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2706
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2019, 03:36 PM »
Do you need a full set?  Or just a selected number of dies? 

I have the rigid handle with about three dies that works great. 

I personally would not trust an off brand set for reliability over extended use.  All depends on how much you will be threading.

The other option is a local ‘old school’ hardware store that will cut and thread whatever length and size you need with no tool investment.  If you are doing this for pay, easy to include the slightly higher price in your fees. 

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1229
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2019, 04:44 PM »
Craigslist or eBay, but I would look at CL first due to the shipping weight unless you found something close.

You will no doubt find a retired plumber looking to part with his at a reasonable price, even if you have to get a new set of dies you'll be ahead a few hundred.

Edit: I should have stated in my original post to get only quality threading equipment. My preferred is RIDGID and what I used most in my 30+ years in the trade.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2019, 06:34 AM by Bob D. »
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It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Online Alex

  • Posts: 6058
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2019, 01:35 AM »
On a top quality tool site we can only advice top quality tools.

Those cheap sets ..... they look like tools, but they really aren't. Build quality is despicable, you've done 3 pipes and you'll find the soft metal of the cutter jaws is worn to the point you don't get a full thread anymore. Or perhaps you've cracked a cutter head because it couldn't stand the force. No. Never.

Just buy a good Rigid handle and add separate cutters as needed. If you buy a full set you're never gonna use them all anyway.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6286
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2019, 02:49 AM »
Hey Edward,
Like neil said, I also have and endorse using the RIGID handle and a couple of their dies.  However, I use it only for rethreading errant pipe screw threads.

The largest issue with threading pipe is the huge amount of force that is generated to complete the task. So while the Rigid screw threading gear is easily attainable, the real problem is holding the pipe and preventing it from turning in the vise.

It's not a big deal for 1/2" NPT and smaller pipe threads but it is a huge deal for the larger sized pipe threads. When you start to approach threading 3/4" NPT pipe, you really need a dedicated pipe threading vise and that vise also needs to be secured to the workbench with at least 3/8" diameter or 1/2" diameter bolts. There's a lot of force required to thread larger diameter pipe.

Here's a shot of the type of the typical universal vise jaws you need, to hold the pipe to thread it. They are underneath the parallel jaws. You will never secure the pipe by holding it with a vise that has parallel positioned jaws only. The pipe will start to rotate when the threading force is being applied.



A dedicated pipe threading chain vise is preferred but these are particularly expensive as Rigid and other quality manufacturers price these things in the $500 - $800 range.

So a slight aside, but there's also a lesson here...last summer I decided to modify 30 RAB vapor proof 120 volt enclosures into 12 volt LED luminaries for the yard that would replace the stainless luminaries that already existed because all of the polycarbonate covers/lenses had aged and started to crack and disintegrate.

The RAB housings all needed to be mounted to 3/4" mnpt galvanized pipe. I considered purchasing a threading die for the Rigid handle but then I hit upon a better idea.

Home Depot offers a 10 foot stick of 3/4" galvanized pipe for $17.77. It's also their position that they will cut and thread that piece of pipe for free if you purchase that full length from them.

So...each luminaire needed a 2 foot stand-off and I asked for each 2 foot section to be deburred and threaded. Home Depot acquiesced as it"s their policy.

Bottom line is that the 10 foot stick was cut into 5 each 2 foot sections that were cut, threaded and deburred for the price of $17.77. [big grin] [big grin]










« Last Edit: May 09, 2019, 11:20 AM by Cheese »

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6021
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2019, 08:38 AM »
If you're only using it once in awhile this should serve you well. I've had mine about 10 years, use it a couple of times a year, hasn't let me down.

https://www.harborfreight.com/portable-electric-pipe-threader-62203.html

Tom

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4112
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2019, 10:42 AM »
In my area Home Depot no longer cuts and threads pipe.

However they do stock a large variety of lengths of factory threaded stuff in the smaller diameters such as a home would need for gas supply.

The factory threads on all the pieces I used were nice and straight. This could be difficult to achieve with the hand held machines like Tom linked.

Offline Holzhacker

  • Posts: 919
    • www.aic-chicago.com
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2019, 10:46 AM »
Don't know what its like by you but around here this is the land of Ridgid and pipe threading. You can go on CL any day of the week and find good old used vices, cutters and threaders for pretty cheap. I've got extra threaders I'll probably get around to selling someday. Buy a real vice, buy a handle for heads and a 2 wheel cutter. You don't need a 4 wheel cutter. Also buy an oil can and pan.
Buying the el cheapo new stuff is probably a waste of time.
You can buy a power threader if you need to. However, your SO might get impressed with the size of your biceps if you start doing a lot of threading.
Always use plenty of cutting oil when threading. Don't be stingy on the oil. If you use a pan you can re-use the oil. The cutter heads can be replaced, cost isn't bad. If a guy is going to give you a deal on nice equipment but the cutters are shot because he didn't use enough oil go for it and replace the cutters.
"The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

Offline waho6o9

  • Posts: 1458
    • Garage Door Handyman.com

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6286
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2019, 11:28 AM »
I don't know what type of material you're planning on threading, just a heads-up, die heads for stainless are different than die heads for galvanized/black iron/plastic.

Offline Holzhacker

  • Posts: 919
    • www.aic-chicago.com
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2019, 07:35 PM »
Per the link from waho
Nice price on the Ridgid 700 depending on how many dies it comes with. Usually goes for $1K+ around here with a few dies. However, for what you want to do I wouldn't recommend it. Its a heavy brute of a tool. You are better off picking up a vise and the stuff in the add for the Ridgid OO-r or the add with the green box. Either should be plenty.
Stay away from the 65R. Great tool but its for the experienced man, not a newbie.
"The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3866
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2019, 08:01 AM »
Thanks for the all the advice.  That Harbor Freight power threader looks intriguing -- will check it out next time I'm in the store.  Otherwise, I'll keep my eyes on craigslist for used Ridgid ratchet threaders.

My Home Depot actually still does threading, but I don't necessarily trust them if say, I wanted 4 exactly sized lengths.

In terms of good removable vises that I could secure to my benchtop, would something like this Ridgid chain vise work?

https://www.globalindustrial.com/p/tools/vises/bench-pipe-vises/model-no-bc210-top-screw-bench-chain-vise-18-2-12-pipe-capacity

And I would also add a question about pipe cutting.  If I'm just doing it in my shop, where I have the ability to optimize stability and squareness, is it best to go with a metal cut off saw?  Or is there an advantage to still using a pipe cutter like this regardless of venue (I would only be working with steel pipe btw): https://www.amazon.com/RIDGID-32820-Heavy-Duty-Cutter-8-inch/dp/B001ASEX90/
« Last Edit: May 11, 2019, 08:13 AM by ear3 »
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4112
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2019, 10:50 AM »
For cutting I’d jump up to a real metal cutting chop saw with carbide teeth. About twice as much cost as the pipe cutter but ten times more versatile.

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1229
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2019, 09:49 PM »
The RIDGID 2A has been the standard of the pipe trades for decades. A reliable tool that will be your first and last one you'll need to buy, especially for the amount of work you will be giving it.

Yes a cold cut chop saw might be more versatile, but a pipe cutter such as the 2A will not spew metal chips all over the place, makes a square cut (if you know what you're doing), and the cutter wheel will last through hundreds of cuts. The consumable on your saw will last for how long and cost 20x the price of that little cutter wheel.

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It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6286
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2019, 03:36 AM »
1. My Home Depot actually still does threading, but I don't necessarily trust them if say, I wanted 4 exactly sized lengths.

2. In terms of good removable vises that I could secure to my benchtop, would something like this Ridgid chain vise work?

3. If I'm just doing it in my shop, where I have the ability to optimize stability and squareness, is it best to go with a metal cut off saw?  Or is there an advantage to still using a pipe cutter like this regardless of venue

1. Like others, I'd definitely go with the cold saw for cutting the pipe. I've built stainless railings for stairs with a Milwaukee cold saw and every thing turned out great, as in square and perpendicular. However, I do offer up this big caveat...because I've only used my OO-R threader for fixing bunged-up threads, I have limited information as to how well the absolutely flat and perpendicular cut surface will engage a die head. Consequently, the 2-wheeled Ridgid cutter may be a better option. The reason is the wheels on the cutter don't really "cut" the pipe cleanly, rather they will deform the leading edge of the pipe, roll it over and provide a "rounded over" cut edge. This tapered edge may actually be an easier/better transition point if you're hand threading because NPT threads are tapered threads to begin with.



2. The Rigid pipe vise you've chosen will probably work fine. As others have said they are the standard in the industry.  Just be aware that an incredible amount of force is necessary to hold the pipe firmly in place (especially for sizes over 1/2" npt) so visual and definitive physical marking on the outside diameter of the pipe is normal. I've reduced (not eliminated) the markings on galvanized pipe by using some Granat on an ETS 125. I then painted it black with POR 15 and that helped to conceal the easily seen visual indentation.

3. I'd seriously investigate trying to establish a relationship with your local HD if you anticipate this to be an on-going need on your part. Edward, you're absolutely correct in assuming that if HD is cutting the pipe to length, they will think that pipe lengths within 1/8" will be good enough. After all it's only pipe...  [eek]  I'd ask them to consider that if you purchase the raw material from them, and you cut it to your desired lengths, if they will thread it. At that point, you've already completed half of the tasks that they've previously signed up to provide. That's gotta be a win-win. 
« Last Edit: May 12, 2019, 04:06 AM by Cheese »

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1229
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2019, 04:22 AM »
For pipe used in this manner length is not just a function of the cut length but also thread length which governs how far a fitting will screw on the pipe. One thread can make the difference between a wobbly table and a sturdy one. There are a few ways around this for your application since there is no need to be leak tight as there is no process fluid moving through the pipe.

As far as making of the pipe that will occur unless you take steps to eliminate it. And your local HD will not be so inclined because it will take extra time to accomplish.

My recommendation is don't put the future of your project in someone else's hands, do your own cutting and threading.

Or, don't use threaded fittings at all, use socketed fittings like those used for railings. You can find them at McMaster-Carr and other locations online. Then you can get precise lengths with no exposed threads in any material.

https://www.mcmaster.com/rail-fittings
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It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3866
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2019, 09:33 AM »
Thanks for all the additional recommendations!
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline Rob Z

  • Posts: 770
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2019, 10:58 PM »
Hey Edward,

I know this thread has gotten old, but if you are still thinking about options and don't want tie up a lot of dough in tooling that you don't use much...look to see if Ferguson Plumbing is located near you. They were my plumbing supplier for many years.  When I needed a bunch of pipe in various lengths for pipe clamps, I gave them a cut list and they cut and threaded everything within a day and it was just a nominal charge for the labor on top of the cost of the pipe. They got everything to correct lengths and all the male threads were good.

Maybe that would work for you for the first few projects, and if it works out for you then you can buy equipment later on.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6286
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2019, 11:42 PM »
I’d also echo using the Ferguson franchise. They have the equipment and the expertise. It’s what they do on a 24/7 basis.

Another option is your local ACE hardware store, there’s usually a Rigid pipe threading machine lurking somewhere in the back room.  [smile]
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 12:30 PM by Cheese »

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1229
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2019, 06:06 AM »
Since this has popped up again I would offer another suggestion for holding the pipe from REED Manufacturing which is another well known name in the pipe industry and makes quality tools.

They make a couple different pipe vises with non-marring jaws.

https://www.reedmfgco.com/en/products/vises/chain-vises/

These benchtop vises have jaws with teeth and also smooth faces. If you take a length of clear plastic tubing and slip it over the chain it will protect the pipe from the chain and provide the grip needed to hold the pipe. You could also pad the jaws with some 1/8 or 1/4 neoprene. You won't have as strong a grip as bare jaws but it will work. If you are threading stainless be sure to get the right oil, and you'll want to be sure to remove it all from the threads and the pipe interior else it could ruin you work.

A benchtop pipe vise from RIDGID Or Reed is another item to look on CL for, There are few moving parts and they last a long time. If you look around you should be able to locate one in good shape at a fraction the price of new. And if you need a new chain or jaws they are not that expensive and easy to change out.
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It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline ChiknNutz

  • Posts: 72
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2019, 08:41 AM »
Just reiterating what many have already said.  I borrowed a Ridgid set from a friend, including the chain vise, when I plumbed my shop for air a coupla years ago.  I plumbed with 1/2" black pipe which wasn't too bad.  Since I still had it in the shop, I then did a few projects using some 3/4" and 1" (very similar to what you are talking about).  I can assert that this is real work, no joke.  I am of average build, perhaps a bit more robust than the average joe, but it is taxing work if you are doing more than just a few pieces.  I had that chain vise walking all over while threading that larger stuff.  I think a proper vise mounted to a very sturdy workbench might be better if it won't move on you.  I am kinda wanting to buy a set myself for the same reasons as you as I had to give back the borrowed set of course.
-Chris
Rotex 150/5 FEQ, CT 36 E, ETS EC125/3, TS75, Domino XL

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1229
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2019, 12:14 PM »
that is the reason the tripod vise has the jack screw that extends up through the table. You cut a piece of pipe and place it against an overhead beam or ceiling with a 2x4 a couple feet long, then jack the screw up to clamp the tripod to the floor. It does not move then.
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It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline ChiknNutz

  • Posts: 72
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2019, 12:39 PM »
Learn something new all the time!  Had no idea about that.  Would not have worked too well in my shop though as the ceilings are almost 13' high and all sheet-rocked.
-Chris
Rotex 150/5 FEQ, CT 36 E, ETS EC125/3, TS75, Domino XL

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1229
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2019, 04:19 PM »
Learn something new all the time!  Had no idea about that.  Would not have worked too well in my shop though as the ceilings are almost 13' high and all sheet-rocked.

That's why you put the 2x4 across the ceiling to span a couple joists. It doesn't take much to hold it down.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline live4ever

  • Posts: 822
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2019, 07:41 PM »
Great tip @Bob D!   Going to be threading some pipe shortly, got the bench chain vise all squared away on a heavy 2x4 sawhorse, but I probably wouldn't have thought of stabilizing the setup that way. 
Current systainer to productivity ratio:  very high

Offline Rob Z

  • Posts: 770
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2019, 02:14 AM »
Cheese

I tried to post earlier but the forum was glitching and I lost my post. I wanted to tell you how much I like your work with the stainless steel handrail pictured above.


Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6286
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2019, 01:34 PM »
Cheese
I tried to post earlier but the forum was glitching and I lost my post. I wanted to tell you how much I like your work with the stainless steel handrail pictured above.

Thanks Rob... [smile]   The interesting part is that those tees & elbows are all held together with 3M epoxy that's used to bond the aluminum skin on airplane wings. Here are a couple of more photos of how all the individual pieces kind of flow together.




Offline live4ever

  • Posts: 822
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2019, 06:48 PM »
@Cheese
Are those glass doors on the closet?   [not worthy]
Current systainer to productivity ratio:  very high

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6286
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2019, 08:52 PM »
@Cheese
Are those glass doors on the closet?   [not worthy]
[/quote
@Cheese
Are those glass doors on the closet?   [not worthy]

Doors no...glass yes... [big grin]

It's a walk-in closet using a softly textured glass to create a barrier without having to use doors. The overall feel is that there's a a definite boundary between it and the living space, that notion may be fairly well augmented by the flooring pieces, yet there's still an open space for light and air and for safe passage.

Here's the final result.

(Attachment Link)

This was in the intermediate stage.


Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6286
Re: Pipe Threading
« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2019, 08:59 PM »


Well this is strange, there are still some artifacts from Festool's last night's melt down.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 09:44 PM by Cheese »