The dresser is a tool used in shaping and smoothing up lead pipe and sheet lead.

Most dressers manufactured and sold are of hard wood, but many plumbers prefer to make their own of soft wood. The softwood dresser does not mar the lead as the hard wood does.

The bending of lead pipe is done in several ways, one of which is by the use of sand.

The pipe is filled with sand and the ends securely plugged, after which the pipe at the bending point is heated slightly, in which condition, if the sand is closely packed, a very perfect bend may be made. The sand plugs shown in illustration are used for plugging the ends of pipe to be bent in this manner. These plugs are made in two styles, as shown.

Fig. 2.   A Few of the Plumber's Tools.

Fig. 2. - A Few of the Plumber's Tools.

The grease and rosin box is a device which is to be found in most plumbers' kits.

When rosin, grease, etc., are not kept in some such receptacle they become scattered among the tools, and are not only hard to find when needed, but adhere to the tools and get them into dirty condition.

The chipping knife is used for chipping off the uneven thin edges of wiped joints.

The upper side of the blade is made thick, so that it may be struck with the hammer.

The wiping cloth is used in making wiped joints. When the molten metal has been poured onto the pipe, and has finally reached the right consistency, the workman works the mass of metal with his wiping cloth into the form of the symmetrical wiped joint.

There are two kinds of wiping cloths, ticking and moleskin. The latter is the more expensive, but not necessarily the preferable style, as ticking wiping cloths are preferred by many plumbers. The best ticking wiping cloths are made of a high grade of herringbone bed ticking. When properly made, a ticking wiping cloth is of 16-ply, that is, 16 thicknesses. Ticking wiping cloths may be folded so that the grain of the cloth will run lengthwise or crosswise of the cloth. Most plumbers prefer their cloths made in the former manner, although many use the cross-grain cloth. In Fig. 3 is shown the proper method of folding wiping cloths, both ticking and moleskin. No. 1 shows the shape and proportions of the cloth from which the wiping cloth shown in Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 5 is to be made. The dotted lines show the creases or folds in the cloth after it has been made up.

No. 2 illustrates the first operation, which consists in folding the two edges of the cloth to the center of the piece of ticking, and No. 3 the second operation of folding from the center to the side. The partly folded cloth is then reversed, as shown in No. 4, and the two narrow ends folded over so that they meet in the center. No. 5 shows the final fold.

Fig. 3.   The Folding of Wiping Cloths.

Fig. 3. - The Folding of Wiping Cloths.

After completing the folding, the cloth should be secured at the points A A and B B. This is done by taking several stitches with needle and thread in such a way that the thread is not exposed on the wiping edge.

In Fig. 3, No. 1 at the foot of the page shows the proportions for a moleskin wiping cloth of the same size as the ticking cloth already described. From a comparison of the wiping cloths of the two materials it will be seen that the area of moleskin required is only half that required of ticking.

The reason for this is that the moleskin is so heavy that if made 16-ply it would be too thick. However, in order to give firmness to the cloth, it is well to paste onto it, in folding, one thickness of stout paper. This paper should be of the size and cover the area shown by A B C D. If paper is used, the two sides should be folded over, as shown in No2, and the two edges pasted to the paper, and the moisture allowed to dry out under a slight pressure before proceeding with the folding. No. 3 shows the second operation, and No. 4 the third and last, after which the corners of the cloth should be secured as in the case of the ticking cloth.

After completing the number of wiping cloths required, it is a good plan to grease them with hot grease and then put them under a heavy pressure for about twenty-four hours. When this is done they will hold their shape to much better advantage.

Most plumbers use mutton tallow on their wiping cloths, which aids very materially in the working of the cloth in wiping joints, and, indeed, the workman is usually much averse to parting with an old and long-used wiping cloth, as it has become thoroughly saturated with grease, smooth, and free from any fuzz that a new cloth is bound to show. Special preparations are on the market for greasing wiping cloths, which produce excellent results.

To those who make their own wiping cloths the following table of sizes will be of value. In the first column is given the size of the completed wiping cloth, the first-named dimension being that of the wiping edge.

The figures in the second column show the dimensions of cloth to be cut for the several sizes.

Sizes Of Ticking Wiping Cloths

Size of Wiping Cloth

Necessary Dimensions of Ticking

4

in.

x

4

in.....

16

in.

x

16

in.

3 1/2

,,

x

3 1/2

,, .................

14

,,

x

14

,,

3 1/4

,,

x

3 1/2

,, .................

13

,,

x

13

,,

3

,,

x

3 1/2

,, .................

12

,,

x

14

,,

3

,,

x

3

,, .................

12

,,

x

12

,,

2 3/4

,,

x

3

,, .................

11

,,

x

12

,,

2 1/2

,,

x

3

,, .................

10

,,

x

12

,,

2 1/2

,,

x

2 1/2

,, .................

10

,,

x

10

,,

2 1/4

,,

x

3

,, .................

9

,,

x

12

,,

2

,,

x

3

,, .................

8

,,

x

12

,,

1 1/2

,,

x

3

,, .................

6

,,

x

12

,,

Sizes Of Moleskin Wiping Cloths

Size of Wiping Cloth

Necessary Dimensions of Moleskin

4

in.

x

4

in ....................

16

in

x

8

in.

3 1/2

,,

x

3 1/2

,, ...............

14

,,

x

7

,,

3 1/2

,,

x

3 1/4

,, ...............

13

,,

x

6 1/2

,,

3

,,

x

3 1/2

,, ...............

12

,,

x

7

,,

3

,,

x

3

,, ...............

12

,,

x

6

,,

2 3/4

,,

x

3

,, ...............

11

,,

x

6

,,

2 1/2

,,

x

3

,, ...............

10

,,

x

6

,,

2 1/2

,,

x

2 1/2

,, ...............

10

,,

x

5

,,

2 1/4

,,

x

3

,, ...............

9

,,

x

6

,,

2

,,

x

3

,, ...............

8

,,

x

6

,,

1 1/2

,,

x

3

,, ...............

6

,,

x

6

,,

The quarter- and three-quarter-inch sizes are not standard sizes, and therefore not generally carried in stock, although many plumbers claim that they must have cloths of these odd dimensions. It is difficult to name any complete set of wiping cloths, as one plumber will often require different sizes than another workman, and also because of the variation in size of joints made in different sections of the country.

Ordinarily, however, a set of wiping cloths complete enough for the workman would include the following cloths: 4 in. X 4 in., 3 1/2 in. X 2 1/2 in., 3 in. X 3 in., 2 1/2 in. X 3 in., 2 in. X 3 in., 1 1/2 in. X 3 in., the latter being of the flange pattern, with the rounded wiping edge.