The tools which the plumber is now called upon to use in connection with his work are of quite different nature to those used previous to the advent of the present methods of construction.

This change is due, in the first place, to the fact that the plumber is now provided with manufactured lead traps, bends, offsets, etc., and it is no longer necessary for him to make these things himself.

Furthermore, it is a fact that the use of lead for all purposes of plumbing construction, whether on the drainage system or vent system, in the installation of fixtures, or in the lining of tanks and safes, has been, and is being, superseded by the use of other materials.

To be sure, it is principally on large work in the larger cities that lead work has been entirely given up, but the tendency is strongly that way on smaller work in all parts of the country.

It is the purpose of this chapter to explain the uses of some of the more important tools, to give some advice as to the selection of proper tools, and to show the advantages of certain tools of recent construction.

The plumber's "kit" should include the following tools: Gas pliers, pocket pliers, screwdriver, compasses, rasp, file, saw, compass saw, rule, tape, plumb bob, hammer, monkey wrench, bit brace and bits, pointed copper, hatchet copper, rosin and grease box, spirit level, 2 1/2-in. and 3 1/2-in. ladles, pothook, tap borer, bending pin, turn pins Nos. 1, 2, and 3, 1-in., 1 1/4-in., 1 1/2-in., and 2-in. drift plugs, shave hook, dresser, small mirror, wiping cloths, 1-in., 1 1/4-in., 1 1/2-in., and 2-in. sand plugs, cold chisels, calking tools, joint runner, 1-in., 1 1/4-in., 1 1/2-in., and 2-in. bending springs, lead-pipe cutter, and 10-in. and 14-in. pipe wrench. A more complete kit may contain numerous other tools, such as chipping knife, washer cutter, candlestick, basin wrench, brass-pipe wrench, pipe holders, snips, hack saw, etc.

In most cases the employer is expected to furnish all such tools as stocks and dies, pipe cutters, plumbers' furnaces, metal pots, vises, taps, reamers and drills, large pipe wrenches, pipe tongs, torches, large ladles, large joint runners, brass-pipe vises, etc.

There are numerous special tools which are to be found in the outfits of many workmen which are not named in the above lists. In Fig. 1 are shown some of the more common and more essential plumbers' tools, a few words concerning which may be of value. The metal pot is used for holding wiping solder and calking lead, and is made in the following diameters: 5 in., 6 in., 7 in., 8 in., 9 in., 10 in., and 12 in. The smallest size is used principally for wiping solder, the 6-in. and 7-in. sizes for calking lead on the smaller sizes of pipe, and the larger sizes for lead used on larger sizes of pipe.

Ladles, used in pouring wiping solder and calking lead, are made either single- or double-lipped and in the following sizes: 2 1/2 in., 3 in., 3 1/2 in., 4 in., 5 in., 6 in., 7 in., 8 in., 9 in., and 10 in. The 2 1/2-in. and 3-in. sizes are mostly used on wiping solder, and the larger sizes for lead, the size depending on the size of the pipe on which joints are to be poured. The double-lipped ladle is generally considered preferable to the single-lipped, especially on lead pouring, as the metal may be poured from either side of the ladle without changing hands.

The pothook is used for lifting pots of hot metal.

The plumber uses a bending pin for throwing up an edge on lead pipe in preparing it for wiping. For instance, in wiping a pipe onto a drum trap, a hole is cut into the side of the trap of less diameter than desired, and by means of the bending pin the metal outside the hole is beaten out to form a collar into which the pipe may fit, the collar then being beaten close down to the pipe. The bending pin would be used in the same way for connecting a branch into a lead pipe. There are three styles in use, as shown in the illustration, the use of the different forms being a matter of taste of the workman. The form having one end bent and the other straight is probably mostly used.

The tap borer is used in boring a hole of any size into the side of a lead pipe. Such a hole may be made entirely with the tap borer, or it may be started first with a bit. The latter is usually the preferable method, as on heavy lead pipe it is slow work getting the hole started, and so much pressure is necessary that light pipe is in danger of being crushed. The tap borer is made in two styles, the New York pattern being long and sharply tapered, and the Philadelphia pattern short, with a taper less sharp.

Fig. 1.   A Few of the Plumber's Tools.

Fig. 1. - A Few of the Plumber's Tools.

Ratchet tap borers are also used to a considerable extent.

Turn pins are necessary in expanding or flaring the ends of lead pipe. The plumber generally requires three sizes, Nos. 1, 2, and 3. Turn pins should be made of boxwood, dogwood, or lignum vitŠ.

The shave hook, as its name indicates, is used for shaving off the oxidized surface of lead pipe, in order to obtain a bright surface. This is always a necessary operation, as solder will not adhere to any but a clean, bright surface, free from all oxidation. Shave-hook blades are made in three styles, as shown in illustration - oval, half oval, and triangular.

The selection of the form of shave-hook blade is a matter of taste on the part of the workman, although the oval pattern is probably mostly used.

Drift plugs are used for forcing through lead pipe to take out any dents or uneven places in the pipe, and are made in the diameters of the bores of the several sizes of lead pipe. The material of which drift plugs are made is the same as for turn pins, either boxwood, dogwood, or lignum vitŠ.

In Fig. 2 are shown other tools which the plumber com-monly uses.