This section is from the book "Standard Practical Plumbing", by R. M. Starbuck. Also available from Amazon: Standard practical plumbing.
To return to Fig. 2. the rasp shown is a necessary tool in the work of the plumber.
This should be an ordinary coarse wood rasp, and is used for such purposes as beveling or tapering the ends of lead pipes.
In recent years the bending of lead pipes has been largely accomplished by the use of bending springs, instead of by the old-time methods which were not only slow but required a considerable amount of skill.
These springs are made to fit into the bore of the lead pipe, when the latter may be bent without danger of collapsing, after which the spring may be withdrawn.
These springs are often damaged in withdrawing them from pipes, owing to the fact that attempts are sometimes made to pull them out. The spring should be wound up, thus decreasing its diameter sufficiently to allow its easy withdrawal. Turning the spring so that it unwinds is a very bad practice also.
Recently a patented bending spring has appeared on the market, which has several features which make it superior to the common spring. The spring is firmly secured to a malleable iron head A, as shown in Fig. 2, this head being provided with a hole B, and at its end with a half inch pipe thread. Through the hole a piece of pipe may be thrust, and used as a lever to wind up the spring in withdrawing it. A half-inch pipe may be screwed to the end of the spring, and by means of it, withdrawn from the pipe after the bend has been made. This attachment allows a bend to be made at any distance from the end of the pipe, whereas in the use of the common bending spring, any bend made at a distance from the end of the pipe greater than the length of the spring, could be made only with much difficulty and waste of time.
The hammer is a tool concerning which the plumber is usually very particular; especially in his use of it in calking cast-iron pipe. In Fig. 4 are shown several styles of hammer used by the plumber. The hammer shown in No. 4 is generally advertised as a plumber's hammer, but is not used so extensively as the other styles shown, which are known as machinist's hammers. Nos. 1 and 2 are very commonly used. No. 3 has the advantage of having the same face on either end, which is regarded as a desirable feature by many workmen, as the hammer never needs to be turned around to get the striking face in the right position. Hammers are made in the following weights: 1 lb., 1 1/4 lb., 1 1/2 lb., 1 3/4 lb., 2 lb., 2 1/2 lb., and 3 lb., the weight usually being marked on the end of the handle. This weight is exclusive of the handle. The 1-lb. hammer is too light for the plumber's use; the 1 1/4-lb. weight is about right for calking, although 1 1/2-lb. hammers are often used; 1 1/2-lb., 1 3/4-lb., and 2-lb. hammers are used for cutting extra heavy pipe. The plumber ordinarily requires two hammers: one for calking and another for cutting. The heavier weights of hammers are used chiefly in the calking and cutting of large extra-heavy cast-iron pipe on water mains, and similar heavy work.
Fig. 4. - Plumbers' Hammers.
Calking tools, which are indispensable to the plumber, are tools concerning which he is especially particular. Each workman generally has his own particular ideas as to the calking tools that meet his desires. So true is this, that many workmen have their calking tools made to order, instead of obtaining tools ordinarily carried in stock.
These tools are made in great variety, and the workman who does his work to best advantage must be provided with a considerable number of them, most of which are designed for use in special places, or under special conditions.
These tools may be obtained ground for inside or outside calking.
In Fig. 5 are to be seen various styles of calking tools, some of which may not have been previously seen by all of our readers.
The plumber's cold chisels are of numerous variety, ranging from an 18-in. brick chisel to very small styles.
B represents a blunt cold chisel much used in cutting soil pipe, which is not so easily gotten out of order as the thinner and sharper chisels, such as A. C, D, and E represent different styles of regular calking tools, having blades of different lengths and thickness. F is known as a throat iron, and is very useful in calking such fittings as bends, where there is little room for a direct blow. G and H represent right- and left-hand offset calking tools. It often happens that lines of soil pipe are run in corners, and it is clearly seen that tools of this description are very useful in calking the part of the joint that is on the back side of the pipe. K is another tool for the same purpose.
L is a picking-out chisel, used in picking out the lead of a calked joint, its shape being such that the work may be done to advantage.
M is a stub-calking iron with which almost a direct blow can be given, and of greater force than can be gotten with the regular calking irons, as there is no springing of the tool.
N and O represent yarning irons, the former stiff, and the latter having a spring blade. They are used in forcing the oakum into place, one tool being preferred by some workmen, and the other by others. P is known as a ceiling iron, and is used in calking joints in such positions that a downward blow cannot be delivered in the usual manner. A joint very close to the ceiling, for instance, may be made with this tool, the blow of the hammer being delivered on the offset near the handle.
W, in Fig. 6, represents a special form of yarning iron, having but one offset, which many workmen find preferable to other styles.
Fig. 5. - Various Styles of Calking Tools.
The other tools in this illustration are special forms of chisels, which will be found very useful to the plumber.