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  • Cutting cast Iron pipes??

    Friday had to cut a 3" main drain line to put in a 2 way clean out....cast Iron pipe...old house...but not all that uncommon down here.....

    Sooo broke out the corded sawzall (DeWalt)...and Plumber handed me some Lenox blades for cast Iron...said would take about 2 per side...Soo 20 min later of me laying on my stomac cutting this pipe in a hole I got it done..

    But I just can not help thinking that their must be a better way to cut cast Iron pipes...

    For this ?? I mean burried..and of course exposed via hole dug around them Pipes...or Cast Iron pipes in a wall....not new cast iron sitting on a work bench.

    Soo what do u all use to cut cast iron pipes??

    Thanks all.

  • #2
    Re: Cutting cast Iron pipes??

    I use a #226 Ridgid soil pipe cutter. If I am cutting a cast soil pipe next to a basement wall I will use a sawsall. I really like the tool.

    http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/226-Soil...r/EN/index.htm
    Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

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    • #3
      Re: Cutting cast Iron pipes??

      Sometimes there are condutions where you can't get a snap cutter chain around a pipe.Like the guy who calls himself a plumber and doesn't even own a pair,anyone know someone like that?

      Anywho,
      Your boss can buy a good grinder and a metal cutting wheel for about $60.00.

      Duckbutter and others have made mention that they can be messy in particular situations.

      I havn't run into them yet where I have been kept from using mine.Close,but I've always figured out a way to shield and protect everything.

      You could always use Bob D's last resort of hammer and chisel in a pinch.I have.

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      • #4
        Re: Cutting cast Iron pipes??

        I use a Ridgid 226 soil pipe cutter. Very compact and gets into very tight spaces.
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Re: Cutting cast Iron pipes??

          echoing DH's comments, grinder and metal wheel work well. snap cutters are preferrable, but grinder and metal wheel are easier than a recip saw, IMHO.
          there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

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          • #6
            Re: Cutting cast Iron pipes??

            Originally posted by Evil Gopher View Post
            Friday had to cut a 3" main drain line to put in a 2 way clean out....cast Iron pipe...old house...but not all that uncommon down here.....

            Sooo broke out the corded sawzall (DeWalt)...and Plumber handed me some Lenox blades for cast Iron...said would take about 2 per side...Soo 20 min later of me laying on my stomac cutting this pipe in a hole I got it done..

            But I just can not help thinking that their must be a better way to cut cast Iron pipes...

            For this ?? I mean burried..and of course exposed via hole dug around them Pipes...or Cast Iron pipes in a wall....not new cast iron sitting on a work bench.

            Soo what do u all use to cut cast iron pipes??

            Thanks all.
            On that two way c/o, did you mark the safe distance????

            Did you install a red dot on the cap ???

            This way your fellow plumbers will know it's a 2 way c/o??

            Just yanking your chain, I use a grinder or small chain cutters to cut my cast and clay. If the cast is old, def use a grinder with a diamond blade. Ridgid makes a excellent pair of close quarter chain snaps, I use them all the time, excellent tool.

            I tried the sawzall blades, not to impressed, have yet to try the new blades.

            For long cast jobs, a chop saw will do the trick.
            sigpic

            Robert

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            • #7
              Re: Cutting cast Iron pipes??

              Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
              Duckbutter and others have made mention that they can be messy in particular situations.
              True, I do one of three things, snap cutter is first option, then sawzall...then last resort, grinder.
              Someone here gave me a lightbulb moment though, there are thin grinding disks that make much less mess...I went out and got some and voila...much less mess.
              Only pitfall is the thin disks wear down much faster.
              Credit where it's due...I think it was either you, Rob or Rick that pointed out the obvious on that one.

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              • #8
                Re: Cutting cast Iron pipes??

                Oh, Gopher... the sawzall is the slowest of those options, I'm wondering if the plumber with you just wanted to "initiate" you a little.

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                • #9
                  Re: Cutting cast Iron pipes??

                  Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
                  True, I do one of three things, snap cutter is first option, then sawzall...then last resort, grinder.
                  Someone here gave me a lightbulb moment though, there are thin grinding disks that make much less mess...I went out and got some and voila...much less mess.
                  Only pitfall is the thin disks wear down much faster.
                  Credit where it's due...I think it was either you, Rob or Rick that pointed out the obvious on that one.

                  Right on for me too, exactly what i start with, snap cutters, sawzall, then grinder if need be.
                  The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

                  www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

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                  • #10
                    Re: Cutting cast Iron pipes??

                    I've mentioned this plenty of times before but never on this site.


                    Angle grinder with a 4" slotted diamond blade. <<< Both the grinder and the blade.....$25.


                    I cut copper, galvanized, cast iron, mild steel, aluminum, wood if I have to.


                    I think for the most part, people don't believe me when I mention this trick which is okay by me; I'm making life easy for me.

                    I can cut cast iron in some of the craziest of spots, including the type where they bricked the wall around the piping, not the other way around. My Wheeler Snap Cutter has been collecting dust for years since I went to diamond cutting.

                    You can get a 3 pack of diamond blades from HB for $20 and the grinder is usually $15-$18 tops. Buy 3 at one time, bring an extra to your primary if you have a job involving a lot of cutting of cast.

                    I started with a Ridgid years ago but the long handles limits some of those intricate cuts inbetween joists or in close quarters. That moved me to the Wheeler because it's small and simple, then the angle grinder was the true answer to close cutting in all situations.


                    I use it for cutting clay piping in the ground; just cut a window top out of the pipe, reverse back and continue your front cut all the way around by moving the grinder 180 degress opposite direction.

                    The diamond blade flies through copper, doesn't matter if it is pressure, DWV is paper thin to begin with.

                    Galvanized is tough but attainable, just takes a while. Beats a sawzall blade hands down with the exception of the fused carbide sawzall blades. Those blades work best when they glow red when they are cutting.


                    I think I'm going to video what I'm talking about because I truly don't think anyone believes me. Once you've tried it, you'll have it as second nature on the truck, especially under $30.


                    When you use a diamond blade on cast iron, hardly no sparks and the dust is limited, a whole lot better than abrasive cut offs.


                    If you cut a bunch of aluminum or copper.......the diamonds get gummed sometimes; have a concrete brick near by and cut into it. It will clean the blade instantly.




                    The picture below is probably my 7th grinder since 02'.
                    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                    • #11
                      Re: Cutting cast Iron pipes??

                      Westcoast knows what I'm talking about.
                      Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                      • #12
                        Re: Cutting cast Iron pipes??

                        Dunbar, I agree...have done the "window" thing you mentioned, plenty of times when I didn't want a sawzall blade to hack drywall too close to a stack.
                        I'm gonna get the diamond blade though...been using thin carbide grinding blades to reduce the mess in a finished area if I can't snap or sawzall.
                        Great idea.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Cutting cast Iron pipes??

                          You just sold me on the Grinder and diamond blade. I am going to try it. Thanks Dunbar.
                          Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Cutting cast Iron pipes??

                            I just used the window trick on monday, in the ceiling, unable to get all the way around the closet bend, works great, 10 times faster then the sawzall blade.

                            Just make sure you wear your safety googles, I never used to, but I became tired of getting the scrap in my eye for 3 days. The googles don't work 100% but atleast you know you tried.

                            The smell in the nose too and the black boogers.....thats ok though, cause nothing beats the diamond blade and grinder.
                            sigpic

                            Robert

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                            • #15
                              Re: Cutting cast Iron pipes??

                              First off..thank u everyone.

                              WC Plumber...u had me scared with the red dot part...but I had adult supervison...sooo was going to call the guy up...were both on call this weekend..Im HVAC on call ...

                              Duck Butter.....I know he was not playing with me for 3 reasons.

                              1. He's a commision guy..so my time comes out of his check...

                              2. I've delivered some of the cast iron sawzall blades too him on other jobs..and wathced him use them.

                              3. Since weve been slow spent a lot of time over the last few months cleaning..orgnaizeing the shop and trucks. to get my hours...and Kknow for sure I have NOT seen a soil pipe cutter until I looked it up today...around the shop....and owner is a pack rat....sooo IF shop ever had one it would be in the "hole" as we call it...and I've speen a lot of days organizeing the hole...

                              I have an my own 4 1/2" I belive angle grinder....have to pick up a good blade for it....just not willing to cough up the $$ I've seen the soil pipe cutters listed for out of my own pay check....I spend more that I should on power tools and HVAC tools....we run into enough cast iron to justafy a $25 blade out of my pocket...but not a $100-200 soil pipe cutter....

                              I was thinking about a port a band saw I've seen them on e-bay for under $100....but the grinder blade sounds like a winner.

                              Again thank u everyone!

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