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  • What essential tools am I missing?

    Since beginning my apprenticeship, I have been working all kinds of different jobs (new construction, renovation, even some service...). This has led to having a rather large collection of tools and gear... Much more than I though I would have at this point in time! Anyways, I think that now I've got pretty much everything I'll need for a Loooong while.

    I'm wondering what tools people use all the time, that for some reason, I don't have.

    What tool/accessory/equipment could you not live without as a Plumber?

    My arsenal:


    WORK BAG
    Pen, Pencils & Paper
    Safety Helmet
    Safety Goggles
    Custom Leathercraft Tradesman Gloves
    Disposable Cotton Gloves
    Disposable Ear Plugs
    Disposable Particulate Respirators
    Band-Aids & Facial Tissues
    Tool Belt + Anything I need from home for that day

    TOOL BELT
    Pencils & Paper
    Maglite Mini Flashlight
    Lufkin Large Tape Measure (26'/8m x 1")
    Husky Utility Knife
    Witco Adjustable Pliers
    Picquic 6-Bit Multi-Screwdriver + 5/8" Nutdriver Bit
    Klein 9" Level
    Dump Pouch

    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    What I've got at home:

    CORDLESS DRILL CASE (not pictured)
    Milwaukee Compact 14.4V 1/2" Keyless Chuck Cordless Drill (not pictured)
    14.4V Batteries (x2) + Charger (not pictured)
    19-Bit Screwdriver Set & 2 Nutdriver Bits
    Ridgid Wood-Boring 3-Bit Set (5/8", 3/4" & 1")

    COPPER TOOLBOX
    Pencils
    Flint Lighter
    Master's Sand Cloth
    Kester Lead Free Solder
    Kester Flux + Brush
    Oatey 1/2" Copper Fitting Brush (x2)
    Oatey 3/4" Copper Fitting Brush
    Lufkin Small Tape Measure (16'/5m x 3/4")
    Fuller Adjustable Pliers
    Fuller Long Slot-Head Screwdriver
    Estwing 24 Oz. Hammer
    Ridgid Midget Screw-Feed Copper Pipe Cutters (3/16" - 15/16")
    Ridgid No.10 Screw-Feed Copper Pipe Cutters (1/8" - 1")

    BLUE TOOLBOX
    TOP TRAY
    Pencils
    Irwin Chalk-Line
    BlackMax Extra-Large Tape Measure (25'/7.5m x 1 1/4")
    Irwin Vise-Grip Pliers
    Husky 8" Needle-Nose Pliers
    Drop Forged 8" Adjustable Wrench
    Stanley Aviation Shears
    Ridgid Scissor-Type Plastic Tubing Cutters (1/4" - 1 5/8")
    Husky 1" Wood Chisel
    Husky Large 1/2" Drive Ratchet
    Husky 1/2" Drive 9/16" & 11/16" Deep Sockets
    Husky Small 1/4" Drive Ratchet
    Husky 1/4" Drive 4-13mm Socket Set
    Titan 5/8" Nutdriver
    Oatey Plumber's Putty
    Oatey ABS Cement
    Oatey PVC Cement
    Oatey 50/50 Solder
    Harvey's Pipe Dope Stick
    Master's Orange Teflon Tape
    Assorted Washers & O-Rings
    BOTTOM TRAY
    Irwin Red Marking Chalk
    Irwin Drywall Knife
    Fuller Screwdriver 6-Set
    Stanley 40 Oz. Hammer
    Stanley 12" Hacksaw
    Ridgid PVC/ABS 12" Handsaw
    Ridgid Quick-Action Enclosed-Feed Copper Pipe Cutters (1/4" - 2 3/8")
    Ridgid Quick-Action Plastic Pipe Cutters (1" - 3")
    Ridgid Ratchet-Type Plastic Pipe Cutters (1/8" - 2 3/8")
    Ridgid 10" Iron Pipe Wrench
    Ridgid 18" Aluminum Pipe Wrench

    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    What I still need to get around to buying:

    Ontario Plumbing Codebook
    Ridgid Copper Pipe Reamer (1/2" - 2") - (Category #20101)
    Propane Torch Kit (1/2" Tip, 3/4" Tip, 4' Hose & Belt Hook)
    Flux Rags
    18" Level
    File
    5/16" Torque Wrench
    Adjustable Basin Wrench
    Pex Combination Crimpers (1/2" & 3/4")
    Reciprocating Saw
    Right-Angle Drill
    Circular Saw
    Hammer Drill

    ...And a car, so I can move it all!!!
    Last edited by Christopher Lambert; 10-21-2006, 01:03 PM.

  • #2
    chris, when i started with the union in 1981, everything was supplied. years later, we need to provide our own tape measures and channelocks, i guess these were the items that came up missing the most.

    don't know what is required now. i've been out of the union since 1995.

    today, i have more tools and equipment than i can use. my wife say's it's her life insurance policy.

    don't get too carried away with your purchases as an apprentice yet. there are tools that the co. should supply and not yourself.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree, that as a first-year apprentice, my company should be providing me with some certain things (ie. particulate respirators when I'm sent to do insulation!! ) Unfortunately, I am non-union, and in addition, there aren't very many companies looking to hire a first-year apprentice... So I'm kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place.

      I need to stay employed, yet this company will only keep me around if I have my own tools. Then again, what good is being employed if, at the end of the week, you've only made enough money to go buy the new tools that your employer feels is necessary for you to have yourself, and are left with nearly no money left to pay rent or buy food?

      Regardless, I have almost everything I could possibly need for the near future. I think I have more tools than my first employer, haha (except the power tools, that is...), so I really shouldn't be needing to spend that much more.

      BTW, things like sand cloth, cements, solders, etc, are for my own personal use, when I do quick side jobs. Consumables and most power tools are regularly provided by my company, and if they weren't, I'd be looking for work elsewhere...

      Has anyone used Ridgid's RoboGrip/RoboGrip II Pliers or Ridgid's Strap Wrench?
      Are these tools better then their predecessors? As a Plumber, are they worth owning?
      Last edited by Christopher Lambert; 10-21-2006, 09:43 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Christopher Lambert
        Since beginning my apprenticeship, I have been working all kinds of different jobs (new construction, renovation, even some service...). This has led to having a rather large collection of tools and gear... Much more than I though I would have at this point in time! Anyways, I think that now I've got pretty much everything I'll need for a Loooong while.

        I'm wondering what tools people use all the time, that for some reason, I don't have.

        What tool/accessory/equipment could you not live without as a Plumber!?

        My arsenal:


        WORK BAG
        Pen, Pencils & Paper
        Safety Helmet
        Safety Goggles
        Custom Leathercraft Tradesman Gloves
        Disposable Cotton Gloves
        Disposable Ear Plugs
        Disposable Particulate Respirators
        Band-Aids & Facial Tissues
        Tool Belt + Anything I need from home for that day

        TOOL BELT
        Pencils & Paper
        Maglite Mini Flashlight
        Lufkin Large Tape Measure (26'/8m x 1")
        Husky Utility Knife
        Witco Adjustable Pliers
        Picquic 6-Bit Multi-Screwdriver + 5/8" Nutdriver Bit
        Klein 9" Level
        Dump Pouch

        -----------------------------------------------------------------
        What I've got at home:

        CORDLESS DRILL CASE (not pictured)
        Milwaukee Compact 14.4V 1/2" Keyless Chuck Cordless Drill (not pictured)
        14.4V Batteries (x2) + Charger (not pictured)
        19-Bit Screwdriver Set & 2 Nutdriver Bits
        Ridgid Wood-Boring 3-Bit Set (5/8", 3/4" & 1")

        COPPER TOOLBOX
        Pencils
        Flint Lighter
        Master's Sand Cloth
        Kester Lead Free Solder
        Kester Flux + Brush
        Oatey 1/2" Copper Fitting Brush (x2)
        Oatey 3/4" Copper Fitting Brush
        Lufkin Small Tape Measure (16'/5m x 3/4")
        Fuller Adjustable Pliers
        Fuller Long Slot-Head Screwdriver
        Estwing 24 Oz. Hammer
        Ridgid Midget Screw-Feed Copper Pipe Cutters (3/16" - 15/16")
        Ridgid No.10 Screw-Feed Copper Pipe Cutters (1/8" - 1")

        BLUE TOOLBOX
        TOP TRAY
        Pencils
        Irwin Chalk-Line
        BlackMax Extra-Large Tape Measure (25'/7.5m x 1 1/4")
        Irwin Vise-Grip Pliers
        Husky 8" Needle-Nose Pliers
        Drop Forged 8" Adjustable Wrench
        Stanley Aviation Shears
        Ridgid Scissor-Type Plastic Tubing Cutters (1/4" - 1 5/8")
        Husky 1" Wood Chisel
        Husky Large 1/2" Drive Ratchet
        Husky 1/2" Drive 9/16" & 11/16" Deep Sockets
        Husky Small 1/4" Drive Ratchet
        Husky 1/4" Drive 4-13mm Socket Set
        Titan 5/8" Nutdriver
        Oatey Plumber's Putty
        Oatey ABS Cement
        Oatey PVC Cement
        Oatey 50/50 Solder
        Harvey's Pipe Dope Stick
        Master's Orange Teflon Tape
        Assorted Washers & O-Rings
        BOTTOM TRAY
        Irwin Red Marking Chalk
        Irwin Drywall Knife
        Fuller Screwdriver 6-Set
        Stanley 40 Oz. Hammer
        Stanley 12" Hacksaw
        Ridgid PVC/ABS 12" Handsaw
        Ridgid Quick-Action Enclosed-Feed Copper Pipe Cutters (1/4" - 2 3/8")
        Ridgid Quick-Action Plastic Pipe Cutters (1" - 3")
        Ridgid Ratchet-Type Plastic Pipe Cutters (1/8" - 2 3/8")
        Ridgid 10" Iron Pipe Wrench
        Ridgid 18" Aluminum Pipe Wrench

        -----------------------------------------------------------------
        What I still need to get around to buying:

        18" Level
        Adjustable Basin Wrench
        Propane Torch Kit (1/2" Tip, 3/4" Tip, 4' Hose & Belt Hook)
        Reciprocating Saw
        Right-Angle Drill
        Circular Saw
        Hammer Drill
        Car, so I can move it all!!!


        Rick is correct. Even a non-union shop should supply power tools, with the exception of a cordless drill. They should also supply all material (glue, pipe dope, etc.)


        As for your hand tools I don't see:

        1) No-Hub Torque Wrench
        2) Copper Reamer
        3) 5/16 Socket for 1/4" Drive Ratchet (To loosen and tighten hard to reach no-hub bands).
        4) File
        the dog

        Comment


        • #5
          Hey Dog,
          I've already got the 1/4" Ratchet + 5/16" Socket for the MJ Bands
          Husky Small 1/4" Drive Ratchet, Husky 1/4" Drive 4-13mm Socket Set
          as well as the Copper Reamer (fold-out reamers on the two large copper cutters). A torque wrench is a great idea, although I haven't needed one yet, I'm sure a situation will arise in the future where I will. A file would also make a good addition to my kit, for the inside edge of the prefab'd steel sprinkler pipe, which is commonly cut longer than necessary, and that needs to be shortened with the Chop-Saw. So thanks, I've added those two to the list

          BTW, I feel I've given off the wrong impression. I really like the company I'm with at the moment, despite them making me go buy a bunch of tools. Infact, I would probably still own them even if they didn't tell me to get my own tools. Most of what I've purchased should last me for the rest of my life, and it's not like I'm gonna change careers and become an accountant or anything, so it's a worthy investment. Besides, you gotta spend money to make money!
          Last edited by Christopher Lambert; 10-21-2006, 12:23 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Christopher Lambert
            Hey Dog,
            I've already got the 1/4" Ratchet + 5/16" Socket for the MJ Bands as well as the Copper Reamer (fold-out reamers on the two large copper cutters). A torque wrench is a great idea, although I haven't needed one yet, I'm sure a situation will arise in the future where I will. A file would also make a good addition to my kit, for the inside edge of the prefab'd steel sprinkler pipe, which is commonly cut longer than necessary, and that needs to be shortened with the Chop-Saw. So thanks, I've added those two to the list

            BTW, I feel I've given off the wrong impression. I really like the company I'm with at the moment, despite them making me go buy a bunch of tools. Infact, I would probably still own them even if they didn't tell me to get my own tools. Most of what I've purchased should last me for the rest of my life, and it's not like I'm gonna change careers and become an accountant or anything, so it's a worthy investment. Besides, you gotta spend money to make money!
            Christopher,

            If all you have is the fold out reamer you will not use it. Go get yourself a good reaming tool and the torque wrench. You will not regret it.

            Mark
            "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

            I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

            Comment


            • #7
              I use the folding reamer, but you're right. It is a pain in the butt to fold in and out over and over again... I've seen some cutters with reamers in the knob, however I find them slightly awkward to use...

              I poked around and found this sexy thing by Ridgid. It reams the inside and outside edges of copper pipe 1/2" to 2", which is perfect for everything from water service pipe to DWV vents!


              (Cat# 95772, in case anyone cares...)

              Additionally, I've added to the list a 5/16" torque wrench, a file, rags for soldering, and Pex Combination Crimpers (just thought of those)



              Thanks for the suggestions, guys!

              ----
              EDIT: I have been unable to find any English information or even catalog listings on the Ridgid Reamer #95772. All sites pertaining to it are in Russian (except for the clipart page on Ridgid's US website, where I got the catalog number from)

              Originally posted by AltaVista Translator
              Countersink for the stainless steel of 46 cutting edges on the cone located inside gives the possibility to produce rapid and clean internal countersinking and the external removal of zausentsev/faski on the thin-walled tubes made of the stainless steel from 12 mm to 54 mm.
              Stainless steel... Is there any reason this would be inappropriate for use on copper pipe?
              Last edited by Christopher Lambert; 10-21-2006, 02:37 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Christopher,

                Here is the reamer I prefer:
                Attached Files
                "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ah, never seen one like that before. That definatley looks like it would fit a toolbelt better than the Ridgid one.

                  Thanks,
                  Christopher

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I use the Ridgid reamer (although mine is smaller and only goes up to 1-1/2") for smaller pipe sizes, for 2" and 2-1/2" I use a deburring tool similiar to Utah's, for 3" and above I usually us a file.
                    the dog

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      spud wrench

                      Hey what about a spud wrench. they make you look good.:

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PLUMBER JAY
                        Hey what about a spud wrench. they make you look good.:
                        a ridgid e110 is a much better choice. it opens large enough for a trap and a flushometer valve.

                        don't get too carried away with tools at this point. your still young and trying to earn a living. plus when your ready to spend money, my wife will be glad to sell you some of mine. it's her life insurance policy

                        just got a new ridgid superfreeze 2500. this will go with my ridgid 2000 freezer. along with the co2 units i have. you guys worry about pipe freezing, i need to freeze pipes

                        rick.
                        phoebe it is

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          rick how big of a pipe can be frozen and do they ever split ?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            rigid pipe cutters

                            i have two rigid internal cutters 1 small one large. they are great you can cut in wall or floor about 2" not cheap but are a good investment, down side ever one wants to use them

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by fastplumber
                              rick how big of a pipe can be frozen and do they ever split ?
                              with the ridgid 2500 2'' steel and 2.5'' copper. with the liquid co2 (-109 farenheit) i've done 4''. but there are larger bags that can do bigger. then you can get liquid nitrogen (-300+)

                              since the pipe is only frozen in a little section, typically a 6'' section. the pipe will absorb the expansion effect outside of this area. i had once that the pipe wasn't frozen all the way through. that's why you test, before you cut

                              rick.
                              phoebe it is

                              Comment

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