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Ridgid Threading machine - refurb advice request

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  • Ridgid Threading machine - refurb advice request

    Hey all,

    I have acquired a 535 and would like to bring it up to 'like new' condition, or at least as much as that is possible.

    It runs and functions well so I'm mostly looking for cosmetic tips.

    Things like...

    - Best way to clean aluminum body to like new condition?
    - Recommended orange colour for foot switch? (chevy orange is the best I've found in search results)

    ...and anything else you can think of. Will likely get a new OEM power cord as well.

    Thanks in advance,


  • #2
    We have a few 535's that we keep clean with charcoal lighter fluid, simple green, toothbrushes and cotton rags. Bamboo skewers are good for cleaning the tops of hex-bolts, lettering, slots or grooves or a metal pick will work. Fine steel wool also works well but with anything you do some paint is going to wear off or chip.

    Once your happy with your cleaning effort thereafter dry all the oil splatters by the end of the day and clean it well every couple of weeks if you use it often.


    • #3

      I'll give that a shot!


      • #4
        We rarely repaint them since we just can't seem to find a color that seems to work. Fitters are funny about appearing cheesy and would rather have a seasoned machine that a repainted one. The foot switches just get cleaned but they are pretty scratched up and we might occasionaly paint the legs black but for the most part the machines look like yours. When dieheads get worn out we replace it with a new one and even few years we might replace a reamer with a new one.

        Eventually you should disassemble the die head and clean it thoroughly. If the jaws are sharp they can be removed and cleaned for better grip particularly on galvanized pipe. Wrap a rag soaked in your solvent of choice around a peice of 1" pipe and shove through the drive shaft to clean it. Drop a magnet in the oil pan to reduce the fine dust like metal chips from going into the oil pump. The oil pump will need priming now and then if it hasn't been used for an extended period or sometimes not enough oil will flow to cool the dies. It's a simple repair to make and the rebuild kits are readily available. It's a good time to pull the cover and wipe things down.

        The 535 and the 300 are excellent machines, they are absolute money making beasts. Parts are widely available and maintenance is fairly simple. Use quality dark oils only, lighter oils just don't work as well. Useing cheaper grades of pipe can often lead to poor quality threads which send you on a wild goose chase to figure out why. Sharp Ridgid dies are key.

        Disconnect the machine whenever your cleaning it or performing maintenance on it.


        • LibertyTank
          LibertyTank commented
          Editing a comment
          Very good idea on dropping a magnet in the oil bucket. I'm with you on a repainted machine, it just seems to cheapen it. Ive got a 300 that was refurbished and it took about a year for it to look good again.

        • Mightyservant
          Mightyservant commented
          Editing a comment
          Yep, they're better left just cleaned up scuffed paint and all.

      • #5
        Yep. I'm fairly familiar with Ridgid machines though I must say most of my time it's been field work with a 700 and sometimes 300. I used a 535 a few months back and did 240 1 1/2" threads through it.

        It's a beast and going back to the 300 you really miss the built-in oiler.

        Anyway, I've seen some refurb machines on amazon and they look really bad with the chosen shade of grey paint. Odd that such a subtlety can so drastically change the appearance. I guess I'm in that category of pipefitter that you've described.

        I've already removed the chuck and through-tube assembly and will remove the motor, pump and switch box next and just pressure wash and degrease the entire body.

        You can do a lot with this machine with a 5/16" hex key and everything is just beautiful simplicity.

        Thanks again for the suggestions.

        One more Q: Is there a way to date these machines based on serial number or similar?




        • #6
          Excellent then you understand. The couple of times I've repainted a carriage or diehead I was imdediatly disappointed and have abandoned any future paint effort. But I have seen good paint jobs on collectors peices, clearly they were more determined.

          I agree the 535 is friendlier for extended threading work. Early in my career I spent months on a 535 and the 300 is the machine of choice for us due to its portability. We have a 700 as well but the 535's will always reign supreme in my humble opinion. There are some aftermarket tweaks than can be done to improve the 300's threading experience which consists of a small work table that can be added placed on top to provide a work area for fittings, dope, rags etc. There is also an oil pan which can catch more of the drips to help reduce the mess that a 300 will make.

          Our 535's are over 40 years old now and they were threading pipe before I started there. I've come to admire the simple elegance of the design and function of these machines that I once hated for the noise and odor I had to endure for hours on end. The ability to get parts for repair and maintenance and the ease to do so speaks well of the designers at Ridgid.

          You might try Ridgid tel:1-800-474-3443 for more information on your machines age. Best wishes.