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  • Most Useful Tool or Tool ideas

    This thread may have been done before - but i'm relatively new to the forum so here goes.
    What is one of the most useful tools that you may have in your truck that you use for everyday plumbing jobs? It can be something you've made, or using another tool for a certain purpose that it wasn't originally designed for. I'm not looking for pipe wrench or nut drivers here. It can also be a really unique tool that you've found or a new tool to the market. Mine is the roto-zip RZ-20. I use that little angle grinder attachment to cut all kinds of little things - johnny bolts, copper pipe that's too close to the wall to use a midget cutter, cutting the handles off stems when a stem puller won't get it off, tile, and of course drywall. I have a full size angle grinder, but sometimes you just want something quick and small.

    Anyone have any special cleanout removal tools, besides the obvious hammer and chisel? I have the big blue jumping jack that some of you may be familiar with for recessed c/o's.

    Sorry it's the best post i could come up with.

  • #2
    In my early years I use to buy all of my supplies from Edwards Supply in North Hollywood. The store had been there forever and on occasion one of the old countermen would find an old part or tool and tell me if I could figure out what it was I could have it. One day they showed me what looked like a carbide core drill which was about 1 ½” across and 6” deep. Where the pilot bit should have been was a hollow tube with adjustable bushings.

    My answer to his question was it was to cut ceramic tile which was too close to a tub or shower valve stem. It turns out the tool was called an “Expose-a-Valve” and that was exactly what it was for. If you had a tub or shower valve where the tile man installed the tile tight against the stem you could not use your cowbell wrench to pull the stem. This meant you had to chip the tile with a hammer and chisel and hope the tile did not break where it could be seen. With this tool it cut a perfect hole around the valve and never damaged anything. All you had to do was chuck it up in your drill and slide the hollow tube over the stem as your pilot. Within minutes you were done.

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

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

    Comment


    • #3
      my tool is home made

      i do a lot of pipe hanging using clevis hangers with 3/8 all thread rod and beam clamps . there are 3 different size nuts so i cut the box end off the 3 sizes Of some old wrenches and welded them into 1 wrench . this way all i have to reach for is 1 wrench and not 3


      i will try to get a picture of it posted soon
      Charlie

      My seek the peek fundraiser page
      http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


      http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

      new work pictures 12/09
      http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

      Comment


      • #4
        mark, i have that same tool, expose-a-valve. there was a period of time that the tool wasn't being sold. i guess too many plumbers cut into the valve body with an improperly adjusted tool. (center pilot arbor too far back). honestly, i've only used this tool a handfull of times. i guess you must have been there the first time

        to pick out a favorite is like asking what child do you like better i don't even have kids. but the one that i think is the biggest time saver would be the 3/8'' threaded rod cutter, or the propress

        so many tools, so little time

        rick.
        phoebe it is

        Comment


        • #5
          Rick, that 3/8'' threaded rod cutter sounds like a great time saver. Can't even begin to think of all the rod I cut with a hacksaw before porta-bands became popular on the job. They were around but unless you had a bunch of 5/8" or bigger rod to cut the shop would not usually send one out to the job. Kinda penny wise and pound foolish to me but that's the way it was

          I looked up the company that sells those rod cutters and they are supposed to be getting back to me with a local dealer, but haven't heard anything yet. I think he said the price was something like $225. Am I remembering correctly or is it more? Really doesn't matter because the amount of time it will save the cutter will pay for itself quickly.
          "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
          John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

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          • #6
            Bob,

            Our shop has a couple of those rod cutters. They work good, but the cutting jaws wear out quickly on the ones we have. I'll have to check who manufactured it next week.

            On the whole, I would suggest sticking with the porta-ban.
            the dog

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            • #7
              Time saver

              I carry a small wet vac. on the truck. Use it for general clean up,emptying toilet tanks and bowls and etc.

              Comment


              • #8
                Dog,

                Thanks OK, I have the company info and I did receive a call from them. They were supposed to call me back and give me the name of their rep in the area (NJ), but haven't heard back yet. Maybe they don't have one, maybe I should be that person

                http://www.mccusainc.com/default.htm

                How much does a new set of jaws cost?
                "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
                John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

                Comment


                • #9
                  bob & dog

                  i e mailed mcc and they got back to me and said the closest dealer to me in south east pa is j&g products spring field va 703-354-7625 . i did not get a Chance to call yet . i will try on mon.

                  charlie
                  Charlie

                  My seek the peek fundraiser page
                  http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


                  http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

                  new work pictures 12/09
                  http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Theron,

                    Where can you find a big blue jumping jack, for removing recessed c/o.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      the "jumping jack" i have is red. it is so so. it doesn't fit most of the c/o that i need and you don't get any real leverage from it. if you want a good set of c/o wrenches, pasco makes a kit for about $250. it has removed everything i've ever encountered. even came with a mcmannis wrench. 3/4'' drive with an extension for going deep into walls or cabinets.

                      rick.
                      phoebe it is

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        the 3/8" all thread rod cutter is 210$
                        Charlie

                        My seek the peek fundraiser page
                        http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


                        http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

                        new work pictures 12/09
                        http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This rod threader sounds interesting. Dog, how many cuts do you think it makes before replacing the jaws?
                          Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

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                          • #14
                            Where might you purchase a Pasco c/o tool set?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by plumber
                              This rod threader sounds interesting. Dog, how many cuts do you think it makes before replacing the jaws?
                              Plumber,

                              To be honest, I'm not sure. All I know is that our shop bought a couple of them. I never really used one until my current project. I requested one at the begining of our top-out. Some of the guys used it for a couple of weeks, then I noticed it sitting in one of our storage containers. When I asked why they didn't use it they said the jaws were dull. I offered to call the shop to find out where I could get replacement jaws, they told me not to bother because the jaws didn't last long and they preferred a chopsaw or band saw because they could gang-cut rods the same size, and they were also using unistrut, which you can't cut on a rod cutter.

                              It seems to be more populer with our commercial remodel crews, who tend to do a lot less rod-cutting. It is probably handy in that situation, because it eliminates electric cords altogather on certain small jobs.
                              the dog

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