Tube Rounding Vice Grips

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Made these and used for copper pipework jobs. A full info on how they were made...Aussie here.

Step 1: Made With Only Basic Parts and Cheap. How It Is Done.

The tool is formed from only 2 parts.

1) a 10 inch approximately pair of standard Vice Grips AKA Mole grips.

2) a mild steel bush bored out to suit tubing size.

My jobs were using 1/2 inch standard outside diameter soft and hard copper water pipe.

PROCEDURE

1) Bore out bush in eg lathe or with a drill in a bench vyce.

The important thing is eg if using it on 1/2 inch tube, bore out hole to as near to exact 1/2 inch hole.

The better the finish inside the less scratchy on job.

A REAMED hole is ideal.

Any local garage workshop school shop can do the boring .. cheap job.

Alternate is find a junk piece that has the hole.eg a spacer bush from a car part etc.

The inside chamfer just makes it easier to get on pipe for entry point. Outside just for smoother tool surface.

2) Have bush COMPLETE

(WELD into jaws of vice grips . eg via stick/ MIG welder. Or braze /silver solder. Whatever is practical for you.)

Procedure.... CLOSE jaws around bush and clamp tight. Align then weld.

3) Mark a centreline.

Cut bush in half. File any rough edges of cut. Or weld splatter etc..

THAT"S IT...

Step 2: WHY THIS TOOL IS EXCELLENT..

Anyone who's worked with eg copper or metal tubing knows..

It isn't always round. Could be second hand / dented.

It isn't always easy to hold for eg soldering

PLUS at times plumbing work can be difficult to grip, twist or bend when in short runs or closed spaces eg around water tank installs. Eg aligning pipes.

The tool solves it all.

A commercial one is sometimes around. But not accessible in Oz. Plus very expensive..

Have made a few and given to master plumbers.

Is 1st item they take out of kit on many jobs. Saves lots of time..

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Have helped plumbers doing

Solar hot water tank installs and repairs. Soft copper coil runs mean kinks and flat spots .. Tight bends. All fixed with this tool when needed. To eg run brass fittings along the pipes. Hydraulic lines also see this type of tool being used. A basic simple tool that solves a problem quickly and easily..unbreakable and cheap.

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    5 Discussions

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    tassie2

    1 year ago

    It doesnt cut solder or braze.

    It's a tube rounding tool.

    Is useful to hold pipes for silver soldering.

    Have done hundress of solar hot water tanks and setups. Copper is soft coiled usually for convenience. Hence the tube often has flat spots. Running eg brass fittings over dented tubes is a problem. Jam ups. WIth this tool flat spots fixed in seconds. On builders repairs /demolition often a small tail hung out of wall with dents and crimps. This fixes most of them up. Cutting out a 1 inch piece in middle of a 15 meter copper coil run not viable. To eg run a fitting along it. 2 crimps wth this tool it's done asap. Part slides over. The tool in commercial form is used in high grade hydraulic tubing. Don't have to believe it...Has save untold hours on solar hot water installs. Used by master plumbers in Oz and NZ. Just how it works..

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    kwhit190211

    1 year ago

    I have no idea why you would need to use this tool. Before I retired 10 years ago, I was a Pipefitter & I have run miles upon miles of copper tubing in my 38 years as a pipefitter. I've never used a tool of this type to cut, solder, braze copper tubing. So just what do you need it for? And, also, tubing is usually round, if it's flaten you cut that piece out to get to the round stock & work with that.

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    tassie2

    1 year ago

    Am a toolmaker by trade so know a tool that does the job..Made loads of different specialty tools over the years. This would be the simplest. Cost almost nil..

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    tassie2

    1 year ago

    Is easy to make if you have a lathe. Beats rounding the tube with a punch or flaring tool or adjustable spanner run around outside. Saves time doing solar hot water tank work and eg kitchen/ batrhoom refurbs.. Only build issuethat matters for accuracy IS ...bore bush to suit pipe eg 1/2' OD. weld on 1st THEN split with hacksaw. Made a load of them for plumbers with commonsense. Some laugh it off as unnecessary. Once you have used the tool you're hooked. Have made 3/4" od ones too work fine..

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    tytower

    1 year ago

    Yep could have used one many times . trying to get a bent pipe into a fitting can be laborious with a center punch down th guts and a light hammer on the sides to true up

    I'll see if I cam make one as I now have a lathe