Tool Tips: Using puppy pads, cutting pipe, soldering around obstructions
A new use for puppy pads
Recently I found some dog training pads we no longer needed and, figuring that I could find a use for them, I put them on my van. After the first use I was shocked, and now I use them every day! They work great for setting underneath a commode or urinal when you have to pull them, and you can pull the pad to slide commode or urinal out of your way. They are also great to lay under kitchen sinks because they fit perfectly, and since the water is absorbed into the middle of the pad instead of the top, you can lie on them without getting wet. I was in a commercial building restroom working on tile floors that had a lot of water on it; I was about to go get my vacuum until I saw the pad in my tool bucket. I laid it with the absorbent side down and it soaked up all the water. I have spent 30 years as a repair plumber and these are great, and they are cheap — 50 of the 26-by-30-inch pads cost less than $15.
Cutting, deburring, and threading pipe
My tip helps speed things up a little. If you use a handheld band saw, it’s pretty hard to make a perfectly straight cut. By using the pipe cutter, you basically score the pipe. Do not go all the way through with the cutter. Then take the band saw and cut in the small groove left by the pipe cutter. Rotate the pipe and cut. Continue rotating and cutting until the pipe is cut. By doing it this way, you end up with a straight cut and one less step with no deburring necessary. With many pipes to cut and thread, this saves some time — and your muscles.
Miller Place, New York
Soldering around obstructions
Making solder joints against an obstruction can be tricky. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could bend that flame to where you need it? A ½-inch copper elbow fits snugly around most torch tips, allowing you to direct the flame 90 degrees to get around an obstruction, in a tight space, or up against a wall. It’s the little things in life!
Send Us Your Tool Tips
If you have an idea that has saved you time and money, Plumbing & Mechanical would like to share your tip with our readers. The first-place winner each month will receive a Kinetic Water Ram from General Pipe Cleaners with a retail value of $325. Read here for more details.