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We were discussing the various basic concepts of bearings such as Basic concept of bearings, Main functions of bearings, Bearing operating condition and various terminologies, Roller bearing basics and types, in the category of engineering practices or engineering maintenance, in our recent posts.  

Now we will go ahead to start a new topic in the field of engineering maintenance i.e. plumbing tools and their applications in our engineering life. 

Before going in detail, we should have one brief idea about the meaning of plumbing. Plumbing is basically the activities related with the laying of pipeline. 

Let us consider one example of leakage of water through a pipeline in your bathroom. The first question will be asked that how to arrest the water leakage. What you will do? 

You will start thinking about any plumber. But if we will have some basic knowledge about the plumbing tools and their applications, we can easily arrest such plumbing related issue. 

Therefore, let us find out here few basic plumbing tools and their applications in domestic and industrial areas. 

Classification of plumbing tools 

Pipe wrench 

A pipe wrench, as displayed here in following figure, is basically used for holding and turning the pipes. There are basically two types of pipe wrenches as mentioned here. 

Fixed wrenches 

Fixed wrenches are available with specific size and could not be adjusted. 

Adjustable wrenches 

Adjustable wrenches, as name indicates, could be adjusted within its given range. We can use an adjustable wrench for holding and turning the pipes of various sizes within the given range of the adjustable wrench. There will be one mechanism in adjustable wrench which will be rotated in order to move the jaw to secure the desired size. 
Fig: Pipe wrench

Pipe vice

Pipe vice, as displayed here in following figure, is basically used for gripping a pipe and preventing it from turning while cutting, threading, grinding and fitting of bends, couplings, nipples etc. 

Pipe vice will be fitted on the work bench. It will have one set of jaws, one jaw will be fixed and other jaw will be movable, to grip the pipe while doing the engineering activities such as cutting, threading, grinding etc. 
Fig: Pipe vice

Pipe cutter

Pipe cutter, as name indicates, is basically used for cutting pipes. Following figure shows a pipe cutter. A pipe cutter will have three wheels with hardened and sharp cutting edge along its periphery.
Out of three wheels of pipe cutter, one wheel will be adjustable to any desired distance for accommodating the various sizes of pipes. 

Once pipe will be adjusted at pipe cutter machine, cutter will be turned around the pipe and cutter wheel will cut the pipe along a circle. 
Fig: Pipe cutter

In current time, one modern pipe cutter is also available in market. In modern pipe cutter, there will be one electric motor and one cutting wheel. Cutting wheel will be driven via electric motor and it will be adjustable too for compensating the various diameters of pipes. 

There will be one set of jaws where pipe will be fixed to avoid any accident during cutting of pipe. Once pipe will be gripped properly, cutting wheel will be started and pressed along the pipes to cut the pipe. 
Fig: Pipe cutter


Hacksaw is basically used for cutting pipes, fasteners, metal bar and rods. Workpiece will be fixed in vice and hacksaw will be used for cutting the workpiece at desired position. Hacksaw blade will be moved over the workpiece in forward and reverse direction for cutting the given workpiece. 

Cutting operation will only take place during forward stroke and hence forward stroke will also be termed as cutting stroke. While, reverse stroke will be termed as idle stroke as there will be no cutting operation during reverse direction motion of hacksaw. 

Following figure indicates the hacksaw and its various parts. 

Fig : hacksaw

Threading dies and taps

In order to provide the external threads over the surface of pipes, threading dies and taps are used. Threading dies and taps are displayed here in following figure. 

Threads will be developed in different shapes and sizes which will be used by fitting pipes inside a die handle. Length of thread will be dependent over the size of the pipe. 

Pipe will be fixed in vice and threads will be made with the help of die and die handle as displayed in following figure. 
Fig: Threading dies and taps

Files and rasps

Following figure indicates the files and rasps which is usually used in various assembly jobs, machining jobs in industrial areas. 

There will be sharp edge teeth over the surface of file and it will be used in order to remove the unwanted metal particle by rubbing file over the surface of workpiece. 
                                                                    Fig: Files and rasp

Rasp is basically used for securing the finishing surface of workpiece.

Plumb Bob

Plumb bob is a device which is used in alignment activity. Vertical alignment could be easily checked with the help of a plum bob. 

Material of casting for plum bob will be basically brass or steel. 
Fig: Plum bob
Further we will go ahead to start a new topic i.e. Pipes and fittings, in the subject of fluid mechanics, with the help of our next post. 

Do you have any suggestions? Please write in comment box. 


Fluid mechanics, By R. K. Bansal 
Image courtesy: Google  

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