Tools for joining pipes

For cutting pipe:
• hire a wheel tube cutter (which ensures perfectly square pipe ends) or use a hack saw
• use a metal file for removing ragged burrs of metal and for squaring ends of pipe that have been cut with a hacksaw. A half-round ‘second-cut’ type is ideal.

For compression joints:
• use two adjustable spanners or pipe wrenches (one to hold the fitting, the other to tighten the cap-nut)
• steel wool to clean the surface of pipes before assembling a joint.

For capillary joints:
• a blow-torch to melt the solder
• steel-wool for cleaning pipe surfaces
• flux to ensure a good bond between the solder and copper
• solder because even if you’re using integral ring fittings (which already have solder in them) you may need a bit extra
• glass fibre mat (or a ceramic tile) to deflect the torch flame from nearby surfaces.

For a perfect fit, pipe ends must be cut square. If you’re using a hacksaw, hold a strip of paper round the pipe so its edges align and saw parallel to the paper edge. Use the same trick if you have to file an inaccurately-cut end.

With capillary fittings, the heat you apply could melt the solder in nearby fittings. To help prevent this, wrap them in wet cloths.

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