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Thread: How To Quick Clean Copper Fittings/Pipe

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    Default How To Quick Clean Copper Fittings/Pipe

    Hi,
    I am wondering if there is a quick way to clean fittings and pipe. When I solder this is by far the slowest part of the process and I will be doing a lot of pipe repair this spring/summer.

    Thanks for any replies!
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default tubing

    A brush chucked into a cordless drill will clean the fittings, but if you have that much copper to cut and clean, buy my electric copper cutter, cleaning, and reaming machine off Craig's list.

  3. #3
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Oatey #95 flux



    Mill-rose open mesh sand cloth for the pipe



    and fitting brushes of which any will work but Mill-rose makes the best and you will pay more for them

    Last edited by Cass; 04-30-2009 at 05:51 AM.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    For my DIY purposes, I use a brush for the fittings, and emery cloth for pipe ends. I do sometimes use the donut shaped brush for pipe, but a strip of emery seems to be easier to keep track of and it's easy to replace. I'm sure for a professional soldering day in and day out this would be a bit primitive.

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    A brush chucked into a cordless drill will clean the fittings, but if you have that much copper to cut and clean, buy my electric copper cutter, cleaning, and reaming machine off Craig's list.
    What city for Craigs List? I'm not sure how to find it.

    Thanks
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

  6. #6
    Plunger/TurdPuncher kingsotall's Avatar
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    Molo, you're going to like this video:

    122 Copper Cutting and Prep Machine

    Or did you and HJ already make a deal cuz I couldn't find the craigslist listing neither...
    I just post cuz I like to see my avatar.

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingsotall View Post
    Molo, you're going to like this video:

    122 Copper Cutting and Prep Machine

    Or did you and HJ already make a deal cuz I couldn't find the craigslist listing neither...
    Great video. We haven't communicated yet, but I'm wondering how much I'll have to spend to get into one of these new or used.
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

  8. #8
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure HJ is in the Phoenix area.

  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default cutter

    Correct, but I will have to check to see if it is still listed. Does the same things the Rigid machine does.

  10. #10
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Why are you selling it....

  11. #11

  12. #12

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    Personally, tho' it's a pain in the butt to clean copper I don't see the need to buy a machine to do it. For residental work I hold a piece of emery cloth around 3/4 and 1/2" copper pipe then roll it across my thigh with the palm of my hand. I couple of whacks that way it's ready to go. On big stuff, up to 3" It has always just been very quick to loop a long piece of emery cloth over the pipe and run around it like I'm polishing my shoe... I could do a half dozen by the time I could get a machine out and in place. A few spins of a good brush and I get the fittings done... not a big deal to me and I've probably soldered as many as 100 joints in a day.

  13. #13
    Plunger/TurdPuncher kingsotall's Avatar
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    I suspect the OP has tendonitis or something that might impair their ability to prep copper the old school way.
    I just post cuz I like to see my avatar.

  14. #14

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    I guess he could use pex......that would avoid all the cleaning.....

    Or @The OP

    Yes, The best way is to spend time and do it right,

    There was this word we used in the 80's and some of the 90's

    "Craftsmanship".....That's what gets the fittings clean, That and some good Ole Fashioned Elbow grease


    Hope This helps
    [B]
    You Should Assume Everything I say Is A Complete Lie - Thank You ~

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    After all the discussion I think I might try a drill chucked brush and the emery cloth. I guess it doesn't take that long and I don't have 100's of fittings, just dozens.

    Thanks for all the replies!
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

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