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Amazing boiler piping

STEVEusaPA
STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,925
edited March 27 in THE MAIN WALL
For those of you on Facebook, you should go have a look at this artist from France
https://www.facebook.com/groups/136111590358277/?ref=share
Here’s a few pics...notice, all bends, virtually no fittings.



steve
ratioSuperTechAlan (California Radiant) ForbesEdTheHeaterManRomanGK_26986764589mattmia2Jackmartindelta T

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,853
    The connections to the fittings look like they are brazed instead of solder. I wonder if the blue round thingy on the left is the expansion tank
    SuperTech
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,424
    Now THAT is some nice work!
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,753
    Interesting Y branch looks like it was brazed? Even the award seems to be bent copper :)
    The bar has been set!
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    RomanGK_26986764589
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,634
    Damn. I've never seen anything that compares to that. Beautiful workmanship. I wonder why the decision was made to braze the fittings? Should've used shark bite or press fittings.  Lol, just kidding 
     
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 3,908
    I could do that. I would only need about 37 couplings.
    I wonder it was done on CAD first. 
    In my area, installers often fabricate their own  copper manifolds on site and braze the stubs for the branches. 
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,753
    I wonder how many hours it took?
    There is some planning involved when you start stacking bends inside on3 another. Clear PVC for drains and overflows.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,091
    edited March 28

    The connections to the fittings look like they are brazed instead of solder. I wonder if the blue round thingy on the left is the expansion tank

    Don't wonder too far, you could get lost.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,925
    hot_rod said:

    I wonder how many hours it took?
    There is some planning involved when you start stacking bends inside on3 another. Clear PVC for drains and overflows.

    He said 10-11 days, all work done on site.
    steve
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 3,908
    I even like the inside corner wall with the escutcheon plates (or are they flanges?) where the pipes go through. I wonder what it looks like on the other side of the wall. A web of pex?
  • Kickstand55
    Kickstand55 Member Posts: 22
    Nice work. You don't see that in America.
    Shudda tiled the floor. :D
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 1,289
    damn the bar got high
  • sunlight33
    sunlight33 Member Posts: 301
    Does anyone know the pipe supporting bracket they used?
  • Le John
    Le John Member Posts: 197
    Wow! They mastered the art of pending pipe. Probably the neatest install I’ve ever seen! Great to see the pride in their work!
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,925

    Does anyone know the pipe supporting bracket they used?

    They look like a bell/van hanger, but maybe some more specific to Europe?
    steve
  • sunlight33
    sunlight33 Member Posts: 301
    Not meant to digress but if I need to support pipes that are off from the wall further than a bell/van hanger can provide, say 2-3 inches, what's the better (more professional looking) way other than using ceiling plate and threaded rod with extension hanger?
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,091
    I think his brother built these steps that go to the boiler room 
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
    SuperTech
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,260
     :D 
    Retired and loving it.
  • FrankB101
    FrankB101 Member Posts: 5
    I would like to know more about how they did it. I have done similar things with refrigeration and soft copper although the straight runs are not quite as straight as this. If they used hard copper did they anneal each bend? Also I would like to know how much time it took they must have polished all of the joints. I just did a job with about as many runs using pro press fittings. The pro press adds a lot of cost to the job. Maybe it would be cost effective to spend more time bending and brazing?
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,091
    edited March 29
    @FrankB101


    LOOKS GREAT. BUT DOES IT WORK?
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,925

    @FrankB101


    LOOKS GREAT. BUT DOES IT WORK?

    Why would you think it wouldn't work? The guy has been posting amazing work like this for years
    FrankB101 said:

    ...Maybe it would be cost effective to spend more time bending and brazing?

    IIRC talking with him about another one of his posts the fittings seem to be very expensive. I'd assume bends are better than t's and elbows for flow.
    Can't say if this is how it's done in all of France, maybe it just their way.
    steve
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,753
    Tube bending is fairly common in Europe. Most of the power tool manufacturers have benders even cordless versions now. They benders type L hard copper, without needing to anneal but those tight radius may be a bending grade of copper. I think my 1/2" copper tool is about a 6-7" diameter.

    I suppose just like electricians that bend EMT, you can get fairly fast at it once you have the math down.

    I've read that if the bend is 8D, eight times the tube diameter it does not count as a pressure drop like an ell fitting, which is about 5' of pipe equivalent.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    STEVEusaPASuperTechRoyboy
  • blue3
    blue3 Member Posts: 2
    edited April 1
    The blue “thingy”is an expansion device. Most piping including steel is bent in France. Copper piping is brazed, maybe silver soldered. Observe how the bends marry each other. Also the apex of each one matches the one below.
    This was the way it was taught to us in trade schools. I was very proud to have learned it this way. When I got out of trade, on the real world, bosses didn’t want me to continue on bending pipes. Time consuming.
    That Artist must had a great Deal in selling His Work and performing It this way. But Clients, at least some, do appreciate this type of work. Especially in residential. I bet the Work is probably varnished. Yes it is very rare, and Beautiful.
    Thanks to my Compatriot. We speak the same “language”!
    blue
    RoyboySuperTech
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,260
    edited April 1
    @blue3, your work was just as gorgeous in its own way. And I love the way you would sign it.

    I hope all is well, dear friend.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Dan_32
    Dan_32 Member Posts: 16
    Beautiful workmanship. What power tool manufacturers have benders that can bend hard copper like that in multiple sizes? We use hand benders for our refrigeration work but we are using ACR soft copper tubing. This work looks like they used L hard drawn copper. I want to know how they got those bends without kinking it or without needing to anneal it. I don't see no tarnished copper from any heat. In any event I love it and want to purchase a battery operated bender for myself! PS I wonder if he used a T Tap tool as well? I use one for my custom manifolds but I never seen the taps installed at an angle like he did. I only could do perpendicular taps.. Man, I'm envious!
  • Royboy
    Royboy Member Posts: 221
    I'm mostly "retired" from hydronic work now, but man, this kind of stuff reminds me of how I always wanted to do more diverse functional/sculptural things with copper tubing. I have a set of gear driven Holsclaw tubing benders with shoes that fit 1/2", 3/4", and 1" copper but have not had much success bending type M hard (perhaps I should give L a try). wonder if HotRod or blue3 or anyone else could offer some insights into the bending equipment/techniques used for this kind of work. it is indeed gorgeous!! and thanks to Dan for highlighting this post via email!
  • FrankB101
    FrankB101 Member Posts: 5
    Royboy said:

    I'm mostly "retired" from hydronic work now, but man, this kind of stuff reminds me of how I always wanted to do more diverse functional/sculptural things with copper tubing. I have a set of gear driven Holsclaw tubing benders with shoes that fit 1/2", 3/4", and 1" copper but have not had much success bending type M hard (perhaps I should give L a try). wonder if HotRod or blue3 or anyone else could offer some insights into the bending equipment/techniques used for this kind of work. it is indeed gorgeous!! and thanks to Dan for highlighting this post via email!

    The only way I am aware of to bend hard copper is to anneal (soften by heating a section to cherry red and then let it cool slowly) the spot where you want the bend. I have done this many times, however it does discolor the tubing and it takes time and gas. You would have to do some serious polishing to get it to shine like that job.
    I wonder if he has a machine that straightens soft copper. I have a bender that I bought a while back and have not used yet that it seems to me I could set the dies so that when the copper is run through it would straighten. Hmmm the ideas are starting.
  • BradHotNCold
    BradHotNCold Member Posts: 42
    Will have to send this to my Polish/French son-in-law. He is into Robotics now, but know he will like the opportunity to brag on his French compatriots!
  • Jackmartin
    Jackmartin Member Posts: 175
    This is the way plumbing is taught in the European trade schools. The benders are for typically residential work 15 mm and 25 mm our half and three quarters. In the UK they also lazer levels to lay out the configuration of the equipment and piping layout, you see exactly what you are going to get before you put up anything. In the UK they try to keep soldering to an absolute minimum and they solder by directing the torch to the front of the fitting and apply solder to the back so there is never any sign of solder on the front of the fitting. In the UK they also run their gas in copper the joints are soldered with silver bearing solder. I purchased a pipe bender from the UK and it came from one of their super store plumbing wholesales. The price was really good 285 Canadian including shipping. This thing has paid itself back many times over bent pipe doesn't leak and I have had to buy so few fittings. I really encourage you to buy one ,the learning curve for an experienced tradesman is very quick and you wonder what you did without it. In the UK they are also taught from day one that after installation you polish all your pipe etc with 000 steel wool to make it presentable. Unlike here where we do things in the basement, most homes in the UK do not have any form of basement. The piping is on display usually in the kitchen from day one, they use Combi boilers for both heat and hot water. The blue thing is in fact an expansion tank,for retrofit jobs, they have a bag expansion "tank" that they slip behind the boiler, they are a bag in a bag. The gas pressure to the houses for the UK is five pound to the meter I had a hard time the first time I saw it the meter being supplied by 3/8 type k copper, I had to ask a UK plumber I know what the h$$l that was doing ,he filled me in after we both had a good laugh. This is what happens when kids are taught as apprentices, unlike here where the kid is expected to produce revenue from day one, we need to change our way of educating our upcoming tradespeople especially now when we are a vanishing breed. In the UK this second class citizen b.s. we have in North America doses not exist. The youngsters here think being a tradesmen is some how second best, in the UK you are not called a tradesman you are called a qualified trade engineer. They have eight different levels of combustion license and offer constant upgrading in their trade schools, we could do well by following their lead. Stay Well and Be Blessed Jack.
    oldgitRoyboySuperTechCLamb
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,753
    You can bend regular hard temper copper tube with the correct tool. I've been using this REMS for 20 some years now, 1/2- 1-1/4" L type. They have a cordless version now.

    Sometimes you can bend M without a ripple, but it becomes an expensive trial and error.

    Also pictured is a 1950 homemade bender still in use at a wholesaler in Illinois. They made 100's of copper radiant ceiling grids, still do.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    RoyboySuperTech
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,004
    That work is so amazing makes me feel like an amateur
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • blue3
    blue3 Member Posts: 2
    edited April 2
    @robroy as far as I remember, know, copper tubing is equal to type k with thick walls. Bending is performed with a bending tool that do not require cherry red operation. Done properly the tubing wouldn’t kink. (?)The manifolds aren’t manifolds are per say. What happened here is what’s called : “ piquages”. A hole is made on the tubing. Other techniques may be present but that’s the idea. Depending on the way it’s done, heating it up is necessary and the take up tubing  is inserted in it. Soldering is made VERY carefully and cleaned, so there are no tell on how it was done. Time consuming and mind baffling!
    Many words are being written here, but then again, this was done with a regular copper bending tool. Type K is necessary though. In regard of the different bending radius (top piping and down) he may have used a larger shoe and smaller. possibly, ( different radius shoes?) as he went bending the tubing. A bit hard to tell here.  It may look like on the pic that the tubing may have been heat up. Different tainting looks like. I recall vividly that way back then, we would use a large sheet of thin metal, painted white. We would trace the pipe on it. ( called neutral fiber). Heat the tubing cherry red placed it inside a spring of its size and bending manually to marry the template, (neutral fiber: fibre neutre in French). The pipe below, it would be handled the same way but with a smaller radius. And so forth. That way, the finished work would look like what’s seen on the photo, or just about. I won’t tell the amount of work, patience and skills this would require. The Ones who worked as such were (are)True Trade Persons. I hardly seen anything like it since I left the Trade in France. 
    I understand and totally share the interrogations regarding the HOWS this was done. It’s all about Great Knowledge, Patience and Workmanship. This is what’s all about. I understand the questions, especially the technical ones, but it is almost not so complicated...
    in regard of pressure drops, bending piping, may it be steel, galvanized or copper, there are much less pressure drop when tubing is bent vs fittings. That’s obvious. What’s interesting in this picture is the amount of comments it generated. Yup!
     I performed jobs in the US where tubing was exposed, or not. I always made sure neatness was the keyword. In very aspect. That our work would stand the Test of Time. Teaching it out. Sometimes, in hydronic boiler rooms, I pushed the thing in polishing the tubings and varnished them. With lights on it. Like a showroom.  All of that was included in the selling price. The Clients were amazed and with great humility, I was always so proud to have had the “luck” that our company was chosen, instead of the “ma and pa” businesses. It’s not hard to be good. Just looking at what they may do wrong and do the opposite. That makes us shine. Like Our Work. And yes, the work was signed with a bronze tag with, engraved, our company name on it. Right: @DanHolohan ? You taught us that.
     
    HVACNUTCLamb
  • motoguy128
    motoguy128 Member Posts: 347

    I think his brother built these steps that go to the boiler room 

    No amount of raw meat would get my dog to do up that thing. Unless you released a rabbit and it ran up the steps. (I have Greyhounds)
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