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Spin Flare experience?

archibald tuttle
archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,085
edited November 2022 in THE MAIN WALL
There was a good recent R-410A flare thread but not really suited for a reboot on this question. Actually surprised I can only find one thread these are mentioned.

Just in viewing the tool itself they seem to start a flare more than finish one. although one site said don't touch the flare while its still hot, another suggests (not mutually exclusively but importantly different focus) that you should immediately assemble the flare while it is hot so that the fitting serves as a proper anvil to create the finished flare while the tubing is more malleable. Although most places I've read about this spin tools suggest they don't impact the materials native malleability and maybe this quick step is a decent best practice but not absolutely necessary unless in really cold temps that would beg hitting it with a heat gun before connection or some such.

One manufacturers site says the tool leaves 35 degree angle. I don't know if that is to satisfy both the 37 and 45 degree market with one tool. Instinctively I'd like something that would get a little closer to 45 but maybe i'm over worrying.

I'm quite happy with the quality of flares from the eccentric clutch based bearing cone ridgid (or similar) tools with the exception that ridgid has never defined the proper height in the block for flares. I used to think the right thing was a dime thickness past the block surface but i see some brands have guides that stop the tube at the block surface. I understand there is a range that might be acceptable , but not having a target or an explanation that I have found is not helpful.

The one aspect that the spin flare doesn't provide for are size changing nuts. I wouldn't get into those with R410A, but I use them often for propane, e.g. 3/8 line to 1/2" fitting. Have found them really handy in that respect. They would require a different bit with a deeper flare before the stop regardless of initial angle. Maybe a bridge too far for those manufacturers vs. the demand/utility, whereas all I need do with the ridgid is advance the tubing a little further. Still a matter somewhat of guesswork since who among us can remember how far they advanced the last time. sure wouldn't be bad it was gauged.

It does look to me like there could be some labor savings involved as position in the block can be mildly time consuming and a quick 'block lock' might obviate some of that but if the spin flares are the nuts, so to speak, maybe advancing block design is not in the cards.


  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,623
    It is going to work harden the copper a lot more than the usual clamp and cone type of flare tool. You would need to heat it hotter than a heat gun to anneal it.

    If you are using double flare buttons there is a ridge on the button that is the distance to bring the tube proud of the surface of the clamp when making double flares, but with a single flare i'm not sure. I'm sure there is a trade school text book page that explains it out there somewhere. If you try to spread it too far it will crack.

    There are hydraulic flare tools that are much faster than the clamp and screw cone type if you are doing a lot of them.
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,085
    delicate matters. the annealing temperature actually starts around 400 degrees which ain't that hot. i haven't seen that the manufacturer suggests they reach those temps are reached, but we know it is meant to be damn hot from friction. I admit to limited metalurgical capacity so perhaps the metalheads can chime in as the extent of work hardening threatened. This would be a really good reason not to use this method if it were significant but I see no crowdsourced record of failures you might associate with compromised material in the join.

    I have a hydraulic for double flares on brake tubing and it has the dies or single flare copper but they are still clunky and time consuming–again mostly because the mastercool ones that i have anyway don't have a quick clamping die block. And the hydraulics aren't as kind to the copper as eccentric orbital style. Depending on the answers to paragraph one, might make the orbital still king from my perspective.. But I'm keeping an open mind until i learn more.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,623
    Never was a big fan of the spin tool after I watched a demo on YouTube. After reading how they will 'never overflare' the pipe, the guy went along to do exactly that. What gets me the most is that he went ahead & published it. I suppose kudos for honesty, but I didn't get that vibe, more along the lines of 'eh whatevs'.