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Large pipe-wrench.

PRR Member Posts: 100
edited January 2023 in Plumbing
87 inches long, 137 pounds, 4" to 18" pipe capacity.
YouTube: https://youtu.be/MQ9AvvrXhaQ?t=26
(I don't even have 4" pipe inside the house??)

I just look at the iron. (Real iron not steel?)
He does have an interesting tool for highlighting cast-on lettering.


  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,768
    We called those chain tongs. Mad 🐕 Dog..Collected a bunch of them in the first few.years as wall hangars. Mad 🐕 Dog 
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,055
    The well driller I worked for used them and expected me to use worn out tongs and pipe wrenches to tighten casing pipe instead of the hydraulic casing wrench on the drill rig saying the hydraulic casing wrench was too slow.

    I quit working for him when I saw that he crawled under a fully elevated Ingersoll rand drill rig dragging a
    fuel hose along with him to refuel the drills fuel tank 75 feet away from the service truck and he was careless and ended up hurting me.

    We were tightening 6" well casing with an 8 foot welded pipe wrench and we had 140 feet of well casing in the ground and as I thought we were tightening the well casing I looked down and the entire 140 foot well casing string was rotating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    How old are you he said getting disgusted with me and I said 52 and he was 25 years+ younger than me
    and he said they should have hired you for the shop.

    I did not sleep all weekend tying my self in knots about whether I should quit but I was sure things were not going to get better for me so I quit.

    $8.00 an hour and a 120 mile commute and being away from home from 5AM to 7PM was not worth it.

    NOPE, never again
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,353
    I had a couple of those nothing that big. I used it quite a few times. A pipe too close to a wall where you couldn't get the jaws of a regular pipe wrench around the pipe but you could get the chain of the chain tongs around it.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,768
    edited January 2023
    The Wrench battles of the trenches.  At 55, my sorest body parts are my shoulders from 40 years of wrench work.  Yeah pal..NEVER stay working with a reckless idiot that will eventually hurt you!  We all know the type...sometimes well-intentioned guys trying to out-man everyone else.  I worked with one Journeyman plumber whom I was told to be careful with...another guy lost a finger working with this guy.  Doing 8" No-Hub Storm sewer all day long, on 4. Or 5 occasions I saw why he was dangerous:  jerking the pipe off the ground suddenly-with no warning or co-ordination instead of a smooth, slow coordinated lift together.   He would drop the pipe with no warning and last, he wasn't a weakling and he would powerfully thrust his end foward if you asked for a little gentle push...almost crushing my fingers!   The only way I got through the rest of the day with all my fingers was via loud, Drill Instructor like commands and warnings ⚠️  to keep him
    From maiming me.   I used to have a Duck Hunting Buddy.  Really good guy.  We had a reeeeel good time shooting flyers on the bays famous Salt marshes of Long Island .  One day, he crosses my torso with the muzzle of his  loaded shotgun instead of aiming in to the air and pivoting safely.  I said "whoa, dude...EASY'"   He kinda smiled and looked at me like I was being a baby 👶.   I didn't say another word and That was the last time we ever hunted together.  I run in to him from time to time and he ALWAYS invites me but, I like my body without 
    Huge gaping holes in it 😳 ha ha .  Don't lecture just get away from them. Your body will thank you.   Mad 🐕 Dog
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,768
    edited January 2023
    The largest screw pipe I ever worked with was 12" Black Steel Fireside 30 feet above the huge mechanical rooms of Rockefeller Center in Manhattan.  Very, very hot up there especially in the summer.. 140-150 degrees I'm guessing.  Had to wear your denim Steamfitters shirts 👕 to protect from 🔥 burns against red hot steam mains.  I was a third Year Plumbers Local 2 Apprentice working with a wet-behind the ears Buck Mechanic with heart but not mech experience.  Screwing the tee on was rough and took forever. We used 1/2 a can of Teflon paste on each joint!   Then we used a Huge Ridgid "Compound" wrench to slowly make it up.   Its got the head and jaws of a Large pipe wrench but with a swivel joint about 8" down the handle.  It gets chained-viced to the pipe and away you go.  All the leverage and fulcrum you  need.  Was very 😎 cool. Plumbing exams often have a picture of These and ask yiu what they are called..  most guys get it wrong because they never seen one.  Mad Dog 🐕 
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,768
    edited January 2023
    In the first year out of HS, I tried several different trades.  I was a butchers Apprentice for about. 6 months.  We also had to slice cold cuts and I was going too slow for him:  "...NAH!!! You do-ah like theees..get your hand unda dare"  he yelled.
    I didn't llike having my fingers 1" from the surgical sharp, spinning 
    blade....no thanks.  I never went back.  A few days later his own son nearly sliced his fingers off and needed two skin-grafted and reattached .   Mad Dog 🐕 
  • Skyline
    Skyline Member Posts: 152
    In my early years, we had a smaller one in the shop that used for 4" - 10" pipes; it wasn't 140 lbs, but wasn't light either. The chain-wrench had been effective in breaking the thread, then switched to strap-wrench to finish up.

    The guy in the video is nuts for using tools, oil based cleaning solution, etc., without any gloves and other protective gear.
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 888
    edited January 2023
    The biggest pipe wrench I ever used was a 72" Ridgid that was owned by the Keystone Oaks School District. I borrowed it to tighten 4" screwed flanges. It was heavy but I was young and tough back then.

    The hottest place I ever worked was above the high pressure steam boilers in the Altoona Hospital. It was over 180 degrees F. It was so hot you could hardly take a breath and you couldn't stay up there very long.
    CLambMad Dog_2
  • lager
    lager Member Posts: 56
    I worked a renovation in Lima Ohio, at the Lima Correctional Institution, it was started in 1908 took 7 years of construction before it opened. Closed in 2004. Built at a cost of $ 2.1 million. It was the largest poured -concrete in the Country until superseeded by the Pentagon.

    They had a lot of big screw pipe, I was told in the pipe tunnel there was 20" screw pipe I heard one union welder, say the way the screwed that big a pipe together, they would 2 or 3- 2 man crews manning big chain wrench's and someone would strike the pipe with a hammer, they all pull in unison. I would not want to tangle with those guys
    Mad Dog_2
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,208
    Interesting wrench tale in "The Sand Pebbles". Involved acquiring a heavy enough sledge to loosen a big bad nut.
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,353
    One thing I learned years ago was..........start with a small wrench.

    Like 2" pipe instead of grabbing a 2' wrench........start with an 18" and just use moderate pressure don't kill yourself. Then switch to the 2' you will be surprised because you won't need the 2' as much and you will last longer.

    Same with 3" pipe start with a 2'

    No need to struggle with an enormous wrench for the whole thread.

    Aluminum wrenches are great.

    And chain tongs are lighter than a big steel pipe wrench at least to get most of the thread made up.

    Electrical EMT is light weight and makes a good cheater pipe.
    ethicalpaulreggiMad Dog_2
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,768
    Agree with the pipe wrench relay race.  Agree the Aluminums ARE nice and light, but for the tougher situations, the Iron Ridgid wrench is far superior because the extra heft it has takes less of a toll on your body, i.e., You have to put That much more umph using the Aluminum as opposed to the Iron wrench 🔧 whose weight alone 
    Rules the day.   Last, Aluminums, don't hold up too well with "hickeys" or pipe cheaters aka Fulcrum Bars on them.  They'll bend pretty bad.  I like to have both. Mad Dog 
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,353
    @Mad Dog_2
    Agree I like both the steel and aluminum wrenches. EMT works good because it is light. Cheaters won't bend the wrench if you use a cheater that slides all the way up to the pipe size adjustment nut. all the way up the handle.

    I used 1 1/2 " emt on a 2" alum for years. You have to take a hammer and egg shape the end of the emt just a bit so It slides up a 2' wrench and locks on the handle. If won't slip and slide on the wrench that way. might take a hammer tap to remove the cheater. Alum wrench and emt much lighter when up on a ladder.