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Cool Book

Greg Swob
Greg Swob Member Posts: 167
I often chide Sandy for wasting time attending so many garage sales and auctions - she collects dolls, old glassware and some old books such as Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, etc. She is much too young - for a 'second childhood' but collects some things prominent in our/her youth. This time she did quite OK. I am now the owner of a 1st Edition 1905 I.C.S. (International Correspondence School) Handbook for Plumbers & Fitters, "for all persons interested in Plumbing, Steam Heating, Hot-Air Heating, Hot-Water Heating, Ventilation, Gas-Fitting, Drainage and Sewerage". This little pocket sized book at 3-3/4" x 4-1/2" and 351 pages is chocked full of tables, math formulas, terminology, instructions, diagrams of how the Dead Men were to install steam, hot water, gas piping, etc. For example, a mathematical formula to calculate lengths of pipe needed to fit between two 45 ells and a host of other info and stuff a lot of which I never heard of. OK, sometimes I thrill easily, but this is one cool book. Even some information we can use today is readily at hand to help forensically diagnose and understand old systems. This one is the oldest manual of trades we have, and is also the coolest! Some day, we will gladly loan/donate it and other trade books to the museum at Bethpage if the curators are interested. My guess is Dan has probably already read this for his "Lost Art" research. Advice- if you attend a garage sale or auction, be sure to dig around in some of the boxes of 'junk' - Sandy does! Greg


  • Paul Mitchell
    Paul Mitchell Member Posts: 266
    Hows about

    posting some of those formulas for us...worked with an old timer when I first started that used these formulas all the time..in his head. told me a couple times but never could remember..

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  • Tony Conner
    Tony Conner Member Posts: 549
    There Are...

    ...a whole series of those little books. The "Building Trades Handbook" is another good one.
  • Tony Conner
    Tony Conner Member Posts: 549
    The Formulas...

    ...are in any number of books on piping. But the easiest method for 45* offsets is to use a framing square. If it's for say, 8", just go 8" down the tongue and blade on the square, and measure diagonally across with your tape to get the centre to centre dimension. Remember to use either the outside OR inside scale on the square for both. Don't use the inside for one, and the outside for the other. For offsets too big to lay off on a square, use your tape, and anything that makes a 90* angle - tool box, work bench, corner of a room, etc. Measure down each side from the corner, and mark it. Measure across the diagonal, and that's the centre to centre piece you need.

    Rolling offsets aren't much harder. There's just one more step. Lay the roll off on one side of the square, and the set on the other. Measure across the diagonal with your tape. Take the measurement off the tape, and multiply that number by 1.414. That's the centre to centre piece of pipe you need. Do the take-aways for the pair of 45*s, and cut the pipe.

    A lot of guys get hung up on how to get the initial measurements needed to figure the offsets. Measure from the centre of both pipes to a common reference point. For horizontal offsets, or the roll on a rolling offset, it's usually to the closest wall, an existing parallel pipe, or beam. Subtract the small measurement from the bigger one, and that's the distance between the horizontal centres. Do the same for the vertical dimension, or set in a rolling offset, using the ceiling or floor. Remember that you're working centre to centre, so you'll need to subtract the take-aways for each 45* el to know how long to cut your pipe.

    Always work centre to centre, and these methods will work for any size pipe. The take away dimension for the 45*s will change with the pipe size & type of joint, of course.

    The way I remember which the roll, and which is the set for rolling offsets is: "roll out" for horizontal and "set down" or "set up" for the vertical.
  • Greg Swob
    Greg Swob Member Posts: 167
    now for some research...

    to see who the Dead Man (Men) was who owned this particular book and to find some of the resulting work.

    45 deg. offset: assume you need to move a pipe 10" horizontally (center to center of pipe) in order to miss some obstruction. simply take 10" x 1.4142 and subtract the sum of each threaded or slip end which will be placed inside the 45's, let's say 3/4" for simplicity sake.

    10 x 1.4142 - 1.5 = 12.642 or about 12 & 5/8"

    This is coincidentally the slope of a 12/12 pitch roof (45 deg). In a former life as a remodeler, I measured roofing from the ground - bothered some customers, but I never had to send measurable quantities of leftovers back. Added the overhangs to the width of a roof section and multiplied by 1.41 for 12/12 pitch, 1.03 for 3/12 pitch, etc. I got these formulas from an old insurance adjuster's book Sandy found at a garage sale many years ago! This was an excellent resource book for an aid in repair estimation. Yes, these formulas are available today in modern pocket manuals, but this one is almost 100 yrs. old - the same year Grandma Eleanor was born - so it is more special to me. I'll submit some excerpts at a later time. Greg
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