Originally Posted by tommytman
No Tommy I haven't. ButI wonder how many grinder wheels you'd wear out getting through a length of 4" cast iron. Ya figure more wheels then the metal blades you'd wear out if you used a Saws-All?
When we have the room we use a set of cast iron snap cutters, SNAP!! and you're through. If we're in a tight space we use a set of ratchet chain cutters. Would you like to know how we had to cut cast iron pipe before there were snap and ratchet cutters?
I broke into plumbing back in the 40's as a plumbers helper,( go-fer and flunky) in my fathers shop in Beloit Wisconsin. When we roughed in a new house,( all lead and okum joints), the journeyman would call out measures and I would make a mark on the cast iron with a piece of soapstone. I would then proceed to take a cold chisel and a ball-peen hammer and mark up a line around the pipe. Iwould then follow that line, beating away with the chisel, untill the pipe broke in two. Ya couldn't smack it with too heavy a hammer because cast iron's brittle and will break. Coming out of the ground and doing upper floor drainage was even worse. From cast iron stacks we coverted to galvanized iron to pick up the various fixtures. 1 1/4" for lavatorys and 1 1/2" for sinks, laundry trays and tubs. We used ratchet threaders that you had to pump up and down. 1 1/2" was very hard to thread and the thread had to be at least a 1 1/2 to 1 3/4" deep. I weighed 120 pounds at 13 or 14 and didn't have the poop to pull the handle on the down, (cutting) stroke.
I had to jump up and lay on the handle and force it down by sheer body weight on every stroke. Plumbers today don't know how easy compared to what we went through back then. We had to breath in lead fumes from the lead pot as we melted down pig lead to pour joints. My lungs are still scared from breathing in fumes from the muriatic acid we used to boil out lime deposits in toilets and we used to protect our cast iron bathtubs with asbestos sheets pasted on with flour and water. This is my first post of the day and you'll have to pardon me if I got a bit chatty and took a stroll down "the faded yellow pages of yesterday". I just thought that someone might be interested in a bit of plumbing history. Ya'all have a good day! Tom