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  1. #1
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    Default Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    I’m going to replace six iron pipe stancions in the boat with bronze pipe. (I can hear Chris and others laughing now ). There’s more to the story but for now I have to cut six 1” bronze schedule 40 pipe (sometimes called red brass) to length and thread the ends. Cutting and threading with the store’s machine is not an option because the machine’s jaws scar the pipe. I’ve got a 1” pipe threader, that’s easy. But there are several options to cut the pipe. 1), I can hand cut with a hack saw and square the face on a disc sander. 2), I can buy a metal cutting blade for my chop saw. Or 3), I can buy a larger pipe version of a tubing cutter.

    Which cutting method would you use?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    If I have to hacksaw pipe or tubing, I do best if I wrap tape around the piece and steer to that. A good hacksaw with the right blade is an underrated tool, I think. Abrasive blade in a chopsaw (or one of those belt driven dedicated ones) seems to be the way local shops cut off stock, bit messy (in the work area, lots of dust and particles) but the cuts are square. For holding pieces for threading, maybe a hardwood block drilled before splitting, the clamped in the vise?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    If you are screwing it into a flanged base, does it really have to be blob on perfectly square?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Small grinder with a 1mm blade.

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    Default

    Pipe cutter, if the pipe is not be used for liquids, you don't even have to remove the burr on the inside edge.

    Ragged threads = bad dies,
    they really need to be nearly new to do a good job, because so many of us (not blaming anybody) don't use enough lubricant.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Lathe with a bar feed?
    Creationists aren't mad - they're possessed of demons.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post
    Lathe with a bar feed?
    The pipe starts out at 10’. You want to chuck that up for me?

    For Chris who is probably still laughing, I’m tired of trying to stay ahead of this.

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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    The pipe starts out at 10’. You want to chuck that up for me?
    Bar feeds will commonly take twelve foot long bars.....
    Creationists aren't mad - they're possessed of demons.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    as you already know...the store's machine is the ideal for this ...if you're lucky the scaring grips can be positioned at the very end and finishing up is just a matter of cutting the marred end off to finished/desired length. I would also suggest that you use electricains die's - might well be known by some other name. they don't cut a tapered thread ( ok not entirely straight either, but closer than the more typical "tapered" threads that are common in the water/gas trades) done right, the finished product will have less threads visible- and the finished threads will have a more exact stopping point when screwing into a socket
    Last edited by the_gr8t_waldo; 06-29-2019 at 02:00 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    I would cut it in my horizontal bandsaw. My second choice might be my chop saw with carbide blade (triple chip). Or a handheld bandsaw such as the Milwaukee Portaband. I would also consider not threading the ends but, rather, drill out the bases to fit the OD, insert, and silver solder. Or weld the pipe to a bronze flat.

    I think that an abrasive blade will load up with the soft bronze and become useless in short order.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    If you want to thread both ends without any scars on the pipe just get two dies and thread both ends at once. With a little luck they will both thread equally. Mount the bottom die in a vice.

    Alan

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    Internal pipe wrench


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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    I'm a savage at times, but I get stuff done. If I'm hearing you correctly, you are asking how to cut a 1" bronze pipe square? Have you eyes? Then to a grinder with you.

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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Hacksaw (on taped pipe) should do just fine - as mentioned.

    A thought on threading. My stanchions are held into the base with a machine screw into threads in the base & the pipe. 1 minute to remove the stanchion & no scarring of the pipe when you do so*. The curve of the cable (as it follows the curve of the toerail/bulwark) holds them tight.

    I also found that the pipe bends surprisingly easily. I turned mine upside down, put in a 5.8(IIRC) dowel & filled the gap with epoxy. This stiffened them up quite a bit.

    * label them if you use this method because they won't all be identical DAMHIKT
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Take it slow with a standard wood cutting carbide saw blade on the chop saw.

    The metal cutting blades are ideal, but before they were commonly available wood cutting carbide blades worked for softer metals like brass, aluminum and bronze.

    Lots of not overly useful information: https://www.ame.com/sawing-academy-a...arbide-sawing/
    Last edited by MN Dave; 06-30-2019 at 02:19 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    I have used a metal cutting blade in my skill saw to cut steel pipe. Would it work on bronze? I would guess yes.

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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Any of the cutting methods will work fine. It is important to start a pipe thread using a square end.

    As far as holding the pipe without marring while threading it, look into a gun barrel vise. There are home made versions and a piece of Oak would do the job. A die with sharp threads is advisable, the force required to cut is the inverse of the force required to hold it. You might look into replacing the single die just for this job (Mc Master-Carr should have them)

    And now; have you considered simply boring out the flanges and silversoldering the pipe into them? (no threads)
    I will volunteer the boring bit...

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Nothing to add to the advice that has already been offered, but I'm not laughing at all. If I had Snoose nothing less than bronze would do. I also think you should tap the deck plates deeper into the taper so you can hide all of the pipe threads...
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    A short block of wood could be drilled or bored to just fit over the pipe being careful to make the hole perpendicular to one face. Slit lengthwise on one side and you have something non-marring to clamp the pipe in and guide you for a square cut if you’re cutting by hand. A metal file can be used to square things up although a stationary sander would be my preference.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Use a chop saw with a sharp carbide blade. Go easy. It will cut it smooth and clean and square.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Actually, I take that back. I do have some advice. Which is to not overthink things here. A good hacksaw is easy, quick and plenty accurate enough. No need for anything more complicated than this:



    Each cut took less than thirty seconds or so, if I recall. I do remember being surprised at how well that saw went through the pipe after a lifetime of using cheap, flimsy, hardware store hacksaws. Never again.
    - Chris

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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    A truly rigid hacksaw makes an amazing difference!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Actually, I take that back. I do have some advice. Which is to not overthink things here. A good hacksaw is easy, quick and plenty accurate enough. No need for anything more complicated than this:



    Each cut took less than thirty seconds or so, if I recall. I do remember being surprised at how well that saw went through the pipe after a lifetime of using cheap, flimsy, hardware store hacksaws. Never again.
    The simplest solution by far.For six stanchions it ought to take less than half an hour.If the end isn't perfectly square you can help things along with a chamfer to help start the die and a file will do this.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Actually, I take that back. I do have some advice. Which is to not overthink things here. A good hacksaw is easy, quick and plenty accurate enough. No need for anything more complicated than this:



    Each cut took less than thirty seconds or so, if I recall. I do remember being surprised at how well that saw went through the pipe after a lifetime of using cheap, flimsy, hardware store hacksaws. Never again.
    I'm becoming more discerning about tools because of this forum. Maybe a quality hacksaw is next for me.

    I'm just curious why the pipe cutter was not mentioned much. It cuts without making sawdust. And it makes a square cut by default.
    Will

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Quote Originally Posted by willmarsh3 View Post
    I'm becoming more discerning about tools because of this forum. Maybe a quality hacksaw is next for me.

    I'm just curious why the pipe cutter was not mentioned much. It cuts without making sawdust. And it makes a square cut by default.
    I think Denise suggested a pipe cutter (like a big tubing cutter). I did try it, however the only one I could find was at Harbor Freight. I did buy it because it was cheap, but I paid way too much. It only succeeded in making a nice spiral groove around the pipe and there was absolutely no way to adjust the tracking. Totally worthless. However I’m sure a quality tool from somewhere else would have been fine. But when I realized how easy the hacksaw was, I quit experimenting.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    Voila! Now for some new paint on the cap rails. This project took just about three times the amount of time I estimated which I think is exactly the formula for estimating boat work.

    E8A83C95-3E78-45CF-A18F-6147DF10568B.jpg
    That looks awesome!

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    So - where can I get a hacksaw that'll make sawdust from bronze pipe?

    Sorry it was there. A modern solid hacksaw is completely different tool from the old wobbly ones.
    LOL!

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    I think Denise suggested a pipe cutter (like a big tubing cutter). I did try it, however the only one I could find was at Harbor Freight. I did buy it because it was cheap, but I paid way too much. It only succeeded in making a nice spiral groove around the pipe and there was absolutely no way to adjust the tracking. Totally worthless. However I’m sure a quality tool from somewhere else would have been fine. But when I realized how easy the hacksaw was, I quit experimenting.
    That's pretty bad but I'm not real surprised given where you got it. It must have been a reject from quality control that they were trying to liquidate. The tube cutter and pipe cutter I have work well. Everything is lined up so it doesn't produce a spiral groove. However, that could be used to create interesting effects but that will be for another thread and another time.
    Will

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Voila! Now for some new paint on the cap rails. This project took just about three times the amount of time I estimated which I think is exactly the formula for estimating boat work.

    E8A83C95-3E78-45CF-A18F-6147DF10568B.jpg

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    Voila! Now for some new paint on the cap rails. This project took just about three times the amount of time I estimated which I think is exactly the formula for estimating boat work.

    E8A83C95-3E78-45CF-A18F-6147DF10568B.jpg
    But just think of all the time you will save in not having to paint the stanchions ever again. Plus the satisfaction of watching those turn a nice shade of greenish brown to match your mast... It's gotta be worth it.
    - Chris

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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Quote Originally Posted by willmarsh3 View Post
    I'm becoming more discerning about tools because of this forum. Maybe a quality hacksaw is next for me.

    I'm just curious why the pipe cutter was not mentioned much. It cuts without making sawdust. And it makes a square cut by default.
    So - where can I get a hacksaw that'll make sawdust from bronze pipe?

    Sorry it was there. A modern solid hacksaw is completely different tool from the old wobbly ones.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    So - where can I get a hacksaw that'll make sawdust from bronze pipe?
    Speaking if picking nits, it occurs to me that the word sawdust has no reference to wood.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    Speaking of picking nits, it occurs to me that the word sawdust has no reference to wood.
    Yaknow, I though of that after I made my wisecrack - but it still got the desired response.

    So there!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Ditto on the good hacksaw. But you might have to use a bench grinder to square it up after.

    My stanchions simply slide into tight sockets in the bases, no threads, and a 1/4" bolt functions as a set screw to hold them in place.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    Chris, without going back thru the pages of the Petrel thread, how did you treat your black iron stanchions? Did you hot dip them or barrier coat epoxy? Have they rusted at all yet?

    Thanks all, for all the good ideas. I know it isn't a big deal to cut pipe properly, but now I have a better idea of what tool(s) I want to buy for the job. Biggest thing I learned, I didn't know there were better hacksaws. No wonder I've always hated them. (Oh, I also learned how to spell stanchions.)

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    I just painted the black pipe with Rustoleum. It held up ok but the stanchions weren't on there for very long as I pulled them off to tear up the aft deck only a few months after I installed them. If I was going to do it again I would use bronze.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Which method to cut bronze pipe?

    chop saw, and you can use a carbide tipped saw blade made for wood. I have lots of blades, so i dont care, I just want it cut as easy and quick as possible.
    I have also used circular saw for this.

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