It looks doable, but if it were me, I'd be using something as a heat shield
to protect the wood from starting a fire, or doing damage to the wiring.
Either use thin sheet metal of some sort, or possibly heavy duty aluminum
For a plumber that does that kind of work every day, it is just another job.
He'd put a shield behind the tubing, such as a piece of drywall. If you are
not sure of yourself, it may be safer to call a pro.
I didn't come in on this thread early, but I'll give this advice on 34 years
Make a heat shield out of thin metal that you can put behind the pipe. You
will make different U shaped cuts out of it to facilitate putting this
behind pipes. ALWAYS, REPEAT ALWAYS have a fire extinguisher or hose at the
ready, as big fires grow from small ones.
It is outright dangerous to use a torche in this tight space (with
electric and gas so close), no matter the shield you use. The wood
gets very dry over the years and it doesn't take much heat to start a
fire. Please don't do it without the help of a professional.
What you want is called a soldering blanket or a flame arrester. It
has two brass grommet in it so you tack it in place in front of the
wood. In the old days it was made out of asbestos. Today it's made out
of the kind of stuff they use on the space shuttle. You'll find it at
Home Depot near the solder in the plumbing department. Cost is about
I've done soldering in even tighter spots. But then, I have a few of
Those blankets are great. With a couple of them, maybe slit in strategic
spots, along with some wood for backers, you could basically build a
shield around everything in your way.
Here's a link to what we're talking about:
BTW - someone else mentioned compression fittings. Here's what I was
told about compression fittings a long time ago:
Learn to sweat. When you sweat a fitting, it'll either leak immediately
or never at all. When you use a compression fitting it could leak at
any time - a day, a week, a year or a lifetime from now. Sweat it and
Another vote for using a soldering blanket. Any home center or decent
sized hardware store should have them. Have a fire extinguisher
handy, just in case.
Also another vote against compression fittings.
That is the way. The electric wires are easily subject to damage, protect
them with the soldering blanket backed by some sheet metal. Do not to let
the hot metal touch the wires. The gas lines should be OK, the utility
actually welds taps onto live steel lines, if there is no oxygen the gas
cannot burn. Wet the wood and keep it wet, keep water on hand and an
extinguisher. Prefab as much as possible so that the soldering is minimized
and only at easily accessible and protected locations.
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