That is why you reverse the cutting edges in the die. (You also have to
rearrange them so they are in the proper order going around.)
The taper then is cut from the back side of the die. Works fine. Gains
you an inch or two. You do have to start the thread the normal way to
get it straight. I have done it to make a shorter nipple using a pipe
vise and hand threader.
My intent was more to say it could be done. I wouldn't likely mess with
the pipe coming out of the wall. If I did, I would thread against a pipe
wrench, as someone else suggested. Hard to come out ahead of what is
there if you did.
The die sets I have used have been "Rigid" The die has a 'long side'
where you insert the pipe and a 'back side'. There are 4 cutting edges,
that insert into the die from the 'back side'. The large diameter of the
taper on the cutting edges faces the 'long side'.
Imagine Harry Potter comes along, and the cutting edges magically float
out of the 'back side', rotate end-for-end in space, and float back into
the 'back side' of the die. The large diameter of the taper on the
cutting edges now faces the 'back side' of the die. You can cut the
normal tapered thread by putting the pipe in the 'back side'. (But you
are not likely to start the thread right. So you start it first the
It works. I have done it.
Since Bud has given us the trick of "turning the dies around"......
we can add the additional trick of using an internal pipe wrench to
stabilize the nipple as the threads are cut.
Of course the starting length of the shortened nipple would have to be
With the die set being used in "reverse" configuration and using the
internal pipe wrench, the nipple could be threaded.
As the process unfolds, the die would have to be removed and the
nipple re-cut to remove the over cut threads.
Repeating this process, one could work all the way back to the wall.
Finished product should have the ~7 good threads & ~4 runout threads
plus a bit of clearance between the new fitting face & the wall.
Overall method would yield a threaded nipple about 1.5 to 2"
long......but what an effort to remove 3.5 to 4" !
It's "doable but if things don't go perfectly, someone will be digging
on the other side of the wall. :(
I would definitely leave the whole mess alone & find something where
the cost/benefit ratio is better.
I'm holding a set of Ridgid 65-R dies in my hand...forgot that the spare
set was still sitting here on the desk.
Hmm....that's what I thought I recalled--the groove in each die that
fits the internal spline that controls depth during the cut is on the
leading side of the die and there's no provision otherwise. They can't
be inserted into the ratchet assembly in any other orientation.
That's the die set for the Ridgid 1" to 2" ratchet I posted link to
earlier; afaik the Ridgid dies are same design for the others.
A solid die could be flipped over, of course, but then on is cutting w/
the full depth first.
I don't see any way it can be done as said, Bud or no, sorry...
What I have is a ratchet handle (111-R) that works with a separate die
head for each size of pipe. With the 2 die heads I have, 1/2 and 3/4,
the cutting edges are easily reversible. It is probably an intentional
feature. I have used larger individual die heads and what I remember is
that they are reversible also, but its been a long time. The heads are
really simple compared to what you have.
Wouldn't be surprised if that doesn't work on your adjustable die. The
only adjustable dies I have used have been on power threading machines
(where die reversal would not be useful).
I have a handle for machine screw threads, with hex dies and adjustable
centering on one side. I can reverse the die and thread from the back
side to get closer. If you can reverse a solid pipe die in the handle
you should be able to thread from the back side. (Starting threads
should use some kind of alignment mechanism.)
Works fine on my individual die heads.
Sounds like it does not work on your adjustable Rigid.
stop!! hold the presses!!!!!!!!!!!
You said that you were told that the silver ring was there because
the line had been sleeved. You can't shorten the pipe without
violating the liner. Our local utility only does the liners on
pipe that is marginal or leaking so I would assume that without
the liner you have nothing.
It would seem to me that you are messing with something that you
have no business touching, and this is to gain what exactly?
Keep the whole world singing . . .
I'd live with it like it is, you go messing with old pipes and you
are apt to wind up replacing everything out to the main. And if you did
get it closer to the wall how are you going to screw the ells and tees
onto the closer pipe running up the wall? You would need to assemble it
all and then use a union and you need to get a pipe wrench around that.
My suggestion is paint it and find something else to worry about.
A follow-up added that a plumber looked at one and there was no liner;
the fitting collar in that case was simply being used as a bushing at
present (and by inference, never was actually sleeved altho that's pure
presumption on my part). I'm also presuming that's the particular
building supply line in question.
All said, though, while it's possible perhaps to shorten it a little in
situ, it would be hard to see what could be gained that would be
sufficient to be worth the effort involved.
If this is UPstream of the gas meter, it is indeed the gas company's
pipe, and should not be messed with. It also needs to be accessible, so
keep that in mind if you box it in. A door, or maybe a bookcase on
casters or something.
Thanks again to everyone for all of the replies. I read them all and rather
than reply to them individually I thought I'd just write a general reply
It does seem unlikely that I'll want to go ahead and attempt to shorten the
incoming pipe at this point, but it's good to know what the options may be
if I do want to go ahead with it. The reason for wanting to shorten the
pipe is that it would give me a way to place the pipe within the wall behind
an access panel and allow me to place a refrigerator on that wall in front
of where the pipe is. As it is now, the pipe will just come through the
wall and go up to the meters, and I will just have to paint the exposed pipe
white to match the wall color and move the refrigerator down to where it
will be beside the pipe and not in front of it. That creates a problem with
the room size and layout, but I may just have to live with that.
If I did decide to go ahead with the idea of shortening the pipe, it's good
to know that there may be a way to do it without having to dig up the whole
underground pipe going out to the street. The shortening and re-threading
process may be a possibility, but I have a hunch that it is something that
the gas company would not be willing to do even if I paid them for their
labor costs to do it. And, I don't know if a licensed plumber would be
willing to attempt it, but that would be to route I would want to go if I
went ahead with the idea. If there were to be any re-threading going on, it
would definitely have to be done in a way that a pipe wrench could be placed
on the incoming pipe to secure it so it did not turn or move during the
There remains the question about exactly what the silver metal
"dielectric"(?) bushing is, and how to make sure that would remain in place
after any pipe shortening. One other possibility would be to consider the
idea that one person mentioned about leaving the silver fitting in place,
not cutting or shortening the incoming pipe, and replacing the next fitting
that now attaches to the silver fitting with a 90 degree L fitting. That
would eliminate any re-threading etc., and it may work to bring the vertical
pipe in just enough so that even though it would not be within the finished
wall, it would be almost flush up against the wall and a refrigerator could
be placed in front of it.
Thanks again for all of the replies and ideas.
Without seeing the room in person or better photographs of it which
show the entire area I have to say that unequivocally that has to be
the dumbest ass reason on earth to want to move a huge gas pipe,
for the accommodation of a refrigerator... If you wanted to fix the
problem permanently you could ask to have the meters relocated
Is this basement room utility space ? Why on earth would you
desire/need/require to have a refrigerator located in such a room ?
Gas Meters and Electrical Panels should have a wide berth and
not share the same room with much of anything else whenever
It sounds a lot like a fool's errand to finish off that room with the
gas meters in it, as anything you put in front of that piping will
have to be removed at the demand of the gas company if they
ever need to inspect that pipe, a small "access panel" will not
do, every segment of piping and each coupling will need to be
within reach for the sniffer leak checker... By having gas service
connected to your building you have granted them an easement
to have the distribution gas piping up to the meter connections
accessible to the gas company for future maintenance and
diagnosis for the gas company to maintain safe utility system...
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