Tools and plumbers (a bit OT for comments)

No self respecting motor mechanic would use a wrench instead of a correct spanner. When I have seen a plumber working they always seem to use a wrench when they only have to deal with a few different sizes. Any good reason why they prefer a wrench to a few decent spanners?
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In my mercifully limited experience of plumbing, the forces invovled are far lower than those in vehicle repair. An adjustable wins on convenience.
NT
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The chap that does my Rayburn has every spanner going. In fact every powertool going - all top quality stuff - lots of Hilti.
I've got a few big spanners laid aside, but for instance 22mm compression fittings have more than one nut size - some use hex nuts, some eight-sided etc.
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Why would carrying all that weight appeal to anyone with all the other stuff required for the typical plumbing job? Three decent Bahco shifters a water pump pliers and stilsons plus a few screwdrivers is all anyone needs for the sort of job usually encountered. Working in one place with everything to hand and a tool cabinet on wheels is ok for mechanics but climbing into a loft or wriggling into a tight space is a different story in the real world
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Cars are made of steel bolts with hexagonal heads. Plumbing uses pre- rounded corners in a variety of cheesemetals.
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wrote:

Cars are made of steel bolts with hexagonal heads. Plumbing uses pre- rounded corners in a variety of cheesemetals.
Surely it is even more important to have a well fitting tool on "cheesemetals".
As for comments about tool cabinets on wheels, a plumber would soon find that a very small number of tools is enough.
eg. Radiator tails, Compression fittings, etc. Know the item - pick up the tool. (and leave no burrs)
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Look at it from an evolutionary point of view
They use the best tools for the job because they work in that environment
--
geoff

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On 03/12/2010 20:06, John wrote:

Just because its adjustable, does not mean its a poor fitting one. Something like this (works like a adjustable spanner, but then tightens and locks like mole grips):
http://www.toolbank.com/1275/p/STA085610
I find ideal for plumbing, because you can get a proper grip on all the non standard nut sizes - imperial, metric, chromed etc with no slippage.

Indeed they do. A couple of adjustable spanners, water pump pliers, and some stilsons. ;-)

Rad tails... some have internal hex fitting - need a radiator tail key for those. Some have two external flats - need a narrow adjustable usually for that, some have a hex head - a spanner might do there.
--
Cheers,

John.

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John wrote:

There's no standard sizes and they need to be *big* for 22/28mm fittings. Bought a few large spanners at car boots and they're great for the fittings they fit but limited as to what they do fit!
--
Scott

Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?
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On Fri, 03 Dec 2010 18:14:27 +0000, John wrote:

Because the nuts we need to use spanners on don't have standard sizes as motor vehicle (and other) fasteners do. Try finding a single size open ended spanner that fits all 15mm compression nuts properly - they vary in size enough that a spanner that fits the largest is sloppy - and liable to slip - on the smallest.
--
John Stumbles -- http://yaph.co.uk

Hypnotising Hypnotists Can Be Tricky
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YAPH wrote:

Tried one of these? Fits about 80% of nuts & allows a large amount of welly to be applied http://www.toolstation.com/shop/Hand+Tools/Plumbers+Tools/Split+Ring+Compression+Fitting+Spanner+1522mm/d10/sd210/p23418
--
Dave - The Medway Handyman
www.medwayhandyman.co.uk
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Less precision req'd, greater forces, corrosion, larger nuts and threads
--
geoff

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My coffee table book of '1000 inventions' claims that adjustable spanners and stilsons were actually invented with plumbers in mind. Once you've carted spanners around and sifted through them trying to find one that is both the right size and will get in the right position to sit on the flats and still have room to turn a sixth of a turn before you have to reposition it and start again, you soon see the advantages of a couple of sizes of stilson and adjustable spanner. Sometimes a fixed spanner is the only thing that will fit, but most of the time an adjustable spanner to hold one side while you turn the other with the stilson, is just right.
S
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On Sat, 4 Dec 2010 03:08:04 -0000, Spamlet wrote:

When replacing/moving a couple of rads. this summer, I had to use open-enders as wrenches were too big to get the turn. I needed 3 sizes for the (nominally same) valves and nuts. Often in plumbing, it's so difficult to get at the nut that the wrong spanner can take 30s to change just to find out that it's still wrong. An adjustable or auto means just one awkward wiggle to reach in.
--
Peter.
The gods will stay away
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John wrote:

I'm not a plumber, but I do a lot of plumbing jobs. My plumbing tool bag is the heaviest one in the van!
Hexagons on plumbing fittings aren't standard, although I do have a split ring compression fitting spanner http://www.toolstation.com/shop/Hand+Tools/Plumbers+Tools/Split+Ring+Compression+Fitting+Spanner+1522mm/d10/sd210/p23418 but that only fits about 80% of hex's. Some fitting don't even have hexagons.
You need quite a lot of specialist kit for plumbing; basin wrenches, tap box spanners, mole grips, pipe cutters, radiator hex key, water pump pliers, waste fiting pliers, stiltsons etc - if I carried another half a dozen spanners I wouldn't be able to lift the bag!
OK for a mechanic with his big Snap On cabinet, but you can't get that up three flights of stairs.
There are also space restrictions - I know mechanics face those as well, but they can at least use sockets - plumbers can't.
However there is one wrench that fits as well as any spanner - the Stanley Locking Adjustable Wrench. Adjusts like a normal adjustable to fit the hex - then a squeeze of the lever clamps it on. http://www.stanleytools.com/default.asp?CATEGORY=WRENCHES+HT&TYPE=PRODUCT&PARTNUMBER -610&SDesc%26%2334%3B+MaxGrip%26%23153%3B+Locking+Adjustable+Wrench
--
Dave - The Medway Handyman
www.medwayhandyman.co.uk
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On 03/12/2010 18:14, John wrote:

Problem I find is that nut sizes are not sufficiently standardised... I have a couple of pressed steel plumbing spanners designed for compression fittings. Sometimes they are handy because they are slim, but usually the fit on the nut is not good enough.
--
Cheers,

John.

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