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Old 02-13-2013, 07:40 PM   #1
mkulikow
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Oct 2011
Fairfax, Vermont
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I decided to put my big ole' engineering brain to work and come up with a fancy tool to replace all the cobbled together fittings that I use to flare tanks for silver solder. I have; what I believe to be, an AWESOME tool design that I would like to get made. 304L stainless, of course. The shop that I am having them made at can do them in volume a little cheaper. The idea is a stacked concentric tool with shoulders at 1", 1-1/2" and 2" (each slightly undersized by 1/32") to handle all the major fitting sizes that we use. The shoulder heights provide a hard stop so you don't have to worry about over/undersizing the hole. I am planning on just using short sections of pipe for the female side, but might entertain designing a proper collar for each of the required sizes. If anyone is interested, I can get the fitting built for around $60 and just figured I would see if there is any interest. I know I have at least 20 more holes to flare and this tool will save some me some serious time.


 
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:44 AM   #2
HDIr0n
 
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looks like a great idea, I know one tool would've been handy when I was soldering all my fittings. I can't remember what the O.D. was for the 1/2" couplers, is it 1"? Anyways good luck.

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Old 02-15-2013, 04:03 AM   #3
VladOfTrub
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Oct 2011
, Pa
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"I decided to put my big ole' engineering brain to work and come up with a fancy tool to replace all the cobbled together fittings that I use to flare tanks for silver solder."


I don't want to burst your bubble. But, the fancy AWESOME tool that your big ole' engineering brain dreamed up has already been invented. It's been around since the time that copper began to be used in refrigeration systems. It's called a swaging tool. One tool will swage all refrigeration or plumbing tubing from 1/8" to 1/2" ID. There are larger ones for other IDs. There are two parts to them. The swaging dowel and a steel block that holds the tubing. The kit is about 26 bucks. Eastman and Rigid make the best. Harbor Freight sells the el cheapo. The better type is mechanical, not hammer smashed into the tube. There's one that expands stainless but it is in no way, shape or form like what you have. If you're expanding tubing it is not called a flare. To make a flare, requires an entirely different tool and looks nothing like your design. Your tool won't flare a tube. The guy that you say is making the tool is probably buying the dowel from Eastman for 16 bucks and selling it to you for 60 bucks. Eastman are stainless. If you're going to swage hard drawn or ACR, good luck. What were you going to use to hold the tubing when smashing the dowel with a hammer? A pair of vice grips? The tank skin? Junior, buy yourself the mechanical type. They're way easier to use and you won't risk bending the tubing. Like you will when smashing the dowel with a hammer. The fitting will look like a pro did it, instead of a hammer mechanic.

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Old 02-15-2013, 12:04 PM   #4
mkulikow
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Oct 2011
Fairfax, Vermont
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Gee Vlad, thanks for the kindness, have you ever actually used a swaging tool on a tank wall, you did realize I sad tank and not tubing right? Did you look at the picture I posted or did you just get the idea to bash me in your thick skull and start rambling? Stop trolling. And FYI, since you're so smart; those tools don't work on tank walls because you don't have access to the other side of the fitting, but good try. And who said anything about bashing it with a dowel and hammer? Did you even read the soldering stainless thread or see how hundreds (if not thousands of us) have made a drawn swaging tool? Most of the tank welders and pipe fitters I have talked to make their own for each job and thought it was a much simpler and cheaper alternative to dimple dies which are usually made of chromoly (4130 etc.) for off road panels. Just figured I would ask, but what do I know, I could of just asked Vlad. Feel free to delete this post if you think it's a flame, but its not how I intended this post to be. I don't want to be a vendor either, just figured I would ask.

 
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:34 PM   #5
runbad
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I think it's a really cool idea. My only concern is it seems I little big for half inch couplers, that's all I use... For now

 
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:18 PM   #6
mkulikow
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Oct 2011
Fairfax, Vermont
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The concentric reducer we use in the typical keg tool has an OD of 1.05", which you don't want to pull all the way through. I was also thinking that you could just not pull this tool all the way to the shoulder for a coupler. However for clover fittings etc. an even 1", 1.5" and 2" is just right. I was also thinking about threading the hole for 5/8 and not needing any fancy bolt/washer/nut setup.

 
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:23 PM   #7
alien
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Apr 2012
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I saw one of these in my local hardware shop yesterday for $7 but it only went up to 5/8". It was sold as a "6-in-1 swaging tool".

 
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:35 PM   #8
Bobby_M
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The die side and it's tolerance to the mandrel is pretty important. The problem with the extended multi-size mandrel is that the die side for the largest side has to be really deep. If the mandrel was cut into 3 pieces, the dies and hardened pulling hardware would be more compact. It may be an over critical observation but if you're going through the trouble of having something machined, it better be slicker than every other workaround.

 
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:05 PM   #9
mkulikow
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Oct 2011
Fairfax, Vermont
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Alien:

Those tools are designed to be pressed into tubing to flare them, like exhaust pipe. They dont work for tank walls.

Bobby:

I agree, and I can make the females but I am pretty certain that since you are only expanding 1/16" of material that the socket you pull it into does not need to be as precise, I would bet my lunch money that 1",2" and 3" pipe sections work just fine. Since you are only pulling one of the 1" sections to the shoulder, it not like you are fitting the entire length of the tool. Most of the dimple die precision/mating comes from swaging 1/8 thick steel, so you need to hold the female die closer. I am not sold that this is needed for thin wall tanks.

 
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:33 PM   #10
mkulikow
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Oct 2011
Fairfax, Vermont
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and the female die is much more complex to machine...

 
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