Purely out of curiousity, I want to try making some "wiped" joints in lead pipe. I'd like to find some which has been stripped out of a building. Probably 6 to 8 feet, although it's fine if it has been cut into shorter lengths, as long as it isn't mangled. I'll pay a fair price plus shipping. Post here or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any.
I should have some about Chris. Where are you? I remember trying it with some success years ago- the trick is to use the right solder - plumber's solder, would you believe! - as it has a long plastic stage.
You will need a wiper of course & I suspect you are going to have to make one. Probably half a square yard of CLOSE woven linen would be needed, folded into a pad & soaked in Fluxite resin flux.
Other than that, a fid to open up the pipe and a sharp, heavy bladed knife to taper off the other end, a gurt blowlamp and a copper headed soldering iron & away you go!
It should be a moleskin IIRC. I don't know where the OP lives but if it's in Cheshire I can supply the odd dead mole from time to time, sometimes they die on the surface after the poison gas (phosgene) has done its work. You'll have to skin the bugger yourself!
Not doubting you for a moment, Julian, but the wiper I inherited from my dad is definitely woven fabric. Very dense & close pitched in the weave, but it is only an insulated way of wiping the plasticised lead with flux after all.
Curious thought that it might well be eighty years old as I remember he got it from my Unca Bill when Bill "obtained" a new one from an Admiralty contract he was doing ;o))
I think the term 'moleskin' survived after people found 'moleskin substitute.' As a boy I can just about remember a plumber doing a job and asking his mate for the moleskin, however, it looked more like a wad of cloth to my (untrained) eye.
I just had a though for the OP looking for lead pipe. If lead proves difficult to find or too expensive then do some wiped joints with 3/4 copper tube. It was a normal task to make a wiped joint from lead to copper, so copper to copper must be fine?
Interesting, can you cite any references? I'd always gone with the superficially obvious 'cloth of the King'. That's what I like about this group, you learn something new every day - and not necessarily about engines!
Re. Moleskin trousers, I have a pait and they are certainly not made from the skin of a burrowing insectivore, but a heavy cotton cloth with raised nap giving a slightly velvety appearance.
Thanks for all the thoughts. I've talked to people about how to do this, so I know the theory, but I've yet to actually try it. I know you need to use non-eutectic solder which sets gradually. I also know you're supposed to use a "moleskin" for wiping, but I'm unsure if this refers to genuine mole skin, or the fabric called moleskin. Anyone know?
Kim, I'm in Shropshire. Where are you? I don't have a car at the moment, so it might be hard for me to collect the pipe. But I'd be happy to pay the carriage, or maybe someone from these groups is travelling this way? How much pipe do you have and what do you want for it?
Of course copper is a possibility too. Thanks for that suggestion. I hadn't thought of it.
Nick, On a serious note- there is no need to expose one's person simply to get a bit of cloth! Fustian or moleskin is a fine nap cloth which-- and I hope that you don't try- is fairly fireproof. Hence the use in blacksmiths trousers and wiping cloths.
Christopher, you can get away with most smooth cloths and moleskin is prefered because of being non stick. You can get away with most animal or vegetable fats- omitting watery margerine for obvious reasons of getting a eye ful of lead.
Overall, it is the Health and Safety concerns which have pushed this endearing sport into the background. I have no doubt that my ' grandfather' was boiling lead to make lead based paints. I suspect that it is a dying occupation now!
Here, in the UK, we don't do a lot of cathedrals but the Austrians, Swiss and the French still do a lot of copper bashing and leading. there is, I understand, a lot of copper in some whisky distilleries but i won't drink to it.
Cord du Roi? The roads are or were 'the King's Highway. So we have Roi both in French and Norman French-- and British Acts of Parliament. Well, it's Reine now but Big Ears is coming. Roads- before I was a boy- were often simply logs at right angles to the way and -- ropey up and down. Tarmac- macadamised roads were small stones driven in to the road by MacAdam and later secured with tar. Plenty of examples with granite blocks set in with tar. The word ' stone sets' is derived. Eventually, the whole caboodle becomes a mixture of tar and stone in a a sort on 'con crete' A mixture of lime and blood and stones!!!!!!
Where the Hell did I get? well, I did do the Roman Amphitheatre at Nimes- and the sails of the ships were made from - de Nimes or from Nimes.A bit about ships? Well, they sailed to join the Knights Templar etc from Aigues Mortes-- or Dead Water.
Cheshire I can supply the odd dead mole from time to
done its work. You'll have to skin the bugger
50 years ago as a Post Office telephone cable jointer I certainly used a fabric wipe. (Called a moleskin). see
remember the first time I used my skill at wiping joints on a lead water pipe. I forgot that the telephone cable was full of copper which conducted a lot of the heat away. I used the same petrol blowlamp settings on the water pipe & melted everything. I did eventualy get to be a good lead plumber.
It would appear that they did once use genuine moleskins, (in the early
1800's) IIRC a mole was responsible to taking the life of one of our kings - can't remember who though. Nowadays we tend to use a Yorkshire fitting on copper, I wonder how they got that name?
A few years back, during a guided tour of Salisbury Cathedrals we visited the plumbing workshops. They do an amazing amount of recycling as damaged lead pipes, gutter, flashings, and statues are reworked. Some of the lead comes from 'stone settings' which have been replaced during renovation work. Stone setting is where two 'holed blocks' at joined by lead poured in situ, effectively creating a thick lead 'dowel' to hold them together.
They were getting ready to pour a new sheet of lead on a flat bed of sand about 8' x 4' or possibly even bigger. But we weren't allowed to stay and watch because of - you've guessed - H & S reasons. I always intended to arrange a private visit wearing my writer's hat and maybe get see to the sheets being formed as 'research' for an article.
The range of skills involved in maintaining a Cathedral is fascinating stuff.
-------------------------------------------- More info "The Yorkshire Integral Solder Ring (ISR) capillary fitting was developed by Yorkshire Fittings in 1934 and represented a major breakthrough for the industry. The influence of this copper fitting can hardly be overstated, having introduced a completely new concept to the developing plumbing and heating industry and it is no exaggeration to say its contribution to the growth of copper plumbing in the UK and overseas is unparalleled. Such is the strength of the brand that "Yorkshire" has become the generic name for all integral solder ring fittings. " Mike.H.
William III (William of Orange, of William and Mary fame, though Mary died years before him). He died after falling from his horse when it caught its foot in a mole-hole. The Jacobites for many years thereafter (and possibly to this day for all I know) toasted "the little gentleman in velvet".