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agroom 10-27-2011 01:07 PM

Question about copper pipe
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I'm working on something non-plumbing related, but want to use copper pipe as part of the project and so I have a few questions that I think this would be a proper place to ask. First I'll explain what I'm using it for to so it's easier to understand my questions, and maybe even be able to suggest better ideas.

Basically I have poly tubing that I need to drill holes and cut shapes into at specific lengths from the end of the tube up to about 6-8" from the end. Right now I measure those distances and use a card stock template to draw them on the pipe, drill and cut the holes to shape with an exact-o knife. I'll be doing this multiple times, so I'd like to make a single reusable template from copper pipe.

My idea is to take a copper pipe with an I.D. the same size as the O.D. of the poly tubing. Cut the templates I need into the copper then place the copper pipe over the poly tubing. This way I could use a Dremel tool and quickly cut out the holes. I figured copper pipe would work best since it would be thin enough to cut the template holes in, but solid enough the Dremel tool wouldn't cut into the pipe. (see attached picture)

1. The basic question is how is copper pipe size measured, by the I.D. or O.D.?

I need 3 different templates, each with a specific I.D. for the size of poly tubing I'm using: 1", 7/8" and 3/4". If pipe is measure by I.D. then I should just be able to get those sizes. If it's measured by O.D., is there any way I can get pipe that matches the I.D. that I need?

2. What is the best type (I've seen it comes in different types) to fit my needs?

I want to use the thinnest type available that would meet my I.D. requirements so it's easiest to cut the template into the pipe, but still strong enough so the dremel won't cut into it.

Msradell 10-27-2011 01:55 PM

The copper we typically use for plumbing is actually copper tubing so the measurements you see are actually the inside diameter. So if you buy " the ID will be ", etc. Tubing is always sized by the inside diameter, pipe is sized by the outside diameter.

For what you are doing the type really won't matter. You will use the find type L and type M either of which will work fine.

agroom 10-27-2011 02:12 PM

Wow, that's perfect! I would have never know there's even a difference between copper tube and pipe.

Are there any suggestions on how I could cut the holes in the actual tube? I'm thinking a dremel with a metal rotary blade setup on a jig.

Msradell 10-27-2011 02:18 PM


Originally Posted by agroom (Post 758078)
I'm thinking a dremel with a metal rotary blade setup on a jig.

That's how I would do it!

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