Quantcast

Where can I find some large diameter copper pipe (3" or above)

Help Support HMEM:

Kaleb

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2010
Messages
272
Reaction score
27
I have been wanting to get into some larger stuff engine, and boiler wise, so I think I'll need some larger diameter copper pipe, upwards from about 3" or 80mm, and also the thick gauge (about 3mm) stuff apparently required by AMBSC codes for miniature railway locos. (I'm not building one yet, though.) Could anyone point me to a source of this stuff? The plumbing shops sell 100mm copper pipe, but only in 5 metre lengths! I'll also grab any bits I see at the scrapyard that look useable, but I doubt I will find the thick gauge stuff in either of those places.

So you know, I live in Australia.
 

kvom

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Global Moderator
Joined
Jun 4, 2008
Messages
3,195
Reaction score
598
You might consider the Kozo boiler technique of making tube from copper sheet and silver soldering the seam.
 

Kaleb

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2010
Messages
272
Reaction score
27
Well then, I'd need a source of copper sheet, which seems to be even harder to find than pipe in these sizes.
 

SBWHART

Project of the Month Winner!!!
Project of the Month Winner
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
885
Reaction score
79
Reeves or Blackgate Engineering or Macmodels in the UK will ship at a cost.

Stew
 

Andrew_D

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
65
Reaction score
1
LeeScrounger said:
Not sure about Australia, but a plumbing supply place should have something like that. Maybe even a home improvement center.

For example:
http://www.plumbingsupply.com/copperpipe.html
Yes, I'd check a plumbing supply place...note the words PLUMBING SUPPLY...not your local Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe's, etc...They likely won't have any this big and if they do have 3", it won't be thick enough...go find out who supplies the local plumbers, contractors, construction companies, etc.

That's where to look!

Andrew
 

Kaleb

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2010
Messages
272
Reaction score
27
I didn't go to a hardware shop, I checked Reece Plumbing and Tradelink, which are the main plumbing shops I know of around here in Tamworth, I've yet to try Swan plumbing. I have managed to score some large stuff from the scrap merchant however.
 

shred

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2007
Messages
1,949
Reaction score
6
Around here even the plumber supply shops have stopped carrying big diameter copper (3"+). There's not enough call for it to be worth the cost (and risk-- not long ago somebody swiped $20K worth of pipe), so it's special-order only. With the increased use of PVC as well, scrap places may be the best bet.

 

Maryak

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2008
Messages
4,998
Reaction score
76
Kaleb,

I tried Reece. Make sure your sitting down when they quote the price. Minimum length was 1 m.

Best Regards
Bob
 

chillybilly

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
217
Reaction score
0
Find a local refrigeration company ,one that is dealing with large pack type plant ,the suction headers they fit will be large dia 3" +++ seamless copper pipe ,they purchase in 3 meter lengths and i am sure they would sort you a good off cut out for a drink ,be steady if you cut it on the bandsaw as it will hurtle through it then snap the blade .You must have loads of fridge companys in OZ
 

Jasonb

Project of the Month Winner!!!
Project of the Month Winner
Joined
Mar 30, 2008
Messages
2,449
Reaction score
443
Location
Surrey, UK
I'd stay clear of plumbing grade copper pipe, quote from CuP Alloys site

"Avoid the use of plumbing grade copper that can contain lead. Lead is added to improve machinability and is present mainly as discrete insoluble particles throughout the metal structure. The particles are fully molten well before brazing temperatures are reached and this means that that under the inevitable thermal stressing conditions during the brazing cycle, parent material cracking can occur because of general structural weakness. Any lead being dissolved into the silver solder may also result in a brittle joint. "

Jason
 

Kaleb

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2010
Messages
272
Reaction score
27
The reason I want to steer clear of steel boilers in these sizes is plain and simple, rust.
I hear that steel is only worth using in boilers around 6" and above in diameter, where copper becomes too costly. I also hear that steel is slow to conduct heat compared to copper. I also find that copper is easy to work because of it's softness, even when turning it.
 

Latest posts

Top