Monday, October 10, 2011

Measure & Cut Cast Iron Pipe

Cut cast iron pipe with a cold chisel and ball peen hammer.

Depending on local building codes, cast iron pipes can still be used for household sewer lines in many areas, and because of its thick walls, it has the advantage of shielding the sound of running water/waste through the pipes. Though cast iron is heavy and durable, it has a brittle quality that makes it easy to break. This process is best carried out with a cold chisel and ball peen hammer or by using a snap cutter. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Run a tape measure from one end of a section of cast iron pipe and mark the pipe surface at the point where it needs to be cut. Due to the iron's dark color, use a carpenter's pencil to create the mark as the pencil lead will be shiny and easy to see (white chalk can also be used). Run the pencil mark in a straight line all the way around the pipe.

2. Put on eye goggles. Rest the blade of the cold chisel on the marked line. Tap the chisel lightly with the ball peen hammer. Move the chisel 1/2-inch along the marked line, again tapping it with the hammer. Repeat this process until the mark on the pipe has been tapped all the way around the pipe. Continue the entire procedure a second and third time, until the cast iron pipe breaks along the line. This cutting process will probably leave a jagged cut, which can be avoided by using a snap cutter.

3. Open the snap cutter's handles, and wrap its chain around the pipe at the mark. The cutter's chain is attached to one of its handles. Pull the chain so that it is tight around the pipe, and slip the closest chain link onto the hook on the end of one of the cutter's handles. Hold one handle firmly in each hand, and push the handles together for the chain to cut cleanly through the cast iron pipe.

Tags: around pipe, cast iron pipe, ball peen, ball peen hammer, cast iron