This style of work is much practiced on small pipes, such as 2 in. to 3 in., especially by London plumbers. Method: Suppose your pipe to be 2 in., then you require your ball or bobbin about 1/16 in. less than the pipe, so that it will run through the pipe freely. Now pull the pipe round until it just begins to flatten, as at Fig. 37, put the ball into the pipe, and with some short pieces of wood (say, 2 in. long by 11/2 in. diameter) force the ball through the dented part of the pipe, or you may use several different-sized balls, as at A B C, Fig. 40, and ram them through the pipe with a short mandrel, as at D M. You will require to proceed very carefully about this ramming, or otherwise you will most likely drive the bobbins through the back at L K J. You must also watch the throat part, G H I, to keep it from kinking or buckling-up; dress this part from the throat toward the back, in order to get rid of the surplus in the throat.
[Illustration: FIG. 40.]
Fig. 41 shows a method of bending with three balls, one of lead being used as a driver attached to a piece of twine. This is a country method, and very good, because the two balls are kept constantly to the work. First, put the two balls just where you require the bend, then pull the pipe slightly round; take the leaden ball and drop it on the ball, B, then turn the pipe the other end up and drop it on A, and do so until your bend is the required shape. You must be careful not to let your leaden ball touch the back of the pipe. Some use a piece of smaller leaden pipe run full of lead for the ball, C, and I do not think it at all a bad method, as you can get a much greater weight for giving the desired blow to your boxwood balls.
[Illustration: FIG. 41.]
This is an excellent method of bending small pipes. Fig. 42 will almost describe itself. A is a brass or gun metal ball having a copper or wire rope running through it, and pulled through the flattened part of the pipe as shown. It will be quite as well to tack the bend down to the bench, as at B, when pulling the ball through; well dress the lead from front to back to thicken the back. I have seen some plumbers put an extra thickness of lead on the back before beginning to bend. Notice: nearly all solid pressed pipes are thicker on one side than the other (as before remarked), always place the thickest part at the back.
[Illustration: FIG. 42.]
Fig 43. This is my own method of pipe-bending, and is very useful when properly handled with plenty of force, but requires great care and practice. You must have a union sweated on the end, A, Fig. 43, and the ball, B, to fit the pipe. The cup-leather, E, should have a plate fixed on the front to press the ball forward. Pull up the pipe as you please, and pump the ball through; it will take all the dents out, and that too very quickly.