Making pipe nipples

Problem: A piping job requires numerous small nipples of various lengths. Buying a large assortment is expensive, and making nipples smaller than 6 in. on a typical threader is difficult.
By Staff October 1, 1999

Problem: A piping job requires numerous small nipples of various lengths. Buying a large assortment is expensive, and making nipples smaller than 6 in. on a typical threader is difficult. Is there an economical way to get the right sizes?

Solution: Get a 2-3-ft length of scrap pipe the same diameter as the nipples needed. Thread one end and put on a threaded coupling. You are now ready to make your own nipples by threading one end of the pipe and cutting the nipple to size.

Inset the threaded end into the coupling of the nipple chuck. Put the nipple chuck into the threader and thread the nipple as you would any pipe. The nipple tightens into the coupling, but is easily removed with a pipe wrench.

A more permanent version of the nipple chick is made by welding the coupling to the scrap pipe. Then weld a bead about 3/8-in. down, parallel to the threads, inside the coupling. This arrangement makes removal of the nipples easier and prevents them from tightening into the coupling too deeply during threading.

Contributor: Tracy W. Faulk, WTB&TS, Brooklyn, NY