First Test: T-Drill T-35 Tee-Forming Tool

A T-Drill is a unique, incredible plumber's tool that I've relied on to give me a competitive edge for nearly a decade, yet most people–including many plumbers–have never heard of it. So when I was asked to review the new T-35, I was eager to see what kind of improvements they made to this amazing tool.

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Source: TOOLS OF THE TRADE Magazine
Publication date: September 12, 2007

By Michael Springer

A T-Drill is a unique, incredible plumber's tool that I've relied on to give me a competitive edge for nearly a decade, yet most people–including many plumbers–have never heard of it. So when I was asked to review the new T-35, I was eager to see what kind of improvements they made to this amazing tool.

A T-Drill pulls a tee out of a continuous run of copper tubing. It consists of a drill motor with a high-tech business end that does the holding, drilling, and forming. Here's how it works: support legs at the head of the drill hold it centered on a piece of tubing. With the desired outlet-size T-Drill head attached, a pilot hole is drilled into the tube; then, with the bit still in the tube, two forming pins built into the pilot bit are extended by rotating a collar on the head.

After engaging the reverse-feed mechanism lever, the support legs push against the tubing, and the spinning forming pins back out of the tube, leaving a tee outlet of the proper size. And all of this is done in mere seconds.

Then the branch, or outlet, section of tubing is prepared by placing it in a T-Drill notcher, where it is cut to the sameradius as the tube run so the branch does not project into the run of tube. The notcher also leaves two dimples on the branch. These serve as a depth stop, an alignment guide, and provide for easy inspection of the joint.

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