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Make Your Own Roto Rooter
You can make your own low-cost "roto rooter" out of odds and ends you probably already have on hand, says J.D. Higdon.
Higdon came up with the idea to help a friend clear a 4-in. drainage line.
He first made a cutter head out of a 7 1/ 4-in. circular saw blade. Three pie-shaped pieces were cut out with a torch. Both sides of each of the three prongs were then sharpened on each side.
The three propeller-like blades were next bent forward with a vise-grip as they were heated with an acetylene torch. The hole in the middle of the blade remains centered.
The blade mounts on a 5/8-in., 11 by 3-in. hex-headed bolt. A 1/4-in. dia. hole was drilled about 2 in. deep in the end opposite the threads. Two smaller holes, for set screws, were drilled at 90? through the sides of the bolt.
On the threaded end of the bolt, a 5/8 nut was threaded on and welded in place. The blade then slips on the shaft with teeth facing outwards. A lock washer and another 5/8-in. nut hold the blade in place.
A 1/4-in stiff guidewire cable inserts into the head of the bolt and runs to a spool slipped over a 3-in. water pipe. A vise-grip locks the cable to the pipe so he can rotate the spool and pipe together to turn the cut-ter head.
"We found the obstruction about 60 ft. into the drain pipe," says Allison. "Altogether, it took 80 ft. of cable, including passing through a 90? elbow." (Back-woods Home Magazine, 1257 Siskiyou Blvd. No. 213, Ashland, Ore. 97520.).

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1996 - Volume #20, Issue #2