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Thread: Rough-in PVC toilet drain too high - cutting tool?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Las Cruces, NM

    Rough-in PVC toilet drain too high - cutting tool?

    On the This Old House video at 4;00 , they show a cutting attachment for a drill which is used to cut off PVC drain pipe below the floor level. Is it normal practice to deliberately rough-in the drain pipe too high and then cut it off?

    It seems like a good idea to rough-in the drain pipe too high since the final finished floor height can be hard to predict. However, it looks like it would take skill to use that tool precisely. Is there another tool for that purpose?

  2. #2
    Nope, not normal practice. That is just an 'oops' tool. I've had to do it once. Used a similar tool I cobbled together. A machinist slitting saw on a hardware store drill mandrel. Works the same way. And yes, takes some technique to use.

  3. #3
    get one of these, cut right to the floor if you want... They're $6

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    I use a Dremel and an abrasive wheel wheel with big grit. Cutting is done on the inside, so most of the mess goes down the drain.

    That tool that Kev posted is in one of the Plumbing toolboxes too, but I've never used it for that purpose. It is a handy thing to have sometimes though.

    I can't find a picture of the exact wheel, but it looks a lot like this one. Hot knife through butter.
    Last edited by Tom M King; 07-01-2019 at 4:27 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Modesto, CA, USA
    I router or a biscuit cutter might work well. There used to be a slot cutter bit for routers. Toe kick or jamb saws? For that matter a belt sander if there is not too much to do. A chainsaw or chainsaw bit on a angle grinder. For that matter a skilsaw on its side might work. Or a skilsaw on a planer frame like a router sled.
    Bil lD.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Longview WA
    Blog Entries
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    get one of these, cut right to the floor if you want... They're $6

    A throw away model of this is easy to make with some mason line and a couple blocks of wood. At best the pvc could be cut level to the floor.

    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    N.E, Ohio
    I found in my house the flange is to low when I replaced the flooring. Had double up on the wax ring.

    Making sawdust regularly, occasionally a project is completed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    University Place, Washington
    An angle die grinder would make short work of it.
    Sometimes we see what we expect to see, and not what we are looking at! Scott

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Combs View Post
    Nope, not normal practice. That is just an 'oops' tool.
    SOP on concrete slabs. you can always cut some off, but it's a witch to add some back. We had special inside cutter for cast iron pipe. Leaded the toilet flange in, then cut off pipe. Outer rim of cutter rested on top of floor flange, and cutter height was adjusted to cut pipe off even with inside top of flange. Saving pouring melted lead down closet bend, then trying to dig it out. If pipe is PVC, you can use a multitool tool to cut from inside. No big deal.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Dickinson, Texas
    I have cut pvc pipe with a handsaw and also a hack saw.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Western Nebraska
    I use the oscillating saw for it. Work from the inside out, around the pipe with plunges.

  12. #12
    In the general forum there is a thread about oscillating multi tools...

  13. #13
    The tool shown in video clip is a slotting cutter on a mandrel. Mandrel could be a bolt with head removed and a couple jam nuts holding slotting cutter

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Blog Entries
    Build the floor up just at the toilet.
    Believe me, in a few years or after abdominal surgery, you'll be glad you did.

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