Pipe Company to Build New Plant
The McWane Cast Iron Pipe Company of Birmingham, Ala., has just announced, through President J. R. McWane, that they will begin at once construction of the first unit of their new plant. They expect to have it in operation by March 1, 1923, when the lease on their present plant expires. The location will be on a tract of 30 acres which has just been purchased in Birmingham, and it will have a capacity of 8,000 feet of their special product, McWane’s Precalked Joint cast iron pipe, per day.
The new plant will concentrate for the present on making the smaller sizes of cast iron pipe, from 6-inches downward. Particular attention will be given the newly-developed 2-inch and 1 1/4-inch sizes.
While the McWane Cast Iron Pipe Company is a comparatively new concern, only having been organized early in 1922, its president, J. R. McWane, has been a prominent figure in the cast iron pipe industry for many years. From 1907 until 1921 he was at the head of the American Cast Iron Pipe Company, Birmingham, and only left there to assume active personal management of his own company.
Associated with him as vice-president and treasurer, is James D. Sample, formerly assistant to the president of the American Cast Iron Pipe Company.
The new organization will give its entire attention to the manufacture of the McWane Precalked Joint cast iron pipe, an invention of Mr. McWane’s that comes as the result of eight years of research toward a cast iron pipe joint that would eliminate the necessity for “bell holes,” yarning, and molten lead pouring in the trench in laying pipe.
The factory process for making pipe equipped with the Precalked Joint is, briefly, to stand the pipe vertically in racks, bell end upward. A mandrel, very slightly larger in diameter than the spigot end of the pipe it represents, is inserted in the bell. Around it braided hemp packing, a specially prepared ring of close-set iron wedges, and two more braids of hemp are placed, with a final filling of lead. Then pneumatic calking tools are used to calk the joint thoroughly for one-half of its circumferences. In laying this pipe nothing is necessary in the field except to extract the protecting wooden blocks, insert the spigot end of one pipe into the bell of another, calk the remaining half of the outer lead ring (which is placed uppermost), touch up the bottom with a special offset tool, and the joint is made.
The company will also feature 1 1/4 and 2-inch cast iron pipe for service connections.