Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Garden Hose Gender Changer -- Male-to-Female

An alternate title for this piece could be 'brain spasm'.

For some reason that I cannot fathom, I got it into my head that I needed a male-to-female garden hose gender changer for something I had in mind. When I got it done and went to carry on with the thing I thought I needed it for, it turned out that no such need existed.

Anyway, I have one now, so if non-hallucinatory need of it ever does arise it'll be right there ready in my hose fittings bin. Here's how it looks.

Those coupling nuts were salvaged from fittings cut off of discarded hoses. Brass or bronze are best for solderability; plated steel ones can be used as well, but soldering them is less easy.

When salvaging a fitting's nut, cutting away the swaged hose-end ferrule and persuading the hose barb to vacate are a bit of a chore, but quite doable. A Dremel cut-off wheel is helpful for getting the ferrule cut through most of the way until you can rip it off. Cut away the hose remnant, and then squish the barb in the vise. Saw off as much of the barb as you can, then punch out what's left with a hammer and a big pin punch.

A 5/16" bolt, two washers and two nuts make an adequate soldering fixture. Here's a view of how I had it set up.

It takes a bit of fiddling to get the two pieces clamped together so they're as concentric as possible. Once that's satisfactory, they're a breeze to solder.

Install gasket washers and there you are. If you really do have a male hose fitting that needs a gender change, you've got just the thing. Or, you can add a new item to your hose fittings bin. Whichever.

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