Re-Tool Jointing

Focusing on saving our customers money through innovation has always been paramount to RDT's operations. With that in mind, when we were building our main manufacturing facility in Beasley, Texas, we engineered the layout of our plant so that we would be the best choice for our customers when it came to Re-Tool Jointing Services for Drill Pipe, Heavy Weight Drill Pipe and Drill Collars. Unlike most manufactures, we have two dedicated buildings on campus that handle this type of service. This allows us to offer this cost savings solution without interrupting the work flow for our new product line production. Building One is dedicated solely for the processing of Drill Pipe and Building Two is utilized for Heavy Weight Drill Pipe and Drill Collars.


The Re-Tool Jointing Services process is the removal of the tubular tool joint from the main body of the Drill Pipe, Drill Collars and Heavy Weight Drill Pipe and replacing it with NEW tool joints. This process would come into play when the outside diameter of the pipe decreases due to significant wear on the tool joint or because of limited tong spacing. Our NEW tool joints are welded onto the existing main body so that the tubular does not lose any length. In fact, the tubular may return to its original length as all thread re-cuts are eliminated by removing the older tool joints and welding in a new tool joint.

An alternate method called "re-building" is sometimes confused with Re-Tool Jointing. "Re-building" is actually the process of applying another layer of metal around the tool joint in order to build up the surface of the outside diameter that is worn-out. This process does not account for the loss you will receive in the length of the tool joint due to the thread re-cuts that will need to be made. The overlaid metal used in "re-building" has a much softer material composition than the metal in a NEW tool joint. This will result in a quick decrease in the outside diameter of your pipe due to the rapid wear of the softer material. This process is NOT a recommended practice under API, nor a service that RDT and its affiliates will perform.

RDT follows strict guidelines and processes when re-tooling products. There are different processes used within our Re-Tool Jointing Services depending on the product that is being worked on. A brief overview of those processes by specific products follows:

Drill Pipe

At RDT, quality control and safety are always foremost in any work that we will do. So, before we can even start this application to your Drill Pipe the tube must first be processed and pass our inspection criteria. Once the tube has passed inspection, RDT will remove the tool joints from its original weld line and inertia welds the new tools joints into place. Not only does this save you on the cost of buying new pipe, since the tube is already upsetted and has an established grade, the process is quicker than manufacturing new Drill Pipe.

Upon customer request, once the tool joints are welded, other optional services such as hard banding and internal plastic coating can be added. In cases where the tube was originally quenched and tempered, upon customer request, RDT may change the grade before any welding is performed.

Heavy Weight Drill Pipe

In regards to Heavy Weight Drill Pipe, the process begins with cutting the tool joint off in a strategic location of the tool joint and then removing any hard banding materials that may already exist on the pipe. The NEW tool joint is made out of 4145 heat treated steel. RDT uses a welding technique called Sub-Arc Welding (commonly known as "stub welding") to attach the NEW tool joints. At your request, once the NEW tool joints are welded, RDT can also apply hard banding and/or an internal coating to the newly re-tooled Heavy Weight Drill Pipe.

Drill Collars

In the case of the Drill Collars, generally the box end is re-tool jointed only. The main reasons for Re-Tool Jointing on Drill Collars would be to increase the length of the pipe as the contractor is unable to rack back a stand in the mast/derrick. The box end of the pipe tends to be the weaker connection compared to the pin end. With that in mind, RDT recommends re-tooling the box end only in order to maintain the same original connection and outside diameter.


Cost Savings Benefits: The cost savings by choosing our re-tooling process when compared to having to purchase a brand NEW drill pipe string could be upwards of 50%. Not only does this give our Customers the ability to extend the service life of their existing tubular, but they can also reclaim a tubular that was considered "junk" while not adding any additional capital expenditure.

Technical Benefits: In regards to Drill Pipe, RDT will weld a box end connection where a pin end connection existed originally. This benefits the life of your tubular goods in several different ways:

  • Creates a new slip mark area
  • The tube rotates the opposite side where no stresses existed prior to the service
  • Ability to change the connection without losing any length in the tubular

Utilizing our Re-Tool Jointing process means you now have brand new tool joints -not just repaired- where all the dimensions would pass any inspection level.


At RDT maintaining a high level of quality control on the products and services we offer our customers is always at the forefront of any job that we undertake. RDT has a strict assessment process in place to evaluate all tubular goods to determine if they meet our specific criteria for Re-Tool Jointing.

The table below demonstrates the criteria that we use in our evaluation process:

Tubular Type Criteria Considerations
Drill Pipe
  • Above 85% Remaining Body Wall
  • Pass SEA Inspection
  • 95% Recoverable
  • Change of tube instead of Tool Joints
Heavy Weight Drill Pipe
  • Pass Transition Inspection
  • Pass Wear Pad OD
  • 98% Recoverable
Drill Collars
  • Pass SEA Inspection
  • Remove other Stubs
  • 99% Recoverable
  • Length of Spiral
  • Box end ONLY

There are many critical steps in the processes we undertake when supplying Re-Tool Joint Drill Pipe. They say that a "picture is a thousand word", so in order to give you a better understanding of the complete process used in producing our product we offer the following process flowchart:

Re-Tool Joint Flow Chart
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PO Box 73
9022 Vincik Ehlert
Beasley, TX 77417
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Tel: 979-387-3223
Fax: 979-387-3232

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