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Old 12-03-2012, 02:04 AM   #1
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Default Brew Stand - mitered joints or regular butt joints?

Woulds mitered joints for the top add to the strength of my brew stand (like in the first picture below)? I see a lot of people just use butt joints (either like in the 2nd or 3rd picture below), but it seems to me that would put all of the stress/weight of the kettles onto the weld... as a first time welder, i'm a little bit concerned about the strength of my welds... not sure if this would make a difference.

The 45 degree cuts would be pretty difficult to make accurately with my angle grinder though...

mitered-joint.png   butt-joint-1.png   butt-joint-2.png  
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:55 PM   #2
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Only design #2 is fully dependent on your welds, the other two are not. So use #1 or #3, whichever is easier for you (sounds like #3).

I've been welding for about 12 years now and I always try to design so that the construction, loads and stress are dependent on the materials used instead of welds. The other thing I'm a big fan is gussets and doublers. If you have any doubt about your welds, weld in a gusset at the 90 degree intersection; it vastly increases your weld area and stiffness of the joint.

BTW, what software did you use to make those drawings, those are cool!


Good luck.

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Old 12-03-2012, 01:18 PM   #3
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Excellent question....Miters are more aesthetic....but you introduce a lot of error if your cuts aren't accurate. Also, clamping everything together gets trickier.

It bears repeating that brewing is NOT a very heavy duty application, at least not with 15 gallon kettles. That's not to say you can get away with crappy welds, but you can get away with certain structural designs that might fail at a higher weight.

Option number 3 is best IMHO...I am not a weldor by any stretch of the imagination, but pretty handy nonetheless. Keep in mind that you can add telescoping attachments such as an extendable table or removable control panel by using the open tubing.

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Old 12-03-2012, 01:26 PM   #4
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I'm no welder, but in carpentry miters aren't really stronger than butt joints. Miter joints give a bit more joint/glue area (in the case of welding bead length), but it makes little difference.

As ScubaSteve said, miters are about aesthetics.

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Old 12-03-2012, 06:10 PM   #5
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I did mine just like picture 3 and welded on a cap on all my open ends, including (and most important) on the stubs that hold the kettle. That way no flames lick into the open stubs.

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Old 12-03-2012, 07:43 PM   #6
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I'd do option #3 and then weld some gusset plates under the "unsupported" tubes, or if you dont want to cut gusset plates you could use some short lengths of the same tube welded to the uprights to give some bearing to the top frame pieces.

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Old 12-03-2012, 08:29 PM   #7
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I never welded before making my stand. I did mitered joints on my stand. It was difficult, here are some things I learned.

- its hard to get a good 45 degree cut with an abrasive cutoff saw, and be able to get a square corner line up.
- its very hard to stay square without corner clamps.
- takes a lot more grinding and weld to fill the gaps.
- easy to burn through the thin ends of a 45 joint.

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Old 12-03-2012, 08:46 PM   #8
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I would strongly suggest not attempting 45 degree cuts with only an angle grinder! As said above the outside of the miter joints would be very difficult to not burn through as a first time welder. I would go with number 3 (as I did on my stand) and make some caps for the ends.

I actually went a step further here, which would be more feasible than miter ends with just an angle grinder and followed this stand build idea with "cut out" ends.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/my-new-brew-system-brutus-10-some-nice-modifications-172927/
I felt this added another layer of structural dependency, or at least increased the weld areas significantly.

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Old 12-04-2012, 02:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FTG-05 View Post
If you have any doubt about your welds, weld in a gusset at the 90 degree intersection; it vastly increases your weld area and stiffness of the joint.

BTW, what software did you use to make those drawings, those are cool!
So for a gusset I would just cut a short piece of my tube steel at 45degrees at each end and use it to support the corner (like in the attached drawing?)

I used SketchUp free for this (firs time, was surprisingly easy to learn!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldies View Post
I did mine just like picture 3 and welded on a cap on all my open ends, including (and most important) on the stubs that hold the kettle. That way no flames lick into the open stubs.
What is the concern with flames going into the open end of the tube?


Thank you everybody for the good feedback, based on this I think I will go with option 3 and if I feel there is some weakness I will add gussets.
gusset.png  
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:47 PM   #10
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You could use your tube like you show for a gusset, but if you can cut good 45* angles for that, why not just miter it? You can use a piece of plate cut to 45* which may be easier, or even just put a section of square tube in the corner to give yourself more weld area.

From what I can tell though, the long pieces are supported by the vertical tube (legs) and will support the majority of the kettle weight. The short pieces on either end don't appear as though they'll have much weight on them. They are there to keep the stand from collapsing in on itself or pulling apart and to make things look more balanced but I'd wager you could build the stand just fine without any gussets, unless you plan to start doing larger scale brewing, or take your brew rig off roading...

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