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Old 04-04-2013, 02:21 AM   #1
caligula455
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Default $4.87 keg tool

Hi Everyone,

First off, I've learned so much from reading this forum over the past couple of months and I hope that this is helpful for someone else out there.

I'm putting together a new brew kettle and wanted to dimple and solder in a coupler but thought there had to be a cheaper alternative to the stainless parts from mcmaster that everyone has been using.

I didn't want to do any machining and I didn't want any ferrous metal scraping on the stainless and this version meets both criteria.

Here's what I came up with - it looks pretty ghetto but it sure did work! Total cost from Home Depot - $4.87

Parts:
(1) 3/4" x 1/2" copper coupling - $2.27
(1) 1" PVC coupling - $0.46
(1) 1/2" x 5" bolt - $1.21
(1) 1/2" nut - $0.20
(2) 1/2" cut washers $0.70



Here is the procedure, it's basically the same but here's what it looks like with my cheapo version.

First drill a 7/8" hole and run the copper coupling through till the washer bottoms out.



Then re-thread the bolt with the stainless full coupling behind the copper coupling. The diameters are close, but the stainless is a bit bigger. This is no problem at all, it self centers in the dimple and pulls right into place.



You might think that this copper piece is too thin to handle the pressure, but being a circle makes it very strong under compression on all sides. The copper is fairly soft but I'm pretty confident that it has some more life in it if I had any more dimples to make.

http://s307.photobucket.com/user/cal...tml?sort=3&o=1

So here is the end result, a nice secure dimple ready for solder and some extra beer money in my pocket.

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Old 04-04-2013, 03:16 AM   #2
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That's awesome.
Do you worry about the PVC failing?
I might have this stuff laying around. Just gotta go dig in the garage!

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Old 04-04-2013, 03:16 AM   #3
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Good idea - we need cheaper keg dimpling tools.

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Old 04-04-2013, 03:21 AM   #4
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That's some good ingenuity! What are you using for your brew kettle?

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Old 04-04-2013, 05:06 AM   #5
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Love it! I've got a set of Mittler Bros. punches that cost me $700 to do basically the same thing.

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Old 04-04-2013, 05:31 AM   #6
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I wonder if this would work with a keggle, it looks like the pot you are using is on the thin side.

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Old 04-04-2013, 06:06 AM   #7
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I'm no backwoods engineer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.....

That is one brilliant invention/tool. We wanna see the finished product - solder away!

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Old 04-05-2013, 01:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WBCtobe View Post
That's some good ingenuity! What are you using for your brew kettle?
Thanks, I'm using a 44qt Bayou Classic with a basket and going for all electric. This is going serve triple duty:
  1. a counter top brutus 20 for 5 gal batches
  2. electric steamer for clam bakes
  3. sous vide cooker

I'd be curious to see someone try this on a keggle too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WBCtobe View Post
Do you worry about the PVC failing?
It didn't seem too stressed and you are compressing a tube in it's strongest direction. I would wear safety glasses just in case.


As soon as it's warm outside I'm going to give stainless soldering a try. Hope I don't ruin a good dimple with a bad solder!
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:49 AM   #9
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Works on a keg!
I just tried it.
Only trouble I had was (read not following directions) I used a punch tool backer because the 1/2" part of the copper reducer fit in nicely but it got off center when I was pulling and it mucked the end of it up and started to pull through crooked. Argh.

Switched to the PVC and worked just fine. Put the SS coupler behind it and it came through nice. Just had to rap it with a hammer to straighten it out.

Pic:

image-4135791592.jpg  
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:02 AM   #10
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Awesome. Well now we know it works on kegs too!

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