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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > Simplest (?) Keggle Cutting Jig
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Old 10-23-2009, 02:20 AM   #1
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Default Simplest (?) Keggle Cutting Jig

This might be the simplest jig for cutting the top off a sanke keg. It is just a 1-1/4" PVC coupler with a 1/2" channel cut out of it, then a hose clamp to hold the grinder. I also stick a piece of PVC pipe into the coupler which extends into the keg for more support. Couldn't be easier. I've cut 4 perfect holes with this setup. Tighten that clamp down tight.

The center tube (spear) can be removed before you begin. This involves 1) depressing the ball and ensuring there is no pressure in the keg (make GD sure you do this!), prying out the retaining ring, rotating the spear and sliding it out. A poster, later in this thread, suggests leaving the spear in so that when the hole is finished, the top doesn't drop (the spear holds the whole thing up). Good idea!

Plasma cutter user? This guy used this jig with his plasma.





Some more notes:

  1. If you intend on using a grinder with the same jig that I built, you'll need one with a handle mount on the back of the grinder head, not just on the sides. Some grinders (especially the cheap Harbor Freight ones) don't have this hole.
  2. Maybe this is obvious, but make sure to remove the spear first. At least make damn sure there's no pressure in there. Pressing a screwdriver into the ball will do that. If you need help getting the spear out, let me know.
  3. Take your time. Move around the keg in circles, slowly grinding a line in a circle around the keg. Don't expect the grinder to get through it right away... you need to keep etching that circle and eventually it will go through. If you try to force the cutting disk into the cut, it will shatter and you'll be replacing the disk. So, don't push down, just let the rotating wheel and the weight of the grinder do it. It won't take long.
  4. Wear protective eyewear and hearing protection. It is possible that the rotating grinding disk will fly apart. Cutting can be very very loud, especially right above the keg. Filling it with a few gallons of water can help reduce the noise a lot.
  5. After you cut the top off, clean up that edge with a flap disk for your new grinder. It will be sharp and believe me can cut your arm when you are cleaning it after a brewday.
  6. Don't ever use anything made of steel to cut or clean your keg, unless it is stainless. This includes iron wool, files, etc. They will embed iron into the SS and it WILL rust later.
  7. Barkeepers Friend does a great job cleaning the thing up.
  8. You might be curious what diameter the hole should be. I cut mine at about 12" and that's worked out great. IMO the larger the better. One thing to consider, though, is that you can buy replacement glass pot covers at kitchen stores (or online) pretty cheap, and you can cut the hole to match a pot cover. That would be pretty cool, but maybe only for the HLT and mash tun.
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Old 10-23-2009, 02:40 AM   #2
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DUDE! Holy cow this appears to be keggle cutting gold!

Prosted and subscribed!
Thanks for the heads up!
-Me

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Old 10-23-2009, 02:51 AM   #3
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That's nice and simple, I like it! I could never imagine building a jig as previously posted. Ok, you used three parts, would it work with w/ only the pipe and clamp?? I think it might??

I like the way you think

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Old 10-23-2009, 02:58 AM   #4
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It will work with only the coupler/union and clamp (that's the way I did it the first 3 times.

The added piece of PVC pipe is unnecessary, but makes it a bit better. The neck of the keggle thins down and the PVC pipe fits perfectly into the thinner place. You'll see.

I did see those wooden jig pictures, but this seemed so much easier.

I had these pieces already in my scrap PVC bin.

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Old 10-23-2009, 03:01 AM   #5
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Good on you. That is pretty slick!

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Old 10-23-2009, 03:05 AM   #6
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Old 10-23-2009, 04:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
It will work with only the coupler/union and clamp (that's the way I did it the first 3 times.

The added piece of PVC pipe is unnecessary, but makes it a bit better. The neck of the keggle thins down and the PVC pipe fits perfectly into the thinner place. You'll see.
OK got it...the coupler rides in the first step, the pipe in the second...nice!
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Old 10-23-2009, 04:11 AM   #8
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I love it! I just did 6 of them using 2x4's and a 2" hitch ball for the center piece.. and I think this is probably 100x easier. Nicely done =)

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Old 10-23-2009, 04:19 AM   #9
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what cutting wheels are people using to cut these?

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Old 10-23-2009, 04:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
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what cutting wheels are people using to cut these?
just a metal cutting disc for an angle grinder. they're thinner than the ones that come with them.
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