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Old 11-24-2010, 05:29 PM   #1
skizziks
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Default Aluminum for sculpture

Hey gang
I have an abundance of schedule 40 aluminum speedrail so I decided to build my sculpture out of it. I am also using it for the crossbars to support the kettle (keggle). I ended up getting a 23 jet burner for the HLT (I'm sure I will end up plugging some ports) and I have a Bayou SQ14 for the Boil Kettle.
My question is about the use of aluminum for the crossbar supports. The burner fits between the crossbars with about an inch and a half space to spare on the either side. As I peruse the site I saw a couple of comments concerned about the use of aluminum as a kettle support. I looked up a source online that gives aluminum a 1218 F melting point
1) Does anybody know how hot the 23 jet burner gets?
2) The sculpture is already built, should I be concerened with aluminum melting in the situation I described? I am only using it for my HLT and won't really have the water temperature Higher than 180 F!
3) Should I just bite the bullet and bolt on some steel angle iron?


I would really like to get brewing, but I became concerned after looking at a few posts about aluminum use.
Thanks in advance for any help.
Cheers
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:41 PM   #2
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I don't know what speedrail is but I can tell you that holding up a up heavy pot of liquid while it's glowing red hot wasn't an intended use. Since it's already built, you might as well do a test run but just be careful. I tried using a short section of extension ladder as a makeshift burner stand with a 23 tip burner and it only took 10 minutes of heating to bring the whole thing down.

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Old 11-24-2010, 07:51 PM   #3
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Looks like this stuff is designed for handrails and scaffolding. I'd be very cautious.

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Old 11-24-2010, 08:25 PM   #4
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I think heat shields are likely in order. A picture would help.
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:25 PM   #5
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A propane flame can approach 3600 deg F under ideal conditions. It's unlikely that our rather crude burners could achieve a flame temperature that high, but it might well reach 2700 deg F. IOW, there's a good chance that the aluminum frame would melt. Additionally, the aluminum will lose much of it's strength long before it gets anywhere close to melting. I suppose you could use a combination of aluminum and steel components to build the rig and only use the aluminum where it would not be exposed to very high temperatures. Using dissimilar metals together can sometimes present other issues, so that's also something to look into before proceeding.

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Old 11-25-2010, 01:20 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info. I was concerned so I ended up finding 1 1/4" OD steel pipe that fit inside the aluminum pipe, i then cut 2" collars that fit inside the fittings to keep the steel pipe stable.
This is an intrim system to keep brewing while I put together pieces and money for my final stainless steel sculpture. I'll bet putting my new burner to the test Saturday.

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Old 11-25-2010, 02:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skizziks View Post
Thanks for the info. I was concerned so I ended up finding 1 1/4" OD steel pipe that fit inside the aluminum pipe, i then cut 2" collars that fit inside the fittings to keep the steel pipe stable.
This is an intrim system to keep brewing while I put together pieces and money for my final stainless steel sculpture. I'll bet putting my new burner to the test Saturday.
GOOD MOVE!!! I guarranty you would have melted those aluminum rails.
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Old 11-25-2010, 01:19 PM   #8
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The interim setup is looking mighty good as is. Just sayin', ya know!

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Old 11-25-2010, 09:04 PM   #9
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Thanks, I have three of these built. I have to keep it modular because I live in an apartment with no garage, so it's a big build every time I brew... Labor of love. I still have visions of granour. In the meantime it will work just fine.
Happy Thanksgiving.

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Old 11-26-2010, 04:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skizziks View Post
Thanks, I have three of these built. I have to keep it modular because I live in an apartment with no garage, so it's a big build every time I brew... Labor of love. I still have visions of granour. In the meantime it will work just fine.
Happy Thanksgiving.
Don't sell the modular setups short. I've been using a modular system for a very long time due to storage space restrictions. I don't find it particularly inconvenient or time consuming to set up or tear down. The one big advantage which suits my style is the portability factor. I can single handedly load and transport the whole shebang with my SUV no problem.

IOW, you are much better off than you realize.
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