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Old 08-14-2012, 02:52 AM   #1
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Default Any pics or tricks to cutting a keg bottom completely out?

Hi,
I searched for a while but have not found any examples of what I am trying...and have started to do.

I am cutting the bottom out of a standard AB keg and plan on having a bottom drain ebiab kettle (with of course a tri clover clamp on the existing top middle valve).
I plan on cutting the bottom completely out of this keg and hope to cut/grind the bottom all the way out to the existing weld on the side, so I have a smooth sided kettle from rolled rim on down into the kettle.

My friend cut out the bottom as close as he could with a plasma cutter and welded the 4 holes shut where the bottom flange meets the keg bottom.

I only got to work on this a few minutes tonight but after I started grinding/cutting the rest of it out I noticed that bottom flange is really just setting on top of the keg and welded on top of the keg, so to speak, (same with the top also). I guess that is why there is a weld in the middle of a keg, since the top and bottom half are drawn/punched out then welded together, then the top and bottom flanges are welded on the bottom and top.
I thought that the top/bottom flange and the top/bottom of the keg were really 2 pieces and the were welded to the side, so 3 pieces coming together...but it is really just 2 pieces.

So before I grind a hole into the side of the keg by taking too much of the bottom out, and get really mad, has any one else successfully done this?

I will try and post some pics of my progress soon.

(before anyone asks....I dont want hot wort getting trapped in the lip and then boiling/burning/etc.... from the standard way we cut kegs. Which is currently happening with my other keg and gas burner BIAB setup today )

thanks Kevin

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Old 08-14-2012, 03:04 AM   #2
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Interesting. I've see the wall and the rolled rim removed, to just leave the rounded top. But that's the opposite of what you are looking to do. Sounds like a tough thing to do with SS. Good luck. Make sure to post pics if you get it done.

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Old 08-14-2012, 02:18 PM   #3
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Pics -

Cut out as close as we could with a plasma cutter and sawzall.




Close up of the first area I started on, with one of the 4 holes welded shut from the outside.
I am looking at this again in the daylight it seem there is a little more of the "bottom" left and hopefully I can remove it before I punch a hole into the "side"....all the pieces come together on a radius and so it will be tricky to pull off.
Using an eletric 4" right angle grinder with a cutoff wheel so far... might need to get most of the rim cut off then switch to a standard type wheel to finish it out...
Thoughts?




thanks Kevin

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Old 08-14-2012, 02:33 PM   #4
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had pretty good luck with the sanding flap wheels. I think with the weld along the area you are grinding you will be good to go. when you get close I would change to a flat wheel just to save grinding nicks and what not.
I think this is a good idea and if I was doing your set up I would do the same thing.
good luck, keep us posted.

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Old 08-14-2012, 02:46 PM   #5
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I cut the top of off a keg at the upper weld where the skirt attaches. A local shop rolled a ring from 1/2" SS round stock and I TIG welded it on and did the finish work with a grinder and then finished it with flap wheels on a die grinder. This gives me a straight-sided vessel for a BIAB setup I'm working on......

cutkeg01r.jpg   ring-keg01r.jpg   ringwelded_02r.jpg  
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:54 PM   #6
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Hello,

rekoob-
Great idea to use a flap wheel, I got a lot of tools...but I dont have any of those wheels.

Junkster
Nice job welding that rim back on.
I have considered more than once just cutting the top of like you did and sanding down the edge. Dad has a keg like this and it is not flimsy at all for brewing purposes (or turkey frying, or wine making )
I even found some heavy duty stainless handles to weld back on the sides to move the keg around and that will be next move If I can not finish my keg this way.

I want to leave the extra 2-3 inches of the skirt/flange on if I can, that will increase the capacity by a couple of gallons I would guess though.

I appreciate the pics
Kevin

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Old 08-14-2012, 10:58 PM   #7
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I think if you continue with grind and flap wheels or flap discs you should be able to get pretty decent results. Time, abrasives and beer works wonders!

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Old 08-14-2012, 11:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haeffnkr View Post
I want to leave the extra 2-3 inches of the skirt/flange on if I can, that will increase the capacity by a couple of gallons I would guess though.
Not if the handle holes are still there!
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:28 AM   #9
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Hello All,

I got to grind on this for a few minutes tonight and made a little progress

I figured out the "bottom" is welded a lot lower than I was originally thinking.
I held the grinder right above the weld line that I could barely see from the inside and was able to take out a few pieces at a time.

Looks like this might work with a little more patience and a flap wheel to clean up what I can not get out with the grinder/cut off wheel.

What I got out so far....





This is a close up, looking up the keg wall, on the left you can see, barely where the weld line and I was cutting just above it with the grinder -




Getting closer.... this is getting easy



Now I just need a flap wheel.
Are there different grits and types of these wheels?
Maybe one that will work on a big drill?

thanks Kevin

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Old 08-15-2012, 07:36 PM   #10
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Have you cut into the wall with your cutoff wheel by mistake?

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