Kegconnection Complete Starter Kit and More Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Drilling holes in a kettle

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-07-2009, 06:28 PM   #1
gchunter
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 8
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default Drilling holes in a kettle

When I purchased my brew kettle I did not think I would need holes in it for a valve and a thermometer. I would like to keep using this kettle but would like to drill in a couple of holes so that I could make a Jamil style WIC. If I would start with some small pilot holes, going bigger from there would that work?
I realize that I would have to keep the drill as level and plum as possible. I don't want to ruin the kettle as it is a 20 gallon kettle and it would be rather expensive to replace.

__________________
gchunter is offline
Cevan Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-07-2009, 06:33 PM   #2
GranillaNutz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: the dirty south
Posts: 219
Default

unibit is your answer. if it's stainless, then go slow with a lot of pressure and use cutting oil.

__________________

"Sometimes when i reflect back on all the beer I drink, I feel ashamed. Then i look into the glass and think about all the workers in the brewery and all their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work, and their dreams would be shattered. Then i say to myself, "it's better that i drink this beer and let their dreams come true than to be selfish and worry about my liver."" -jack handy

GranillaNutz is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-07-2009, 08:30 PM   #3
bendavanza
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Oak CLiff, TX
Posts: 2,348
Liked 13 Times on 13 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

unibit, or step bit, is the easiest. Search for drill kettle or keggle you will find lots of answers. I got cheap bits at Harbor Freight, they worked fine, just drill SLOW with HIGH pressure, it will cut up the stainless easily. Pilot holes help, the tip of the step bits aren't that great.

__________________
bendavanza is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-07-2009, 10:03 PM   #4
HomebrewJeff
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Lincoln Park, MI
Posts: 300
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdavanza View Post
unibit, or step bit, is the easiest. Search for drill kettle or keggle you will find lots of answers. I got cheap bits at Harbor Freight, they worked fine, just drill SLOW with HIGH pressure, it will cut up the stainless easily. Pilot holes help, the tip of the step bits aren't that great.
+1, You can get 2 decent step bits at HF for around 10-15 bux, and I believe the big one goes up to 1 1/2". Also, make sure you use some type of cutting oil to keep the bit cool / sharp. I normally use WD40, cause that's what I have on hand. I usually drill a 1/4" pilot hole and then move to the step bit.
__________________
HomebrewJeff is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-07-2009, 10:09 PM   #5
Cold_Steel
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 638
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

I disagree. Do not waste your time with a drill. You spent a lot of money to get a 20 gal kettle. Spend pennies to get it done right. Take it to a welder who has a plasma cutter and get all the holes you will need. Sight glass hole, outflow, thermo hole, it will cost you about 50 bucks and you will have perfection.

__________________
Cold_Steel is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-08-2009, 12:02 AM   #6
MacBruver
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 616
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Why is a plasma cutter preferable to a drill bit that would give you a perfectly round hole?

__________________
Primary:
Secondary: Bee Cave Robust Porter (with coconut)
Kegged: Cascade/Citra Amber Ale
MacBruver is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-08-2009, 12:33 AM   #7
Wayne1
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Wayne1's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Littleton, Colorado
Posts: 1,053
Liked 65 Times on 43 Posts
Likes Given: 8

Default

I have recently spent a lot of time drilling holes in stainless for my brewstand and my kettles. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/brew...-today-117290/



The Harbor Freight step drill bits work perfectly. For my kettles, I used an old 1/2" drill motor that used to belong to my father. It probably dates from the '40s. Loads of torque. Used lots of WD-40 and everything went fine.

For the thinner gauge stainless I used on the brewstand, a higher speed 3/8" drill motor worked better. Or at least faster. The step drill will dull out after a dozen or so holes, but for the price, they can't be beat. Make sure you score the spot you are going to drill so the bit doesn't walk across your keg. Harbor Freight has an inexpensive, spring loaded, center punch that is great for this application.

__________________
Wayne1 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-08-2009, 12:58 AM   #8
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 21,836
Liked 910 Times on 606 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

There's no way a plasma would make a cleaner 3/4" diameter hole than a step bit would.

__________________
BrewHardware.com
Sightglass, Refractometer, Ball Valve, Weldless bulkhead, Thermometer, Decals, Stainless Steel Fittings, Compression Fittings, Camlock Quick Disconnects, Scale, RIMS tube, Plate Chiller, Chugger Pump, Super Clear Silicone Tubing, and more!

New Stuff?
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-08-2009, 01:33 AM   #9
GranillaNutz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: the dirty south
Posts: 219
Default

if u came to me and wanted to pay me just to drill or cut one hole in a kettle, i would over charge the $#!+ out of you. i seriously doubt it would take "pennies" to get a profesional to waste their precious time to cut one hole. they'll prolly just laugh at you and tell you to go buy a drill bit. buy an 8 dollar step bit from harbor frieght and do it yourself. it will raise your confidence and you'll save a lot of money.

__________________

"Sometimes when i reflect back on all the beer I drink, I feel ashamed. Then i look into the glass and think about all the workers in the brewery and all their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work, and their dreams would be shattered. Then i say to myself, "it's better that i drink this beer and let their dreams come true than to be selfish and worry about my liver."" -jack handy

GranillaNutz is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-08-2009, 01:42 AM   #10
HomebrewJeff
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Lincoln Park, MI
Posts: 300
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalcabot View Post
I disagree. Do not waste your time with a drill. You spent a lot of money to get a 20 gal kettle. Spend pennies to get it done right. Take it to a welder who has a plasma cutter and get all the holes you will need. Sight glass hole, outflow, thermo hole, it will cost you about 50 bucks and you will have perfection.
I'll agree that you need to be careful when you drill, using the right tools will make the job easier, but there's no reason why even an average DIY'er shouldn't be able to drill a round hole.
__________________
HomebrewJeff is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Drilling my keggle holes Elfmaze DIY Projects 18 08-23-2009 11:56 PM
Drilling/Placing Ball Valve on Kettle json2001 DIY Projects 4 07-15-2009 07:26 PM
Drilling holes in my freezer kontreren Bottling/Kegging 14 06-25-2009 02:44 PM
Kettle Drilling Site PavlovsCat DIY Projects 3 04-15-2009 08:59 PM
Drilling a kettle for a spigot briandickens DIY Projects 7 12-27-2007 01:49 PM