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Old 12-07-2009, 08:50 PM   #21
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this is great stuff guys, thanks. i think i'm gonna do the 1" hole saw and then use a step bit to bring it out to 1.25" and then a dremel for more precise fitting.

looks like it's time for a home depot trip...


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Old 12-07-2009, 08:54 PM   #22
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Are you using a weldless type system?

If you are going with a welded fitting then your hole will need to be bigger than 1". I did a hole saw 1.5" which was a bit smaller then my fitting.

I brazed my fittings so I felt it was easier in the long run to make the hole a bit smaller then dremel it to fit. The tighter tolerance helped me flow the brazing rod easier.

I like what bobby_m wrote. My step bit was not big enough for my element hole. It worked great for 1/2" fittings but too small for the big guy. I did not have any problems using a standard bi-metal bit. It went real quick.


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Old 12-07-2009, 08:57 PM   #23
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yeah this is weldless (thanks bargain fittings!). the threaded part of the element is about 1.25" across (which is also the size hole pol says in his e-herms build). so i've got a 1 3/8 step bit so i'm gonna get a 1" hole saw and have at it.

getting to 7/8" for my spigot and thermometer/sight glass was such a pain with just the step bit -- i'd like to make this a little easier going.
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:02 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkone View Post

getting to 7/8" for my spigot and thermometer/sight glass was such a pain with just the step bit -- i'd like to make this a little easier going.

I hear ya! I found that out too. All in all I drilled 9 holes two weekends ago. The first one I did with the step bit only and it was PIA. So all the next ones I used a standard drill bit to make a pilot hole then used the step bit. It went so much easier.
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:01 AM   #25
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I bought a step bit on ebay and it did last long (link to seller step bit list). 3 clean holes (1-1/8") and it was dull. SS is really hard on cutting tool...

I revert to my hole-saw and it cut like a charm. Slow RPM, good pressure and cutting oil. Note; I couldn't re-cut my "bad" holes (from the worn out step bit). The hole saw would walk all around rather than cut no matter what without the pilot drill bit in the pilot hole. Maybe with a 16" vise...
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:30 AM   #26
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I very highly recommend reading what Kal has done to install his heating elements. It involves cutting a slightly larger hole, and filling the gap tightly with a smushed o-ring between the element and a sealed gang box. His cuts were made with a chassis punch and die, and they work just fine on the curved surface.
http://theelectricbrewery.com/node/9?page=show

edit: misinterpreted, the kettle hole is not oversized, its the washer size that is.
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:22 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Budzu View Post
I very highly recommend reading what Kal has done to install his heating elements. It involves cutting a slightly larger hole, and filling the gap tightly with a smushed o-ring between the element and a sealed gang box. His cuts were made with a chassis punch and die, and they work just fine on the curved surface.
http://theelectricbrewery.com/node/9?page=show

edit: misinterpreted, the kettle hole is not oversized, its the washer size that is.
This is the same method that most of the Blichmann weldless fittings use. Using the washer to hold the o-ring means the o-ring will not get deformed. You can get Greenlee punches for pretty cheap on EBay. Just remember that a standard punch is in conduit size (i.e. a 1/2" punch makes a 7/8" hole). Sometimes you can find someone selling a radio punch which is a 1:1 size (i.e. a 13/16" punch makes a 13/16" hole).


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