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Old 02-16-2010, 05:04 AM   #1
x2wdtoyotax
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So... I recently stumbled across a super sweet craigslist deal. I found a guy parting with 3 legit (according to the seller) sanke kegs for 50 bucks! I couldn't believe it. I wasn't fully ready to make the plunge to a full on AG rig yet, but I couldn't pass up the deal... Here is my dilemma. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/images/smilies/drunk.gif

I own a Hobart Handler 140 and I am just learning the fine art of welding. I currently have a 75/25 tank and standard steel wire (.30). I have been reading a little bit about welding on stainless. I have read that for smaller jobs a 75/25 shielding gas setup isn't ideal, but it will work. Will my welder even handle the job? How do I "back gas" with this type of welder?

My question is... should I attempt to weld my fittings myself or go with the weld-less? How big of a difference am I really looking at? I need some opinions.

Also has anyone had any issues with using and standard 7/8" hole saw versus a step bit for the holes? I am trying to keep the cost down as much as possible; and step bits are pricey!

Expertise and experiences are greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:14 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x2wdtoyotax View Post
Also has anyone had any issues with using and standard 7/8" hole saw versus a step bit for the holes? I am trying to keep the cost down as much as possible; and step bits are pricey!
I can't speak to the welding question, but I've been using these for quite a while and they're holding up pretty good. I'd recommend a step bit over a hole saw. You get a very, very clean hole with a step bit, just as good as a punch.

Oh, and they have a store in Dothan...

 
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:16 AM   #3
nbspindel
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get a step bit from harbor freight. not too expensive. I've read that a hole saw will distort your hole in the round shape of the keg into more of an oval.

i had one weld on my keg done by a welding grad student. he had done SS before, but we didnt do it just right and it works, but looks kinda crappy. i would do a bunch of test welds first to make it near perfect, or go weldless. i'm going weldless from now on just for ease of install.

just my $.02
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:19 AM   #4
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i used a carbide .875 hole-saw... high feed rate (pressure) and cutting fluid. to weld, you need 100% argon, and a spool of ER304L or ER316L wire. like aluminum, it won't be as pretty as tig. if you get the wire and gas, practice on the lid cutout if you have it. the weldless bulkhead is only ~$40 to get all stainless except the locknut.

btw. nice machine. it appears to have aluminum windings. looks like the next gen peacemaker gun too.
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Rated Output at 20% Duty: 90A @ 19VDC
i've had my handler 120 for about 4 years.


 
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:54 PM   #5
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To back gas just buy you a Y with sht-offs used for Oxy tank. Same threads. Run some cheap clear tubing to a small piece of refrige copper on the end. Use foil tape to make a pouch and tape around the copper. Thead a plug into coupling a few threads and go for it. Never had trouble using a hole saw.
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:26 PM   #6
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I've asked this question at work and the answer they gave me was that TIG welder will make a MUCH nicer weld than a MIG welder. Especially on something that is thin like a keg.

My 2 cents.
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:53 PM   #7
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No doubt TIG is best, but if all one has is MIG, it will work. The advantage of TIG is being able to put the heat where you want it.
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:33 PM   #8
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want wire? i have two spools of .030 and ~.025 ish wire. don't need it now that i have a tig.

edit: looking at the specks for you machine .030 would be best. not enough feed to run .023


 
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:35 PM   #9
x2wdtoyotax
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Wow... ask and ye' shall receive. Thanks for all the tips. I have learned, in the short time I have been welding, that the ugliest weld can be made beautiful with an angle grinder and some patience. I end up re-shaping all my welds anyway. I just don't want to blow a hole in my beautiful keg or get it all done and have a weak weld or a leak. I would love to buy a TIG welder... but lets be real. Its just not in the cards at this point. So... I am going to try a few welds out on the cut out with the MIG and see what happens. It will give me a chance to play around with the back gas concept too.

Has anyone posted anything video-wise regarding MIG welding stainless? Maybe I'll try a tutorial if all goes well.

Good call on the harbor frieght thing. I didn't even think about them. I just checked lowes the other day and saw a $40 pricetag. I will definately check it out.

lincoln.... heck yeah I would like some wire. PM me.
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My current brews...

MiniBrew 6.5 - Firestone Pale 31 Clone (oaked)
5 Gal Secondary - Empty

Keg 1 - Empty
Keg 2 - Empty

Bottled -
Belgian Summer Saison

 
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:45 PM   #10
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also depending on scrap availability in your area a few of the on line metal stores have selector/sample packs of different sheet for a few $. i live in the south sf bay, there is lots of junk yards and metal suppliers so it has never been a problem to get practice material.

mig is mostly like a glue gun, the trick is to do test pieces to dial your settings in before you do one for real. get the same thickens and position for your test pieces.


also get a new contact tip for sst.

 
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