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Old 05-10-2012, 03:56 PM   #1
Nov 2011
Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 213
Liked 25 Times on 16 Posts

I've been assembling various and sundry pieces and parts for my single tier brewstand. I'd buy it all at once but Im counting on individual purchases passing below the radar of the household ways & means committee.

That being said, one of the bigger purchases is the metal for the stand itself. Im going with 304 square stainless tubing. Many of the stands I've seen use 10 guage 2"x2" (approx 1/8"). My local metal shop charges about $15 / foot for this stuff. Im thinking it might be overkill.

My question is simple: what is the appropriate size tubing for this job? My weight assumptions are:

wort/water: 9 lbs / gallon
kegs : 30 lbs
fitting: 40 lbs

If the kegs are filled to capactity we're looking at 420 lbs so let's add another 35 for grain the grand total is 578 lbs. Add 10% for safe measure and we right around 620 lbs. My highly technical drawing is below:

Couple of good reads:

Deflection Study
[URL=""] Hollow Structural Sections Dimensions and Section
Deflection Calculator

which cover tubing strengths. I cant see where 1.25" sq tubing w/ 11 guage wall thickness wouldnt be more than enough. Thoughts?

Edit: added link to deflection calc.

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Old 05-10-2012, 04:31 PM   #2
TopherM's Avatar
Mar 2011
St. Petersburg, FL
Posts: 3,976
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An engineer that's ALSO a home brewer? Good luck with that!
Primary #1 - Midnight Ryeder (Midnight Wheat and Rye)
Primary #2 - Florida Weiss
Primary #3 - Kane-DOH APA (Honey Citra APA)
Secondary #1 - Downtown Flanders Brown (brewed August 2012)
Keg #1 - Raspberry Florida Weiss
Keg #2 - Cinnamon Raisin Cider
Keg #3 - NONE!
Bottled - NONE!

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Old 05-10-2012, 04:34 PM   #3
Licensed Sensual Massage Therapist.
Homercidal's Avatar
Feb 2008
Reed City, MI
Posts: 31,927
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Over-engineering a project? Where is the thrill?

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Old 05-10-2012, 04:40 PM   #4
Apr 2011
., Connecticut
Posts: 1,497
Liked 44 Times on 42 Posts

your question depends entirely on the actual construction of the stand. there are situations where a stand made from 2" square stainless tubing would collapse, but a stand made from less robust individual materials, but assembled better, would hold a truck.

I cant see where 1.25" sq tubing w/ 11 guage wall thickness wouldnt be more than enough.
that is probably more than enough, if properly assembled (with supports/braces where needed; welded or securely fastened...).

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Old 05-10-2012, 04:46 PM   #5
Sep 2009
Papamoa, New Zealand
Posts: 3,799
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As a thumb suck based on your sketch I'd say no problems.
By the way there are a few of us engineers on here
If you were worried just cut 2 more verticles and have 2 centre supports on each long side.

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Old 05-10-2012, 06:25 PM   #6
conpewter's Avatar
Nov 2007
East Dundee, Illinois
Posts: 5,109
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If you need to do this on the cheap I'd look on craigslist for free bed-frames and weld those together, plenty strong (but somewhat hard to work with).
"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people." - V

Primary: Nothin
Secondary: Shady Lord RIS, Water to Barleywine, Pumpkin wine, burnt mead
Kegged: Crappy infected mild
Bottles: Apfelwein, 999 Barleywine, Oatmeal Stout, Robust Porter, Robust smoked porter, Simcoe Smash

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Old 05-10-2012, 07:44 PM   #7
pigroaster's Avatar
May 2008
, Ontario
Posts: 242
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They are only hard to work with if you do not get person out of bed. Paint should be ground off in weld areas!! I use 6011 electrodes!

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Old 05-10-2012, 08:53 PM   #8
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Bobby_M's Avatar
Aug 2006
Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 23,403
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2" square @ 1/8" wall is overkill in any situation under 50 gallon vessels.
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Chugger Pumps, Pump Kits, Camlocks, Sightglasses, Clear USA made Silicone Tubing, RIMS, Electric Install Parts, etc.

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Old 05-10-2012, 09:04 PM   #9
Dec 2011
Maple Grove, MN
Posts: 78
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

I'm not an engineer, but I am a mechanical designer with a structural background.
2x2x1/8 is definitely overkill.
You can get away with 1.25x1.25x11 ga.

I'm tempted to model it up & do FEA, but I don't have that kind of time.

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Old 05-10-2012, 09:12 PM   #10
outside92129's Avatar
Apr 2011
Carlsbad, CA
Posts: 1,224
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i used 1x1x1/8 angle iron (which is 1/2 of tube) and it holds up great, even with a full 10gal HLT, full MLT, and 12gal BK. I do have some vertical flat bar but it's going to be significantly cheaper if you went smaller.

1x1x1/8 of angle iron is almost the same weight (per foot) of 1x1x16ga tube.

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