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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > Habor Freight Punch Question
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:03 PM   #1
Squeeky
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Default Habor Freight Punch Question

So today I got my new 82qt kettle, and it's time to start making holes. I've used a step bit in the past but being a thinner wall I wanted to use a punch. I've seen that it makes a much cleaner hole.

My question is about the harbor freight punch set: HERE

It is electrical conduits so the sizes would reference.
Die - Actual Hole
1/2" = 7/8"
3/4" = 1-3/32"
1" = 1-11/32"
1-1/4" = 1-11/16"

Am I correct that a 7/8" hole is used for a weldless 1/2" and a 1-11/32" for element.

I just want to make sure I'm getting the correct punches. I'm only needing to cut one of each hole so I'm ok with harbor freight quality.


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Old 11-02-2012, 07:36 PM   #2
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1-1/4" is for the element, 13/16" for the weldless (from Kal's pages)


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Old 11-03-2012, 12:01 AM   #3
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I bought the Harbor Freight punches and used the smallest one (1/2", which makes a 7/8" hole) to punch for a BargainFittings weldless fitting. Perfect fit.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:08 AM   #4
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My only concern is the line:
Capacity: 10 gauge mild steel

While they might handle thin stainless, I wouldn't expect to get many holes from them before they get either repaired or tossed. At that price, tossed would probably be the more economical option.

I have a Greenlee punch that's MADE for stainless steel. Does a great job too. I use it to punch holes in kegs when making keggles. Of course, I also picked up the hydraulic driver for the punches. Another tool that will probably last longer than I do.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlachesk View Post
I bought the Harbor Freight punches and used the smallest one (1/2", which makes a 7/8" hole) to punch for a BargainFittings weldless fitting. Perfect fit.
I used the same set to cut the holes on my BIAB rig.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
My only concern is the line:
Capacity: 10 gauge mild steel

While they might handle thin stainless, I wouldn't expect to get many holes from them before they get either repaired or tossed. At that price, tossed would probably be the more economical option.

I have a Greenlee punch that's MADE for stainless steel. Does a great job too. I use it to punch holes in kegs when making keggles. Of course, I also picked up the hydraulic driver for the punches. Another tool that will probably last longer than I do.
This was the debate I waged with myself and ultimately went with the Harbor Freight punches because I could buy ~4 sets for the cost of 1 Greenlee punch and was only punching aluminum. I planned to punch 1 hole and didn't see much need in the near future. On top of that (confession time), cranked down the punch too far when punching the hole and it's now completely bound up. But for the $15 I paid for the set, scrapping it doesn't bother me.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:21 AM   #7
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Ok putting a twist on this question.

I assume I can use the 7/8" punch in order to dimple for a 1/2" coupling.

Can I use any of the HF punches for a dimple tool for 1" coupling.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:33 AM   #8
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I used this set on my bayou classic SS kettle. I punched four holes, no problem.

Btw, if your are worried about the size, practice on a cheap piece of aluminum.
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:51 AM   #9
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A 1-1/4" drill bit is what's recommended for the weldless set up. The 1" punch is 1-5/16". That is the same one I used to cut the hole in the Bayou Classic pot and the faceplate on the junction box. Link


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