cutting top for keggle, $#?&*@@!!!!

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Ol' Grog

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There has just GOT to be a better way cutting the top of a keg for making a keggle. I've tried metal disc that go on the drill, metal blade on the jig saw and even one with titanium teeth, grind stones, you name it, I've about tried it. Has anybody tried something else that works? This sucks.
 

ducasir

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We had a keg cutting party a month or two ago and we cut, 10 or so kegs.

Bi-Metal blade on a Sawzall worked fantastic. Just had to go slow to not snap the blade, but made a nice clean cut.

Second best was a angle grinder with the cutting disk on it. Had to grind off more once the initial cut was made to bring it to the nice line we scribed.
 

jpuf

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Try and get your hands on a plasma cutter. I Gerry rigged a compass setup and cut 2 nearly perfect circles in about 3 minutes. Its the way to go.
Good luck
 

the_bird

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Angle grinder and some patience. Take three or four passes around it carefully with a cutting disk. I've got an el-cheapo 4" Ryobi, worked great, didn't even go through one whole disk. Just DON'T try and cut all the way through on the first pass, keep moving around the circle slowly, I think I may have taken four passes before it cut all the way through.
 

Cheesefood

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Interesting. Snakebone is coming over tonight to cut some kegs. He has an angle grinder, I have a saw with bi-metal blades and a dremmel with the metal cutting quick-release that EdWort posted about.Now I'm wondering if Snake's angle grinder is the best bet.

In the absence of a plasma cutter, which do you think is best? Grinder, Dremmel, or saw?
 

JoeRags

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jpuf said:
Try and get your hands on a plasma cutter. I Gerry rigged a compass setup and cut 2 nearly perfect circles in about 3 minutes. Its the way to go.
Good luck

Took me all of 30 seconds with the plasma. My only quelm is that it was only a "couple sip project", rather than a "few beer project."

Dremel is out of the question... just wont have the power to cut thick stainless.
 

the_bird

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JoeRags said:
Dremel is out of the question... just wont have the power to cut thick stainless.
Well, I know it's been done, I've seen pictures of kegs that have been cut with a Dremel. Seems like it's a suboptimal choice, though; if you can get someone to do it with plasma, that's ideal, but for me (and lots of folks) that's not an option.

The angle grinder, though, has proven to be worth every penny I spent on it. Just one of the cheap, $40 Ryobis, it's a huge timesaver for this kind of project.
 

Blktre

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the_bird said:
Angle grinder and some patience. Take three or four passes around it carefully with a cutting disk. I've got an el-cheapo 4" Ryobi, worked great, didn't even go through one whole disk. Just DON'T try and cut all the way through on the first pass, keep moving around the circle slowly, I think I may have taken four passes before it cut all the way through.
yup, same here. I can have a top cutoff using the $1.85 metal cutting wheel from HD. I can cut 2 lids off and maybe more w/ 1 wheel. Then a 7/8 hole in the bottom for a spigot in 15 min. and have a perfect circle for the lid.
 

JoeRags

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the_bird said:
Well, I know it's been done, I've seen pictures of kegs that have been cut with a Dremel. Seems like it's a suboptimal choice, though; if you can get someone to do it with plasma, that's ideal, but for me (and lots of folks) that's not an option.

The angle grinder, though, has proven to be worth every penny I spent on it. Just one of the cheap, $40 Ryobis, it's a huge timesaver for this kind of project.
Yea, if there's a will, there's a way. A Dremel will work, but its definatley my last resort for this type of job.

I'd say sawzall with a good blade, then if thats not available, angle grinder.

I lucked out... I dont own the plasma cutter, but have full access to one. Makes jobs like this a breeze.
 

Craig5_12

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Dremel = Worst
Sawzall = Okay
Angle Grinder = Good
Plasma Cutter = Best
Metal Lathe = Even Better....cleaner cut IMHO. The hard part is mounting the keg.
 

JoeRags

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Craig5_12 said:
Metal Lathe = Even Better....cleaner cut IMHO. The hard part is mounting the keg.
I'd say the hard part here is finding a lathe big enough to handle a 16" diameter piece of work. :drunk:
 

ColoradoXJ13

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I did mine with an angle grinder and a cutting disk....the first half of my cut isn't perfect, I got the hang of it 1/2 way through and the rest is nice. Ground it down a little to clean it up...just don't get too close to it with your arms.
 
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I haven't cut one yet (my buddy is gonna for me who works in a metal shop but if he takes much longer :( ). I'm just trying to imagine a sawzall doing this. I got one and could envision this not being a very clean cut? It's more for ripping than for fine metal work.
 

johnsma22

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Just a thought, find a local welding shop and bring him some homebrew. I'll bet that's all it would take to get him to cut the opening with his plasma cutter.
 

sirsloop

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metal lathe??? LMFAO...

I dont know how you would even mount one up - AND have it not tear the machine to shreds, LOL...
 
OP
O

Ol' Grog

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With a sawzall blade, those things are kind of wide, you'd almost have to bend it to make a circle cut on the keg.
 

Cheesefood

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johnsma22 said:
Just a thought, find a local welding shop and bring him some homebrew. I'll bet that's all it would take to get him to cut the opening with his plasma cutter.
The ones I talked to wanted money, not homebrewed beer.
 
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Craig5_12 said:
Dremel = Worst
Sawzall = Okay
Angle Grinder = Good
Plasma Cutter = Best
Metal Lathe = Even Better....cleaner cut IMHO. The hard part is mounting the keg.
I recommend the angle grinder/cut-off wheel combo over the plasma cutter - the edges clean up easier (plasma torches often leave a little bead of super hard slag that can be a real PITA).

I know you're kinda joking about the metal lathe...but even if you had one that would hold a keg, cutting sheet metal with a lathe usually turns out poorly.
 

Bobby_M

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Concur on several points. Angle grinder is a small diameter cutting wheel was easy as pie, I'd use it again on any other keg cutting project.

Also on the point that no tradesman in my area works for beer. It's not that hard to buy.
 

johnsma22

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Cheesefood said:
The ones I talked to wanted money, not homebrewed beer.
Well, then you must have talked to the wrong ones. I inquired about getting full couplings welded on my kettle. I'm not a cheap bastard, I was willing to pay whatever they thought was fair. The first two guys I went to were too busy to get to it for at least a few weeks.

The third guy was intrigued with the idea of brewing your own beer. He ask me if what I brew was any good. Of course I told him, yes! He said to bring him some, and if he liked it he would give me a deal on the welding. I brought him a six pack of some chocolate hazelnut porter on a Friday, and left the kettle with him as a sign of good faith. When I returned on Monday to see if he liked the beer, the kettle was done, the empties were sitting next to it, and he wouldn't accept any money. All he asked was if I could show him how to brew his own beer like that! I had him meet me at my LHBS and he picked up everything he needed to get started with extract batches. He has made several batches himself now, and I never need to pay for welding services again!

It's worth a shot isn't it? Never underestimate the power of a good homebrew! I shouldn't have to tell you that.
 

Cheesefood

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Maybe I am in the wrong area, but I also know that beer and money are a lot different.

For example, when someone asks me to do something for them and I say I'll do it for beer, I often don't get any beer in return. (I'm looking several active members on this site who promised me some beers for some graphics work.)
 

Bobby_M

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I've said it before, it must be a regional thing. These guys, if they happen to drink beer, are all over the Shlits Lite and could give a rats ass about good homebrew. I got tired of being looked at like I'm some cheap ass bartering A-hole and started negotiating with green paper.
 

fifelee

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sirsloop said:
metal lathe??? LMFAO...

I dont know how you would even mount one up - AND have it not tear the machine to shreds, LOL...
Don't laugh to much. Anything can be done. Ran across this site the other day. Thought it was crazy enough to bookmark. I have no idea who the guys is, but I tip my glass to him.
 

Orfy

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Cheesefood said:
The ones I talked to wanted money, not homebrewed beer.
I found a welder who wouldn't take money off me. He's happy to do it for beer.

Last time A gave him a bottle of wine and tried to give hime $10. He wouldn't have it. He's done 2 for me now.
 

Craig5_12

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fifelee said:
Don't laugh to much. Anything can be done. Ran across this site the other day. Thought it was crazy enough to bookmark. I have no idea who the guys is, but I tip my glass to him.
Yeah, sorta like that :D
My buddy has a machine shop with a big old lathe and it worked a lot faster than the angle grinder, was a lot of fun too. Instead of clamping onto the keg, we expanded the jaws inside the extending ring of the keg to hold it still. Was a little shaky at first, but we got it down and got some nice clean holes.
 

evanos

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The angle grinder with a cutting blade is pretty simple. I just leaned the wheel guard up against the keg rim and used that as a guide. Just go really slow on the first few passes until you have a nice groove to ride the cutting wheel in. From then on out, it's just grind away until you breach. IMO, it's easiest to perforate the top and then knock it out with a piece of 2x4 as this prevents the grinder from catching and jerking. Good luck and cheers!
 

tlael

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I did all 3 of mine with a normal old straight die grinder with a cutoff wheel on it.

Set the keg on a moving blanket and wrap the sides with the extra blanket.... cinch the blanket to the sides with a tie down strap (all to help muffle the extreme noise).....
viola! 5 minutes each with 1 minute of prep time each.
 

buzzkill

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yep, the thin cutting disks work fantastic. I put 2 of them on a high speed air powerd angle grinder and it was like butter.

do not try it without at least eye protection. cant read the recipie if you are blind.
 

Schnitzengiggle

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I'm going to my cousin's shop friday to have 4 kegs plasma cut, he has a turntable. Althought cleaning up the edges might take a bit more work, I don't want to be there all day so I'm going for the quick easy route.

Having said that, what in your opinion woudl be the best disk for an angle grinder to clean up a plasma cut keg?
 

tlael

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I'm going to my cousin's shop friday to have 4 kegs plasma cut, he has a turntable. Althought cleaning up the edges might take a bit more work, I don't want to be there all day so I'm going for the quick easy route.

Having said that, what in your opinion woudl be the best disk for an angle grinder to clean up a plasma cut keg?
Plasma, done well, shouldn't require much, if any, cleanup.
It won't leave any sharp edges.
 

Lumberbrew

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+1 to plasma cutter. These things are amazing. Check around for some shops that work with sheet metal... find an art studio that does sculptural metal work, or a custom car bodywork shop, etc. I got a friend's keg cut out for a 6-pack of brew, it took 5 mins including smoothing the edge with a grinder and flapper & buffing wheels. just make sure you have the spear out and everything clean and such.
 

Beertk

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I have cut three with an angle grinder. it took no longer than 10 minutes each. I use a thin metal disc from harbor freight with a big lots angle grinder. I just clamp the angle grinder to a stick of wood that revolves around the center hole. Bobby has a video out there on a similar contraption. I do some clean up with a slap disc in the angle grinder. These are perfectly round and smooth as a plasma cut. maybe smoother. they are 6" radius... 12" inch hole for those not mathematically inclined.I can't imagine doing it any other way but that doesn't mean there isn't a better way. Yankee engineering at it's finest! btw thanks Bobby
 

SamuraiSquirrel

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Angle grinder all the way! ..........

Don't bother with building a jig unless you are doing multiple kegs. I would say 5 or more. Ride the rail around it works with a little patience.

The key to using the angle grinder is don't try to cut all the way through and make one pass. Make about 4-5 passes. When you do cut through don't let the disk drop down just keep skimming.

+1 on the flap disk for cleaning up the edges.

I am sure plasma cutter works awesome if you know someone who has access to one. Angle grinder can get you a beautiful looking cut. After you cut the first one you will be a pro lol.
 

bad67z

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I just cut a keg for one of my brew club brethren, I have a plasma cutter and it took longer for me to set it up than to cut. I don't have a positioner (a turn table like Yuri's slick set-up) but I do have a welder and welding wire. Sorry for no pictures, but I asked how much of the solder he wold like to remain.

He chose 1 1/2", so I measured it out and took 20" or so of welding wire made a loop that fit the sanke inlet coupler (make sure you remove all the guts so there is no pressure in the keg) then made another tear droped shaped loop for the torch end. I twisted it until it was the correct length. The wire maintained the same line all the way around with a bit of water in the keg to make the clean-up a cinch.

It is a bit of PIA to clean the cut edge but a flap wheel is best. It was a success in my opinion.

Good Luck.
 

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