Cutting top off a Sanke keg using angle grinder

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Desert Monkey

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The start:



First grinding action -


Cutting round the top -


Half way done -


I know - no long pants or long shirt. Not sure I own any out here in the desert....
 

Cpt_Kirks

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That all looks familiar.

I cut the top out of one today, too. Took longer than I thought. I had an old, half used wheel in my grinder, so the going was slow. Once I put a new wheel on, it went a lot quicker.

Keg was half full of rotten Miller. It smelled like pee and vodka when I was cutting.
 
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I just cut mine last sunday...I thought for sure I was butchering the keg into something even Biermuncher would be ashamed of, but it came out pretty nice! I deviated from the line once or twice, but it was nothing my die-grinder and dremel couldn't fix. I've got several 12" lids that fit the hole perfectly, so I won't bother to fashion a lid from the cut-out top.

Pretty fancy breathing apparatus you used, that didn't occur to me. I wore shorts and short-sleeves too, but I did put on my long welding gloves and wore earplugs.

Now to find a local shop that will weld some couplers in. 10 gallon batches, here we come! :ban:

 

Cpt_Kirks

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I'm just going with some bolt in connectors. Spigot, thermometer, sight glass, the whole works.

Is a 1/2" step drill big enough?
 
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Wow...that's a brute force approach if I've ever seen one. Take Bobby's advice. Cutting wheels are for cutting, grinding wheels for grinding. If you can find a 1/32" cutting wheel, you get a really fast, clean cut. Just be careful not to put any side load on it.
 

tedski

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Whenever I take on any project that I can't use a straight edge for, the first thing I think of is, "How can I make a jig for this." A jig will always give you clean lines and great results. Plus, it makes cleaning up the cut edges much quicker.
 
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+1 on the cutting disks, I didn't notice the OP used a grinding wheel! And wear some really good eye/face protection, if you do put side load on the cutting disks they like to throw shrapnel when they break.

I put about an hour into making a jig like Bobby's, but found I couldn't securely clamp the curved angle grinder body onto the flat board of the jig. I started cutting curved mounting brackets out of scrap wood, but realized my quickie project was going to take hours. At that point, I just grabbed the grinder and went at it...took about 10 minutes total. Another 10 minutes or so to clean up the edges with the die-grinder, and it was done.
 

Bobby_M

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Yeah, I cut a few kegs before I decided a jig would be faster in the long run. I wish I had made it sooner but I've done 5 kegs with it so far at an average cut time of 2-3 minutes.
 
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Desert Monkey

Desert Monkey

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I have two more to cut, so I'm off to find me a cutting wheel as advised - boy am I glad I didn't blow that thing into pieces, SHMBO might have decided it was time to try a new hobby....like knitting...

EDIT - Hey Bobby, where can I find any pics of the jig mentioned here? I'd like to see what that's all about -
 
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EDIT - Hey Bobby, where can I find any pics of the jig mentioned here? I'd like to see what that's all about -
Since Bobby is on the east coast, I'm going to assume he's gone to bed and take the liberty of posting his keggle cutting video. Any place that sells power tools will have the cutting disks.

While I did OK with my one keg, for anybody cutting multiple kegs, a jig like this is surely the way to go.

[youtube]LthGdMk_avk[/youtube]
 

BrewBeemer

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At Home Depot or your better yet local welding supply but will cost more from the welding supply but might be a higher quality brand name of wheel like a Norton. Not some off shore country brand that wears down quickly. Get one for stainless if you can, general metals would be next. Any with a narrow kerf in cut-off wheels will cut faster. Make a jig as these wheels do not like much side force that will cause them to explode, not a good thing besides the surprise factor and where there chunks of wheel may impact into. Your body or windows seem to be their target zones.
The mans candy store your local welding supply, oh check out the new model welders can't leave with just one item.
 

MgMt_Home_Brew

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So I just picked up a keg for $30 of CL which I am pretty excited about. The thing is I don't have any tools to do this so I was thinking of buying them to help build up my tool collection.

Do you guys think the following tools would do the job?

Grinder (there is a 7" one for 39.99 but if the 4" will do the job I would get that one or would I regret not getting the bigger one down the road?)
- Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

Cutting Wheels
- Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

Step Drill Bit for spigot and site glass
- Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

I haven't seen the jig above since I am at work but once I get home I will check it out and start thinking about that. But what do you guys think about my tool selection?
 

imsoweetadid

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You should always use a cutting disc, and cut inside the lines, and then put on a tiger paw sanding disc, and make a perfect round rim, sanding all the way to the line you traced. Tiger paws, make easy work of stainless steel.
 

dutch101st

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I just did this yesterday as well: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/keg-kettle-project-122340/index2.html

Same grinder and everything...took me about 15 minutes to do, was taking my time. Used a cutting wheel as well. I will be drilling the valve hole here pretty soon.

No biggie doing this in shorts...I did and no bad results...like I said, I took my time on the cut (jig assisted of course...thanks again Bobby!)
 

pen25

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I had to modify bobbys jig and did a cutout on a 2x4 to fit over the tube as i couldnt get the darn thing out. just use a holesaw a little larger then the outside diameter of the spout. took me about 10 min taking my time. and i love those harbor freight grinders though i seem to have lost a couple and had to buy a new one. oh well 9 bucks money well spent.
 

android

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i used those step bits from HF for my keg conversion. they worked, but definitely lubricate the hell out of it and keep a glass of water handy to cool the bit often. it wasn't bad getting it up to just under 7/8", but that last little bit was a bear.
 

MgMt_Home_Brew

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Thanks for the input guys. I worked on getting all of the stickers off of it last night so now I just need to order those tools.

I am also going to have to look into modifying my burner a bit since the keg is just a little too big for it and doesn't sit nice and solid on it.

One other question. Is 12 inches pretty much the standard size hole people cut in these things?
 

HellenicHomeBrewer

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anyone have any recommendations for a lid for keggles? My LHBS demo'd with a keggle and he had a lid that fit perfectly. I didn't get a chance to measure the opening to see exactly what size it is.
 

samc

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I took a piece of 2" foam board insulation and cut a circle to fit inside the upper rim. Covered it in heavy duty foil. Put a bolt through the center attached to a wooden knob. Does not get hot, weighs next to nothing and is about as highly insulated as a cover is going to get. Had all the parts laying around and need a fast cover.
 

BrewBeemer

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I'm itching to go and see inside the new restaurant suppy store that just opened a 1/4 mile from me. Just a look around with pen, paper and tape measure. I may go postal on my credit card.
I'm all for a narrow cutting wheel with a jig to save the cover and reuse for the lid, just add insulated handles and leave the spear hole open as a vent.
I'm all for insulating the kegs sides, top and bottom, save the elements BTU's and make them heat the contents not the world.
 

Bobby_M

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That's the one thing my lids are lacking.... cool handles. When I say cool, I don't mean slick. Grabbing the valve neck with bare hands is painful.
 

MgMt_Home_Brew

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I just bought my tools from harbor freight this morning. I ended up getting a 4.5" grinder since it was on sale. The funny thing is those drill bits are almost as expensive as the grinder and cutting discs combined. But hopefully I will has plenty of need for them when I get some more kegs.

Has anyone used anything on their jig besides a hole saw? I don't have any of those so I am not sure what I am going to use on my jib to allow it to rotate in the center. If I have to I will go buy some though. I am looking at this not just as some project but also an opportunity to build up my tool collection.
 

sjlammer

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Has anyone used a reciprocating saw with a Bi-metal blade on it.... seems easier than a grinder, no?
 

wilserbrewer

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Has anyone used a reciprocating saw with a Bi-metal blade on it.... seems easier than a grinder, no?
Sure it can be done, people have absolutely done it. Stainless is hard and will dull the blade pretty quick. You probably will not be able to get as accurate of cut either.

That being said, the grinder is much preferred.

Oh, I believe Biermuncher used a saw on his keggle. See link below for a "saw cut" example.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/keggle-construction-40553/#post396839
 

Bobby_M

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Has anyone used anything on their jig besides a hole saw? I don't have any of those so I am not sure what I am going to use on my jib to allow it to rotate in the center. If I have to I will go buy some though. I am looking at this not just as some project but also an opportunity to build up my tool collection.
I only used the hole saw as the pivot after scouring my garage for 15 minutes and finally finding something that fit snug, but still turned. I suppose anything with a 2" diameter could work.
 

springer

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Has anyone used a reciprocating saw with a Bi-metal blade on it.... seems easier than a grinder, no?
I used it on one keg I did came out just as nice but you have to have a variable speed saw. The first blade went down in a shower of sparks . Go slow and it works great
 

MgMt_Home_Brew

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jhb

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Has anyone used a reciprocating saw with a Bi-metal blade on it.... seems easier than a grinder, no?
I've used both. I did one keggle with the saw and 2 with a grinder. The Grinder is much easier, much faster and will give a much cleaner cut. I'd never use anything but a grinder again.
 
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