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How did you open your keg?

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I have two shells right now, one big and one small, what methods has everyone used to cut those things open so you can use them to boil?:mug:
 

Lil' Sparky

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I use an angle grinder with a thin cutoff disk and then clean it up with a grinding disk and sandpaper. I helped a buddy yesterday. Took < 10 mins and got a nice round smooth hole.

BTW - we have a really good wiki, although it looks like we've got some missing sections to fill in here (Yuri - you need to fill in that plasma cutter section) : https://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Keggle#Cutting_the_Top
 

Bobby_M

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Is there a way we can embed youtube videos in the wiki? Both Yuri and I have done videos on cutting the keg, plasma and grinder respectively.
 

Cookiebaggs

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Cutting a keg?

I believe this is the required picture for all the keg cutting threads. :D




Sorry BM...:fro:
 

ddroukas

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less than 10 min? I used a pneumatic angle grinder on a Boston Beer Company keg and it took me close to 2 hours with a 4" cutting wheel at 90psi. Not to mention my unibit stepbit can't quite drill the keg effectively. The surrounding metal turned red hot and it ruined my first stepbit.
 

Lil' Sparky

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ddroukas said:
less than 10 min? I used a pneumatic angle grinder on a Boston Beer Company keg and it took me close to 2 hours with a 4" cutting wheel at 90psi. Not to mention my unibit stepbit can't quite drill the keg effectively. The surrounding metal turned red hot and it ruined my first stepbit.
Eeek, that doesn't sound good at all. My bimetal hole saw cuts a hole for a bulkhead in about 30 secs, too.

Check out Bobby's video. He's got a fancy setup with a jig on his grinder, but it doesn't take any longer by hand.

[youtube]LthGdMk_avk[/youtube]
 

HenryHill

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YMMV. About ten for me with a thin wheel on a die grinder.

Try using cutting oil when drilling metals. Also, speed and feed are an important part of any metal cutting endeavor.
 

Bobby_M

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Yeah, even with my horrible math on the video, it took me longer to make that jig than it did to grind 3 tops off. I bet people having trouble are using thicker wheels.

I'm glad I saved my jig too, I was just asked to cut the top off a fellow homebrew club member's sanke.
 

e lo

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4 1/2" angle grinder with a cutoff wheel. Cut by hand using the outer edge of the keg as a guide, except for the portion near a significant dent. Came out fine. Took about 30 minutes, but I was going very slowly. I cleaned it up with the same angle grinder and a grining disc followed by a quick rub with plumber's grit paper.
 

ddroukas

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jeez...maybe I just need a better cutting wheel or something. I, too, made a jig almost identical to that video. Any idea on the RPM of that electric angle grinder or what brand cutting wheel you used?
 

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+2 Dremel and about 10 cutting blades bc i have a old school high powerd dremel from the 80s with one speed..... cut the **** out of everything! i swear.. lol but it works wonders, seriosly you can cut anything with those basterds.. but i do have a cut off wheel but the dremel just seemed more percise.
 

Bobby_M

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I don't know the RPM, but the wheel was a Dewalt, 1/16" thick, says for NOX/Metal cutting. I know there's one specific for stainless too and I'd love to try it.
 
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thanks everyone for your responses when I get to this part of he stage this will all come in handy. About how much would one of these cutting tools cost.
 

ClutchDude

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+1 to the stainless steel cutting disc. It made child's work of the metal, barely dulling the disc. You can find one at any home depot/Lowes with the dewalt brand.

You can find an angle grinder for pretty cheap at Harbor Freight/Northern Tool for about $20-30.

EDIT:

Completely forgot to mention the safety part! Make sure you have ear protection and I HIGHLY recommend a face shield. Nothing like a shower of sparks flying in your face accidentally only to have your faceshield protect you.
 

shafferpilot

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If you have one keg to cut and never plan on using that grinder again, by all means spend $20 on one. But if you want one that works for more than an hour expect to pay $50 to $80.

But no matter what, take your safety and the safety of anyone within 100 feet of you EXTREMELY SERIOUSLY. If the blade gets hung up it will fragment violently. The guard will prevent any pieces from going straight into your face, but they tend to bounce around a lot! I've heard pieces bounce off of one wall in a 75 foot wide shop and hit the opposite wall before even hitting the ground. I've also recieved very minor cuts and bumps from reflected shrapnel. Sounds in a metal shop don't usually bother me, but the snap of a cut off wheel, and I duck and cover my head;)
 

jds

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ddroukas said:
less than 10 min? I used a pneumatic angle grinder on a Boston Beer Company keg and it took me close to 2 hours with a 4" cutting wheel at 90psi. Not to mention my unibit stepbit can't quite drill the keg effectively. The surrounding metal turned red hot and it ruined my first stepbit.
In my experience, electric grinders are better than pneumatics for cutting tasks like this, because the electrics develop great torque. Pneumatics are very low torque, but high RPM.

I have both an electric grinder and pneumatic grinders in my shop. The electric gets the heavy-duty work, while the pneumatic gets the finish work.
 

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+1 on the angle grinder + cutting wheel. If you can make a 'jig' like bobby showed in his video's it makes for a very clean, round, fast cut. I think it took me less than a minute to cut it off using a jig style similar to bobby's. Make sure to fill the keg 1/2 way with water before you cut as well.
 

Bobby_M

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I just thought I'd tack this onto the thread here. I just cut the top off for a buddy in my brewclub. I found the old jig and it worked like a charm again. This time I remembered to take a picture of the jig and the cut it made.



I added this stuff to the WIKI in the keggle section too.
 

capcrnch

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Bobby_M said:
I just thought I'd tack this onto the thread here. I just cut the top off for a buddy in my brewclub. I found the old jig and it worked like a charm again. This time I remembered to take a picture of the jig and the cut it made.



I added this stuff to the WIKI in the keggle section too.
You know, if I had a chance to brew with anyone on the board (or others for that matter), it would have to be you. You just seem so down to Earth with great ideas and execution.

Well, it's a close fight between you and Bier, but im afraid ill get hurt at Biers place ;)
 

BierMuncher

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capcrnch said:
...if I had a chance to brew with anyone on the board (or others for that matter), it would have to be you....Well, it's a close fight between you and Bier, but im afraid ill get hurt at Biers place ;)
It only hurts for a minute...and that what doesn't kill ya...makes ya stronger... :D
 

capcrnch

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BierMuncher said:
It only hurts for a minute...and that what doesn't kill ya...makes ya stronger... :D
Haha, and makes me lighter!
Who needs 2 arms anyway?
 

Donasay

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The first one I have was done with an angle grinder, it took about 30 minutes to cut out and another 30 to clean up and debur. The second one I have was done by my friend on his CNC table with a plasma cutter. The robotic arm came down and cut a perfect 11.5 inch circle in the very center of the keg in less than 15 seconds.
 

Bobby_M

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capcrnch said:
You know, if I had a chance to brew with anyone on the board (or others for that matter), it would have to be you. You just seem so down to Earth with great ideas and execution.

Well, it's a close fight between you and Bier, but im afraid ill get hurt at Biers place ;)
I'm flattered, but I'm not nearly this organized in real life.
 

Donasay

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Bobby_M said:
Hmm, an hour or $120,000 CNC... that's a tough call :)
The CNC table also has other benefits, doing it with the grinder, was loud and extremely messy, the table was clean and precise and nearly silent. I also had minimal grinding and sanding to do to clean up the burs once the table was done. I personally didn't invest in the table, but I must say that it is worth every penny.

My friend also seems to think it is worth it, it has no problem cutting through inch thick plates of steel.
 
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