Thread: Drilling & Cutting S/S Beer Keg
30th Dec 2006, 08:31 AM #1
Drilling & Cutting S/S Beer Keg
This is my first post to the forums, I am a woodworker but occasionally need advice on a bit of metalwork, like now:
Am making a brewing kettle (beermaker in my spare time as well...) from a scrapped 50L brewery keg. I need to cut a circular opening in the top, as well as drill a 23mm hole in the side. I have never worked s/s before so I read up on how to approach this (slow rpm, lubrication, masking tape to get drill started etc.) I thought that grinding out the top would be the easy part.
No way! Within seconds of making my first cut with one of those thin inox grinder discs, the thing shattered and disc fragments went in every direction.
I tried again, next time with a thicker (new) metal cutting disc. It was hard going and the disc wore right down after about 10cm of the cut.
My question is: should I persevere with the grinder, and several more discs and if so is there a better technique? I have seen jigsaw blades which might be up to the job.
Last edited by jimmyh; 30th Dec 2006 at 08:32 AM. Reason: spelling
30th Dec 2006, 08:56 AM #2
Keep going with the grinder, don't force the grinder as this will only wear the wheel out quicker. Let the machine do the work and score a line with the grinder first then keep running backwards and forwards along the line rather than cutting into the metal
30th Dec 2006, 09:16 AM #3
Yes, what DJ said. When I cut metal using discs, I use the thin discs at high speed (air) and a gentle or light touch.
30th Dec 2006, 12:41 PM #4
As you're using a straight tool (disc) to cut a round hole a very light touch is required. You'll need to cut the hole undersize and then dress it round afterwards.
Mick"If you need a machine today and don't buy it,
tomorrow you will have paid for it and not have it."
- Henry Ford 1938
30th Dec 2006, 01:03 PM #5
You can drill with a smaller drill a series of holes around the diamater of the hole you want to make it easier to cut out, bunnies & mitre 10 sell cobalt drills ( about $1 or so more than standard drills ) that are designed to drill stainless, correct rake , angle etc, just use a good centre pop first to mark well and drill as you would normal steel.
The trouble with life is there's no background music.
30th Dec 2006, 11:21 PM #6China
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
- South Australia
I did exactly what you are doing for a mate 2 weeks ago, I used the jigsaw go faily slow to keep things cool
30th Dec 2006, 11:32 PM #7
to drill s/s you better to put the drill to the grinder wheel and flatten the pitch out by1/2 then sharpen as norm it will work better,, a cobalt is a harder drill not the right pitch for my likingsmile and the world will smile with you
1st Jan 2007, 08:22 AM #8
Thanks guys for all of your advice. I re-tried with a new grinder disc, a light touch and a new attitude - success! There is no substitute for learning from your mistakes I guess - except maybe learning from someone else's!