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18725Re: Instlling Heating Elements

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  • Brain Solenoid
    Feb 1, 2004
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      I went a different way and used two "screw-in" heating elements. I
      used a bi-metal hole saw chucked into my 1/2" drill to cut the
      holes. I then welded stainless steel 1/2 couplings to the keg for
      the elements to thread into.

      I have done a LOT of stainless work and have burned my share of bits
      and hole saws. Like previous posts (Robert N, for one), I had also
      learned a few tricks in my day:

      1.) Cobalt bits for small holes, hole saws for larger ones. In a
      drill, you can cut a pretty big hole in a beer keg. You can find
      hole saws in the normal home center stores (Home Depot, my favorite

      2.) Drill SLOWLY! I even fried Cobalt bits in my drill press
      because I had it on the highest spindle speed. You'll know you're
      frying a bit when it and the plate you're drilling starts to glow!
      Interestingy, stainless steel and aluminum are exacpt opposites when
      it comes to drilling..........aluminum prefers HIGH cutting speeds.

      3.) Use plenty of lubricant! WD-40 is great, so is old motor oil,
      for that fact. I use a solid parafin / soap lubricate (It looks like
      a bar of soap) and dip the bit into it when drill kegs. Lubrication
      also works breat on die grinding if you are using a cutter and not a

      4.) De-burr holes........especially if you are using gaskets and
      bulkhead fittings or they may not seal.

      I have found the following tools handy when working with stainless:
      1.) 1/2" Drill
      2.) Die Grinder (with cutter)
      3.) Hole Saws
      4.) Cobalt Drill Bits (or "aircraft grade" bits)
      5.) Solid Lubricant
      6.) Oil
      7.) Grinder (with cutting, sanding, and polishing discs)
      8.) 110V Mig Welder with .025" stainless wire and tri-mix gas
      9.) Bandages ('cause I cut myself EVERY time I do a project!)
      10.) Beer (probably why I need the bandages in the first place)

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