Resizing 55 gallon 200L Drum

Discussion in 'General foundry chat' started by Tops, Jan 31, 2023.

  1. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member

    Needed a longer blade and/or cut on the ID side.....but you gotter done.

    Tops likes this.
  2. Tops

    Tops Silver

    Yes, done, thanks. Cutting from the ID would have been tough for a first cut since the barrel does not have a removeable lid, just a 2" (50mm) bung hole. A longer saber saw blade, or a reciprocating saw would have solved the blade engagement issue. I will get to try at least one more time when cutting the lid to final size. Metal seems to be about .040" (1 mm). I am really glad it was olive oil and not something more 'chemical' and/or dirty. After the barrel sat in the sun for a couple hours, even at below freezing, it warmed up enough to melt the oil and for me to wipe it out with paper towels.
  3. Tops

    Tops Silver

    Was doing some YouTube research and came across a series of videos showing upcycling 55-gallon drums into wheelbarrows.
    Here is one of the shorter ones and I very much like the tradecraft with tools and raw materials. I also like the last scene where one can see that this is not a one-off operation. I am still amazed at how little PPE is being used in some of these videos. Maybe I was overthinking/overworking this whole barrel cutting thing ? :)

  4. Ferrisbeu

    Ferrisbeu Silver

    use a beer keg
    Tops likes this.
  5. Smoking Shoe

    Smoking Shoe Silver

    I don't have a slip roll but I do have a conduit bender and some galvanized roofing. Unfortunately this project is still not finished. Got side tracked and when got back to it I discovered I can't find my box of parts with the Kanthal, SSRs, PID, thermocouple - etc. If I haven't found it by the middle of the week I'll just have to order more. Probably find it an hour after the UPS guy rings the bell?
    IFB kiln.JPG
    Wrap the roofing last and secure with fasteners of choice - Rivnuts/screws.
    Tops likes this.
  6. Tops

    Tops Silver

    Sounds just like at my house... :)
  7. Tops

    Tops Silver

    Got me some barrel cutting in today. Name brand reciprocating saw (Sawzall type) and blades did much better on the ends than the store brand saber (jig) saw and blades did along the side seam. Once I found the reciprocating saw (not in its case for some reason and well out of sight) and the blades and the new mesh face shield and attached it to my lid as the plastic one was fogging up and set up a light and put in some earplugs and moved the barrel under cover from the incoming snow.... the second end took all of five minutes, cutting about 1 foot / 30cm at a crack and then repositioning. The residual olive oil was still frozen to the bottom but slopped up on one section, which may have contributed to the smoothness and speed of the second end cut. I also re-attached end #1 with a couple screws to make the last cut more stable.


    Petee716 likes this.
  8. Smoking Shoe

    Smoking Shoe Silver

    No one can be as disorganized as I seem to be. ;)
    Haven't looked in the tool trailer yet but I can't figure out how I would have thought that would be a logical place to store the parts.
    That $200 box is now worth $300+. On the plus side, all of the boxes I've searched thru (twice or more) now have magic marker inventory on their side.

    It will be warm here soon and I want to make/build things...........
    Tops likes this.
  9. Petee716

    Petee716 Gold Banner Member

    There’s some benefit to digging through all of your stuff once in awhile although it doesn’t feel good while you’re doing it.

    Tops likes this.
  10. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member

    For sure. I get to see all the useful stuff I forgot I had!

    Tops likes this.
  11. Tops

    Tops Silver

    I have a sign that says 'Creative Minds are Rarely Tidy':) Although some order might help me find tools quicker...
    The barrel skin seems to constrict easily with a ratchet strap. I want to remove about 7" (178mm) diameter so 22" (560mm) circumference.
    Which would be people's preferred way to re-weld the side seam? I will probably cut plywood disks to allow cinching to a fixed inner diameter. For the second one, a and b could be reversed to prevent accidental damage to the remaining skin.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2023
  12. Petee716

    Petee716 Gold Banner Member

    I’d leave the excess material on and just wire wheel the paint off and tack down the outside seam with a mig every inch or two. It looks like your seams are laying pretty flat.
    Tops likes this.
  13. Tops

    Tops Silver

    Thanks Pete. I was surprised at how flat the inner seam looks even with the rolled ribs in the barrel. Right now the tube is 33.75" (857mm) tall, full barrel height minus about 1" (25mm) each end. The actual project is only about half that height at 17.25" (438mm). The lead welder at work said I could bring it in if I prepped the seam (removed paint) as you mentioned. I may do that or just push through it with the stick welding I can do at home and keep it an at-home home project with existing tools. I got a plan to cut an inner and outer plywood template to force the tube round, let the seam overlap, and to allow me to position it without it rolling around.
  14. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member

    I'd just cut and butt (MIG) weld that. It'd be done in 20 minutes. If you have a couple bar clamps it would be easy to squeeze round by applying the clamps across the major diameter at each end. .......certainly close enough for a furnace skin. Cut it to height first and you can have two for one. If all you have is stick, I'd take your buddy up on his offer. I'm sure the barrel pretty thin gauge.

  15. Tops

    Tops Silver

    I worked on the barrel some more today. Holding it while cutting becomes tricky once it becomes loose skins rather than a welded unit. I ended up screwing both ends back onto the side material to make the beltline cut. The plywood jig is not as complicated as the first pictures. The inner circle is cut to desired ID, the round cut was with a 3/32" (2.4mm) cutter, so there is more than one skin's thickness of 'slop' in the slot most of the way around so metal has room to overlap.

    Kelly, that butt weld done by skilled hands is looking better all the time...:)


  16. Tops

    Tops Silver

    I decided to pound the ridges out of the barrel (using a weighted fence post pounder as the hammer and an I-beam as an anvil) and set it up for a 25mm / 1" overlapped seam. The flattening made the metal more compliant to being bent into the smaller cylinder and nicer in not having to fit up larger gaps. It does have a hint of 'fell off the truck and hammered back straight' patina :) The lead welder at work tacked the seam firmly, put in the first few stitch welds, and gave me a 30 second lesson before he had to leave, letting me use his really nice auto-darkening helmet. Outer seam is secure. Next steps are to cut the old barrel ends into new furnace ends, one with the flue hole, and weld them to the cylinder. Plan to is make each end with a bit of a brim and trim them after welding. Figuring a couple steps a day during lunch and I should be able to take it home this weekend.
  17. Tops

    Tops Silver

    Finished the welding at work today. I liberated the top and bottom sheet metal from the two rolled ends with a vertical bandsaw marked with a laser-cut template. Could have also used a trammel compass, I am not (!) that accurate at cutting. Final chimney hole is to be cut after casting refractory and checking for size/position.. Towards the end my welds were getting better. Next step is to cut off lid section, remove wooden form, and trim back the 'brims' of the ends closer to the welds to make them less blade-like.
  18. Tops

    Tops Silver

    I cut off the new lid and trimmed off the brims with my antique cutting torch. After taking the pieces out into the sunlight, I noticed some pinholes in the lid and some holidays in the bottom. I thought I'd 'fix' it with my big stick welder and promptly made the first two pinholes into finger holes... :( After collecting my thoughts and turning down the welder I managed to make some bird poop on the lid and got the other pinholes without additional disaster. I conceded defeat on the bottom and will take it back to work. Any recommends for a reasonably priced MIG or a TIG-Plasma combo? I also decided to do a little casting on an HT1 inspired belt buck match plate I had started earlier and almost abandoned thinking the gating was too small. I ran out of P-Bond and had to bury some wooden blocks in the cope to take up space. My K-Bond still seems a little greasy and I am not ready to co-mingle. Casting went fine, the risers did not collapse and I knew the sand had issues in one cavity but I did not stop to re-ram.




    DaveZ likes this.
  19. Melterskelter

    Melterskelter Gold Banner Member

    Nice results!

    On thin parts like that risers should not be needed and the lack of evident feeding substantiates that idea. Try them next time without risers. Should be OK.

    Tops likes this.
  20. Tops

    Tops Silver

    Thanks Denis. I was worried about the gates being too thin (.125" high x .500" wide or 3.2 x 12.7mm) and thought the risers might prevent a premature freezing at the gate. I epoxied that side of the board and did not want to take it apart until I tried it. I will give a whirl w/o the risers. It was nice having a good casting session after the disappointing welding session the day before.

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