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Hlt Fitting - How To Weld? Which Elements?

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Acasta

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I'm currently looking into fitting out my HLT and I've recently learned to weld and have access to a tig welder. I'm wondering what the best way to go about putting it all together are?

Where can I buy threaded female steel pipe?
How to cut a hole in the HLT before welding? I'm thinking a dremel.
The general do/don't of it all. It seems quite permanent so I don't want to screw things up.

I would also like to know whats a good element to go with? I've seen lots of talk lately and seen plenty of different types in use. The how water service elements people use look good, thats why I'm interested in welding the fitting on.

Any other suggestions? I'm after something reliable and not too expensive (>$50 if possible but can go more).

Thanks
 

pk.sax

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Weld a 1/2" socket, not the threaded pipe.

step bit works OK to cut the hole, just go slow etc (Its still a PITA). a holesaw works infinitely better though, esp if they are all the same size (the outside of a 1/2" inner thread socket).

To buy, cheapest - Geordi
More expensive - Purple pig
 

Fat Bastard

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Weld a 1/2" socket, not the threaded pipe.

step bit works OK to cut the hole, just go slow etc (Its still a PITA). a holesaw works infinitely better though, esp if they are all the same size (the outside of a 1/2" inner thread socket).

To buy, cheapest - Geordi
More expensive - Purple pig
You could buy a Chassis Punch Set, although that one is quite expensive. I have a cheapo hand operated version that you can buy from those dodgy Indian tool merchants at the markets for about 50 bucks (probably less than a decent holesaw, and it'll have to be decent to cut stainless).

My hand operated one will punch from 1/2" to 1" in 6 increments.

I got my element from a company in Caringbah in Sydney called Istra Elements. It was about half the price of a similar 2400w element from TEE and a bit cheaper than a Grimwood, and was fully stainless. It also had a lower density than either. I think it was about $120 from memory.
 

Maheel

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i went with these, just using a 1" nut on the inside but you could get a 1" BSP SS bush and weld it on

i think it's a 32mm hole saw i am using but have to go check it... (yep 32mm and a my "mill drill" )

i bought a couple of 1" bsp screw in's and they arrived today

$26.60 +GST for 1 X 2400watt (bottom one)
$30.00 +GST for 1 X 3600 (i have a 15 amp line)

got them from here http://www.australianelementsupplies.com.au/
if you call in the mornings (she leaves after lunch) and ask for Leanne you will get this price if you ask nicely smile.gif
She provided excellent service as well, both phone and internet response

yet to test them but will over the weekend
http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com/forum/inde...st&p=907697
 

Acasta

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To buy, cheapest - Geordi
More expensive - Purple pig
i couldn't find what I think i'm looking for on the "cheap" places website.

You could buy a Chassis Punch Set, although that one is quite expensive. I have a cheapo hand operated version that you can buy from those dodgy Indian tool merchants at the markets for about 50 bucks (probably less than a decent holesaw, and it'll have to be decent to cut stainless).
I have a step-drill and it cost me $25ish. I think I fucked it. I'll have to ask my uncle what hole saw bits he has.

i went with these, just using a 1" nut on the inside but you could get a 1" BSP SS bush and weld it on

i think it's a 32mm hole saw i am using but have to go check it...



http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com/forum/inde...st&p=907697
Thanks Maheel. I'd like to see how you go with these. They look like a good price. How did you do the external wiring?

:beer:
 

dkaos

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i couldn't find what I think i'm looking for on the "cheap" places website.


I have a step-drill and it cost me $25ish. I think I fucked it. I'll have to ask my uncle what hole saw bits he has.


Thanks Maheel. I'd like to see how you go with these. They look like a good price. How did you do the external wiring?

:beer:
Acasta, be very careful if you are doing the wiring yourself, as you could make the kettle live. At that point it's game over. Make sure you've earthed the element, and got an RCD installed in your circuit box!
 

Maheel

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got to sort that yet and i am yet to boil with them, but was going to use a plastic electrical box thing for wiring from bunnings
drilled a hole in the keg rim to earth it and that should hold the box on as well (and some silicone)

i have the 3600 ready to go and might do a BIAB on Friday with it to test..

i am waiting on some fittings to get the rig sorted out for 3V herms types thing
 

Wolfy

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I'm currently looking into fitting out my HLT and I've recently learned to weld and have access to a tig welder. I'm wondering what the best way to go about putting it all together are?

Where can I buy threaded female steel pipe?
How to cut a hole in the HLT before welding? I'm thinking a dremel.
The general do/don't of it all. It seems quite permanent so I don't want to screw things up.

I would also like to know whats a good element to go with? I've seen lots of talk lately and seen plenty of different types in use. The how water service elements people use look good, thats why I'm interested in welding the fitting on.

Any other suggestions? I'm after something reliable and not too expensive (>$50 if possible but can go more).

Thanks
I sourced my stainless fittings from Ebay, since they were generally 20-40% cheaper than anywhere local, however since they are NPT thread it's useful to have matching valves/camlocks (ball valves were about 50% cheaper from Ebay, so I went with those).
After watching iamozziyob put the holes in my SS Kegs - at the Grain Bulk Buy - I'd highly recommend one of the tungsten carbide tipped hole saws. I asked the guys at KegKing how long the ones they sell should last, and they said they've drilled over 80 holes in SS kegs, and it's still working fine.
Once you measure where you want the hole drilled, you can use a hole-punch or piece of tape to help keep the drill steady as you start things off.

In regard to which element, I'm not that fond of wiring 240V myself, and don't really want to pay someone to do it which is why I picked up some KegKing 2200W elements. While they have had some bad press, all I need to do is plug them in and since they have a 3year warranty, hopefully buying them directly from the distributor will resolve any issues with returns.
If I was more confident in my 240V wiring skills - and had not already drilled appropriate holes - I'd likely investigate one of the $10 SS elements QLDKev has here.
 

JaseH

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I have a few of the Keg King tungsten hole saws that Wolfy mentioned and they are definitely the way to go(after first destroying a cheap step bit from Bunnings!). The only drama I've had with them is the arbor bit's aren't great and I've had a couple shatter(could have been partly the operators fault?). They are easily replaced though and I now make sure I make a good size pilot hole first with a normal drill bit and havent any problems.

I also have a Keg King 2200W element in my HLT and so far I haven't any of the problems mentioned elsewhere. In my kettle I use a 3600w hot water system element which I wired in, its great but not as plug an play as the KK element.

As for fittings, if you can go into Geordi in person and pay cash they will give you a good discount, comparable with cheap online prices, I have got some real bargains in there paying cash!
 

Wolfy

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As for fittings, if you can go into Geordi in person and pay cash they will give you a good discount, comparable with cheap online prices, I have got some real bargains in there paying cash!
I guess I should have factored that in, because the guys there are pretty good to deal with, and gave me a decent cash discount too. I even had two of the sales-guys help me wrap a 6m stainless pipe around an old 44gal drum I found in their car park, simply so the tube would fit in the car - the shop guys wanted to cut it for me. :)
My only gripe was that they said they had a specific product in stock (when I called 3 times) but when I got there they had none, and never plan to order more in. :(
 

Yob

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Are you using that rubberised keg for the HLT? I recently hard wired an immersion element into it to replace the OTS one i had been using and was a little tricky.. The radius of those kegs is a little smaller and was a PITA to get a good seal with the silicone seal that came with the element. I ended up stretching a 1/2" silicone seal over the thread amd this worked a treat.

Dont bother with a step drill bit (bunnings ones are shite)

Yob
 

booargy

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The boilermaker at work told me not to use cutting compound on stainless if you are going to weld it. Apparently the steel absorbs the compound and makes the weld splutter. He recommended water for cooling the cutting tool.
 

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