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Building a brew stand; angle iron

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atl_sud

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Post Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:14 pm

Building a brew stand; angle iron

I'm thinking of building a brew stand out of perforated angle iron from McMaster Carr. I don't weld or know anyone who does so I was thinking of bolting the pieces together.

The 1 1/4" leg length is 3/64" thick, is this strong enough to hold a 10 gallon system with sankeys?

Anything I should consider before ordering up all the parts?

Anyone build one out of perforated angle iron that could provide some tips?

Thanks,
T
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srhspaded

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Post Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:10 pm

Re: Building a brew stand; angle iron

I am a welder and metal fabricator and although I haven't used perforated angle iron for anything other than shelving, I'll go ahead and give my opinion. I would think that 3/64"x 1 1/4"x 1 1/4" angle iron perforated would NOT be a good idea for something like a ten gallon system. You are talking about at the very least 1 to 2 hundred pounds on this and I just don't see how it would hold up. If you don't have access to a welder, you could try using 1/8" x 2" x 2" solid angle iron. You would need to be able to cut and drill bolt holes and I would still think you should use some solid 1/8" to 1/4" gussets in high stress areas. Dumping 10 gallons of boiling hot liquid on your legs or worse on your chest can be deadly if not extremely painful. I would really recommend making some plans and taking them to your local welding fabrication shops and talking to them and get a price quote but if you go the bolt together way use some good bolts with a high shear strength, no 1/4" 20 bolts galvanized dipped. It is better to err on the side of over engineering because you are talking about a lot of weight, boiling liquids, propane tanks and burners...its just a recipe for disaster if something goes wrong.

On another note, you could pick up a small flux core welder from home depot or harbor freight for 100 to 200 dollars and spend a month or two learning to weld.
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DCBC

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Post Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:34 pm

Re: Building a brew stand; angle iron

+1. I'm not a welder, but recently drew up some plans and took it to my local shop. They had me a quote in two days and had it done two days after I got my burners to them. Under $400 for parts and labor (burners, casters, and plumbing costs excluded). I erred on the side of hurricane strength and went with 3/8" steel angle irons. Might have been a bit cheaper with 1/8", but I didn't know and erred on the side of bullet proof.
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capozzoli

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Post Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:52 pm

Re: Building a brew stand; angle iron

Damn DCBC, what does your brew stand weigh?

That angle does sound flimsy. I would go with 1/8" x 2" angle to build brew sculpture.
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Toad Flake

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Post Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:21 pm

Re: Building a brew stand; angle iron

I had gathered bed frames to build a frame. I dont know how thick this is but maybe now will rethink that plan.
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DCBC

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Post Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:12 pm

Re: Building a brew stand; angle iron

capozzoli wrote:Damn DCBC, what does your brew stand weigh?

That angle does sound flimsy. I would go with 1/8" x 2" angle to build brew sculpture.


I whined like a little girl when I had to lift it out of the back of the truck today to roll it into the garage. So somewhat heavy.

I'm really picture happy right now since it's a new toy. Sorry for posting these like ten times today.

Image

Image
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MullerBrau

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Post Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:21 pm

Re: Building a brew stand; angle iron

Mine is 1/8" think X 1.5" X 1.5" angle and it is for 25 gallons. Way strong enough but I can still get it in and out of my truck by myself.

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Weazletoe

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Post Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:03 pm

Re: Building a brew stand; angle iron

Yeah, 3/64 is just over a 32nd. That's nothing. We're talking MAYBE 26 ga, at that. Better go beefier.
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Chaz

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Post Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:07 pm

Re: Building a brew stand; angle iron

I've seen pictures of a lot of people doing it: link and link for example.

Someone mentioned since the stuff is galvanized/zinc coated (unless you want to spend the big bucks on SS) you should be concerned about the fumes until it burns off... Also you could use slotted strut channel/unistrut (McMaster page 1495) which I found for about the same price at my Home Depot. I've been considering going this route as well.
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Weazletoe

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Post Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:11 pm

Re: Building a brew stand; angle iron

Chaz wrote:I've seen pictures of a lot of people doing it: .



That is a nice rig in the link, but I gurantee it's not 3/64. That stuff appears to be at least 16 ga. (that's what mine is made from.)
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Chaz

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Post Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:18 pm

Re: Building a brew stand; angle iron

Weazletoe wrote:That is a nice rig in the link, but I gurantee it's not 3/64. That stuff appears to be at least 16 ga. (that's what mine is made from.)


Yeah, definetly not that thin.

OP, look up "slotted steel angle" (page 1861) or "strut channel" (page 1495). It's all 15 to 12 gague and should be thick enough I'd imagine... but I'm no expert.
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htek

Post Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:27 pm

Re: Building a brew stand; angle iron

I certainly don't claim to be an expert. But I have done my fair share of welding and fabrication and have some suggestions.

My first suggestion would be to make friends with someone who owns a welder. This can be a big asset on quite a few levels. I would happily drag out the welder for some homebrew. Or, if it's a big project like welding up a brew sculpture, I could use an extra $100 any day.

If that just doesn't cut it and you want to build this thing on your own with perforated angle, i think it CAN be done! Here are a few tips:

- Instead of the 1 1/4 x 3/64 material you mention, I would bump it up to the 2 1/4 x 5/64 size (item # 8968K29 on McMaster). That's 14 gauge. Or, as other have mentioned - look elsewhere for sources of thicker perforated angle.

- There is no reason that thinner material can't be made to easily hold up hundreds of pounds. However, you would need to be very thoughtful with your design - gussets, minimize long spans, etc. As an example, take a look at the main suspension components of today's cars... they are all stamped out of fairly thin sheetmetal. The strength is in the design - not the material.

- As others have mentioned, the galvanized coating may be an issue. According to Wikipedia (for whatever that's worth) galvanized steel can withstand temps of almost ~400F. So I would guess you'd be fine unless it was very close to a burner. If you are worried about it, you could always remove the galvy around the high-temp areas (or just let it burn off).

- I would splurge for stainless fasteners, especially for areas that will see any heat... but that's sort of a no-brainer.

I see absolutely no reason you can't make a beefy bolt together sculpture using 14g perforated angle as long as you remember that the strength will be in the design, not the material.



Toad Flake wrote:I had gathered bed frames to build a frame. I dont know how thick this is but maybe now will rethink that plan.


I would absolutely re-think that plan. For me, whether or not the material is strong enough (I'd say no) is irrelevant. Bed frames are made with an extremely high carbon content. That means a few things:
- The metal is EXTREMELY hard. I hope you don't have to drill it, it sucks.

- This also allows the frames to act more like a spring. When stressed lightly, it will spring back to its original shape instead of bending. Of course, you can bend them - but not too far, it will break. I tried notching and bending some bed frame and it simply broke when bending close to 90 degrees. Very frustrating.

- Additionally, when welding together, the metal has a propensity to crack on the edge of the heat affected zone. Pre/post heating can minimize this - but what a pain.

To say that it can't be done would be just ludicrous. I am sure there have been a LOT of people who have built brew sculpture (among other things - like me) with bed frames. My only point is that after having done one small project with bed frames, i will NEVER work with the stuff again. It's just too much trouble compared to conventional mild steel.

Sorry for the long post... I hope some of it was useful.

-Justin
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yugamrap

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Post Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: Building a brew stand; angle iron

MullerBrau wrote:Mine is 1/8" think X 1.5" X 1.5" angle and it is for 25 gallons. Way strong enough but I can still get it in and out of my truck by myself.

Image


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MullerBrau

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Post Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:54 pm

Re: Building a brew stand; angle iron

yugamrap wrote:Or you can just bounce it on with that crazy pogo stick - Pogo-Powered-Porter! Porter-Powered-Pogo? Wear that helmet, and don't get pulled over for PUI! :wink:
That's for hop additions silly ......
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twoodward15

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Post Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:17 pm

Re: Building a brew stand; angle iron

No galvo. Good info guys, but am I the onlyperson that went with 1X1inch square aluminum tubing? This thing is superlight and strong as can be. I think I used about 48 feet of the stuff......of course I have access to someone that can weld aluminum for me. I traded a case of island mist green apple reisling for his work.
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