How I salvaged a

Beer keg with a dicked up bottom ring.
It had obviously been dropped while full, and was pretty mangled up!

First and foremost: Wear your safety equipment!..At a minimum for this job, safety glasses, a face shield, and gloves.
I’ll mention a face shield again, as some crazy things can happen when using a “zizz wheel”, as the wheels can sometime come apart, and become embedded in your ugly mug, and I’m sure no one needs any scars to toughen their “tough guy” image! :wink:

First image shows how mangled up it was, and it would not sit flat without rocking around.

The next image shows when I started making cuts to “free up” the bent ring so that I could attempt to restore some roundness to it!
I slipped a piece of aluminum scrap under my cut areas so as not to nick the “p-dome” with my zizz wheel…Also when doing this, you can see when the sparks stop flying when you hit the aluminum, hence, your cut is complete!

Next images show my weapons of choice: 5 inch grinder with a cutoff wheel attached, a small prybar, and a “Ford wrench”, as it’s known, for it is modeled after a wrench that came in the tool kits of early Ford Tractors. You can slip it over the edge after your cut to “tweak” the contour back into round,( as much as possible!) A large Crescent wrench will work also, but the right angle design of this wrench works easier so you can use your body weight to reshape the metal, and not drop a nut in the process! :o

Next image shows a section of the ring that I deemed not salvageable. The masking tape is on there as my cut guide, as I find it easier to follow than using a Sharpie or the like.

Next shows my cutout area, with the cutout edges de-burred, and the remainder of the ring straightened enough for my next steps.
The circled dented area will be dealt with after I cut the top out, and I treat it to a long hardwood 2 X 2 and a big hammer, to reshape the bottom of the pot.

Now comes the supposedly “creative part”, which should involve some Tig welding…Except I don’t Tig weld!..I have my Son’s Tig machine in my shop, so what better to practice on!!!..I may have to re-group, and use some rivets to hold it on!

Let me 'splain: I do sheet metal work for a living, and have access to LOTS of scrap metal!
The “repair ring” is made out of .063 thick 304 stainless.I would have used one piece, but my scrap size dictated that I make it in two pieces.
I took 3 1/2 wide pieces, and bent a 1/2 flange on the bottom edge, to an angle of 30-40 degrees, took a 1/2 wide strip of the same material and “nested” it in the bent flange.
Next, I smashed it flat,effectively capturing the 1/2 strip.
Next , a visit to a piece of equipment known as a “slip roller”, for rolling curves in sheet metal.
On one end of the machine, there are “undercut” areas in the rollers, to enable the rolling of round stock metal.
I placed my “captured strip” flange in the widest undercut area, and began the rolling process until it looked like I had a radius I could fit to the keg radius.
The pic shows the pieces clamped and “cleco-ed” into place so I can line them up and try to secure all where the top of the keg will be some what level when finished.

The pieces are too long, ( that’s what she said!), so the ends with the scribbling on them will be cut off.
Next pic shows them after trimming, and the ends butted together, and I am using the bottom edge of the keg weld as my reference point to align the repair pieces…Nowhere good to measure from, so I just “eyeball” them.

Still needs some minor trimming and fitting, and to decide whether to Tig it or rivet it.
Thanks for looking, and sorry for the giant pics!!!..This posting stuff is new to me, so I’ll figure how to re-size them eventually.
Hope this can help someone, specially if you get a free P O S keg!


That’s great work. I am not a metal guy at all but one of my buds (who homebrews) owns a metal shop and I have stopped in there and watched in awe as his equipment does its work. I know nothing about it so to see someone repair a wobbly, old keg like that is cool to see. Thanks for posting & nice job with the pics… it wouldn’t be the same without them. Cheers!

Nice work!

great job

Thanks all…I’ll post the finished product when I get back to it this weekend, (hopefully!)

When I show how I cut out the top of the keg, should I / would you post it in this thread, or in a separate thread so that it would be more easily “searchable”?

i think rivets would give it a cool retro look

I’m going to try and get back on that project this weekend, but as I was looking at it, I’m not going to be able to pull the repair ring down close enough to the existing to do the Tig welding, and the same for doing rivets.

Ideally, a cargo strap could be used to pull it down tight, but then the strap is in the way of doing a “rosette” weld, and would be in the way of shooting rivets as well!

It’ll 'prolly get bolted on with some 3/16 stainless bolts, nuts and washers, which will require checking after a few heating and cooling cycles, as they will undoubtedly loosen up some!

We have a no wobble situation here!

Wound up bolting the repair skirt on in places, ( where original was not flat enough to attempt a weld), and practicing with my Son’s Tig in other places…Man I suck at Tig welding! At least it will sit level enough to cook or boil in.

Next up, cut the top out.Here’s the fixture I made to make the cut. Took a scrap piece of stainless and bent a channel in it for the die grinder to nest in it. I left one end hanging out of the brake when I made the “nest”, and bent the remaining flat piece to the angle that corresponded with the angle from the “neck” of the keg to the slope of the keg dome.
The “pilot” on the fixture is a piece of 2" aluminum round stock,( that is the diameter of the neck opening, plus a few thousandths of an inch)
I chucked it up in a lathe, center drilled, and tapped in some threads for a 1/4 bolt.
Put a hole in the center of the flat end of the fixture, and bolted it together, using a bolt that “bottomed out” in the threaded hole, and shimmed up the slack between the fixture and the “pilot”.

I felt it needed to be this way so the bolt would not try to back out or tighten up whilst trying to make your cut.
Looks like it might do the job, but I’ll have to wait on the cut…Went through quite a few “barley pops” whilst doing the skirt overhaul :shock:
No spinnin’, cuttin’, metal slingin’ power tools while I got my swerve on!

Hope someone gets some use from this, and I’ll post up some pics when I make the cut, and also when I get the big dent out of the bottom dome of the kettle.

Enjoy, whilst I crack another Sweetwater 420!

Been there, done that a few times. It’s always a good decision to put the tools down and come back the next day. :cheers: