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Old 05-31-2013, 12:37 PM   #2191
kirkster70 OP
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Okay, I've decided that I need to dedicate at least one day per week to making something out of nothing. All work and no play makes Kirk a dull boy.


Let's make that day today.




This is a 17 year old, 50 gal. water heater that I have rebuilt twice. My family is larger, and the old water heater just wasn't cutting it anymore, anyway. After installing a new 80 gal. heater, this gem has been sitting under the deck waiting to be transformed into something kewlio.



I've never gutted a water heater before. I'm guessing there is a stainless or some kind of lined steel tank in there. That's a no-brainer. How hard will it be to gut? Dunno. Let's find out!



I remove all sheet metal screws and then use a "beating" screwdriver and a hammer to remove the end caps. Above is the top; below is the bottom.



I go down the factory seam with the screwdriver and play whack-a-mole. It opens it up like a can opener. I just keep at it until I make it to the bottom.







Once I peel enough away to get a good grip on the sheet metal, I lay it on it's side and just roll the rest off.

Now for the messy part. I use a scraper and start popping the Styrofoam insulation off. Some is glued, some appears to have a plastic vapor barrier under it. Therefore, some comes off in little pieces, and some in big chunks. So far so good.



And there we go.



I figured the insulation would be 4" thick and the tank would look more like a welding cylinder. I forgot to measure the diameter, but it stands 42.5" to the upper weld seam. This is a nice sized tank!

So...now to make a charcoal BBQ or a fire pit for the deck. .... or.... how about making an ornamental BBQ that can DOUBLE as a burn pit. Yep!!!! That will work!!!

Now I need to pick up my mess before the wind does!
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:56 PM   #2192
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Originally Posted by kirkster70 View Post
Shoot, I don't think you can hurt my driveway if you tried. With all the dropped filters during oil changes, I don't think you could tell if you did.

You are quite welcome.

I was just thinking the other day - if any of your horse customers ever talk about getting an ornamental horse gate built and installed, I'd like to try my hand at it.

I can build it, set it, and even wire it. All I need is a nice generator or maybe even a Miller Bobcat on a trailer.


FWIW I made a very simple driveway gate for a friend and it came out OK and she said she gets inquiries from friends about it regularly....have not made any more yet but it is definitely good advertising and could get me some work if I want it.

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Old 05-31-2013, 02:27 PM   #2193
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FWIW I made a very simple driveway gate for a friend and it came out OK and she said she gets inquiries from friends about it regularly....have not made any more yet but it is definitely good advertising and could get me some work if I want it.

I like that a lot! Very nice work!
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:32 AM   #2194
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Back to work on the low budget BBQ. I'm trying to make it a no budget BBQ. My goal is to spend as little money as possible. I will need high heat rattlecan paint and wheels, but that may be all I need.



I eyeball the natural features of the water heater. Element openings become vents. Water fittings become air inlets. I will still cut some adjustable dampers in the front.



I layout for 2 hinged doors and cut it open with a 4.5" cutting wheel. I'm surprised at how clean the tank is inside.



Using a piece of angle that used to be a bed rail, I add support to where the hinges will be. This will also keep the tank from warping when hot. (I hope) I clamp it in place, then drill a series of 1/4" holes every 4" or so apart to be plug welded.



After plug welding, I grind the welds smooth so as to not interfere with the hinge placement. There is a black coating inside and outside the tank that is tough as nails. The grinder has a hard time removing it. Some type of glass or ceramic coating? Plug welding is actually a good solution because it bores right in to the bare metal.



Now I plug weld a piece of 1" angle to serve as a door stop and for the cooking surface to rest on. It will also add rigidity to the tank.



Now I add a piano hinge from some equipment that was decommissioned at work. It's almost the same thickness as the tank wall. In hindsight, I should have done the hinge and doors all in one piece, then cut the door down the middle after it was welded in place. It would have made alignment easier and more accurate. Live and learn.



And once again, plug welds are how I attach things.



Doors attached (via plug welding) and handles made from 5/8" O.D. DOM tube that I bent back-to-back 90s in.



We're getting there!



It's starting to look like something now!



A piece of angle is plug welded to the back, then larger angle serves as the side frame to keep hot dogs from rolling into the abyss. Heheheh...





Back to the scrap pile for some more miscellaneous angle. This was part of a shelf.



These are grills from a BBQ that I just gutted this morning. I rebuilt that gas grill enough times to buy a whole new one with the time and money spent. I'm tired of dealing with outright junk that costs a lot of money. That's what lit a fire under my butt to make this. I didn't purposely make the frame for these grills, but they fit pretty well.



I pull the grills forward and then tack a piece of 1 1/2" x 3/16" flat bar to the rear of the inner frame to make the people at the save the hotdogs foundation happy.

I use heavy tacks thinking this may be temporary (permanent - lol) and I may want to remove it if I end up buying / making new grills. One thing I do like about this is that there is now a 4" slot where I can drop in some mesquite or hickory while cooking without lifting the grill. I was going to make a little external door just for this, but the slot eliminates the need for it. Works for me!



Next up - I load the puppy up with some locust for heat treating cycle #1. I'll probably burn it once or twice more. Now I need to make a nice cart to attach it to. I still need to add some dampers, and maybe a grease trap. I'm not sure that I need that or not for charcoal.

I may also make a firebox on the cart so I can use it as a smoker. I need to do some research on that. I'm sure a viewer will come along and give me some excellent tips. Until next time...


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Old 06-02-2013, 06:39 AM   #2195
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Shit dude!

Now I'm scouring Kijiji to find an old water heater...

I see a new smoker in my future - and a welder!
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:36 AM   #2196
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Originally Posted by C-Stain View Post
Shit dude!

Now I'm scouring Kijiji to find an old water heater...

I see a new smoker in my future - and a welder!
No kidding, great idea and application, as usual!

Jim
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:36 AM   #2197
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Originally Posted by C-Stain View Post
Shit dude!

Now I'm scouring Kijiji to find an old water heater...

I see a new smoker in my future - and a welder!
I have a couple welders and tools - I'm in!!
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:03 PM   #2198
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Thanks, guys!


I have a break coming up soon, and I can't wait to get back on the BBQ.

I'm coming up with some interesting ideas for the frame for the BBQ to rest on. I want it to be different. Different is good!
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:42 PM   #2199
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Originally Posted by kirkster70 View Post
Thanks, guys!


I have a break coming up soon, and I can't wait to get back on the BBQ.

I'm coming up with some interesting ideas for the frame for the BBQ to rest on. I want it to be different. Different is good!
Build a BBQ chopper, OCC style.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:38 AM   #2200
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Build a BBQ chopper, OCC style.
I do have an Elite 150 in the garage that needs to go back together.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:53 AM   #2201
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Ok, I learned something very interesting.


Quite a while back Dan-o (xcflyn) was telling me about a specific tape made purposely to put on manual brake jaws to keep from marring soft or decorative metals.

I couldn't find any tape, but I did find a heavy mil Polyurethane film that is used on industrial press brakes for the same purpose. It's pricey at $2 a foot, but I found a seller on ebay that sells small qtys. that makes it more affordable. Besides, I didn't want to buy a full roll if I wasn't sure if it would work or not.

From my research, buying new jaws for my old brake wouldn't solve the problem. Even a new brake would have the same issues with the hardened steel jaws marring soft metals.



This is 4" wide film. It's available in different widths and thicknesses. This is a heavy duty thickness which is rated for 16,000 strikes in an industrial environment.



My first thought was to use 2-sided emblem tape to attach it to the lower jaw. It has a greasy feel to it, so tape wouldn't adhere to the film. No biggie. I just cut a small piece and let it rest on the lower jaw.



Then I bend a test 90 on some scrap.



Very nice! No marks on the exterior. I still need to figure how to attach film to the upper jaw to eliminate interior marks. Maybe I just need to degrease it first.



Above is a "witness" mark from not using the poly film. This is from the natural action of the lower apron rotating. New jaws from Pexto would not solve this problem.

So there we go. We all just learned a new trick that didn't cost a lot of money. I bought 10 feet delivered for $20. It will allow all my bends on raw aluminum to look mucho nicer.


...also, the next time I visit the metal supply yard, I'm going to ask about ordering aluminum sheet that comes with a protective vinyl coating applied to each side. That will also help take quality to the next level.

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Old 06-16-2013, 06:10 AM   #2202
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Let's make something for Dad today. I start with some 1" rigid conduit cut into 12" lengths, 3/8" round bar cut into 2" lengths, and some 3/8" hardware.



Holes are drilled in the rigid to allow for the 3/8" bolt to pass through.



Galvanized coating is ground away, then I mig everything together.



Rough edges smoothed with a flap wheel and a hand file.

What in the world are they, you ask?


Tiki torch anchors.



Anchors are already commercially available, but they are thin and rarely last two camping seasons. These are heavier, so they should hold up much longer. I left the top end with some extra material so they can be trimmed down several times when the head inevitably mushrooms from repeated hammering.



Some clothes hangers and spraypaint and we'll soon be in business. They should be dry by time I pay Pops a visit this afternoon. A pretty easy project that should last for many years. I'm going to have to make a set for myself now!

Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there in ADV land.

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Old 06-16-2013, 06:50 AM   #2203
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Cool idea on the torch holders, Kirk!

How's the budget BBQ coming?
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:00 AM   #2204
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Originally Posted by C-Stain View Post
Cool idea on the torch holders, Kirk!

How's the budget BBQ coming?
Thanks!

I didn't get a chance to work on the low buck BBQ last week, but I got to put a little time towards it today...



Rough framing of scrap 3/16" C channel legs and 1 5/8" strut.



It's going to have some weight to it, so I decide it needs to sit on casters. These scrap uprights have a foot already, so that will work great.



I get to have fun with my play toy while I'm at it. It's good to have an extra set of hands.

I'm planning on putting a firebox on the back so it can be used as a smoker. It can also use charcoal under the front cooking surface.

I haven't made any drawings, so I'm just going for it with what I have at my disposal. The firebox will be the same height or lower than the front, so I didn't have any worries with making the framing the same height front to back.

With any luck, I may be able to hammer out a little more this evening.
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:36 PM   #2205
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I'm watching and enjoying the grill project. Been grilling out quite a bit myself.

just a little update on the racks I built. I let them get a little rusty and then rustoleum bombed them red as planned. I either laid it on too heavy on the first coat, didn't shake it up enough on the second coat, or just got a bad batch of paint, but it's staying kind of soft and gummy. I don't care though, the next time I do anything will be to sandblast and powdercoat them in a hobbyist's home setup, and they're not going to rust very much in the mean time. I added a pair of Wolfman's large Rolie bags as panniers. As some of you remember, I started with pre-fab pannier loops by BR Moto, Wolfman Bags' exclusive sole rack maker. So I had to go for their products.
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