Cutting a 30 gallon steel drum

I know a person shouldnt use a cutting torch on a steel drum if its
unknown what it contained, but I picked up a 30 gallon drum today at
the scrap yard. It's the open end type and I have no idea what was in
it. Is there any danger in taking a cutting torch to it since it
already has the one end open? I want to cut it down so it's about 20
inches tall. Any suggestions?
Reply to
Forger
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When my father cut into a 55 gallon drum that had a bit of gasoline in it he realized what was happening, closed his eyes and exhaled -- so he got away with losing a bunch of hair and 2nd degree burns. The kid looking over his shoulder gasped -- they had to pump _him_ so full of morphine that he was begging to be strapped down to the table he was sure he'd floated off of, because he was about to fall down.
But that's beside the point.
I can see two things to worry about: first would be explosive vapors, second would be crud that would turn into poisonous vapors. If it were me, and the drum was ever so clean and didn't smell, I'd cut away (but I don't know how long I'm gonna live).
Or I'd use up a couple of sawzall blades, and get a cleaner cut.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
Just rinse it out and cut away.........when I was in the Army we routinely cut 55 gal drums in half and only rinsed them one time if we even rised them at all. Placed drum on its side with the seam facing up, touched a torch to the bottom most open bung hole or just started to cut the drums..........can't really recomend it but it worked for us. Just put some paper in it and light, I seriously dounb there would be much of anything left if one end is already open that would cause any problems of any amount. Visit my website:
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expressed are those of my wife, I had no input whatsoever. Remove "nospam" from email addy.
Reply to
Roy
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How about setting it level, filling it with water to the height you wish to achieve, then cutting to the water line, either from inside or out. Really safe, and you get a "level" line all the way round. Or tip the drum, and you get an ellipse, if that's what you want.
Take care.
Brian Lawson, Bothwell, Ontario. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Reply to
Brian Lawson
SNIP
Plant maintenance supervisor for a big orange juice processor in Windsor, Ontario, a few years back, decided the best way to open some full drums of juice concentrate with "stuck bungs" for disposal was to do it with a torch. First two went OK. His LAST one didn't!
Take care.
Brian Lawson, Bothwell, Ontario.
Reply to
Brian Lawson
How about a $20 air chisel and the sheetmetal cutting blade that comes with it. 2 minutes and numb hands for a while.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
I've cut drums very cleanly with a jigsaw. Place the drum on a level surface, make a marking guage with a Sharpie, draw a good sharp line around it, and go to it. If you're steady, you can do a plunge cut and not even have to drill a starter hole.
-- Gary Brady Austin, TX
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Reply to
Gary Brady
What does it look like was inside? If it's half dried paint, I'd be wary. If it's mostly bare metal, go for it.
bob g.
Forger wrote:
Reply to
Robert Galloway
I use my Husky $25 air chisel for lots of stuff. I wonder why in the dickens I didn't get one ten years ago. The next thing to get on my list is a 1/2" air impact. I have to replace some wheel studs on a trailer, and have to take off some lugs that were put onto damaged studs. But with an air impact, you are talking about 2 minutes versus half an hour with a socket and breaker bar.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
there's no harm in steaming it out a bit - it might have had bitchumen or something which is no problem at low temp but at 3K1C bad!
Reply to
dsd
Thanks, tonight I just used the only POS metal blade I had and it worked pretty good and you were right, cleaner cut than I couldve got with a torch.
I appreciate all the input from this group and I think I could've safely torched it, but when 90% of the people virtually take a few steps back when the torch is lit, maybe it aint such a good idea :) Anyhow, now its on its way to becoming my new anvil stand.
Reply to
Forger
On Tue, 16 Nov 2004 16:10:32 -0800, "SteveB" vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
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I have a 1/2" drive 350 ft lb air rattle gun. Chicago Air...Pneumatic?? It was not the most expensive, but not cheap. It's amazing what it can_not_ do with stuck nuts and bolts, that I _can_ do with a good socket and a cheater bar.
So. As with many air tools, I wonder what 350ftlb means....
I also realise that this is a lightweight, now. At the time I thought 350ftlb was quite a bit. ***************************************************** Dogs are better than people.
People are better than dogs for only one purpose. And then it's only half of ofthe people. And _then_ most of them are only ordinary anyway. And then they have a headache.........
Reply to
Old Nick
Impact wrenches are the bees knees when you have a bolt that was put onto crappy threads, or one of those all-metal self-locking crown nuts. They only put out so much torque, however, beyond which you have to get out the breaker bar and your Dictionary of American Cuss Words.
Penetrating oil and a torch are helpful, as is a cutting torch and the skill to take the head off of a bolt without touching the sheet metal underneath it.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
On Tue, 16 Nov 2004 21:27:57 -0800, Tim Wescott vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
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Yeah. I was just warning that they are not the be-all and end-all.
I have a dozer, and could see the need to periodically check-tighten the 300 or so track plate bolts, having lost a track plate once, to my embarrassment. Not a fun job by hand. But the air gun will not touch them...until they are so loose they let the track plate fall off :-<
Bloody dozers....you check and check and check, but they shake so much they just let go in a day!
***************************************************** Dogs are better than people.
People are better than dogs for only one purpose. And then it's only half of ofthe people. And _then_ most of them are only ordinary anyway. And then they have a headache.........
Reply to
Old Nick
Works wonderfully for my 7" length of rail road set on a 5-gallon pail of sand.
I just wish railroads were thicker, wider and heavier...
Tim
-- "I've got more trophies than Wayne Gretsky and the Pope combined!" - Homer Simpson Website @
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Reply to
Tim Williams
I filled it with sand and tried it out today. The anvil I want to use in it is only 130lb Trenton. It doesnt seem to have enough weight to just sit there. Was very solid on the face and pad, but using the horn moved it around too much. So I got out the cutting torch after all . I cut a piece of 3/8" steel 18" round to just sit inside the cut down barrel. Cut out a couple clamps, burned out a few holes, mounted the anvil to the plate. Now it sits in the barrel of sand incredibly solid, and still fairly easy to adjust. Not only that, but I'm going to weld some pieces onto the plate for use as bending jigs. Im so happy with this setup, the next trip to town I'm gonna get a 55 gallon drum for my 500 lb. I took some pictures if anyone is interested (and I find a place to post em).
Reply to
Forger
Sounds like a helicopter -- they don't really fly by swinging their wings through the air, they just vibrate so hard the lift off the ground by magic.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
On Tue, 16 Nov 2004 23:35:40 -0800, Winston vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
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You serious? Chicago Pneumatic are crap?
>Those are 'Sears ft. lbs.' >1 foot pound = 10 S.ftlb. > >--Winston
Reply to
Old Nick
Bah, it is "they fly because the ground doesn't want them". ;-)
Tim
-- "I've got more trophies than Wayne Gretsky and the Pope combined!" - Homer Simpson Website @
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Reply to
Tim Williams

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