Monday, July 2, 2012

Heavy Metal

It's officially started.

My brew rig is currently under construction.

This weekend I picked up 48' of 2x2 11 gauge square stock steel, and 24' of 1x1 11 gauge square stock steel. I got as far as taking the big 2x2 pieces and cutting them into 24 smaller 2x2 pieces. Progress complete? Maybe 1%. Making all the cuts took about an hour and a half, and my miter saw, meant for wood, handled it pretty well.

There's a note in that. If you're going to use a wood chopping miter saw with a metal cutting disc in it instead of a blade, it will work. Be sure, however to cover anything in direct spray (within 4" of source 'ish) with aluminum foil. Most of my saw around the blade is metal, but the port where the wood would normally spray into the bag uses a plastic fitting. Part of this fitting is now a little bit melted, but no big deal though. And if it wasn't obvious, don't use the dust bag. I'll put a wager that that will catch fire.

It was a little awkward going to the metal yard. Mind you, picking up stuff these days is a lot easier now that I own the truck. I look at least slightly the part. However it was casual Friday at work, and I stopped by the yard on my way home. So there I am, waiting between Joe Schmo Welding truck in front of me, and Junior and Sons Fence Construction behind me. There I am, wearing a bright purple graphic 'dig-dug' t-shirt, shorts, and five-finger toe shoes. It didn't really occur to me until I was pulling up that I hadn't dressed the part. No matter, Junior and Sons behind me helped me securing the stuff to my truck despite my naive look.

Next step is welding everything together. I went to Aerogas (another place to not walk into with toe-shoes) to pick up some argon and welding rods to do some TIG welding. Have I TIG welded before? No. It should be easy right? I've MIG welded before, and it's easy enough. The catch is my MIG welder doesn't use gas, so the welds are really messy. My TIG uses gas, and my 220V outlet (now properly wired). I'm thinking by next weekend, after a half hour here and there, my stand should be, well, standing. We'll see how it goes.

At the same time my coworker Aaron is cutting the top out of a keg for me. He had a friend that had one, and I need a new boil kettle to do a double batch in. He said he'd get it for me, and he'd like to cut the top out because it sounds like fun. He said if he screwed it up, I wouldn't have to pay him for the keg. Didn't take me long to accept that offer. It probably wont take very long for him to realize it was a bad idea after he spends over an hour trying to get the stupid top out. Thanks Aaron!

I've been putting a lot of thought into my rig name. I figured it has to be sci-fi 'ish (only cause I'm a sci-fi buff), clever, and have the word 'brew' in it. One buddy came up with "Hoptimus Prime" which I actually really love. But I think I really want the word brew in the name. So far I'm leaning to "R2-DBREW." But I'm still open to ideas! Let me know! Post below!


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