Welder quotes

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Welder quotes

Postby Simpo » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:13 pm

Hi all,

I am trying to determine what route to go on my boiler, whether I solder or get my ferrule tig welded by a pro OR use myself the TIG from a machine shop I can get access to.

I have a 15.5gal sanke ss keg with a 4 inch tri-clamp ferrule from BrewHardware.com, welded on the bottom of the keg (ill be using the 4in clearance for cleaning)

I have seen people convert their brew kettle for HERMS system etc and I`ve seen how they setup for their back purge..but in my case where I won`t be cutting off the top of the keg. Therefor I wonder if there`s a walk-through on how some welders proceeded with an approach similar to mine.

If I were to get it done by a pro welder, what kind of prices have any of you been paying. I`m in North Alberta, so there are lots of welders but I expect a high price for this type of work. Just curious to what some might have paid in your own area.

Thanks
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Re: Welder quotes

Postby bluefish_dist » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:28 pm

I have paid from $30 to $200 per hour. $200 was a certified sanitary welder.

I would go 6" for cleaning unless you have a small arm.
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Re: Welder quotes

Postby zapata » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:05 pm

I've seen a lot of local brew pots with various work done. $50-$200 ish for various mods. Every single one was some degree of shit. Ranging from ruined the damn pot at the bottom end to almost ruined the pot for the best work.
I've used 2 local welders and got the upper end of only almost ruined it. One was $50ish for 2 fittings, the other was 100ish to cut the top and do 3 fittings. Each took months of harassing them to get it done. 1 weld leaks from some invisible pinhole to this day, the others have some degree of rust, wasn't worth dealing with the asshole to fix it.
This was years ago, and maybe it's just my area. But I won't ever hire a stainless weld out again unless I see good work already done and hear glowing raves on timeliness and customer service. I totally understand having a small job and it needing to be worked in, but there's a way to do that kinda business and not be a dick.

I'd find a way to solder everything until I find a friend who can do stainless well.
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Re: Welder quotes

Postby Pikey » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:10 pm

Why not get a cheap Mig welder, some scrap stainless sheet and learn to do it yourself ?

If you have the skills to TIG - do it - else - depends if you have the access to learn at the shop, with some tuition ?

Otherwise your're stuck with solder or paying

[Edit - a cheap stick welder will do stainless, if you get the right sticks and again you have to go "you tub"e and watch a few, if you don't understand the rules.]
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Re: Welder quotes

Postby cede » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:50 pm

I'd go for the tig in DIY mode.
I also have one tig machine at the shop, and I'm a bit like you. Got a keg and ferrules to mate :)
I'm not that good at tig, I need to practice a bit more on scrap parts before trying to do anything.
I have 2 welders at the shop that could do it, and I know they work well. I saw their job.
But I'd rather do it myself, because I'm a manager in another dept and it would be awkward in case of any trouble.
We have some who do stainless welding in town ranging from a 24 beers to 75$/hr, but I would like to see their work before giving them my stuff to be welded.

That said, I welded fittings to kegs about 10 years ago using a small inverter rod welder.
It did a pretty good job. The only flaw came from me, I angled a bit some of the couplings, but who cares !
Note that the couplings where a bit more thick than the ferrules so more tolerant to break through. ( When I started learning mig for car body welding, I had tendencies to break through the sheets too :) )
I could also do it with my mig.... but I want to success with the tig :)

I will turn the keg upside down, weld 2" ferrule at 3 o'clock at the bottom for the heater, a 4" on the top center for the column, another 2, 3, or 4" on the top at 6 o'clock for a sight glass.
Another one 1.5" on the back top at 10 o'clock for the pressure/vacuum valve.
The sanke 2" that will be down will be the drain. I will clamp a cap with a 90 elbow and a piece of pipe to have a valve at the front.
I plan to also put a 1/2 npt half coupling on the middle front for a possible thermometer, and may be one other on the back for a sensor. While being at welding some, one or two more is nothing :)
I also try to add feet and casters to be able to move it around easily to dump the content outside after a session.
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Re: Welder quotes

Postby rgreen2002 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:03 pm

I had a guy cut 2 15 gallon Kegs open, weld them together(making one 25ish gallon boiler) and then weld 2 4' fittings on for about $300. Not too shabby in my estimation, especially reading this thread. :mrgreen:
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Re: Welder quotes

Postby Twisted Brick » Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:43 pm

zapata wrote:I But I won't ever hire a stainless weld out again unless I see good work already done and hear glowing raves on timeliness and customer service. I totally understand having a small job and it needing to be worked in, but there's a way to do that kinda business and not be a dick.


I think the perfect arrangement is the guy who has a proven track record and is happy to trade work for booze.
Last edited by Twisted Brick on Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Welder quotes

Postby corene1 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:19 pm

What ever direction you decide to go as far as TIG welding , just ask them if they will do the welding with an argon purge in the vessel itself. That can save a lot of headaches when doing very thin materials. It will help control the sugaring should they get a bit too hot in the weld puddle.
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Re: Welder quotes

Postby Simpo » Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:30 pm

Well after I posted this initial thread, a shop in the big city ended replying to me.

They are a sanitary welding shop and charge 105$ CAD/hr. They can supply ferrules as well if I do end up going for a 6”. Since I haven’t rebought that 4” ferrule yet (building my last order for the still build thru brewhardware to complete it)..if their price is right I would go up to 6..than find some 6 to 4 reducer so I can hook my 4 to 2 I already own (actually got 2 when China sent me an extra one for free a month after I received the one I paid for (???))

I think Still Dragons sell those 6 inchers so time to browse their site.

And 105$/hr for high grade welding?! I was expecting triple that when I said screw it lets send em a quote request.

More to follow I suppose. Tks
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Re: Welder quotes

Postby cede » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:04 pm

Simpo: you have many vendors of sanitary ferrules in Canada. Just check this thread: http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=69095
Sometimes the price is sometimes just under a dollar more than chinese stuff but you won't wait a month and they guarantee their products.

In the 105$ per hour I hope it to be well done, do not forget that they pay the consumables, the cost of the shop and the guy + all the govt taxes :)
A welder here costs us about 45$ per hour just for his salary and charges.

As corene told, you have to backfill with argon when you weld. I use aluminium paper and masking tape to make a cavity back and I purge with argon. Uses way less gas than filling the entire vessel :)
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Re: Welder quotes

Postby HDNB » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:47 pm

I was going to say, 105 is a killer deal.

i'm even luckier though, my brother bought a Tig and it's really easy to use. if i need a good job done i get him to do it and if it's real delicate his son is a friggin genius with it.

You should see his power bill when we do a big project :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

the consumables (besides power) are spendy as hell. argon tank was like 200 to refill, the sticks are big money too.
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Re: Welder quotes

Postby Simpo » Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:13 pm

I meant to touch on back purging..i can seem to picture how one would prepare the keg for that..like one of you mentioned alu paper: I can see blocking the inside of the keg close to the bottom. But what I don’t get is that 4 or 6” hole (the ferrule ID) sealed minus a vent hole. I like the idea where I do it. No cost really if I can find the right filler rod at the machine shop.

I will look at more odd back purging prep methods..there’s whole lot of pipes being welded together but nothing odd like a low profile ferrule on keg.

I like the idea of a 6” ferrule instead of 4”. Although I would have to purchase a 6 to 4 reducer..which isn’t a big deal and will give the still head more of bell shape still head.
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Re: Welder quotes

Postby cede » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:11 pm

You can go with 308/308L filler or 316.
Rule of thumb is 1Amp per mil of thickness, round 70 amps in our case ;)
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Re: Welder quotes

Postby corene1 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:15 am

If you are planning on doing it yourself and you have multiple welds to do on the keg, especially large ones like your 6 inch ferrule, I would get everything prepped tacked in place and would then purge the entire vessel and do my welding. It saves time from prepping multiple weld sights. If it is a single weld the foil will work fine , but make sure you make the tape seal far enough away from the weld sight to keep the heat transfer from melting the tape and ruining the purge As was mentioned before use 308/308L or 316 for filler rod . For small welds I use 1/16 inch diameter . I also use 1/16 inch tungsten and have had good luck with 1.5% lanthanated as well as 2% ceriated tungstens. If the shop does it no problem how they purge , just as long as they do .
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Re: Welder quotes

Postby bluefish_dist » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:34 am

Definitely go 6" if you can. $105/hr is not bad for a sanitary welder. They should know exactly what needs to be done.

If you prep the holes and deliver the keg ready to weld it will save you a lot of money. Probably worth talking to the welder before starting to see how he wants to do the joints. I would also see if you can fill it with water prior to leaving the weld shop. My last still had a couple cracks in the stainless that needed fixed when I picked it up.
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Re: Welder quotes

Postby Simpo » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:39 am

Exactly that. They replied they back purge everything. For an hour or two of work for a guaranteed job, I feel like spending the cash for now. I might have them add a fill port at the same time.

Thanks for your time all..I will keep notes of the tig settings and rods info for down the road.
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Re: Welder quotes

Postby Simpo » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:41 am

Good point Bluefish. Will have a leak test done before driving back 3.5hr home lol
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Re: Welder quotes

Postby greggn » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:01 pm

> They are a sanitary welding shop and charge 105$ CAD/hr.

Ok, that's their hourly rate ... what is their estimate for amount of labor needed ? If they estimate an hour, great. If it takes 3 hours (or more) then maybe a "buy" is a better decision than "make."
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Re: Welder quotes

Postby Simpo » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:50 pm

The person who replied to me said in a later email it would take an hour or less but maybe two if there is issue with the material. She also stated she was having a prob giving me a proper estimate without the keg’s thickness. Told her 14 gauge, mentioned by various sources but it was Friday and she hasn’t got back to me since.

If they ar going to setup a back purge application, I might as well take advantage of that and have them do a fill port offset from center.

Going to Mexico next week so I will update later on the results. Once my setup is fully done I will write up my build and share it on HD.

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Re: Welder quotes

Postby Simpo » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:49 pm

Finally got the chance to have my keg welded by a sanitary weld capable shop. Although here are some pictures... I have had non backpurge welds done before and this looks a lot better, but how would you clean this? The shop didn’t do it and I had to drive back home 3-4hr to be home on time therefore couldn’t get em to clean it.

Image
Image

I have seen electrochemical brushes but would there be a more cost effective way to do a proper weld cleanup..I never did this ever before.
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Re: Welder quotes

Postby Simpo » Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:32 pm

Ended up costing 160$ Canadian. The welder added a fil’ Port too like you can see. I didn’t think of doing that til I showed up to the shop..glad I did.
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Re: Welder quotes

Postby corene1 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:45 pm

I am thinking I would go in with a burr grinder or dremel tool with a small grinding wheel attached , say a 1-1/2 inch diameter by 1/8 thick going through the opening and cleaning it up.
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