Using the Q-Max Hole Cutter
This is a guide on 'how to' use a Q-Max sheet metal punch, a proprietary tool for making large sized holes in sheet metal.
This tool allows the cutting of much neater holes in stainless steel than drilling with either drill bits or hole cutters, for the fitting of taps, thermometers or sight tubes.
The hole shown here was for the fitting of a ½ inch BSP ball valve tap, so the 21mm Q-max punch was used, other sizes work in a similar way!
What you need
How to do it!
The first thing to do was to mark the centre point of the hole on the side of the vessel. To do this I measured the centre point between the two handles on the pot (with the flexible tape measure) and ran a strip of masking tape from here to the base, I then re-measured the centre and marked the tape at this point. After putting the pot on a level surface (check with a spirit level if unsure) use the plumb line to mark the centre point on the tape at the bottom of the pot and decide how high you want your tap fitting to mark the horizontal height. I chose 75mm from the base.
Now using the drill carefully drill a pilot hole with the 4mm drill bit on your centre point, take it slowly with the drill so it can cut the metal rather than just heating it, which would blunt the bit and cause the metal to become hardened making it difficult to drill through at all! Next drill this out with the 11 mm drill bit taking care as before. Now the q-max can be fitted.
To fit the q-max put the bolt through the cup section (so the hollow part is away from the bolt head) and the washer inside the cup, then through the 11mm hole in your pot; now screw on the cutting section to the end of the bolt so it sits snug against the pot wall you are punching. Basically it fits together as it comes in the packet!
Fit the allen key in the bolt head and tighten the bolt, the punch will slowly work its way through the metal leaving a clean hole in your pot!
Thanks to Beermonsta for sharing his all-grain equipment with me while I got round to buying my own and the ongoing sharing while we build my brewery...
Thanks to Dom Clarke for this article
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