Hole Advice

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FutureBrewer
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Hole Advice

Post by FutureBrewer » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:19 pm

Hi all,

I'm going to do the old tank connector/ball-valve tap replacement on my Buffalo 40 litre boiler and, before I start cutting holes I thought I'd ask here first.

The hole size for the original dribbly tap is around 16mm, so I'm thinking the best way to open that out to 20mm would be to use a Q-Max metal punch.

Aligning the punch may be a problem but the main concern is the curvature of the boiler - when I attach the tank connector will I be able to get a good watertight seal? I'm assuming if the connector is tight, the metal wall of the boiler should flatten out slightly.

Or, am I heading for boiler-hole heartache?

Any comments welcomed.

Ta in advance.

FB
Me Man. Me Make Beer.

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jubby
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Re: Hole Advice

Post by jubby » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:46 pm

The q-max cutter will be best. Shouldn't be too difficult to centralize it. A decent brass or stainless tank connector will pull the curve out of the boiler and give a decent seal. There's a few pictures of q-max cutters in use in my HLT conversion thread here: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=30868
If you look at the photo's of inside the HLT, you will notice that the fittings pull the curve out of the stainless steel. It's fairly thin stainless, but i'm sure your boiler will do the same.
Mr Nick's Brewhouse.

Thermopot HLT Conversion

Drinking: Mr Nick's East India IPA v3 First Gold & Citra quaffing ale
Conditioning:
FV:
Planned: Some other stuff.
Ageing:

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FutureBrewer
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Re: Hole Advice

Post by FutureBrewer » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:57 pm

Hi Jubby,

Thanks for that!

I'll give it a go this weekend...

PS - Great job on the HLT too!

FB
Me Man. Me Make Beer.

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Kev888
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Re: Hole Advice

Post by Kev888 » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:01 pm

Yeah, I agree with Jubby. Q-max cutter should work well - you could also use a step drill but that would probably be easier to mess up with. I also agree that your tank wall is likely to pull flat; my old burco boiler was a lot thinner than I expected and would easily have flexed into place - I've not had a buffalo before but I'd guess it could be similar.

I am soon going to be facing a similar issue with a tank thats very rigid, and so am considering trying to flatten it a bit either with a big screw clamp or maybe just hitting a wooden block against it with a lump-hammer, but there's a risk of crinkling the smoothness of the wall so probably not something to do unless necessary.

Cheers
Kev
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FutureBrewer
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Re: Hole Advice

Post by FutureBrewer » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:33 pm

Cheers Kev,

Much appreciated - I'll let you know how I get on!

FB
Me Man. Me Make Beer.

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FutureBrewer
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Re: Hole Advice

Post by FutureBrewer » Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:47 pm

Thanks for the advice!

So, for anyone else wanting to do it... here's the (partial) result:

First, using a Q-Max metal punch (20.4mm) I widened the existing tap hole -

Image

Image

I'm pleased to report it was fairly easy to locate the cutter over the existing hole without too much trouble :D

Image

You can see how little the punch actually took off, but did the job perfectly!

Image

The only 'cold-sweat' moment came when I saw how close the tank connector is to the bottom of the boiler. I wasn't sure whether the nut would have room to fit!

Image

Only just!!!

Image

Unfortunately, the off-cut of 15mm copper pipe I had ready to slide through the tank connector and attach to the ball valve has gone walkabout! So that's all I can report on as yet...

Cheers,
FB.
Me Man. Me Make Beer.

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jubby
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Re: Hole Advice

Post by jubby » Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:38 pm

Nice neat job there FB, looking good =D>
Mr Nick's Brewhouse.

Thermopot HLT Conversion

Drinking: Mr Nick's East India IPA v3 First Gold & Citra quaffing ale
Conditioning:
FV:
Planned: Some other stuff.
Ageing:

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jmc
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Re: Hole Advice

Post by jmc » Sun Aug 22, 2010 1:05 am

Hi
I'm going to do the old tank connector/ball-valve tap replacement on my Buffalo 40 litre boiler and, before I start cutting holes I thought I'd ask here first.
I have a 27L Buffalo & want to do the same as you.

Can you please tell us which tank connector etc you used and where you sourced them?

Will the tank connector need to be drilled out for a 15mm copper pipe as mentioned in other articles?

TIA
John

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jubby
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Re: Hole Advice

Post by jubby » Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:19 am

If i can add my tuppence worth......I use these: Compression x BSP Parallel Male part No.7786 from here: http://www.bes.co.uk/products/141.asp just scroll down to see it. If you fit it with the 1/2 BSP thread on the outside, a 1/2 bsp female threaded tap screws straight on (with a little PTFE tape) that leaves the 15mm compression fitting inside the boiler to attach your hop strainer. They are a little more expensive, but make a nice neat job without drilling or filing.
Mr Nick's Brewhouse.

Thermopot HLT Conversion

Drinking: Mr Nick's East India IPA v3 First Gold & Citra quaffing ale
Conditioning:
FV:
Planned: Some other stuff.
Ageing:

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FutureBrewer
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Re: Hole Advice

Post by FutureBrewer » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:16 am

Hi John,

These are my parts (so far)

Widening the hole:
Q-Max Sheet Metal Punch from TDH Tools (Ebay Shop) http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Discount-Tool-Supplies-24
(always rotating stock, so I haven't linked to a specific part - but plenty of toolshops in Ebay are selling Q-Max punches.)
Allen Key for the above (from my tool box!)

Fittings:
All from Screwfix
Tank Coupler http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro ... 6&ts=70608
Washers (bag of...) http://www.screwfix.com/prods/43396/Plu ... Pack-of-16
Ball Valve http://www.screwfix.com/prods/13103/Plu ... Valve-15mm

Misc:
Roll of PTFE (from my toolbox...)

As the piece of 15mm copper pipe I had earmarked for this job has gone AWOL (typical!), what you see in my last post is where I've got to...

The tank coupler listed above DOES need to be drilled out. Some have a little lip to file down, but the one I've bought has quite a lot to drill out.

Alternatively, check out Jubby's link in his post (first response to my question) for more info on doing a good job!

Hope this helps,
FB.
Me Man. Me Make Beer.

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jmc
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Re: Hole Advice

Post by jmc » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:42 am

Hello FB

Thanks for the links.
Much appreciated.

ATB
John

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FutureBrewer
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Re: Hole Advice

Post by FutureBrewer » Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:06 pm

Hi all,

Just to update anyone who's interested... :| :lol:

I finally finished the job of putting a ball valve tap on my Buffalo boiler:

Image

BUT!

I didn't get how to attach a hop filter to the inside of a drilled-out tank connector... Well, actually, I did, but it seemed a bit long winded...

So, I revisited Jubby's posts and decided the obvious course of action would be to spend even more money and buy the tap, adaptor and hose tail he recommended!

Image
Behold! :D

Image
Inside the boiler with a short bit of 'test' 15mm pipe

Much neater - and no drilling/filing required!

Thanks for the advice and links to the parts Jubby! =D>

I'll be reusing the Screwfix tap elsewhere... :wink:

Next up: I'm thinking of the best way of draining the last of the wort. The boiler has a number of recesses at the bottom which means there's a lot of dead space.

I reckon a having a pipe (and hop strainer) that is angled towards the edge of the boiler, and a gentle tip to one side when almost empty should help syphon the last of the goodness out!

What do you all reckon?

Ta!

FB.

PS - I might even get around to brewing in it one day! :roll:
Me Man. Me Make Beer.

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Kev888
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Re: Hole Advice

Post by Kev888 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:40 pm

Looking very smart!

Your tap is already very low down so probably just a bent pipe or something that extends the inlet into the lower parts of the boiler would work as a syphon, if you also had a flexible hose outside the tap to complete the downward part of the syphon loop anyway. I'd guess that the thickness of the hop strainer is likely to be the limiting factor on how low a syphon inlet can be.

Cheers
Kev
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FutureBrewer
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Re: Hole Advice

Post by FutureBrewer » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:51 am

Thanks a lot Kev,

I'm playing with some sheets of stainless mesh at the moment - there's quite a few good hop strainer ideas on this forum for inspiration :D

Cheers,
FB.
Me Man. Me Make Beer.

leedsbrew

Re: Hole Advice

Post by leedsbrew » Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:57 am

I like the parallel conector jubby! Nice spot! LB

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