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Lay-out mitered cuts on 30 gallon steel drums

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  • Burnt hands
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    Click image for larger version

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    Here are some photos which may help.
    As jrd-airco300 said, you will get ovals at the cuts.

    If you just spin the halves, they should match up.
    I would add a strip inside to back up the joint.

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  • jrd-airco300
    replied
    Another +1 on a chalk line or similar string and marker. If you carefully measure across the diameter, that will get you pretty close to a planar cut on an angle.

    In your first pic, it looks like you just cut the bottom barrel, and left the top one alone. That will only work at small angles. You're trying to join an ellipse to a circle, and the further from square you get, the more the ellipse is out of round. You'll do better to cut both barrels, at the same angle in opposite directions.

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  • Helios
    replied
    Originally posted by Bushytails View Post
    String and a helper, or a chalk line. Loop it around and pull it tight at the right angle for half the cut, mark, put your thumb on the other side, pull the string the other way without letting the length change, mark again.
    +1 That's how I would try it. And I would measure several times before cutting. And after I had cut off one of the drums, I would measure the cutoff piece very carefully (including maximum height and minimum height), then measure your second planned cut to make sure it'll match the first offcut. (Measuiring square height will reduce any error introduced by the string stretching or not being in the exact right position all the way around the circumference of the drum.)

    No matter how well you cut them, I suspect you're going to have to do some finagling on fitup before welding them back together, which might be tricky if you can't access the inside...got Clecos?
    Last edited by Helios; 08-29-2020, 07:01 AM.

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  • walker
    replied
    Even a dot laser could be used, just cut a piece of plywood at 45 and the same width as the drum, then just move the laser up the plywood and mark the drum. You could also use the same piece of plywood and a yard stick with a marker on the end, just keep the yard stick at 90 to the plywood.

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  • walker
    replied
    I have a line laser that is lockable. Lock it so it doesn’t self level, put it at 45 and line it up, then just mark the drum.

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  • Bushytails
    replied
    String and a helper, or a chalk line. Loop it around and pull it tight at the right angle for half the cut, mark, put your thumb on the other side, pull the string the other way without letting the length change, mark again.

    Leave a comment:


  • marthazed
    started a topic Lay-out mitered cuts on 30 gallon steel drums

    Lay-out mitered cuts on 30 gallon steel drums

    I'm working on a sculpture with a friend at the moment, and we are using 30 gallon steel drums. The idea is to have them cut at angles and welded together to look like they're kind of growing out of the ground. So far what I've done is used an online template generator at a third of the size and then marked down the plot point measurements. Then I divided up the barrel into 16 parts, marked that out, then using a piece of angle iron with the plot-point measurements already laid-out along it I marked small dots then connected them for my cut.

    My question is. is there an easier way of doing this? Does anyone have any tricks or tips for laying out mitered cuts on large diameter cylinders/pipe?

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