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Thread: how to safely cut a oil drum in half to make an evaporator

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Ontario,Canada
    Posts
    1

    Default how to safely cut a oil drum in half to make an evaporator

    Just heard from a friend that someone recently cut into a steel barrel and did not know what was in it and blew himself up.
    I Have a decent heating oil tank that i would like to make into an evaporator. It has about 20-25 gallons of fuel oil in it , which i will take out. My question is how do you make sure it is safe to cut.i.e. not in explosive range, and what tool or method would you,or have you used . grinder,saws all, plasma cutter?
    or is there a method of removing all the flammable material from the inside?
    Thanks Rod

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Wendell MA
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    57

    Default Sawzall

    I've cut tanks with a torch, outside. The only time one got going was when a piece of hot steel landed in the sludge in the tank. I would recomend a sawzall. An oil tank would be a lot safer than a barrel with unknown contents. A friend of mine had a barrel blow up when he struck an arc on it. He would have died if a friend hadn't happened to be there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    hopkinton nh
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    1,118

    Default

    i filled mine with some water, maybe 20 gallons and started cutting with a grinder and then used a sazall to make it go faster
    Spencer Carney
    350 taps
    phaneuf 2x4 with hybrid pan
    2-350 gal, 5-55 gal drums, and a cage tank

    only 16 yr old at school making syrup!

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carney...3279081?ref=hl

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Steubenville,Ohio
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    Default

    I'd get some good sawzall blades and go for it. really doesnt take that long since your ripping thin metal. way less chance of a fire too though if its fuel oil it has less chance of an explosion than say gasoline. Mine had some sludge and a small amount of liquid and I cut it with the sawzall. then lit newspaper and burned out the sludge. stinky and smoky but didnt take long. putting water in it is a good idea.
    SevenCreeksSap
    2010- 5 taps -Fish Fryer
    2011 - 2013 - building up
    2014 - 192 Taps on gravity, 2x8 flat pans on homemade evap.
    A wife who doesnt shop and lets me buy Maple stuff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Martinsville, Indiana
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    221

    Default

    I built my entire arch today and only used 2 sawzall blades.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    WESTERN MA
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    31

    Default

    I wouldn't add water to the oil tank, you would only have an oily mess, A sawzall will cut the tank no problem. I work for an oil company, we cut them up with a sawzall to clean them out.
    Lapierre 18 x 60
    12 x 12 shack
    120 +/- buckets

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Hudson, New Hamshire
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    228

    Default

    I have cut many oil tanks with a sawzall to get them out of basements. I cut my own oil evaporator in less than 1/2 hour, scrapped out the gunk took it outside the barn and lit the remainder on fire. It doesn't burn like people think I had to use my torch to set it on fire. Lee
    75 taps
    Homemade rear fired oil evaporator
    oil tank evaporator
    Home made stainless steel flue pan
    addition on barn for sugaring
    2 children who love hauling sap
    golden retriever who love syrup
    helpfull neighbor who loves bottling

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    hopkinton nh
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    1,118

    Default

    i just dumped out the oil water mix and then burned the rest, it worked pretty good
    Spencer Carney
    350 taps
    phaneuf 2x4 with hybrid pan
    2-350 gal, 5-55 gal drums, and a cage tank

    only 16 yr old at school making syrup!

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carney...3279081?ref=hl

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Millmont,Pa
    Posts
    312

    Default

    If you want to use a torch and you're afraid there may be fumes in it. hook up a pipe to your car exhaust for about fifteen minutes, that will push out all the flamable fumes and leave nothing but spent fumes from the exhaust. I've done this to gas tanks on cars before soldering or welding them,no proplems! works fine
    new sugarshack for 2011
    new pans for 2012
    120+ buckets
    78 vacuum
    new 150 tap gravity bush for 2013

    http://s848.photobucket.com/albums/a...%20Sugarshack/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    south new berlin,n.y.
    Posts
    112

    Default

    As Lee said,sawzall is they way to go.We have cut many oil tanks in half to get out of basements also and have had not one issue.Just use good metal blades,the only part that is the toughest is the weld and that's not bad.
    homemade barrel evaporator 2 x 4 divided flat pan 40 taps 10 x 8 sap house hood and pre heater

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