Author Topic: Sculpture Build For The Non-Mechanical Brewer  (Read 28100 times)

Offline Pawtucket Patriot

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1354
  • Rebelling against cheap swill since 2005
    • View Profile
    • Bauhaus Brew Labs
Sculpture Build For The Non-Mechanical Brewer
« on: October 09, 2012, 08:06:55 AM »
After 7 years of lugging kettles full of hot wort up and down a flight of stairs, I'm thinking about building a three-tier gravity-fed sculpture over the next year.  I've thought about doing this before, but my limitations have always been: (1) not being very mechanically inclined; and (2) not being able to weld or not knowing someone who can weld. 

Well, my next door neighbor is very mechanically inclined (and a very nice guy) and I'm confident that he either knows how to weld or would know someone who does, probably on the cheap.

Anyway, this is sort of long introduction to a few questions I have:

1) Are welders able to build a sculpture without a detailed CAD drawing?

2) What sort of details does a welder need to build the sculpture?

I've only just started looking into building a sculpture, so I'm sure I'll have other questions along the way.  I would be grateful for any suggestions!  In particular, it would be helpful to know what sort of materials I should procure for building the sculpture frame.
Matt Schwandt | Minneapolis, MN
AHA Member

Partial-Mash Pictorial
All-Grain Pictorial

Online Slowbrew

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1657
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
    • View Profile
Re: Sculpture Build For The Non-Mechanical Brewer
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2012, 08:13:15 AM »
My experience with both questions has been "depends on the welder". 

I would hand draw a sketch to start with including general dimensions of your vessels.  Take a few pictures of examples with you and take it to welder and ask what else they need.  Every welder I know will help you with the details, if they are interested in the project and have the time.

Paul.
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline bluesman

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8678
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Sculpture Build For The Non-Mechanical Brewer
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2012, 09:32:40 AM »
My experience with both questions has been "depends on the welder". 

I would hand draw a sketch to start with including general dimensions of your vessels.  Take a few pictures of examples with you and take it to welder and ask what else they need.  Every welder I know will help you with the details, if they are interested in the project and have the time.

Paul.

+1

You'll need a basic design.  Try researching online or getting some pointers from local homebrewers and/or local homebrew shop. You can try to simulate the Blichmann toptier design as a starting point.
Ron Price

Online mtnrockhopper

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2884
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Sculpture Build For The Non-Mechanical Brewer
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2012, 12:58:38 PM »
For most a detailed CAD drawing is not needed. But a they will need a good idea of what you want - that can be communicated through drawings, dimensions, pictures, talking, etc. 
 
For materials - Box tubing and angle iron are the two common materials I see them built from. They both come in varying dimensions, wall thicknesses, and alloys.  Most of those decisions are based on your budget.
Jimmy K

Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup when the old president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP: B0958

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Sculpture Build For The Non-Mechanical Brewer
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2012, 07:09:57 PM »
Why not build it out of wood?  Wood is much easier to work with and is cheaper than welding a steel one.  I have a 3-tier wooden gravity fed system, it works great.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Pawtucket Patriot

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1354
  • Rebelling against cheap swill since 2005
    • View Profile
    • Bauhaus Brew Labs
Re: Sculpture Build For The Non-Mechanical Brewer
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2012, 05:16:44 AM »
Why not build it out of wood?  Wood is much easier to work with and is cheaper than welding a steel one.  I have a 3-tier wooden gravity fed system, it works great.

I've thought about this, Tom.  I'm sure I could made a great sculpture with wood, but I sort of like the challenge of using steel.  Also, I would think the steel structure would offer a more long-term durability.  Here in Minnesota, where the winters can be brutal and the summers hot and humid, a wooden structure may become unstable over time.  I could be overthinking this (which I frequently do), but I've made the decision to go with steel.  Also, I can get angle iron pretty cheaply in Minneapolis.
Matt Schwandt | Minneapolis, MN
AHA Member

Partial-Mash Pictorial
All-Grain Pictorial

Offline AleForce

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
    • AleForce1
Re: Sculpture Build For The Non-Mechanical Brewer
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2012, 05:51:01 AM »
Why not use SteelWorks pieces for your sculpture?  I built one out of that 2-3 years ago and it's still working away. When I first built it I was using 5 gal coolers, then moved up to 10 gal.... Last November I moved to 20 gal B.Boilermakers and it is still sturdy enough for that.

Recent:


older:
Off We Go Into The Wild Brew Yonder!

Offline saintpierre

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 402
  • Augusta, ME
    • View Profile
    • www.malthomebrewclub.org
Re: Sculpture Build For The Non-Mechanical Brewer
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2012, 06:39:24 AM »
Why not build it out of wood?  Wood is much easier to work with and is cheaper than welding a steel one.  I have a 3-tier wooden gravity fed system, it works great.
I did the same thing.  Although mine is technically a 2-tier since my burner is seperate.  I made mine out of 4x4's and notch cut for the 2x4 cross members.  It is solid.  The one down side is it is more flamable than metal  ;D
Mike St. Pierre
Maine Ale & Libation Tasters (MALT)
BJCP Recognized
[719.4, 74.1] AR

Online Slowbrew

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1657
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
    • View Profile
Re: Sculpture Build For The Non-Mechanical Brewer
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2012, 06:48:51 AM »
Why not build it out of wood?  Wood is much easier to work with and is cheaper than welding a steel one.  I have a 3-tier wooden gravity fed system, it works great.
I did the same thing.  Although mine is technically a 2-tier since my burner is seperate.  I made mine out of 4x4's and notch cut for the 2x4 cross members.  It is solid.  The one down side is it is more flamable than metal  ;D

It could depend on how mobile the OP would like his stand to be and/or how elaborate he may want it to be.  Lots of factors will come into play but generally a metal stand is a bit lighter and more portable.  I tend to over build with wood so everything ends up weighing a ton.  I'm much more likely to be more conservative with metal.  There are so many options available that it is really comes down to what you want your build to be.

Have fun with it no matter how you decide to build it!

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Sculpture Build For The Non-Mechanical Brewer
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2012, 09:19:10 AM »
As long as you've thought about it. :)

The steel will certainly be more durable, my wooden one has only lasted me 10+ years ;D, and I have no idea how long the guy I bought it from had it.

As for weight, mine is in two sections that nest for stability.  No problems to move it around.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7225
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Sculpture Build For The Non-Mechanical Brewer
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2012, 09:23:22 AM »
Why not use SteelWorks pieces for your sculpture?  I built one out of that 2-3 years ago and it's still working away. When I first built it I was using 5 gal coolers, then moved up to 10 gal.... Last November I moved to 20 gal B.Boilermakers and it is still sturdy enough for that.

Recent:
https://c2ca84a2-a-d97903ee-s-sites.googlegroups.com/a/brewschool.org/brewschool/af/sm_AF1_wGDU.jpg

older:
https://c2ca84a2-a-d97903ee-s-sites.googlegroups.com/a/brewschool.org/brewschool/af/sm_AL_0001_inuse.jpg

^^^For some reason those images aren't generating. Fixed it. Sorta. Just hit "download attachment" and the image will show up.

http://wedo.hillmangroup.com/category/metal-shapes?

Lowes and Home Despot have this type of material. Just bolt it together per your specifications. Also, you can always easily modify or dismantle the structure (if necessary)- which would be a challenge with a welded rig. This would be my route.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline Pawtucket Patriot

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1354
  • Rebelling against cheap swill since 2005
    • View Profile
    • Bauhaus Brew Labs
Re: Sculpture Build For The Non-Mechanical Brewer
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2012, 09:03:28 PM »
Yesterday, I discovered Google Sketchup, to which I may now be addicted.  Here is a mock up.  The rings in the upper right are going to be heat shields for the hurricane burners.

Matt Schwandt | Minneapolis, MN
AHA Member

Partial-Mash Pictorial
All-Grain Pictorial

Online Slowbrew

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1657
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
    • View Profile
Re: Sculpture Build For The Non-Mechanical Brewer
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2012, 04:29:47 AM »
I use Sketchup a lot anymore.  I didn't even think to mention it.

Your drawing looks like good start.

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline VinS

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
  • Harwinton CT
    • View Profile
Re: Sculpture Build For The Non-Mechanical Brewer
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2012, 05:46:55 AM »
Remeber measure all of your equipment( or any equipment you might buy or change :)) to make shelf heigths .Once welded you're committed. Another thing to consider on the top sides and bottom sides is to reverse the angle so it faces up then pots kind of lock in. If you use a cooler you could make a slight angle on middle shelf (wish I thought of this a couple years ago). Good luck on the build.
" There is no such thing as a bad beer. It's that some taste better than others." Billy Carter

Offline AleForce

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
    • AleForce1
Re: Sculpture Build For The Non-Mechanical Brewer
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2012, 05:52:39 AM »
Not sure why the images don't appear in the post.  When I created the post they appeared...  Anyway the brewstation I built also is also where I store my brewing equipment.. It has wheels on it so when I am ready to brew I wheel it out into the middle of the garage.  I store all of my equipment on it - even the propane tank. When I'm done I wheel it back into it's corner and hope the wife doesn't hit it when she pulls into the garage (which she's threatened to do many times). 
Off We Go Into The Wild Brew Yonder!