GEK Wiki / Cutting your own scrap tanks and sheetmetal
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Cutting your own scrap tanks and sheetmetal

Page history last edited by jim mason 9 years, 8 months ago

back to How to Build and Run the GEK Gasifier

 

The GEK building scenario let's you decide the relative amount of "effort vs cost" you want to invest towards your finished unit.  As GEK vessel dimensions are based on common scrap tanks found in North America, you can choose to build it for minimum money (and maximum effort) with the dimensions, instructions and CAD files provided here.  The local junkyard will provide all the greasy tanks you need.  Of course you can also just buy the sheet metal parts precut and ready to go from ALL Power Labs, but some of us do insist on doing this the hard way.  For an example of a scrap tank built GEK, see the v0.7 photos here.

 

The "build it from junk" scenario requires scrap tanks of 10", 12" and 14.75" nominal diameter. 10" is typical for hand held air transfer tanks and some truck pony tanks. 12" is typical for 5 and 10 gal propane tanks (you may have to splice two together to get adequate length). 14.75" is typical for a 100lb/25gal propane tank.  Be warned: There's a surprising amount dimensional variation on "standardized tanks" between different tank manufacturers. This can complicate the fit of flanges and end plates to the scrap tanks.

 

 

  

 

 

Cutting Tanks

 
Scrap tanks are usually full of smelly explosive gasses.  Unwanted internal combustion of such gasses will complicate your build.  Make sure to remove all bungs you can wrestle off and fill the tank with water or an inert gas before you start cutting.
 
To mark an accurate circle around the tank, find some sort of wide stiff strap and wrap it around the tank to use as a guide.  A thin metal strap is usually the best, something like wide metal plumbers tape.  You can also make a "roller bed" and roll the tank against a static marking object.
 
Your options for the cut are a cutoff of wheel on an angle grinder, a cutting torch, or a sawzall.  All will work, so you decide the tool you are most comfotable with.
  

 

Purpose Cutting Sheet Metal for the Vessels

 
If you have a roller, or access to a roller, you can also just purpose cut 16awg sheet steel and roll the pieces into cylinders to make the vessels.  This makes it easy to get exactly the correct diameter for fitting inside and/or around the flange rings of end plates.  "Predetermined diameter" cylinders never fit the flange rings and end plates exactly as you want them to.
 
Cutting rectangular sheet metal pieces is easy.  Use a piece of angle iron will guide your torch on a nice flat surface.  Or use a ruler to make lines that you can follow with your sawzall or skilsaw.  See here for cut shapes files.   Scrap sheet metal is near everywhere.  Or buying it new metal is not terribly expensive.  Of course you can also just buy the pieces precut and ready to go from ALL Power Labs.
 

 

Cutting Circular Flange Rings and End Plates

 

Manually cutting accurate flange rings and end plates is the hardest task.   Using a compass to guide your torch/plasma is required.  You can make a simple guide compass using a metal bar with rotation point on one end and cup to hold torch on the other end.  One of the two ends needs to slide so you can adjust the radius.

 

Here's some links showing the basic idea.  Forget about the fancy wheels to roll the rotated end.  Dragging the bar and cup works just fine.  But make sure your cutter is ok to drag on the surface, or design your cup so the torch is supported at an appropriate height above the surface.

 

http://videos.streetfire.net/video/Cutting-Perfect-Circles-w_178210.htm

http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/showthread.php?p=182159

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4C6sCTTtI4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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