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Cut the Lid off a Plastic Drum ?

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Forum topic by fstellab posted 04-15-2013 10:05 PM 3534 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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fstellab

86 posts in 771 days


04-15-2013 10:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip trick question tablesaw

Hi Folks,

I recently purchased 2 plastic barrels a 55gal and a 30 gal, in preparation for setting up a dust collection system.

I cut the lid off the 55 gal with a jig saw, I got a special blade just made for cutting plastic. Well, that did not go so well. I got the lid off, but it was not pretty, I got hot plastic in my hair and shirt. They has to be a better way.

Any thoughts ? Is it possible to cut it clean with a table saw ? I purchased a Ridgid Jobmax, but I don’t think any of the saws would help.

Thanks,

-Fred

-- Fred Stellabotte (kamado@comcast.net)


13 replies so far

View darinS's profile

darinS

390 posts in 1553 days


#1 posted 04-15-2013 10:45 PM

Last time I had to cut up plastic barrels, I just used a saws all with a demo blade. the edge may not have been pretty, but that can be sanded to look nicer. Had some plastic chips flying a little, but I don’t think any were hot.

YMMV however.

-- If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you!

View coachmancuso's profile

coachmancuso

259 posts in 617 days


#2 posted 04-15-2013 11:00 PM

I cut mine with a hack saw blade. Does not come out to bad

-- Coach Mancuso

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coachmancuso

259 posts in 617 days


#3 posted 04-15-2013 11:02 PM

What are you using the bucket for?

-- Coach Mancuso

View fstellab's profile

fstellab

86 posts in 771 days


#4 posted 04-15-2013 11:55 PM

I want to use the bucket for a dust collector separator, with a Thein Tophat, so I need a clean even cut. I may use 30 Gal for that purpose now. But before I go at it with my B&D Jig saw, I thought I might get some ideas.

Unless I am doing some thing wrong, the Ridgid Jobmax is a toy.

-Fred

-- Fred Stellabotte (kamado@comcast.net)

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

11224 posts in 1376 days


#5 posted 04-16-2013 01:47 AM

I cut the top off a 55 gal plastic barrel on my Tablesaw using a crosscut sled and just carefully rotating the barrel. A little scary but worked really well. I needed a really flat top on the barrel for my chip separator. Be careful but this is doable.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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woodbutcherbynight

1275 posts in 1095 days


#6 posted 04-16-2013 01:54 AM

Recip saw with demo blade following the edge so you have 1/2 left and trim with cheap laminate trim bit using a HF laminate trimmer I call the “odd jobs” tool. Wear gloves and long sleeves, plastic when hot, like cutting it, is mean stuff. Glasses as always a must and I rec a cap unless you like combing plastic from your hair, or if bald enjoy fresh scars to get sympathy from GF/ wife. Have done 10-15 for myself and neighbors that use them to collect rain water for plants. NO I am not an environmentalist, but water is free from the sky and my wife can run up a water bill like no tomorrow doing her watering. Had to stop the my wallent from bleeding ya know?

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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mcgyver

56 posts in 557 days


#7 posted 04-16-2013 02:07 AM

i just use a skill saw with a fine tooth carbide blade. 40 to 60 tooth works best but a 24 will work just have to go real slow or it will kick back .cut is not as clean also. Goes with out saying but use saftey glasses. cut them in half to make animal troughs or just the top off. just follow a line you or can but the saw next to the top lip and get a nice clean straight cut.

-- Mcgyver

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mcgyver

56 posts in 557 days


#8 posted 04-16-2013 02:08 AM

i just use a skill saw with a fine tooth carbide blade. 40 to 60 tooth works best but a 24 will work just have to go real slow or it will kick back .cut is not as clean also. Goes with out saying but use saftey glasses. cut them in half to make animal troughs or just the top off. just follow a line you or can but the saw next to the top lip and get a nice clean straight cut.

-- Mcgyver

View Loren's profile

Loren

7723 posts in 2334 days


#9 posted 04-16-2013 02:09 AM

Cut a plywood or MDF circle and screw it on center to the
barrel top. Put a template guide on a plunge router
and cut away most of the material, leaving supports perhaps
1” wide every 6” or so all the way around. Remove the
template and cut the tabs off and sand or plane flush
with a block plane.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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Loren

7723 posts in 2334 days


#10 posted 04-16-2013 02:43 AM

James’s idea is even better… plunging through so much
plastic will make a mess. With his idea you could use
a fixed base or even rig up a trammel with enough
travel to leave the support ribs.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View PaulLL's profile

PaulLL

148 posts in 662 days


#11 posted 04-16-2013 03:00 AM

You could use an angle grinder and a zip disc, probably get a little gummed up, but you could cut it pretty fast and straight.

View fstellab's profile

fstellab

86 posts in 771 days


#12 posted 04-16-2013 03:26 AM

Thanks all you folks are the best ..

I like the Idea of using a plunge router with a template, I have all the parts ..

I guess I got the Ridgid JobMax confused with an angle grinder, need to check that out.

Its also temping to use the table saw, I am just concerned what it would to the Iron top. I have
a Ridgid 4512 … Its cast iron top gets a stain very easy.

Thanks again ..

-Fred

-- Fred Stellabotte (kamado@comcast.net)

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2859 posts in 1929 days


#13 posted 04-17-2013 06:14 PM

I cut the top off a 55 gal plastic barrel with a saber saw and a coarse blade. No problem. Why did you cut the entire top off? I cut a large opening through the top and left the rolled ring around the top intact for strength. I cut within 1” of the top edge, which left me with a hole around 18” diameter. I cut a plywood disc to fit snugly on the top to hold the fittings. I made 4 clamps to hold the plywood disc down against the top. That raised edge, gave me something to clamp to. I used weatherstripping to seal the top. It is a simple matter to empth the barrel. I just loosen the 4 clamps and lift the top off the barrel. I hope you didn’t cut the entire raised top off. You really need it to maintain the barrels shape.

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