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Cut the Lid off a Plastic Drum ?

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Forum topic by fstellab posted 494 days ago 3192 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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fstellab

86 posts in 712 days


494 days ago

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

378 posts in 1494 days


#1 posted 494 days ago

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

257 posts in 558 days


#2 posted 494 days ago

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

-- Coach Mancuso

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coachmancuso

257 posts in 558 days


#3 posted 494 days ago

What are you using the bucket for?

-- Coach Mancuso

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fstellab

86 posts in 712 days


#4 posted 494 days ago

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

10724 posts in 1317 days


#5 posted 494 days ago

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

1247 posts in 1036 days


#6 posted 494 days ago

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.

View mcgyver's profile

mcgyver

55 posts in 498 days


#7 posted 494 days ago

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

55 posts in 498 days


#8 posted 494 days ago

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

7400 posts in 2275 days


#9 posted 494 days ago

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

7400 posts in 2275 days


#10 posted 494 days ago

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 603 days


#11 posted 494 days ago

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 712 days


#12 posted 494 days ago

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 (online now)

MrRon

2791 posts in 1871 days


#13 posted 492 days ago

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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