how do you cut open a plastic barrel?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by meganwf, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. meganwf

    meganwf Well-Known Member

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    Have 55 gal plastic barrel and have a drill to make the holes on the side I need for the pig watering attachment but um... embarrassed to ask... how do I cut open / off the lid? (Can you tell I'm new at this??)
     
  2. Wis Bang

    Wis Bang Well-Known Member

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  3. gone-a-milkin

    gone-a-milkin Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Drill a hole to start and then use a jigsaw or a sawzall to cut around.
     
  4. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    A handsaw will also cut them but isn't easy and it is hard on the saw and will dull it.

    As already mentioned a reciprocating saw is probably the best tool.

    BTW, if your barrel is like mine it might be best to cut in the proper area for most strength.

    Where the side of the barrel tapers to its smallest area near the top I expect it then flares back out. If you cut above the smallest area you will cut into an area that has more material, hence stronger. It does take more cutting effort to cut there however. Cut too high and you might cut above the actual lid portion.
     
  5. CIW

    CIW Well-Known Member

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    I have had good luck cutting them with a skill saw. I use them for watering horses.
     
  6. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    We use a skilsaw. One person holds the barrel horizontally on the ground, rotating it slowly and the other person cuts the barrel with the skilsaw holding the saw basically still. A table saw might work too. A sawsal works but doesn't give as nice a cut.

    The plastic also drills out right nice.

    Work safely.
     
  7. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A sharp keyhole saw will do a nice neat job. Not quite as easy as a powered saw but not dauntingly difficult. Why are you cutting off the lid? Easy to fill through the bung, unless you have to fill it with a bucket.
     
  8. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Cut the hole in the end section and leave a 3 inch lip around the edge. If you cut the end off by cutting the side of the barrel it will lose its shape. A recip saw, jig saw or router will work fine.
     
  9. CSA again

    CSA again Western North Carolina

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    Be careful if you use a skill saw the hot plastic can cause it to bind up and kick out.
     
  10. js2743

    js2743 Well-Known Member

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    chainsaw makes quick work of it.
     
  11. Basom

    Basom Guest

    I drill a hole in the top and than use a jig saw or a sawzall that way the barrel stays rigid
     
  12. Wis Bang

    Wis Bang Well-Known Member

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    We used to leave the lip cutting in from a bung w/ the sawz-all to cut the lid out & drilled two opposingg holes 'bout 4" dpwn and cut two handle holes to make trash can. Had them all around the terminal/yard.

    One guy did a dozen for his kids little league b/4 they started re-cycling the drums & switching to tote bins drying up the supply of drums...
     
  13. Big Dave

    Big Dave Well-Known Member

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    I use a jig saw. I also cut them horizontally.I build a stand out of two landscape timbers and a 2x4. Make a rectangle to set the barrel in and place a 2x4 on each top side end so it will not rotate and well la a good feeder or water trough.
     
  14. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I make mineral feeders out of 55 gallon plastic drums. I cut the holes with a jigsaw. Makes really easy work of it.
     
  15. bloogrssgrl

    bloogrssgrl Well-Known Member

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    DH uses the jig saw to cut and I use my mighty a... um... posterior to hold it down. ;)