Cutting up steel CH oil tank

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The Real Doctor

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Sep 11, 2007, 8:13:04 AM9/11/07
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Folks,

The Scottish autumn is moving in. The nice new plastic tank is in
place. The oil company are poised to deliver.

But I need to connect the tank and to do that I need to get the old
steel one out of the way. It's a big bugger - 2500 litres - sitting on
two breeze block walls in a corner of the house. No possible access
for a crane or forklift - it's going to have to come out of there by
hand for the 50 yd trip to the roadside where my friendly local
council will collect it for free.

So I am thinking about cutting it up. Oxy-acetylene seems like a
fairly poor choice in the circumstances, but how about a BFO angle
grinder? I can drain what remains out of the tank, but there are bound
to be a few puddles of diesel left - discharge a foam fire
extinguisher into the tank before cutting?

Ian

Andrew Mawson

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Sep 11, 2007, 8:44:21 AM9/11/07
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"The Real Doctor" <ian.g...@btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:1189512784.5...@k79g2000hse.googlegroups.com...

I had this problem at my old house, and started cutting it with an
ancient B&D jig saw. Worked remarkably well, but I was maybe a third
of the way round when a flat bed lorry pulled up at the t/lights
outside, and the driver wanted to know why I was cutting it up. He
ended up taking it away to the scrap yard, free to me and a pint or
two from the scrappy for his troubles ! Scrap steel is noe £80 per
ton.

If you are worried about the oil vapour and fire, direct a hose from
your car exhaust into the tank (make sure car is fully warm first) to
fill it with inert gas. If using an angle grinder beware of 'grab'.
There will be stresses in the steel that may close the cut and nip the
blade, knock wedges in as you go. If you have access to oxy-acetylene
and know how to use a cutting torch, then that is the way I'd go.

AWEM


John

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Sep 11, 2007, 8:54:16 AM9/11/07
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"The Real Doctor" <ian.g...@btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:1189512784.5...@k79g2000hse.googlegroups.com...

My Parents had the same dilema about 25 years ago. They ended up hiring an
angle grinder, purchased an extra piece of hose and increased my pocket
money (for that week) to cut it up..... In todays world they would have
probably been reported to the RSPCC !!!


Merryterry

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Sep 11, 2007, 9:01:57 AM9/11/07
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For your information: Recently had a large explosion in our village
when a bunch of cowboys cut up 2 Main Central Heating Oil Storage
Tanks (steel) that used to feed the whole village. They used Oxy
Acteylene and Angle Grinders. There was a residue of oil in one of the
tanks that vaporised. The whole lot blew up and it is lucky no one was
killed. There is, I believe, a Health & Safety prosecution pending.

Dont do it without consulting your local Fire Safety Officer. Do it
wrong and you could kill yourself.

Cicero

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Sep 11, 2007, 9:20:48 AM9/11/07
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===================================
You could easily and safely cut the tank into manageable pieces using a
good cold chisel (about 2" wide blade) and a lump hammer. The danger from
sparks would be negligible. Don't under-estimate the value of hand tools
for a fast and safe job.

Cic.

--
===================================
Using Ubuntu Linux
Windows shown the door
===================================

Merryterry

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Sep 11, 2007, 9:59:05 AM9/11/07
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zikkim...@connectfree.co.uk

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Sep 11, 2007, 10:44:49 AM9/11/07
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On 11 Sep, 14:01, Merryterry <ter...@fsmail.net> wrote:
> wrong and you could kill yourself.- Hide quoted text -


Is it serviceable?

If so, ebay is your friend (amazing what farmers will buy!)

The Medway Handyman

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Sep 11, 2007, 2:05:31 PM9/11/07
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Are you having a laugh? That would take months surely?


--
Dave
The Medway Handyman
www.medwayhandyman.co.uk
01634 717930
07850 597257


Cicero

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Sep 11, 2007, 2:37:18 PM9/11/07
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On Tue, 11 Sep 2007 18:05:31 +0000, The Medway Handyman wrote:

> Cicero wrote:
>> On Tue, 11 Sep 2007 05:13:04 -0700, The Real Doctor wrote:
>>
>>> Folks,
>>>
>>> The Scottish autumn is moving in. The nice new plastic tank is in
>>> place. The oil company are poised to deliver.
>>>
>>> But I need to connect the tank and to do that I need to get the old
>>> steel one out of the way. It's a big bugger - 2500 litres - sitting on
>>> two breeze block walls in a corner of the house. No possible access
>>> for a crane or forklift - it's going to have to come out of there by
>>> hand for the 50 yd trip to the roadside where my friendly local
>>> council will collect it for free.
>>>
>>> So I am thinking about cutting it up. Oxy-acetylene seems like a
>>> fairly poor choice in the circumstances, but how about a BFO angle
>>> grinder? I can drain what remains out of the tank, but there are bound
>>> to be a few puddles of diesel left - discharge a foam fire
>>> extinguisher into the tank before cutting?
>>>
>>> Ian
>>
>> ===================================
>> You could easily and safely cut the tank into manageable pieces using a
>> good cold chisel (about 2" wide blade) and a lump hammer. The danger
>> from sparks would be negligible. Don't under-estimate the value of hand
>> tools for a fast and safe job.

---------------------------------


>
> Are you having a laugh? That would take months surely?

==================================
Not at all. I'm assuming that the tank wall is about 2mm thick and that
the tank is about 4' x 4' x 5' - 500 gallons capacity. If my assumptions
are correct then a strong, sharp cold chisel and a lump hammer will do the
job quite easily. Full dismemberment wouldn't be necessary. Cut out just
enough to allow folding of the uncut portion to a size and shape that can
be moved easily.

I'm also assuming that the tank is inside the house since the OP says,
"..... in a corner of the house." If the tank is outside the house
(".......in a corner of the house.") - maybe in an outside alcove, then a
couple of planks and two scaffold poles should be enough to roll the
tank intact to the require destination.

Even if my assumptions are wildly inaccurate it's still worth testing the
hammer and chisel method because it was once the only method available.

In any case burning tanks can be very dangerous. I once saw a chap using
oxy-acetylene to prepare oil drums to make a raft. One of the drums
exploded and burned him quite badly.

The Real Doctor

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Sep 11, 2007, 3:35:44 PM9/11/07
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On 11 Sep, 15:44, zikkimala...@connectfree.co.uk wrote:

> Is it serviceable?
>
> If so, ebay is your friend (amazing what farmers will buy!)

No, weeping slightly through a corroded bottom. And no farmer would
ever want anything which could pollute and despoil the ... oh, hang
on, you may have a point ...

Ian

The Real Doctor

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Sep 11, 2007, 3:40:26 PM9/11/07
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On 11 Sep, 19:37, Cicero <sheldr...@hellfire.co.uk> wrote:

> Not at all. I'm assuming that the tank wall is about 2mm thick and that
> the tank is about 4' x 4' x 5' - 500 gallons capacity. If my assumptions
> are correct then a strong, sharp cold chisel and a lump hammer will do the
> job quite easily. Full dismemberment wouldn't be necessary. Cut out just
> enough to allow folding of the uncut portion to a size and shape that can
> be moved easily.

It's about 6' by 4' by 4' high, so pretty close ...

> I'm also assuming that the tank is inside the house since the OP says,
> "..... in a corner of the house." If the tank is outside the house
> (".......in a corner of the house.") - maybe in an outside alcove, then

> couple of planks and two scaffold poles should be enough to roll the
> tank intact to the require destination.

It's in an exterior angle formed by the back wall of the main house
and the side of the kitchen extension. To the side of it there's about
3', then a mill lade. In the other direction are trees, so however it
comes out it has to be sideways. It's sitting with its base about 3'
in the air, so to move it out by hand I have to slide it sideways 6 or
7 feet and turn it through 90 degrees while lowering it 3 feet. Not
impossible, but reducing it to chunks is an attractive alternative.

Now I am wondering about a nice big electric jigsaw ...

Ian

Cicero

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Sep 11, 2007, 3:50:50 PM9/11/07
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On Tue, 11 Sep 2007 12:40:26 -0700, The Real Doctor wrote:

> On 11 Sep, 19:37, Cicero <sheldr...@hellfire.co.uk> wrote:
>
>> Not at all. I'm assuming that the tank wall is about 2mm thick and that
>> the tank is about 4' x 4' x 5' - 500 gallons capacity. If my assumptions
>> are correct then a strong, sharp cold chisel and a lump hammer will do
>> the job quite easily. Full dismemberment wouldn't be necessary. Cut out
>> just enough to allow folding of the uncut portion to a size and shape
>> that can be moved easily.
>
> It's about 6' by 4' by 4' high, so pretty close ...
>
>> I'm also assuming that the tank is inside the house since the OP says,
>> "..... in a corner of the house." If the tank is outside the house
>> (".......in a corner of the house.") - maybe in an outside alcove, then
>> couple of planks and two scaffold poles should be enough to roll the
>> tank intact to the require destination.
>
> It's in an exterior angle formed by the back wall of the main house and
> the side of the kitchen extension. To the side of it there's about 3',
> then a mill lade. In the other direction are trees, so however it comes
> out it has to be sideways. It's sitting with its base about 3' in the air,
> so to move it out by hand I have to slide it sideways 6 or 7 feet and turn
> it through 90 degrees while lowering it 3 feet. Not impossible, but
> reducing it to chunks is an attractive alternative.
>
> Now I am wondering about a nice big electric jigsaw ...

>
> Ian

<snipped>
==================================
How thick is it? If it's about the 2mm I suggested AND you definitely want
to go the power tool way then you might hire a nibbler. Where appropriate
they're quick clean and safe. If I were you, I'd put on the ear muffs and
spend a pleasant hour with hammer and chisel.

Cic.

John Stumbles

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Sep 11, 2007, 4:11:30 PM9/11/07
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On Tue, 11 Sep 2007 19:50:50 +0000, Cicero wrote:

> How thick is it? If it's about the 2mm I suggested AND you definitely
> want to go the power tool way then you might hire a nibbler. Where
> appropriate they're quick clean and safe. If I were you, I'd put on the
> ear muffs and spend a pleasant hour with hammer and chisel.

I'd go with a reciprocating saw and a packet of metal cutting blades.
Knife, hot, butter; no sparks. All the same I might have the blow end of
the vac in there to avoid a build-up of flammable vapours.

--
John Stumbles

Fundamentalist agnostic

Owain

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Sep 11, 2007, 3:13:09 PM9/11/07
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The Medway Handyman wrote:
> Cicero wrote:
>>You could easily and safely cut the tank into manageable pieces using
>>a good cold chisel (about 2" wide blade) and a lump hammer.
> Are you having a laugh? That would take months surely?

Invite the local rugby team round. Provide 15 lump hammers and beer.

Owain


John Rumm

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Sep 12, 2007, 11:30:35 PM9/12/07
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The Medway Handyman wrote:

>> You could easily and safely cut the tank into manageable pieces using
>> a good cold chisel (about 2" wide blade) and a lump hammer. The
>> danger from sparks would be negligible. Don't under-estimate the
>> value of hand tools for a fast and safe job.
>
> Are you having a laugh? That would take months surely?

One forgets that a cold chisel is really a metal working implement, and
not just something for wrecking masonry...

(still I doubt any of mine would be ideal - spent too much time being
hammered into concrete)

--
Cheers,

John.

/=================================================================\
| Internode Ltd - http://www.internode.co.uk |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
| John Rumm - john(at)internode(dot)co(dot)uk |
\=================================================================/

Cicero

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Sep 13, 2007, 2:25:53 AM9/13/07
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On Thu, 13 Sep 2007 04:30:35 +0100, John Rumm wrote:

> The Medway Handyman wrote:
>
>>> You could easily and safely cut the tank into manageable pieces using a
>>> good cold chisel (about 2" wide blade) and a lump hammer. The danger
>>> from sparks would be negligible. Don't under-estimate the value of hand
>>> tools for a fast and safe job.
>>
>> Are you having a laugh? That would take months surely?
>
> One forgets that a cold chisel is really a metal working implement, and
> not just something for wrecking masonry...
>
> (still I doubt any of mine would be ideal - spent too much time being
> hammered into concrete)

==================================
Precisely! And a few minutes on the grinder and they're as good as new.

John Rumm

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Sep 13, 2007, 8:06:00 AM9/13/07
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Cicero wrote:
> On Thu, 13 Sep 2007 04:30:35 +0100, John Rumm wrote:
>
>> The Medway Handyman wrote:
>>
>>>> You could easily and safely cut the tank into manageable pieces using a
>>>> good cold chisel (about 2" wide blade) and a lump hammer. The danger
>>>> from sparks would be negligible. Don't under-estimate the value of hand
>>>> tools for a fast and safe job.
>>> Are you having a laugh? That would take months surely?
>> One forgets that a cold chisel is really a metal working implement, and
>> not just something for wrecking masonry...
>>
>> (still I doubt any of mine would be ideal - spent too much time being
>> hammered into concrete)
>
> ==================================
> Precisely! And a few minutes on the grinder and they're as good as new.

Care and attention that I usually lavish on my SDS chisels, but rarely
seem to get round to with their manual brethren. (could be because I
rarely use the manual ones these days!)

Onetap

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Sep 13, 2007, 2:29:37 PM9/13/07
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On 13 Sep, 13:06, John Rumm <see.my.signat...@nowhere.null> wrote:

I once had to employ some specialist contractors to cut up some
commercial steel oil storage tanks, 3/8" welded steel plate with
internal angle supports I think. Red Diesel type boiler fuel oil in
them.

They cleaned out the insides first, wearing respirators with a
compressed air supply from outside. Then they cut the tanks up using
chisels in pneumatic hammers; painfully loud. They had was an air
extract system to dissipate vapours and maintain the atmosphere while
they did it. The ventilation was driven by a venturi/induction device
which was powered by compressed air; no sparks from motors and no
moving parts. A sharp chisel in an air hammer should shred a domestic
job like a coke can.

Don't dump the residue or any oily washings into the drains, it causes
a disporoportionate amount of pollution and can be traced back up the
drains to the originator. Specialist waste disposal job, I fear.

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