Introduction: The Keg-Kart, Or; How I Learned to Stop Taking Things Seriously and Love Obscure Projects.
In the beginning I had nothing in mind but the general design of the steering rig and how it fits into the keg, no dimensions or measurements. All components of this project were made on the spot and with no prior planning other than the basic concept of how the thing would be put together.
The best way to do projects.
But anyway, with no further ado, may I present to you: The Keg-Kart
***If you would like to undertake this project yourself, it is highly advisable to have access to a lathe, welder and a good supplier of odds and ends that may come in handy for any changes to my design.
If you want any further details, email me at: email@example.com
WHAT YOU WILL NEED: the whole cost of the project for me was $50, you might not be so lucky.
About 2m round metal stock
One sealed bearing of indeterminate size
Other stuff that you will need to improvise with
Some form of welder.
Step 1: Aquiring the Keg. (Empty Not Necessary If You Have a Lot of Friends)
This step is the deal maker or breaker, unfortunatley.
Go to a local pub, preferably during the day, and just ask.
I said something along the lines of needing it to make a major metalwork project.
And to my disbelief, they led me downstairs to under the pub and pointed at two kegs that were separated from the rest.
"take a pick" the manager said.
I don't know what the reason behind letting me take a good amount of money worth of stainless steel was, but i am very grateful for it.
Of course, there are other, more illegitimate methods to aquire a keg. None of which I will divulge or reccomend.
If you've made it this far then congratulations! If the project doesnt work out, you could always use the keg as a table or a stool.
Once you have the keg you need to depressurize it. I did this by bearing down onto the valve with a broom handle. This is only a good idea if you WANT to end up smelling of stale beer. Lay the keg on its side, in your backyard, straddle it and bear onto the valve with a broom. Hopefully, a fantastic jet of stale beer mist will be ejected forth.
Step 2: Cut 'n Clean
Now you need to cut the keg open so you can continue.
Do this by cutting along the lowermost weld with an angle grinder and cutting disk.
Wash it out and proceed to file the edges and rip out the tap that runs down to the bottom (which you just cut away so it will protrude out a tiny bit)
Step 3: Components: Steering Fork
I am so, so lazy. For this i am sorry.
From now on the steps will be copies of the steps i wrote for my project folio, because i have zero patience.
Steering Fork: A single mild steel band is cut into 3 sections, two of them the same dimensions. A hole is drilled through the matching bands for the spindle to rest.
The 3 bands are then welded at right angles to form the steering fork. The spindle is drilled on either end to allow the use of split pins or to provide a foothold for weld spots.
Step 4: Upper Bearing
Upper steering bearing: I thought this thing was a stroke of genius. Even if i do say so myself
To prevent the steering column moving up and down due to the force exerted by a person sitting on the keg, it is best to use a bicycle hub to secure the upper part of the column. However, to allow the whole bearing to remain inside the keg, a pipe is needed so that the bearing can be fixed to the inside of the keg, yet still allow the top of the hub spindle to protrude through the top of the keg. This minimizes exterior work, keeping the keg recognizable. The hub is slipped into the pipe, with one end of the spindle fully protruding (see right hand picture) and on the other side, the spindle protrudes but not so much so that the locking nuts extend beyond the pipe. I was lucky enough to procure a length of steel piping that fit the hub with very little work.
Step 5: Fixed Rear Axle:
A hole is drilled into the stand (or rim) of the cut of section of the keg. The holes must be aligned so that the axle that will be passed through them does not get interfered with by the convex protrusion that makes up the bottom face of the keg.
Once the axle is in place, it can then be welded to ensure that it is sound.
Step 6: Lower Steering Bearing:
To prevent the steering column from moving laterally in its place from the pressures caused by riding, the column passes through a lower bearing, so that the column is held in place as close as possible to both points of stress (upper and lower.) Instead of machining 2 bearing clamps, a fencing flange can be used in a pinch. The one featured below is a perfect fit. The flange is to secure the bearing in place and limit welding onto the bearing.
In the lower right photograph, the bottom of the steering column is shown lathed to fit the bearing perfectly. All that is needed is a tacking weld to keep it in place.
Step 7: Assembling the Steering Components:
A hole must be drilled into the upper face of the keg, for the short protruding end of the hub to come through. The pipe is then welded to the keg; this allows the short end of the hub spindle to move freely. Welding the pipe to a curved surface requires a very accurate cut, or packing to make up the difference. The latter is simpler.
The lower bearing holder can now be secured below the upper bearing with 2 pieces of 10mm round stock. Once both bearings are in place, the steering column can be slipped into the lower bearing fully, then drawn back to meet with the hub spindle. A drilled hole in the face of the column that meets with the hub will assist in welding the two together. The lower bearing can be left as is.
NOTE: in this picture, the keg is upside down. Just making sure.
Now that the steering assembly is in place, the steering fork can be fixed to the end of the column. To aid in steering and help the keg to run in a default straight direction, the steering fork should be welded back from the centre of the plate. This means that the forces exerted onto the wheel while the keg is moving forward assist in the front wheel reverting to a direction of least resistance. In this case, forward.
Step 8: Making Holes
A hole is needed for the front wheel to come out. The aim is so that the front wheel is barely visible when looking at the keg, so the hole is at the bottom. To do this, mark an area suitable for the wheel and cut away with an Oxy-Acetylene Torch. You could just as easily find another way to do it, this is just how i did.
Step 9: Replace the Bottom of the Keg:
After making sure the front wheel has enough room to maneuver, weld the bottom of the keg back in place, making sure the direction of travel for the front wheel is perpendicular to the rear axle.
Before replacing the bottom of the keg, cold galvanizing paint may be used on the welds to ensure they do not rust.
Step 10: The Steering (yoke):
To steer the keg, there is an option of a steering wheel or a yoke. The latter is most suitable because of its simplicity and safety. That is, the yoke is very low profile and possesses no protruding edges. These qualities are preferable in the event of a crash.
The yoke is constructed of a length of 10mm round stock, cold bent to make a lever and then welded to the small protruding hub spindle (visible in this picture, the spindle can be seen protruding about 12mm)
A cap can now be put on the end of the yoke for aesthetics. This cap is made from 14mm stock with a 10mm hole put in the centre with a lathe. The cap is slipped over the end of the yoke and then welded in place. It is then galvanized.
Step 11: Rear Wheels:
All thats left to do now is to fix the rear wheels to the axle. To do this, find a washer with an inner diameter of 10mm and weld it in place on the axle. It is welded on to limit the wheels movement towards the keg, and jamming against the curved surface. This ideally leaves about 2cm space between the wheel and the keg surface. Once the washers are in place, the wheel can be fixed onto the axle by bolts, split pins or welds
This marks the completion of the prototype Keg-Kart
Finishing measures can be taken, such as exterior rust proofing on the welds, as below.
Enjoy your newly created and inherently dangerous machine of excellence. You've earned it.
Remember kids, brakes not only stop speed, but fun also!
Thats it folks, if you liked the idea or have anything to add, please comment.
Need further details or justification of choices or anything like that, the address again is: firstname.lastname@example.org