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I have this 55 gallon blue drum that I just picked up from car spa, but the top is not removable. What tool should I buy to remove just the top part of the plastic drum so that I can replace it with a wire mesh?

Update: I just looked into the Dremel tool, maybe this could work?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Dremel tool would work, but is very undersized for the job. It wll get HOT if you try it. A Rotozip or similar small router could do the job. If you're not too concerned about the look of the edge, a jigsaw with a course blade would work given a pilot hole to start with. Plastic does tend to vibrate and seize on jigsaws, so expect a rough ride. Best choice is likely a small router with a rotozip style cutting-bit.

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I think I'm going to go with your suggestion. Thanks for such helpful information. – Robert Jan 4 '12 at 8:15

When we cut vinyl siding, my tool of choice is a circular saw with the blade installed backwards. By putting the blade in backwards, it will wear down the plastic with a smooth line rather than shred it with a rough edge. The thicker and harder the plastic, the slower you have to go.

If the circular saw doesn't work (perhaps because you can't make your cut as a straight line around the rim of the barrel) then a Sawzall is the quick way (I'd be tempted to use a blade with a high tooth count to reduce shredding). And if all you need is a small round hole, then your standard hole saw on a drill will work.

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If you just have one cut to make, you can probably use a hacksaw blade - something like this would probably work fine.

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