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motorized eWOK/CO
after numerous problems w/ the SC's motor (not enough torque, reversals way too often during the most critical moments) and stirring shaft (couldn't get the d@mn thing to stay straight/level, leading to more reversals), and extreme envy of eddie's GC holiday roasting marathon, i decided to scrap the SC portion of my SC/CO in favor of an electric wok (which i'll be referring to as eWOK) with a stirring motor ripped from a movie theater-style kettle popcorn popper my stepdad brought home from work. originally i had intended to use the motor as it was used in the popper: using its gear to drive the hinged kettle's footlong driveshaft. however, trying to drill holes to mount the eWOK to the kettle's thick stainless steel lid (the hinged part, through which the driveshaft protruded) was a PITA (and diminished my bit collection considerably). at this point i decided to try my luck mounting the motor directly to the bottom of the eWOK (after all, it was mounted at the top of the popper, and heat does rise). so far it's worked out great, no signs of overheating the motor after 10 roasts, even w/ the eWOK's heating element on (not the entire roast, just to help w/ initial ramp up and tanning to 1st stages). anyway, enough blah blah, here's a pic:
stereoplegic attached the following image:
previous pic: the yardstick was my spacer in the original SC/CO setup (attached to SC via springs and bolts through the yardstick only-couldn't drill the SC's plastic upper rim w/o cracking it). now, the springs and bolts hold the yardstick around the rim of the CO lid, not as a spacer (eWOK has plenty of space), but to hold it in place on the eWOK (both CO and eWOK outer rims are rounded off-lots of slipping and sliding). also, this helps to keep heat within the roasting chamber, although the yardstick doesn't go all the way around the CO lid-hence the extra metal strip inbetween-a 6" metal ruler that i got in a pack of 10 from the $.99 only store (i love that place!). through the hole in the yardstick and ruler you can see my 8" cooper thermometer, though i'm leaning more toward the multimeter w/ TC probe you see at the bottom (but the cooper stays there until i get more comfortable w/ celsius readings-no fahrenheit on the multimeter, but it only cost $20 new at fry's). yes, that's a paint can you see, $.99 at southland hardware, clean and free of paint. it was the easiest and most cost-effective way i could find to mount the eWOK and protect the motor's fan (already missing 1 blade, bottom, non-stirring shaft side, this is a non-continuous gearhead motor).

this next pic shows the gap i made in the paint can for the eWOK's protruding heating element contacts:
stereoplegic attached the following image:

Edited by stereoplegic on 01/19/2007 1:56 AM
pic #3 shows the roaster topless, inside the bottom half of the roasting chamber: originally the eWOK was teflon-coated, but i sanded it off. here you can see the motor's driveshaft sticking through the hole i drilled in the bottom of the eWOK (luckily it was already centered as that's where the eWOK's original bakelite base was mounted). around the driveshaft, on top is the original gear which drove the same size gear on the kettle's stirring shaft. at the bottom, on the eWOK's surface, are two washers (to lessen friction between the stirring arms and stationary wok surface), a 5/8"x2" fender washer beneath a regular 5/8" or 1/2" washer (i can't remember which) on top of the washers are the arms from the top of a lampshade frame, bent to the contours of the eWOK. i drilled a few holes in the center ring of the lampshade arms (or at least started to, this was also a PITA to drill) into which i stuck two #4 or #6 pan-head sheet metal screws (the length of the screws fits between the teeth of the gear, around which you see a hose clamp to hold it all in place. this is how i got the motor to drive the arms. on the two frontmost arms you can see euro-style barrier strips (remember, this is a variation on the SC/TO idea). can you guess from this pic what i used as the thermocouple shield?
stereoplegic attached the following image:

Edited by stereoplegic on 01/19/2007 7:28 AM
here's a closer look inside: the TC shield is a steam wand from a general electric espresso and cappucino maker (who said steam toys are useless?), another thrift store find. the flathead (10-32 machine) screws you see here are what's holding the motor in place. after drilling the holes i switched to a bigger bit so the screws would fit flush and not interfere w/ the stirring arms. the holes outside of these screws were to mount the paint can using the same method, but they didn't fit as well and got in the way of the stirring arms. also, you can see that the bottom right arm is shorter-it broke when i was bending it into shape.
stereoplegic attached the following image:

Edited by stereoplegic on 01/24/2007 2:44 AM
since flathead sheet metal screws didn't work to mount the eWOK to the paint can base, i used the hooks from a pair of plate hangers (from $.99 only-the springs on these things were worthless anyway). as you can see i had to bend them a little to get them to stay put together, and to get them to stretch from the top rim of the eWOK to the holes where the paint can's handle would go. in the upper left corner you can see the TC probe going into the end of the steam toy steam wand that was attached to the boiler (fed through a hole in the eWOK that i originally drilled for the cooper thermometer, but didn't work out). the bolt you see is to keep the wand from tipping up and out of the bean mass when the CO top is put on. in the bottom right corner you can see the (very messy) 3/8" hole i drilled for the motor's power cord (male end of a $1 store extension cord-i have a million of these-connected to the motor's leads w/ twist-on wire nuts) fed through a spindle i cut out of a 50-pack of CDRs. i'm all about doing this on the cheap.
stereoplegic attached the following image:

Edited by stereoplegic on 01/19/2007 2:48 AM
yet to come: i've been using the handle/power supply and built in temp dial (dimmer w/ 0-400 degree markings) from a 600w (eWOK's 1000w but i don't want/need to go that high for a little extra push) mini electric skillet, but it's not a perfect fit and i may have future plans for the skillet anyway. i'm still looking for a better solution (and fit) for the eWOK's heating element. i've bought a 600w wall dimmer to limit it's current, now i just need to mount it and hook it up. also, this thing vibrates a lot and can be very noisy at times, so i plan on mounting rubber feet to the bottom of the paint can base. i may or may not pursue the hinging option. because of the eWOK's deep shape, it's much easier to dump beans for cooling than the SC was. i am a little jealous that farmroast beat me to putting the hinged-CO-based-roaster-dumping-mechanism into effect though. but seriously, this guy has a beautiful roaster and cooling setup:
Edited by stereoplegic on 01/19/2007 3:10 AM
Your skills and ingenuity never cease to amaze me ... s:4

Edited by EddieDove on 01/19/2007 10:29 PM

Eddie Dove

The South Coast Coffee Roaster
vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Reference


stereoplegic wrote: i'm all about doing this on the cheap.

Attaboy. s:2s:2
Nice work, stereoplegic. s:1s:1
(blushing like a schoolgirl) thanks guys. i'm just glad to be roasting more than 5-6oz at a time again. enjoying a cup of 50-50 costa rican tarrazu and nicaragua matagalpa (i'm thinking maragogype, man those beans are huge!). no more specifics than that, i got these beans locally (from spec's liquor, of all places!) i combined the remaining 8oz of each to see if this roaster could handle 1#. 16min roast, C+ to FC (much better than the severely baked 30 min C+ 8oz nicaragua matagalpa i did w/o the eWOK's heating element), four days rest (yesterday the tarrazu still hadn't come out of its shell) this is a great smooth cup with nice herbal and slightly chocolate aroma (nicaragua?), slightly fruited (costa?) taste w/ just a touch of chocolate and herbs. keep in mind my nose and palate are still developing.
What's the latest?

Eddie Dove

The South Coast Coffee Roaster
vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Reference
1.5# is the biggest i've done so far. it struggled a little (not enough preheat, nor enough of the bottom heating element, but pulled of a good FC in 18.5 minutes. needs a little work, but not bad.
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