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CoffeeCat
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CoffeeCat
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Posts: 76
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Z5, Barista, Saeco Superauto
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Roaster: Buzz, Stir crazy/G-Gourmet
Posted Mon Dec 8, 2003, 10:36am
Subject: Stir Crazy/Galloping fixes and enhancements
 

Stir Crazy Fix - Preventing meltdown of the Plastic drive

During the first two roasts with the Galloping stir crazy I melted the plastic nut and stud off the drive of my stir crazy.  I later found out that my convection oven was running much hotter than the thermostat indicated.  Even so I've read many others have had problems of this sort so I thought I'd post my repair strategy which allows me to roast hotter and longer.  Very briefly I'll just say that I drilled, tapped and replace the stud with a metal one which I also epoxied in place.  I was worried that the heat transfer would ruin the drive all together so I needed to insulate the center drive.  I bought a 1" copper pipe end plug from my hardware store and some Mono brand expanding foam insulation (stated on can that it's non-toxic after curing).  I cut a slot in the plug to accommodate the stir wires, then trimmed the plug so that it fit nicely over the center piece without sticking up too much.  I took the spray foam and filled the plug to about 40% capacity then just sat it on top of the center piece.  The next day I scraped off the excess foam, wiggled the drive unit so that it was free and voila.  I have a copper exterior, and foam insulation protecting the center drive shaft from heat.  I can now obtain the temperatures that I want without worrying if the center shaft will turn to jello.  In fact yesterday I did several dark French roasts in a row.  A couple of the roasts only took 9-10 min.  - carl

CoffeeCat: stir crazy fix.jpg
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CoffeeCat
Senior Member
CoffeeCat
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Posts: 76
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Z5, Barista, Saeco Superauto
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Roaster: Buzz, Stir crazy/G-Gourmet
Posted Mon Dec 8, 2003, 10:39am
Subject: Re: Stir Crazy/Galloping fixes and enhancements
 

Roasting by Temperature with the StirCrazy & Sears Thermometer

I found this neat oven thermometer at Sears for $6 which works well to gauge roast via temperature while using the Stir crazy/convection oven setup.  It originally comes in the stand that you see below but can be popped out easily.  I just toss the thermometer in with the beans and let it ride around during the whole roast.  It does get covered in beans but a thin ruler will slide in an clean the face off for a quick read without losing heat.  It works great, measures the true bean temperature, and it doesn't require lifting the lid and letting hot air escape.  It also doesn't require any modification to the setup.  The thermometer does max out at 450 F but I imagine you could just estimate for higher temps based on pointer position.  Best of all...it's cheap - carl

CoffeeCat: Thermometer.jpg
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,841
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Wed Dec 10, 2003, 10:56pm
Subject: Re: Stir Crazy/Galloping fixes and enhancements
 

CoffeeCat Said:

Stir Crazy Fix - Preventing meltdown of the Plastic drive

During the first two roasts with the Galloping stir crazy I melted the plastic nut and stud off the drive of my stir crazy.  I later found out that my convection oven was running much hotter than the thermostat indicated.  Even so I've read many others have had problems of this sort so I thought I'd post my repair strategy which allows me to roast hotter and longer.  Very briefly I'll just say that I drilled, tapped and replace the stud with a metal one which I also epoxied in place.  I was worried that the heat transfer would ruin the drive all together so I needed to insulate the center drive.  I bought a 1" copper pipe end plug from my hardware store and some Mono brand expanding foam insulation (stated on can that it's non-toxic after curing).  I cut a slot in the plug to accommodate the stir wires, then trimmed the plug so that it fit nicely over the center piece without sticking up too much.  I took the spray foam and filled the plug to about 40% capacity then just sat it on top of the center piece.  The next day I scraped off the excess foam, wiggled the drive unit so that it was free and voila.  I have a copper exterior, and foam insulation protecting the center drive shaft from heat.  I can now obtain the temperatures that I want without worrying if the center shaft will turn to jello.  In fact yesterday I did several dark French roasts in a row.  A couple of the roasts only took 9-10 min.  - carl

Posted December 8, 2003 link

Man that's a beautiful mod...RJ

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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bish
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bish
Joined: 24 Mar 2003
Posts: 203
Location: Bellport, Long Island, NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Giotto Premium
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Vac Pot: No counter space left!!!
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Roaster: Gene Cafe, FrankenRoaster
Posted Thu Dec 11, 2003, 6:21am
Subject: Re: Stir Crazy/Galloping fixes and enhancements
 

Here's a picture of my small mods.  As usual, my nut melted... not as drastically as some, but it took on a shape more suited to a Dali painting than a coffee roaster.  I was able to remove it OK, and as the base and stud were OK, I just replaced it with the nut and washers as shown.  I'll be adding the copper cap as per CoffeeCat (thanks for that!)

The mods on the wire arms are a couple of spacers from the chain department of the hardware store.  I think they were the 1/8" and 3/16" sizes.  I bought both as they were a big dime apiece :)  The longer pieces with the screws are the insides out of a "euro-style" power strip connector (Radio Shack).  These usually come in strips of eight or twelve, and when the plastic is stripped, it gives you a number of approx 1/2" tubes with a screw-down clamp at each end.  Just make sure you get the strips where the internal diameter of the tube is large enough to take the stirring rod.  The screws in place are the ones that come with it.  These can be positioned vertically (as shown) or pointing forward or backwards to assist bean movement.  Any number of these connectors can be added to each arm (as long as the unit doesn't repeatedly stall under load), and if you want, the screws can be replaced with longer ones to really make a difference with the bean agitation.  Four of these on each arm with 1" screws protruding should make a real difference.

The picture shows the preliminary installation.  Everything turns nicely, and the spacers roll well.  I bought a 12-strip connector, so I've got eight more of the little theaded tubes to play with.  With longer screws and varying angles, I'm sure it's going to end up looking like a porcupine :)

Cheers
Peter

bish: nut and stir.jpg
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ksmccul
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ksmccul
Joined: 17 Jul 2003
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Location: iowa
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Grinder: pro-line
Vac Pot: old school glass cory
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Roaster: convection/stir crazy combo
Posted Thu Dec 11, 2003, 9:40am
Subject: Re: Stir Crazy/Galloping fixes and enhancements
 

very nice....
I got to go to the hardware store now...
thanks guys..looks great...
i like the cap Idea also as some times a bean or 2 will sneek in under that center area on mine...

the stirring mods are very, very,good.....that is what I needed... great!!!
I 'm going to get me some ....@ lunch today...
excellent/
thanks again
kel
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ksmccul
Senior Member
ksmccul
Joined: 17 Jul 2003
Posts: 257
Location: iowa
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: pro-line
Vac Pot: old school glass cory
Drip: Mellita Clarity/Pour...
Roaster: convection/stir crazy combo
Posted Thu Dec 11, 2003, 11:47am
Subject: Re: Stir Crazy/Galloping fixes and enhancements
 

just got back from radio shack
I asked the guy for "eurostyle power strip" and he gave the deer in headlights look...
they are called barrier strip "european-style"
I picked up the 12 row middle sized one...
it is going to work great....
thanks again for the mod...
how did you come up with the guts of a barrier strip?
kel
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bish
Senior Member
bish
Joined: 24 Mar 2003
Posts: 203
Location: Bellport, Long Island, NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Giotto Premium
Grinder: Mazzer Mini & Maestro+
Vac Pot: No counter space left!!!
Drip: Technivorm MoccaMaster
Roaster: Gene Cafe, FrankenRoaster
Posted Thu Dec 11, 2003, 12:09pm
Subject: Re: Stir Crazy/Galloping fixes and enhancements
 

ksmccul Said:

just got back from radio shack
I asked the guy for "eurostyle power strip" and he gave the deer in headlights look... they are called barrier strip "european-style"
I picked up the 12 row middle sized one... it is going to work great.... thanks again for the mod...
how did you come up with the guts of a barrier strip?
kel

Posted December 11, 2003 link

Kel, that's easy... I'm European :)  Seriously, I always had a pile of these things around when I was living back in the UK... just things that have been hanging around in the bottom of my toolbox etc.  I guess they're just part of my "wealth of useless information" and the product of being brought up in a slightly different environment with a different armoury of tricks at my disposal.  The downside of this is that I haven't been brought up with all the bits'n'pieces that North Americans take for granted... I'm still on a learning curve with Home Depot :)

Cheers
peter
p.s. In my experience, the guys at Radio Shack (Tandy in the UK) always have the deer in the headlights look :)
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Wonder
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Joined: 26 Oct 2003
Posts: 42
Location: Sacramento, CA
Expertise: Professional

Grinder: Blade Grinder
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Roaster: 4lb. Drum Roaster
Posted Thu Dec 11, 2003, 6:55pm
Subject: Re: Stir Crazy/Galloping fixes and enhancements
 

Ok,
Who thought it was a good idea to put plastic on a hot cooking surface anyway? I replaced the palsatic nut right off the bat with a metal wing nut and wound up going staight to problem number 2, destoying the threaded shaft. It crumbled in front of my eyes. So I would like to replace it with a metal one...

Problem number 3, how exactly do I do that? I know I need to drill out a hole for the new shaft, but what do I ask for at the harware store, do they make small threaded shafts? And what kind of epoxy do I need, will it put up with the heat?

Another thing I noticed is that the beans bunched up quiet a bit with just the plane wire and also with 1/4 inch aluminum tubes slipped over the wire. Now, I bought a small piece of aluminum sheet metal to build some agitating viens but now have kind of baffled myself with exactly what to do with them...

Thanx,
Wonder
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Wonder
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Joined: 26 Oct 2003
Posts: 42
Location: Sacramento, CA
Expertise: Professional

Grinder: Blade Grinder
Drip: Press pot, Cone Filter...
Roaster: 4lb. Drum Roaster
Posted Thu Dec 11, 2003, 6:57pm
Subject: Re: Stir Crazy/Galloping fixes and enhancements
 

Just an after thought...
Those vulture like Radio Shack employees are complete idiots.
:>
Wonder
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CoffeeCat
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CoffeeCat
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Posts: 76
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Z5, Barista, Saeco Superauto
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Roaster: Buzz, Stir crazy/G-Gourmet
Posted Thu Dec 11, 2003, 9:56pm
Subject: Re: Stir Crazy/Galloping fixes and enhancements
 

Hi Wonder,  from what Iíve read thereís two ways you could handle this.  I replaced the plastic treaded stud with a metal one Ö but thatís the hard way.  Someone smarter than me on Coffee Geek suggested just putting a screw into the drive.  Youíd still have to drill a hole a little smaller than the screw, then install it with a washer to hold the wires in  place.  The good part of this idea is that if it goes south on you, then thereís still enough material left in the shaft to go to plan # 2 which would be to drill and tap (put threads in the hole with a tap) a hole to receive a threaded stud.  You might have to take the shaft out of the machine to do this (I did) but a carefully placed pair of vice grips might hold the shaft in place for the minor surgery.  As far as a threaded stud I just had a ľ inch bolt with threads in my garage and cut off the length I needed but you could buy a bolt at the hardware store to do the trick.  As far a epoxy you probably couldnít loose with JB weld.  Any epoxy that will bind metal to plastic will work.  

IMPORTANT:  once you fix this, cover it up so that the heat canít get to it again.  I posted a suggestion above with the copper plug but Iím sure that there are other ways to do it.  I wish that I could illustrate with a step by step picture series.  I donít think Iím explaining things as clearly as Iíd like.  Ė good luck
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