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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Chillers and Stir Plates > DIY Stir Plate... Worth It?
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:57 AM   #1
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Default DIY Stir Plate... Worth It?

So I don't have an old PC to salvage the magnets or fan out of. I have no problem building quality DIY projects but is it really worth it? I priced it out at Radio Shack and these are round about prices: Project box $8, Fan $10, Switch $3, Rheostat and Knob $5. +SH this would equal about $38 and that is not including the magnets. Those of yall that have built stir plates or other electronic devices what do you think? Is the DIY stir plate worth it when I can buy one for $50? Are there better sites out there that would carry everything I would need for cheaper? I know RS probably charges an arm and a leg for simple things but I cant seem to find another good site. Thanks for the input.

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Old 08-05-2011, 02:12 AM   #2
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I got a cigar box from the liquor store. Used an old PC fan, a strong magnet that I already had and a dc adapter I had laying around. I went to Radio Shack and bought a rheostat and switch for about $10. I also ordered a stir bar for about $6. I had a lot of fun building it. I think it was worth it for me.

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Old 08-05-2011, 02:17 AM   #3
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I saw a youtube video of one in a cigar box... yours? Could I order a magnet in a single bar to glue on the fan? say like 2" long .25" wide.125" thick?

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Old 08-05-2011, 02:23 AM   #4
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If you have to ask the "DIY worth it question", then you've already answered the question. Just buy one.

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Old 08-05-2011, 02:24 AM   #5
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If you like to buy everything new, as your post suggests, then maybe you're better off not building one.

Mine cost me $0.

Junk PC fan in my box o' computer parts: $0
Hard drive that went bad and salvaged the magnet: $0
7VDC dapter from God knows what: $0
Rheostat from VFD control at work $0
For the enclosure: abandoned Bell South cable box that was nailed to the side of my house: $0


Just saying... some stuff in your list of parts isn't really "needed" to make it functional, but instead to make it look good (box, new fan, etc). So it's up to you if you want to spend money to make it look nice, or if you just want something that works.

With a 7vdc adapter, the rheostat isn't really necessary, in my opinion. My rheostat stays cranked to 100% all the time.

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Old 08-05-2011, 02:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
If you have to ask the "DIY worth it question", then you've already answered the question. Just buy one.
I agree 100%
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:33 AM   #7
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Mine was "free" also. Found all the stuff just like JP. Took a fan and added a plexiglass plate on top attached via 3 inch screws which are the legs to lift it up off the table and allow better airflow. It's on or off...no rheostat needed.
I did break down and buy a stir rod though. Just couldn't get that piece of bar to coat properly with that plastic dip.........................did someone say cheapster

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Old 08-05-2011, 02:36 AM   #8
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The only thing 'not need' is the project box (as stated I have no box of comp parts or my large HVAC parts at work would make a way to big stir plate). A rheostat would be nice in order to control the speed. Besides that maybe the better question is "How do the commercial ones on the homebrew sites compare to the DIY ones?"

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Old 08-05-2011, 01:52 PM   #9
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I plan on buying this one.

http://www.stirstarters.com/

I don't have any of the spare parts lying around for a DIY one either. For $42 plus a lifetime warranty I don't think you can go wrong with this one.

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Old 08-05-2011, 02:22 PM   #10
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I built mine recently, and I think it really comes down to how easy it is to find the parts. If you have a computer lying around where you can get a fan and a magnet off of the hard drive, a container, and a old cell phone charger, you're a trip to RadioShack away from having a stir plate. If all those things aren't accessible, you'll have to buy the fan, the magnet, or scour the dump looking for stuff. After about my 4th trip to RadioShack/Computer Repair Shop/Hardware store, I was right on the fence about building it.

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