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Old 03-06-2012, 08:37 PM   #1
clearwaterbrewer
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Default DIY themowell from 1/4" tube

I have made some 1/4" thermowells from tubing I got from grainger..http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/Tubing-3ADU9

I used a hacksaw to cut 4 angled notches in the tip and bend over into a round shape, TIG shut, and grind/polish smooth.. not happy with the time taken to make them and with the appearance of them..

Anyone use a lathe and some sort of tool to 'spin' or 'turn' them down to a rounded point? Was thinking some small bearings mounted in a MT-2 tailstock for my micro-mark lathe... (similar to a knurling tool) I have lots of ideas, just wanting to see if anyone has put them to practice...

optionally, anyone seen pre-fab tubes that are cheap (less than $5 for 6-12")?

-mike

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Old 03-06-2012, 09:03 PM   #2
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Stainless steel knitting needles. Why reinvent the wheel.

http://hiyahiyanorthamerica.com/us5m...sCsid=czhomdcv

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Old 03-06-2012, 09:36 PM   #3
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how well do those fit in 1/4" compression fittings, 1/4" is 6.35mm...

edit: I guess it is easy enough to use a 1/4" MFL washer(less than 1/4") and drill out the 1/8"NPT-1/4"flare fitting to just over 5mm...

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Old 03-07-2012, 02:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clearwaterbrewer View Post
I have made some 1/4" thermowells from tubing I got from grainger..http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/Tubing-3ADU9

I used a hacksaw to cut 4 angled notches in the tip and bend over into a round shape, TIG shut, and grind/polish smooth.. not happy with the time taken to make them and with the appearance of them..

Anyone use a lathe and some sort of tool to 'spin' or 'turn' them down to a rounded point? Was thinking some small bearings mounted in a MT-2 tailstock for my micro-mark lathe... (similar to a knurling tool) I have lots of ideas, just wanting to see if anyone has put them to practice...

optionally, anyone seen pre-fab tubes that are cheap (less than $5 for 6-12")?

-mike
I havent done this yet but my idea was to turn a piece of stainless rod or some such so that there is a short shaft that will fit inside the tube and there will be a step up to match the outer diameter. Do a fusion weld around the seam and clean it up in the lathe and maybe turn a slight point on it.
I like the spinning idea. I am thinking a small bearing mounted in the end of a piece of stock that could be held in a tool holder.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clearwaterbrewer View Post
optionally, anyone seen pre-fab tubes that are cheap (less than $5 for 6-12")?
I assume you've seen the Brewers Hardware probe ends that many of us use? Wasn't sure what kind of ID dimension you need.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:44 PM   #6
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I assume you've seen the Brewers Hardware probe ends that many of us use? Wasn't sure what kind of ID dimension you need.
That's pretty much exactly what I was thinking.
5 bucks a piece for the 12 inch, pretty cheap too.
http://www.brewershardware.com/Straight-Tubes/
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:24 PM   #7
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I assume you've seen the Brewers Hardware probe ends that many of us use? Wasn't sure what kind of ID dimension you need.
I saw the $14 and up thermowells, but not the temp probe ends... not sure what the difference is... Thank you, $14 was too steep for needing them in quantity...

Those $3.50-6" and $3.75-8" closeouts look good... I ordered 4 each.. I would like to spin them myself in the future, so if anyone comes up with a tool or procedure, let me know..
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:57 AM   #8
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I think the thermowells have a large enough ID to hold the probes or a probe from something like a Johnson controller.

The probe ends are large enough for individual sensors like a one-wire sensor or anything else in that package size.

Darrin's stuff is pretty well made. I've given up trying to make anything he sells already as I know mine wouldn't be as good.

Not sure how you're using these but check out how he does the compression fittings by drilling through them and them using o-rings as a seal. Works out real well when in a mash tun so you can easily back them out of the way while stirring in your grains.

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Old 03-08-2012, 01:13 AM   #9
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Deleted my post, didn't read someone already pointed you at brewershardware.com my bad.

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Old 03-08-2012, 01:15 AM   #10
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When I have to shape something round that is not critical but want it to look good I just chuck it into my cordless drill then grind it to the shape I want by hand. A bullet nose is really easy and can turn out great. You can use sandpaper to smooth it. Then take it to a buffer if you want it shiny.

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