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Old 07-05-2009, 05:53 PM   #1
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Default Stir Bar Silencer

Occasionally, the stir bar I use on my stirplate will rattle slightly, especially at higher speeds. I also noticed that some stir bars have a tendency to do this and others do not. I'm using a 48mm bar. (2" x 5/16")

So, I've been looking at some alternatives. There are quite a few different stir bar configurations. One design is shaped like a barbell and it's supposed to be more stable and quieter. The problem is that they are too expensive.

Thought I would try an experiment to approximate the barbell shape. I put two O-rings on the stir bar positioned symetrically about 2/3rds out from the center. Works like a charm!

The O-rings I used are the same size used on keg dip tubes, but any 1/4" ID O-ring should work. I've have not tried any other size, so there could be an even better choice on these.

Here's a pic of the stir bar w/-Orings installed:

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Old 07-06-2009, 02:32 AM   #2
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Thanks for the heads up! I have the same problem.

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Old 07-06-2009, 02:44 AM   #3
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Yeah I have noticed that the stirbars with the small center band are prone to getting thrown, as opposed to the ones where the center area is at least 1/4inch long.

That's a good rig you came up with.

Another option for those who have this issue, and can't find o rings is to see if the bar will fit snugly in a piece of any of your hoses, then cut off a piece anywhere from a quarter to an inch depending on the length of your stir bar, and slip the bar in there. Your making a sleeve basically.

Or if you can cut the hose into your own o rings and place them in the above configuration.

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Old 07-06-2009, 07:46 AM   #4
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I forced a piece of vinyl tubing over the bar magnet the same length to keep the noise down, my daughter can hear a mouse fart 100 yards away and complained before this quick fix.

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Old 07-06-2009, 02:03 PM   #5
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Thanks for the ideas. I have the same bar and it's obnoxious.

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Old 07-06-2009, 02:05 PM   #6
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I use the o-ring as a pivot point when doing a starter in a 1 gallon jug. Works like a charm.

I use a closet as the silencer.

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Old 07-06-2009, 02:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer View Post
I use a closet as the silencer.
I don't think it's so much that it is noisy, in my case the bar like the one in the picture with the small pivot point would get thrown even on the lowest speed of my stirplate.
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
I don't think it's so much that it is noisy, in my case the bar like the one in the picture with the small pivot point would get thrown even on the lowest speed of my stirplate.
It was the occasional rattling that I found annoying, so it was a noise issue for me. The side benefit of using the o-rings is that it also improved the stability of the stir bar.

I like the idea of using a section of plastic tubing over the stir bar, but I would be concerned about cleaning and sanitizing it. I would think it might be a hassle to remove and replace. The O-rings are easy to slip on or off and they are dirt cheap. You can get them at most any hardware store.

Here's a pic using four O-rings. This seems to work even better than two, but two work quite well by themselves:



Stir bars can vary in quality and balance. They can also be damaged if dropped or otherwise subjected to shock. They should be stored stuck together to help maintain their magnetic properties. I've ordered some cross shaped stir bars to play with. I'll report my findings after I try them out.
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:44 PM   #9
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I've tried several stir bars, and the one that seems to work best and is the most quiet is one that's shaped like a football. The only way I can tell it's still spinning is by checking the vortex, and it's got a great spin to it too. I've tried a couple crosses and liked them the least.

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Old 07-06-2009, 06:31 PM   #10
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I have a 2" bar with a fairly wide pivot ring, does not get thrown easily and is pretty quiet. I use 1/2 gallon growlers opposed to flasks. they have a slightly concave bottom, when I get it centered up well, there really is no rattle.

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