I have been using the original hop bag that came with the brewing kit I got for Christmas. Getting tired of burning my finger tips during hop additions I figured it's time to build a hop spider. I wanted something durable, easy to take apart and easy to clean.
After surveying several designs and ideas I started with the ring and supporting rods.
For the main part of the frame I found a Mainstays (Walmart) SS utensil holder
The can measures 6-3/4", plenty big. It has a nice lip on the edge that will be the bottom.
I need to cut the bottom off so I use my trusty hack saw and a C-clamp. You could use a grinder with a cut-off wheel to accomplish the task. I put a small block of wood, with beveled edges, in between the clamp head and the SS so it wouldn't dent and misshape the side.
Cutting 3"- 4" at a time I worked my way around till the bottom was separated. The metal thickness is about .018" so keep in mind it will get a bit flimsy as you near the end of the cut.
Trimming the bottom left a jagged edge so I cleaned that up with my bench sander by gently rolling the part.
Since the rolled rim will be on the bottom of the frame, this means the thin edge is going to be on the top side I need some type of edge molding. I found some rubber carburetor vacuum hose
that will make a great edge molding. BTW, rubber vacuum hose can be picked up at any local auto parts store in any city.
Using a razor to carefully slice one side of the tubing so it will slip over the edge of the frame.
Attached the edge molding and then trimmed to size.
Getting ready to drill holes for the supporting rods. Using the square divider to make sure my holes are in alignment.
The four positions are marked 1-1/4" from the top. The automatic punch is perfect to get my set points.
I used my hand drill, 1/8" and 1/4" drill bits. The 1/4" drill will walk off the slick stainless steel so it is necessary to use a 1/8" bit to drill pilot holes. Follow up with the 1/4" bit to finish. (No Photo)
This is what it looks like with 1/4" stainless rods attached.
Testing in the kettle.
I decided I didn't like the crisscrossing rods so I changed the design up a bit. I dropped by Home Depot and picked up some 3/8" aluminum round rod, SS 1/4-20 button head cap screws and SS washers. As you can see I have already cut to size, drilled and tapped the aluminum rod. I drilled and tapped 1" into the rod to account for the 3/4" SS screws.
Cleaning the aluminum rods with the drill and Scotchbrite.
Before and after.
Button head cap screw and a washer on the inside, no washer on the outside.
Now with all four attached.
Added some shrink tubing
(Home Depot) to each supporting rod to deaden any rattling that may occur and it just looks cool. It should aid in not having to touch hot bare metal with your hand. I used 3/8" shrink wrap and it was tight sliding it onto the rod. I used a blowtorch to make sure there was no shrink left in the wrap.