New Tapcooler can filler base

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Golddiggie

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I've been working on a new base for the Tapcooler can filler I bought a while back. I had picked up their accessory base, with the grooves and back drain. To me, the back drain was a total pain to use (had to keep working it to get the thing to drain). Plus it really wasn't big enough. You could fit the can on it, sure. But you needed something else to place the can on in order to place the lid on before sealing it. Which means you needed to have a drip try right next to it. I did that for two sessions while I worked on the replacement base.

Used a section of 1" x 5" x 8" aluminum (bought a 12" length, cut it to 8"). Then proceeded to make the area for the clamp to come out of where the filler is installed. Minor mistake made at the end there making the slot a little too long, introducing slop. Fixed with a couple of allen screws, which I'll be replacing with set screws shortly. I did drill and tap the hole to install another screw to hold the bar in place. Pretty much the same as the one I bought. Used a 5/16" end mill to make the grooves where the can will sit. Used a 1/2" end mill to make the feature at the back, around the bar. Also used a chamfer bit to remove sharp edges from the entire thing (top surface only). Also drilled and tapped a hole on the underside for the clamp to hold the base to the cart I use (same threaded rod and such that came with the setup). I also drilled and tapped the center of the working area 1/4" NPT for a brass barb fitting (3/8" barb) which I then put a short length of silicone tubing onto, right over a catch container. The catch container is also large enough so that any foam overflow that goes over the back of the base drains into it.

Used it for the first time yesterday and things were a LOT easier filling the cans. I might do something to protect it down the road. I'm also thinking about doing it over again with lessons learned from the first time. Just means I need to order another chunk of aluminum and get to it. ;)

Pictures:
PXL_20210704_225611114.jpgPXL_20210704_225653151.jpgPXL_20210705_232052918.jpgPXL_20210705_232120201.jpg

Next one (if I do make one) will have more even groove configurations. I might try to find a 1/4" end mill with a long enough LOC to use. With the plate being 1" thick at the start, the grooves are 3/4" deep. I also machined off the exposed part of the brass fitting, and then recessed it a bit. All in the effort to promote better draining. IME, the larger base is a big help compared with the smaller one they sell. I might even make version 2 a full 12" wide. The only 'issue' with that is fixturing the plate in order to drill the hole that's parallel with the top surface. You need to stand the plate on it's end, so that's about 6" off the vise bed. Milling vise jaws are less than 2" tall, so there was about 6" sticking up in the air. I simply used some more (thick) aluminum I have on hand to stabilize the piece. Used a couple of Kant-Twist clamps to hold it all together and drilling was easy. Of course, I broke the tap on one of the rear screw holes I made. Luckily, I had another tap of the same size to use. Version 2 will also ditch the metric screw sizes (from the hardware from Tapcooler) for SAE sizes. Instead of farking metric M4 screws, I'll use either an 8-32 or 10-32 to secure the clamp bar. If I need to use screws in the back, I could just use some of the 1/4-28 [set screws] I have on hand. Or one of the other sizes I have. IME, metric SUCKS for drilling and tapping holes. It's pretty difficult to find the proper drill size for metric screws. Where it's crazy easy to find the correct drill size for SAE/Standard screw sizes. For metric, you have to go with "that's close enough).
 
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This looks cool, but it is completely out of context so I am totally lost on the application. Can you upload come photos of your entire mobile canning cart for reference? Please?
 
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Golddiggie

Golddiggie

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Here's a couple of pictures in it's "resting" position. ;)
PXL_20210909_160056601.jpg

PXL_20210909_160130295.jpg


I place containers behind the Tapcooler for both cans and lids. The containers are partially filled with Starsan. I roll the cans in it before removing (draining inverted) and filling them. Lids are separated from each other in the container of Starsan so that they get a proper soak. This has worked well for me so far. I might be looking to get a different can filler over the next 12 months, but haven't decided on what to get. Mostly because of the costs of other stationary models. I like how the Tapcooler is [essentially] a sealed filling setup.

IMO, it's pretty crappy that it doesn't appear you can actually GET this configuration anymore. I'm not seeing the part that the Tapcooler fits into (that goes to the clamp) offered now. Or at least not with the seller I bought it from. If the maker is not offering that anymore, that's a bad move. Since not everyone wants to use the filler mounted to a wall/fridge/keezer/etc.
 

day_trippr

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I will never understand why the company chose "Tapcooler" as its name...
 
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Golddiggie

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Who knows. Maybe it's because they're out of Norway.

BTW, it looks like at least one of the listed vendors (for North America) still have the 'canning station upgrade kit' available. If you're interested, I'd grab that FAST before they go out of stock and they are not replaced.
 
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Who is that vendor? Looking but not seeing. Can you provide a link... Please?

I was looking at the magnetic mounted can filler, you're right IMO that having the only (mostly only) option to mount to a wall or fridge is pretty limiting. I like your roll around cart idea. I was considering something similar using a stainless restaurant prep table. Using the 'vegi' cavities for star San and other tools.

I never considered it until just now, but I think I may have to throw some linoleum down for some additional ease of cleaning over bare concrete.

Nice job on the aluminum mill job, that looks slick!
 
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Golddiggie

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Get it while you can.
 
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Golddiggie

Golddiggie

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A little while ago (maybe a month back now, or so) I picked up the newer part that goes between the Tapcooler filler and the open can. Of course, the setup wouldn't work with the assembly I had already made, so I made up a new one.

Picked up a medium duty, 18", bar clamp along with another hunk of aluminum for the base. Went a slightly different route for how the base and bar clamp connected this time. Simply put, I cut a piece of 1"x1" aluminum stock I had on hand (2" long) and made a slot in that for the bar clamp to use. Then drilled and counterbored the square stock for screws. Made matching threaded holes in the base plate as well. Then proceeded to machine the grooves in the new base. Used a 1/4" (two flute) end mill for that. Groove depth is about 1/2" in the current base (went deeper in the first one, didn't need to). Made the tapped hole for clamping to the cart as well as the drain fitting. Also using a stainless steel bolt for the clamping aspect. Instead of the threaded rod originally sent with the original hardware. The other screws are also stainless steel.

End result:
PXL_20211202_213212932.jpg
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PXL_20211202_213244156.jpg
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Having a good milling machine, with solid DRO's, makes this type of thing a lot easier than otherwise. I might remake the part that connects to the moving part of the bar clamp (and Tapcooler item).

The Tapcooler item needed to get the mounting holes drilled a bit so that I could use the 6-32 screws I bought. Not difficult to do. I took the measurements for hole placement before that. I had to make a couple of edits to that aspect so that the part would move freely for securing the can. Not difficult, or all that time consuming. Using the vise stop I have installed means that I was able to remove the part and have it return to zero when put back into the vise.
 
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