Friday, July 11, 2014

DIY(ish) Stir Plate.

I really wish I had done this sooner. I got lazy on it, and for some reason convinced myself it would probably be more difficult, etc etc...

Well it isn't hard. In fact, I did it the lazy way. You may be saying "can't be lazy enough for me." Yeah, you're wrong. Here, let me outline the process.

Step 1: Have an amazon account and Prime.
Step 2: Acquire items to assemble. Fan. Flask. Magnets! (you only need two, but I like magnets). Stir bar. Box. - Edit 7/15 @12:03pm: Looks like the box is gone. Just get something of similar dimensions. Mine was 4.7" x 4.7" x 2.2" high. Could be smaller all around but I like this size, easy to work with.

Update 7-12 @3:20pm: The fan is the essential part of this build. Because it is already wired to be powered via USB and has a speed control on it, there is absolutely no wiring to be done. All other parts can be done however you want to, but the fan is the key point to making this DIY as stupidly simple as possible.

Step 3: Assembly. I'm serious when I say this is stupid easy.

The above is it. I have a dremel so I put a hole in the right side near the front to pull the cords through. The speed control I had to cut free from its enclosure, but that was straightforward enough and isn't necessary. You could leave it alone if you want and just not fasten the top to the box so you can easily pop it off since once you dial in the speed, adjusting it isn't very necessary. I used some packing materials I had sitting around to hold the fan still. If you don't, you'll soon realize you need to. Cardboard box I cut up and folded under there as well to raise it up just a tad, though I'm not convinced this is necessary I'm too lazy to remove it since it's all working now.

The single hardest part of this was getting the magnets lined up properly to get it to spin. This is trial and error, but it's not hard.

In all, what you'll need are the materials (or close/equivalent) to the ones in step 2. A way to punch a hole in one side of the box (got a drill?), and misc. packing materials or hell, paper would probably work if wadded up and packed in there to keep the fan from moving. That's it. No wiring to mess with.

This comes out to a bit more expensive than most of the "true DIY" ones that require using a phone charger to power a computer case fan, etc etc. However, it is still considerably cheaper than buying a stir plate pre-made, is (I think) idiot proof (I did it!) and it works.

Quick note on the materials I linked to. The prices fluctuate, and appear to be all higher than what I paid. My total came out to around $38 not including the flask. You can probably source the materials cheaper than that, I just went with the "I want to do this now" mentality when I finally decided to do it. In the end, it came out cheaper than the Stir Starter and is essentially the same exact thing. Plus you get to tinker and make it work yourself, which I personally enjoy.

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