Hi all you homers out there-
I finished the VolksRoaster MK VI several weeks ago and now I'm
prepared to unveil her to you folks with some pictures. I tried this post on
alt.coffee.binaries.amateurs but everyone sent me unsolicited posts of their
Hearthwares as 'trades' and seemed to think I would *really* enjoy them. Weird.
The new VR is basically a slightly larger roaster box than the old VR MKV with
the booster coil and main coil enclosed in the box. It is 20" by 6" by 7" and
the roaster box itself is 14" from screened inlet to top of box. The main
sheet aluminum and a tiny bit of aluminum flashing.
The VR has 1 coil from a Presto PopLite mounted below a modified aluminum
and ceramic coil housing from an old WearEver Popcorn Pumper containing a
doubled coil (interleaved coils). Air is supplied by a blower apparently
designed for medical uses which I found for 5 bucks in a thrift store. Since I
wanted to try initial high temps, I needed more power so I added a preheater
unit, another coil from a Presto PopLite, in an old coffee canister from an
aluminum kitchen canister set from the 70's which had seen better days. That
makes 3 discreet coils and a high output blower which is very adjustable.
There is a thermometer mounted to measure beanmass temp (a 550 degree digital)
and an analog pelouze mounted just below the screened entry into the
to measure air temp.
I cut the aluminum (.030") with hand tools and assembled all the panels with
screws and lock washers and a few pop-rivets... also several tubes of bright
blue high-temp silastic and a stick or two of high-temp epoxy putty. I'm
afraid there is also a bit of aluminum tape here and there, too, as some
just wouldn't allow fasteners but tape would work.
As a finishing touch she has, not a filter which clogs and increasingly
airflow throughout the roast, but a genuine chaff cyclone. This is aluminum
flashing for the cone (formed around a Clemson University football fan's
cheerleading megaphone I found, of course, in a thrift shop) and an empty
can and a piece of 3" aluminum duct.
The main coil is powered up and down by the simple expedient of plugging and
unplugging it... even VERY heavy duty switches melt. The booster coil (in the
box below the main coil) is controlled by a 1400 watt dimmer and the preheater
external coil is powered up by a switch. This thing sucks power like a
must, must, MUST have two dedicated 20 amp circuit breakers to work safely.
In all I figure I have about 40 hours in it and about $120.00 US. She roasts
from 1/2 to 1 1/2 pounds, and I prefer to roast 12ozs to 1 lb at a time. Temps
are variable from room temp to about 600 degrees F with normal roasting temps
seldom exceeding 500 degrees.
Cooling is accomplished with a vacuum pulling air at high volumes through an
aluminum box (yes, thrift store) in which is set yet another old aluminum
canister with its bottom removed and replaced with heavy aluminum screen wire.
1lb of coffee is cooled to ambient in under one minute.
The coffee is transferred from the roaster box to the cooler by suction. I no
longer have to pick up the hot roaster and dump it. Yes!
Here are some urls to some annotated pics, all jpegs, none of which exceed
most of which are smaller.
FIG 1- The whole suite, roaster, preheater, blower, cooler, cooler vacuum and
chaff cyclone, on its cart... a hospital bed table.http://members.carol.net/tnjsimpson/1%20VR%20MK6%20%20FIG%201.jpgFIG 2- Cooler assembled as if for use, with the Redoubtable Jill's finger
assisting. In practice the end in the roaster is swept about and all the
beans are captured by suction and transferred over to the cooler tub.http://members.carol.net/tnjsimpson/2%20VR%20MK%206%20COOLER%20FIG%202.jpgFIG 3- Closeup of cooler. Left pic is with removable tub in place, right shows
bottom of cooler tub.http://members.carol.net/tnjsimpson/4%20VR%20MK6%20%20PREHEATER%20FIG%204.jpgFIG 5- A really bad line drawing scan of the guts of the VR Air is heated ">http://members.carol.net/tnjsimpson/3%20VR%20COOLER%20DETAIL%20FIG%203.jpgFIG 4- Closeup of preheater with the cooler box and tub in the foreground.http://members.carol.net/tnjsimpson/4%20VR%20MK6%20%20PREHEATER%20FIG%204.jpgFIG 5- A really bad line drawing scan of the guts of the VR Air is heated
booster and main coils and exits into the roaster box through the SS screen,
pushes the bean mass about, heating and agitating said beans. For more info,
read the brilliant Sivetz patent, number 3,964,175 dated June 22, 1976. The
is awesome...http://members.carol.net/tnjsimpson/5%20ROASTER%20DRAWING%20FIG%205.jpgFIG 6- a not-to-scale line drawing imposed over a picture of the VR. Actually,
its pretty close. The angles are about right and the therms are in their
locations.http://members.carol.net/tnjsimpson/6%20ROASTER%20BOX%20DIAGRAMVFIG%206.jpgI'll try to answer questions where I can. Now that the box is sealed the
of electrocution during use is somewhat less than with the MK V, but if you
to build such a beast be advised that it is HOT and it is POWERED. You can
yourself badly, die of electrocution or burn your house down if you are
I am fortunate to have a savvy landlord to install adequate electrical
circuitry, plus I'm handy with tools. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY
RESULTING FROM ATTEMPTS TO BUILD THE ROASTER SHOWN IN THESE PICTURES. YOU ARE
WARNED THAT THESE PICTURES ARE FOR ENTERTAINMENT ONLY AND SHOULD NOT BE
A SUGGESTION THAT OTHERS ATTEMPT TO BUILD A HOME COFFEE ROASTER OF ANY
EXAMINE THESE PICTURES AT YOUR OWN RISK AND AGREE TO HOLD ME HARMLESS WHEN YOU
USE THE ABOVE URLS TO NAVIGATE TO THESE PICTURES.
Isn't that a bummer. There was a time when awls didn't have to have a label
warning against cleaning one's ears with said tool, but no more...
Enjoy. What are you building on your Summer Vacation?