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Topic: Drum perf size question (7 msgs / 223 lines)
1) From: Mike McGinness
Okay all you drum roaster builders. I ran across a 13" long, 8" diameter
stainless steel *wastebasket* with 3/16 square holes at Lowe's for $12.
12/64th seems just barely small enough in my mind, 1/8 8/64th better but the
price seems very very good. What da ya all think?
While I haven't been *actively* planning a drum roaster yet, I suspect it
would work well. Though I do have a couple 120v electric heaters (bathroom
size, 'bout 8" wide long zig zagging elements) in the garage I've been
toying with the idea for a drum roaster heat source... I measured the heat
about 1" above the element last night and pulled my Thermapen when it went
over 600f... (Thermapen only rated to 592f and didn't want to destroy it)
Haven't pulled one out of garage to check it's actual wattage rating yet but
thinking maybe use elements from two heaters in tandem, control by variac of
course! (and airmovement fan(s)). Just thinking out it stage at this
MM;-) aka Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
Dual Variable Transformer Rosto Roasting
Rocky grindin' - Miss Silvia brewin'
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2) From: Oaxaca Charlie
 I think it has good potential, Mike. Most quality coffee is
graded to 15/64th or larger. Some hardware cloth with 3/16 mesh
can be used to pre screen unusually small stuff before putting
it in the drum. Nice price, and large enough to roast a lb. easy
with agitaters installed. By the time you're finished the Hot
Top will seem like pretty quaint old technology.;O)
--- Mike McGinness  wrote:
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3) From: AlChemist John
Sometime around 21:51 2/4/2003, Mike McGinness typed:
I think you are going to be building a drum roaster in the near 
future....Oh, about the drum...
I think the holes are a little large but the overall size is good. The 
price is real nice and you could probably wire up the holes as has been 
Good trial drum at least.
Right, but I bet you do like I do and have been passively planning it in 
the back of you mind for months :-)
Although I know you love your variacs, I bet that you would not need them 
at all in the end with the system's thermal momentum/capacity.
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Roasting and Blending by Gestalt
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4) From: Ed Needham
I would not go below 5/32".  Even the Frontgate can is limited to medium to
larger beans.  My first grill drum roaster had holes the same size as the
Lowe's can and it was a pain with each roast to remove the stuck beans.http://www.homeroaster.com/P7181929.jpgThis pic shows normal sized beans getting stuck at 3/16".
Some here bought the Lowe's can and have said beans getting stuck is not
really a problem.  Maybe the fewer holes means less stuck beans.  Who knows.
The Lowe's can is not very expensive, so not much loss if it can't roast the
smaller beans, but if there was a choice, I'd go for 5/32" or smaller.
I'm sure you probably already considered this about the heaters you
mentioned, but they might not hold up, or could be a fire/shock hazard if
they are installed so the heat they put out is concentrated and not in open
air as they are designed.
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!http://www.homeroaster.comed

5) From: Marchiori, Alan
I did try to use wire to block the holes.  It didn't work.  I couldn't get
enough tension on the wire (by hand) to get the wire to stay put where I
wanted it.  I do, however, have some aluminum screen that I picked up at
home depot.  It would seem possible to wrap the can with the screen (inside,
or out) to keep the beans from falling out.  
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6) From: Mike McGinness
From: "Ed Needham" 
Unfortunately your perf size answer is what I expected. 3/16" size
marginally at best. Yesterday I carried the can around while looking at
other stuff and put it back. The choice for me is to wait, I'll continue
looking for 1/8" perfs. I'm not going to build a limited bean drum
roaster... if I can't roast the smallest Peaberry etc.
Heater wise I don't know how well they'll hold up. My planned use of variac
voltage source is less for actively changing voltage during roast but as
means of heater output control, just like gas dial controls flame. I don't
plan on using the heater thermostats which yield on/off voltage to element.
If they fry from use in enclosed space they fry. I have a few of them.
Picked them up on close out a decade or so ago when I had one fail in my
bathroom. Been up in the garage loft in a box, don't rightly remember how
many:) I'm not concerned with shock hazard, they'll be grounded. Fire
hazard, but of course. We're dealing with high heat and flamable chaff! Just
in the thinking design in the mind stage as yet.  BTW, has anyone
considered/tried using one of those large *package* rural mailboxes as part
of a drum roast chamber design? Maybe hinge mounted so the back can be
lifted and the beans dumped out the front into waiting a cooling tray etc...
just some of my design idea ramblings... I also want to incorporate a test
pull trowel for sampling roast progress, and ideally a small window looking
into the end of the drum from the front.
MM;-) aka Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
Dual Variable Transformer Rosto Roasting
Rocky grindin' - Miss Silvia brewin'
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

7) From: Ed Needham
Just roast the beans 'in the mailbox' and the mailman picks them up and
delivers them...Cool!  (not a bad idea, really, as long as it's not
galvanized, which most probably are)
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!http://www.homeroaster.comed

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