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Make rotisserie with 44 gallon drum

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Steve Vtec, Aug 27, 2015.

  1. So I've acquired a 44 gallon drum and am going to make a large rotisserie for the summer. I feel like rigging up a windscreen wiper motor and using a car battery to power it, and I'm thinking some kind of push bike sprocket and chain arrangement to spin the thing. I'm currently drawing up some plans, will post pics when I get them sorted.

    Id like to be able to raise and lower the height of the spike, but that means if the wiper motor is fixed the chain length would vary depending on what height I set the spike at. I thought of making up a jig so that the wiper motor would be raised and lowered with the spike, which makes sense as then the chain length does not ever change and everything is solid.

    Just wondering if anyone has entered a similar project and knows of anything I need to look out for - I'd rather not make a mistake that's already been made by someone else.

    Obviously you're invited to a bbq when I get it finished
  2. I used to own one. They're cheap and nasty - inferior quality, tray rusted out well within the year, motor constantly felt like it was going to die (although surprisingly it never did, kept on chugging away), and I never once got that smug sense of self satisfaction that would inevitably come a roast I made myself, on a bbq I made myself. Good to see how they're built though. My time and effort are free when I'm working for myself - This is a project of pleasure. Something I enjoy spending my time and effort on. I'll throw some pics up when progress begins
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Motor and chain drive could be mounted on a plate arrangement which is fixed to the upper part of the adjustable post. That'd be the easiest way.
    Or if you want an extravagant looking machine and just want a small amount of adjustment (~50mm), you could have a spring loaded idler on the chain to maintain tension

    Some people like to make things.
  4. Yeah something like a plate was what I had in mind. Nice one. Extravagance is no problem, but when I'm drunk at my own bbq I need to be able to fix it when it breaks, so simpler is probably better this time haha
  5. I am thinking the wiper motor might struggle with the task, we had one years a go that used an electric motor from a clothers dryer with a big reduction pully it could turn a whole 100kg pig on it's stainless shaft and was set up so it could be raised and lowered with a winch handel
  6. That's the kind of input I'm talking about!
  7. I'm very keen on to the spit. And this excites the shit out of me. Please post pictures. And have a NR pig on a spit day, I will be there.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. I'll make sure I photograph the whole thing and maybe make a little instructional.

    Winch idea is fantastic, so is washing machine motor. I really like the wiper motor idea as I can power it with solar and a car battery... I'll just need a dc power supply (can probably use a 12v car charger just hooked up to the battery) in case the sun goes down and the battery can't hack it anymore. Plenty to think about. I'll get to work. Looking for the best way to cut the 44 open, a single cut right down the guts is hardest to screw up, but I keep feeling like it would make the hinged part unnecessarily heavy and I'd really like to be able to run it with the lid propped up so everyone can admire the rotating meats. There's nothing quite like watching a big chunk of animal spinning a complete revolution every 18 seconds and basting itself in its own glory. I miss summer spits...

    Sorry, I got a bit distracted there. Anyway I'd prefer to cut at an angle and have hinges closer to the top, not at the back if you know what I mean? Like only cut and open 1/4 of the drum, not a full half. Need to be able to fit a big pig in it tho... Have to get the measuring tape out and brainstorm some more before I start hacking.
  9. How many volts are those old-people scoots? The Gopher ones?
    I imagine those things are torquey, given the build of some people I've seen them move.
  10. How fast does a windscreen wiper motor spin? Remember with appropriate gearing it doesn't need to be a very big motor to exert a lot of torque. I suspect the gearing is going to be an issue. If you want three of four revs per minute, and the motor spins at 300, you need to gear it down by a factor of 100. Not impossible, but may need more than one set of gears...
  11. Generally 12 or 24, the 24s are usually 2x 12 batteries in series. The electric motor from one of those gophers would be amazing but I imagine they're quite heavy. I'll do some more research. Also a wiper motor has 3 speeds - intermittent, on, and spastic, so that might affect the gearing too. I'll just use a tiny sprocket on the countershaft and a massive one on the spike. Should be able to get a pretty good ratio. I'm not adverse to having a wicked sprocket setup welded to the plate with chain everywhere, it's just a time consuming affair where there may be a more bang for buck way to get it done...
  12. I hope the drum didn't contain petrol or other flammable fuel, if it did fill it with water before cutting it or you might be doing your next BBQ on the moon.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1

  13. For a rotisserie do you really want a lid? That would create too even heat which defeats the purpose of turning it. You would get the same thing putting it in an oven. With the turning you get heat rest heat rest heat rest which allows a much slower roast.

    Here is one I hired to cook a pig about a year ago if you want dimensions.

    1601518_4236652011385_9179910839484162943_n. 10339723_4236651211365_7405222901218002688_n. 10367151_4236649851331_8384138383443736203_n.
  14. Typically you fill it with exhaust gas
  15. Yeah it had 205 litres of high grade transformer oil in, I'll give it a rinse before I grind :p

    And I don't want to run it with the lid down, I just want to be able to partially close it for dramatic effect. Also to keep light rain out.

    And, I reckon if it was spinning around with the lid down it would still be better than oven as the fat would run around the meat and as opposed to pooling underneath. Rotisserie wins
  16. Maybe cut 1/3 out, from middle front to upper rear ?
    Also, golf cart motors would be pretty handy, and probably not too big.

    Could you put the motor and gearbox in a small enclosure that can slide up and down on the end of the drum, and then a support pin under it to fix the needed height ?
    The spit and attached gear would just rest on top of the gear box.
    For the other end you just need an inverted Y type stand, with holes drilled every 20 mm or so to match the pin holes at the other end. A bit like an axle stand.
  17. Yeah that was one of the options I thought of, i definitely think if I can make up the motor/gearbox and the sprocket that turns the rotisserie on one plate that can be height adjusted as one unit that would be superior. Then just need a threaded hole with a bolt to slide the spit bar through and lock it in place...

    Another idea was like descending hooks at the other end so can have 4-5 different heights over 300mm or something, doesn't need to be as precise as an axle stand so not as many holes needed, similar to what you see at the charcoal chicken joint... I'll come up with a few, do a bit more research and see what has worked for other backyard builders.
  18. The 1/3 cut out is great, the cut will be horizontal or slightly lower at the front and somewhere at the upper back, instead of horizontal at the front and back. I like this a lot.
  19. Sounds like you're on top of it, and obviously done this all before, also consider cutting your spike/axle holes before cutting the lid, should match up nice then when the lid closes.