Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Small Papercrete Mixer Version 1.
Behold my first papercrete mixer! Well... actually the first was technically a five gallon plastic bucket and a paint mixer attached to a little cordless drill, but this one is a lot more impressive.
It started when my father showed up with this gigantic drill. This thing is so huge that you would have to be somewhat insane to try to use it on just about anything. The drill by itself weighs about 40lbs. The new version seems to have a lighter casing. This one is all cast-iron. I am hoping some day someone asks me if I have a drill they can borrow to put in a few screws. I can't wait to pull this out for them.
Anyway, I was getting ready to make a tow-mixer and was kind of wishing I had something for medium size batches that I would not have to drive around when drillzilla showed up. $10 on a metal 55-gallon drum and some welding and I now have this thing. Basically I put a bolt in the bottom of the drum facing inward, put a couple of washers on the bolt then welded a couple of lawn mower blades to a pipe to put over the bolt. Then a bolt in the other end of the pipe for the drill to hold on to. The rest is just a frame to hold the drill in place.
The first test lasted about 10 seconds... my welding around the bolt that the drill attached to broke and I had to reinforce that. On the second test it seemed to be going pretty well until the entire barrel started spinning and lurching all over the porch. I guess the torque from the drill was too much for the weight I had in it (about 15 gallons at the time). Like an idiot I grabbed the barrel while it was flopping around and forgot that the edge was sharp. I now have three impressive cuts on the ends of my fingers.
I decided the blades were probably too long so I cut the ends off, then I decided it was not mixing fast enough so I welded them back on at an angle. I am fairly pleased with the final result, it does not throw the barrel around when you turn it on, but it still mixes pretty quickly. It will probably help if I wet and tear the papers into strips before I throw them in instead of just throwing the dry papers in. They tend to get wrapped around the shaft if you do that.
Now as soon as we get power and water at the property I will have a lot of mixing to do. Since I doubt anyone would want to buy a $700 drill for this, the same thing could probably be accomplished with an auger powerhead for $200