I decided to use the conventional method of attaching the meat to spit by fabricating the typical meat spikes. A few things I was particular about was I wanted no thumb screws for securing the skewers to the spit and I didn’t want a sloppy, loose round hole for the skewers to slide onto the spit. I didn’t want thumb screws because they loosen off and they are very difficult to deal with when they are hot and greasy while you’re fumbling with them when wearing gloves. I didn’t want round holes for the skewers because I want everything to fit snug and secure. The client asked for 8 skewers so eight is what I’ll make!
The skewers themselves are made from 304 Stainless Steel 5/16″ round bar. I needed to start by cutting 16 of them the 7.5 inches long. They got mounted in the lathe so that a 15 degree angle could be cut for each spike. Once they were spun up they got mounted in the bender and given a 90 degree twist.
The hubs were going to get fabricated with a 1/2 inch hex hole in them so they will slide securely onto the spit. I used cheap 3/8″ drive 1/2″ chrome sockets as the centers for the hubs. The main portion of the hubs was cut from 1.250″ x .250″ seamless steel tubing. In an effort to keep the costs down stainless steel was not used. The seamless tubing was cut to a length of .900 inches on the chop saw. They were then cross drilled using a .3125″ bit in order to have holes to accept the 5/16″ stainless spikes. Once drilled, the rough cut hubs made their way onto the lathe to get faced and grooved for welding. Each hub got a 1/2″ socket TIG welded into the center of them. One more trip to the drill press and the holes for the M6 socket head set screws got drilled. Back onto the lathe and the outer portion of the hubs got cleaned up. The set screw hole got tapped and then the scrap portion of the chrome socket got parted off. Then one last facing to clean up all the welds.
By this time all the spikes and hubs were fabricated and the joining of the two was all that was left. I built a very simple jig out of a 2 x 4 which would not only hold the pieces while they were welded but it would also make all the skewers consistent. After the welding the skewers all got a clean up, the set screws were threaded in, and they were complete.
I had separated the skewers into 2 groups. Half of them got the spikes mounted 90 degrees off from the hub when compared to the other group. This way the skewers could be double stacked to allow 4 spikes to be used on one end. It left the options open.
Next item on the list is to build the counterweights and the “back-up” emergency crank handle.