I spent time this weekend starting to fabricate all the little things that were getting left behind. It always takes longer then I think to do what one would consider a simple task. I was putting off all the smaller items because I didn’t have a game plan. I gave up trying to “AutoCAD” in my brain and decided to just go out to the garage and start cutting, grinding and welding.
Both the spits need counter weights. I have absolutely no idea how much weight will be required so I guessed. I built the weights so they can unbolt off the support arms that way if I have to change them later it will be easy to do. Again…I was struggling trying to find something to use for weight. I rummaged through my scrap metal pile and found some left over steel from when I built my metal bender. I welded the 1 inch alloy round bar to the 2″ seamless tubing then set it up on the lathe. I machined them down into cool looking weights. I made the weights 2 different sizes, one for the bigger spit and one for the smaller one. The large weight came out to 937 grams and the small one is 586 grams. They both got drilled and tapped to accept a bolt.
I had to make sure the weights were fully adjustable. I took a 12″ piece of 1.5″ x .250″ flat bar and plasma cut a groove down the center of it 10 inches long. The end then got drilled to accept the weight. I machined the hubs, which mount on the spit to accept the weight arms, out of the same material I made the skewers out of. I welded a 1/2″ chrome socket to some 1.250″ seamless tubing, machined it all down and then cross drilled them to accept a set screw. The arms allow for full adjustment of the counter weight. They can be adjusted 360 degrees rotation and the leverage factor goes from approximately 1″ to 10″.
I needed to make something capable of clamping the backbone to the spit. Most people use a U-bolt with a couple of wing nuts. I wanted something a bit more stable as well it needed to have a quick and easy tightening method. Like with the skewers, I wanted a system that was useable when hot, greasy and while wearing gloves. I came up with a clamping system that allows for quick assembly, quick and easy tightening, and can be adjusted “on the fly”. The unit was all built out of 304 Stainless Steel 3/8″ round bar and 1″ x .250″ flat bar. The only mild steel is the threaded adjustment rod (which doesn’t contact the food). The double spiked assembly gets driven through the carcass from inside the chest cavity and ends up straddling the spit and spine. Then the hold down clamp gets slid onto the spikes from outside the carcass along with the screw down assembly. The whole unit stays together with a couple of locking pin. You can see the setup in the lower picture. I clamped a piece of pipe in the holder to simulate a spine.
A couple of other minor additions also included a “back up” crank handle for the spits incase of a rotisserie motor or power failure. As well an extension cord holder and strain relief was added to the rotisserie side of the BBQ.
This week I will spend sometime using AutoCAD to come up with some roof ideas. I’m hoping to be able to use the metal bender to help achieve a cool design.