In a message dated 7/4/02 5:53:42 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
<< Would you describe for me the kettle-dome setup you referred to, please?
How wide are the rims, how do you affix the dome to the kettle, how did you
attach the column to the dome, etc.? At present I use a 16L s.s.kettle and
the flat lid that came with it. However, I have been considering a s.s.
mixing bowl if I can find one with the proper diameter. John V >>
Howdy John and everyone, Here's a couple of pics of my set up for what
it's worth. Hey, it works and didn't cost much. The bowls are from yard
sales, the fiberglass is leftover scrap and the 20L pot was on sale for $12
US (Not Walmart). The sink drain came from a local plumbing supply, the same
place the 2 inch threaded connector at the bottom of the column came from. I
used steel rivets and they rust, should have used SS (or aluminum?) Sealed
the hollow rivets with silicone after the test run. Do this before you forget
I'm not saying this is the best correct way to build this - just how I
First cut a hole in the boiler dome to put the sink drain thru. Use lots
of silicone on the flange interfaces and on the threads where the dome
contacts the drain. Don't put silicone (yet) on the drain threads that will
connect to the column. Don't use the rubber gaskets (or any gaskets) that
come with the drain. Trust me, I've already done that and had to take it all
apart to get them out. Metal to metal with silicone sealing the gap and
tighten it down as tight as possible keeps it solid. Oh yeah, buy a drain
with a wide flange and shoulder. Bring the SS bowl (dome) to make sure it
fits inside. Save the drain screen gizmo for other cool projects. I used mine
in the carbon filter for filter paper support.
Using the completed dome as a template, trace onto lid and cut inside the
line to leave enough for attaching the dome. I used a jigsaw (sabre saw) with
a SS cutting blade to also cut the holes in both bowls. Buy a few blades cuz
at least one will break twisting thru the tight turns on the bowls. Place the
dome with sink drain attached onto the lid and drill one hole thru both. Put
a small nail or screw thru this one before drilling any others to make sure
you are happy with the dome/lid alignment and to keep that hole lined up as
you drill the others, adding nails\screws as you go. After the holes are
drilled (I did 8 - it holds), I used silicone at the lid/dome interface and
stuck rivets in all the holes before cranking 'em down, alternating from 12
o'clock to 6 to 9 to 3 then the one's in between. Wipe off the excess
silicone inside and out. The SS is sharp on the inside so have a stitching
kit handy. Don't (and I mean don't) pull on any excess silicone after it's
set. Cut it with a sharp blade or you'll pull out what you've painstakingly
If you use a double dome set up (where a larger dome fits over the boiler
dome to hold down the insulation), be sure to have the larger dome on the
column before attaching the boiler dome (duh).
Screw the boiler dome onto the column. I siliconed mine on to prevent
leakage. The teflon tape just didn't work no matter how much I used. It melts
in the ethanol or something. I suppose the dome can be removed even with the
silicone, but I haven't needed to do that yet, even when cleaning the column
and replacing scrubbers.
As far as securing the lid/dome to the boiler (pot), I use vice-grips
(locking pliers?) for now, but will come up with something better here soon.
They work just fine but there must be something better than that. The
lid/boiler interface is sealed with sticky back door insulation ( 3/8 inch
heavy-duty, not any wimpy stuff) stuck to the inner lip of the lid. I used
rubbing alcohol to clean that surface and remove any oil. I've only done 7 or
8 runs now, but it's still there and I may use the sleeping mat stuff when
the time comes to change it.
I suffer from a mental problem I call "Somes-heimers" because I haven't
gotten to Alzheimers yet. This condition causes me to forget things. I
mention this to warn you that I might have left something out, but I believe
that's all of it. If anyone else has anything to add to this, please do. I
don't have a patent on this nor will there ever be one. It's all just a big
learning curve. Good luck!