Hello to all you ‘do it yourselfers’
A while back I posted that I would report my results on trying
to build a vulcanizer from an adjustable temp. waffle iron.
Someone else (sorry, I don’t know who) had posted the idea and I
tried it. I took the 2 halfes of the iron apart and extended the
wiring with stove wires and ceramic nuts. I bolted the halfes to
plywood with a sheet of steel and 2 layers of automotive heat
gasket insulation on each side. The top half moved (notice I’m
using the past tense, You’ll see why when you read of the fate
of my attempts) up and down on steel rods supported to the base.
Compression was supplied by a humongeous ‘C’ clamp bolted to top
and bottom. I brazed together a large aluminum mold frame,
prepped the piece to be molded with castaldo gold label rubber
and fired the monstrous contraption up. The first thing I noticed
was that the temperature settings were not accurate. Having set
the dial to just over 300 degrees farenheit I heard little
popping, hissing and bubbeling noises (I guess the rubber was
boiling!). I turned the temp down some, trusting my questionable
instincts, and continued to tighten the clamp every few minutes.
Next thing I noticed was the aluminum grill plates bending. The
housing was not sturdy enough to support the plates. Then a
couple of loud pops- My mold frame popped open. Hoping against
hope that I might be able to salvage the mold, I did not abort
the process until… The whole mechanical sandwich began to
smoke. The wood, despite the insulation was starting to smolder.
I quickly escorted the monstrosity ouside and to my garden hose
and doused it, waffle iron, mold and all, with water (unplugged
it first of course- I’m not that stupid). When I inspected the
mold the ouside was sticky and overcooked while the inside did
not fill in completely. I’m going to put the wicked thing out of
its misery! I would like to know if anyone has had success with
this or related ideas (not that I’m gonna try it again!) As I see
it: Waffle Irons are for making waffles- Then again, I bet you
could make great waffles in your vulcanizer!
Tom Tietze- The Artisan Workshop, Fresno, California