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How I Build The Ice Appliance


[Under Construction]

Preparing Copper Casing

For those of you who might be interested in how your appliance is constructed from start to finish I’ll give the details here. First, for the Ice Appliance, I prepare the copper casing. I buy 20’ sections of Type L copper tubing. This is a heavy wall tubing that will last forever as we use it. I cut this tubing into 6 1/2” sections using a Rigid #30 tubing cutter. Once the sections are cut I prepare them to have a copper bottom soldered in using steel wool to clean and polish the inside of one end. The copper bottom is obtained by using a die I obtained that precisely cuts a sheet of copper plate, using an arbor press ,to the exact inside diameter of the Type L pipe. Prior to inserting the copper bottom into the pipe, I use steel wool to polish and clean the edges that will be soldered to the pipe. The bottom fits so tightly inside the copper pipe that you must press down on the edge of the pipe while resting on a solid surface to get the pipe to spring open just a little allowing insertion of the copper end. I then must use a large washer of just under the inside diameter of the pipe and a section of plastic pipe as a punch to drive the plate into position for soldering. Once it is in position I completely solder it into place. I normally do 7 or 8 casings at a time. Once they have cooled, I fill them with water to make certain there are no leaks. When they are tested and dried then they are ready to be used as a casing for the appliance.

Preparing the Central Core

What is needed to build the central core:

Two High carbon steel bars ½” x Ό” x 5” drilled and tapped 6/32 on one end

Two glass strips 1/16” x ½” x 5”

Two pieces carbon plate ½” x Ό” x 5”

Two pieces carbon plate 1 3/16” x Ό” x 5”

The heart and soul of the Ice Appliance is its central core. And the most important part of this core is the steel bars. These are two pieces of high carbon steel ½” wide, Ό”thick and 5’ long . On one end of these steel bars, holes have been drilled and tapped 6/32 as close to the outside edge of the bar as possible. These tapped holes will later receive the solid brass standoffs that have been drilled out to accept banana plugs. These steel bars are then separated by two pieces of glass 1/16” thick. The glass and steel are then completely surrounded on all sides by carbon plate Ό” thick and this is then wrapped in one layer of masking tape. The method I use is to select the steel pieces making certain that the drilled and tapped ends are diagonally across from each other. This gives you a little more room for insertion of the Banana plugs later. I insert the two glass strips between the two steel bars and then place this on top of a piece of Ό” thick by ½” wide by 5” long carbon plate. I then place another piece of carbon plate of the same size on top of this. Next, on either side of this sandwich of glass, steel and carbon, I place the remaining carbon plates making a rectangular core completely enclosed in carbon plate. I next lightly tape this core with one layer of masking tape. In order to facilitate the taping, I hold the core tightly together with rubber bands. Standing the core upright on my wooden work bench, I tape each end making certain that I slightly overlap the edges so that when I tape the sides, all of the carbon is covered by tape. After the ends are taped, I lay the assembly down on my work bench keeping the rubber bands to the middle and out of the way, I tape each end with 2” wide masking tape. Now that the core is stable, I remove the rubber bands and then use 1” wide tape to finish wrapping the core, making certain that no carbon plate is left exposed. This core is then ready to have the solid brass insulated standoffs inserted.

I buy solid brass zinc coated electrical standoffs and then, using my drill press, drill them out to accept banana plugs. Once they are drilled out, I completely insert them in red or black heat shrink insulation. I leave this insulation extending an inch and half past the drilled end. Leaving this insulation in a long tail and then shrinking it down makes certain that the brass interior of the standoffs is protected from the lacquer finish that is applied in the final step of appliance construction and that the purchaser knows that this appliance is brand new and never used by anyone else.

For the ground charcoal that is packed around the core, I buy natural hardwood charcoal that has not been treated with any chemicals. I use an old meat grinder to personally grind up the charcoal. I initially did it all by hand but soon learned that that was a powerful lot of cranking. I adapted an old drill to the grinder shaft and now I just lock the drill on on and hand feed it the charcoal chunks. It’s a messy job but it gets it done.



Send mail to Tom@happyhillspringworks.com with questions or comments about this web site.