Drill Roast coffee roaster

Here’s a bit of info on my previous coffee roasting rig from a few years ago. It started life as a steel popcorn popping pot, which is just like a stovetop cooking pot, but has a hinged lid and handle mounted hand crank mechanism to turn a paddle at the bottom of the pot and agitate the beans.

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I drilled a small hole in the lid and fed in a thermocouple probe from my multimeter to measure temperature. I used the gas side burner on my outdoor grill for roasting — there is simply too much smoke to roast this way indoors.

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This worked well, but I wanted to make the 15-20 minute process less physically taxing! So, I took apart the hand crank mechanism and I grafted a power drill directly onto the shaft of the pot’s paddle. By wiring down the trigger at a slow speed, I could sit back and enjoy watching the coffee roast itself.

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Ultimately, this method still produces quite a bit of unevenness in the roast, so I eventually abandoned it for a purpose-built home roasting machine, the Behmor 1600. But, it was a fun period in the evolution of my coffee roasting process that I wanted to share.

Making a custom watch strap

My 1967 Omega Constellation has a fresh look. I made a custom strap for it that is sized to my wrist and non-adjustable. I’d seen similar designs before, but didn’t way to pay for something that looked so simple to make. It turned out to be pretty easy using a few specialized tools, hardware, and a thin scrap of leather. 

First, I cut the strip with a box cutter and straightedge.

Next, I used a small leather punch and mallet to make a clean hole for a screw-in button stud.

After measuring the strap on my wrist, I marked a spot for the button hole. I used a specialized tool that creates a slit and properly sized hole, when struck with a mallet.

Then, I cut a small strip of leather to fold over and hold the strap end. I punched two holes in its ends and stitched them with waxed thread. I’m really happy with the result.