DIY Wafer Thermostat
After my electronic thermostat stuck on and roasted 15 black copper marans eggs and 12 rhode island red eggs, I decided to get a backup thermostat. I bought 30 more black copper marans eggs so I really didn't have time to order a wafer thermostat in the mail. I scoured the local feed stores but I could not find anyone that had a complete wafer thermostat in stock. The closest I could find was the replacement wafer thermostat disc.
I figured if I could just get a few extra parts, I could easily build a diy wafer thermostat. So once I had the thermostat disc in hand, I went to the hardware store to get everthing I needed.
Here is the list of parts I used in this DIY wafer thermostat:
- Replacement wafer thermostat disc - $6.99
- Stake bracket (used to hold 2x4's on the sides of trailers) - $4.29
- 120v Push-button switch (make sure it defaults to ON) - $3.29
- A 3 inch #10x32 machine screw and matching nut/wing nut - $0.34
- Super glue (free for me) - $1.00
- A scrap of 1x2 board (free for me) - $0.89
- A few wood screws (free for me) - $0.50
Total Cost for me: $13.91 (A decent savings over a commercial unit but that wasn't really the point of building this)
Total cost if you have to buy everything: $17.30
Here are the tools needed for the DIY wafer thermostat:
- Electric Drill
- Various drill bits (7/32", 1/2", 1")
- Hand Saw or chop saw
Top view of the diy wafer thermostat - building directions below
- Begin by cutting the 1x2 piece of wood to be the same length as the stake bracket.
- Measure to find the center of the stake bracket, drill a 7/32" hole in the center of the stake bracket.
- Superglue the #10x32 nut over the hole you drilled, making sure not to get superglue inside the threads. Make sure to glue it to the correct side of the hole you drilled. You can look at the photo of the finished thermostat to see where the nut is glued.
- Measure to find the center of the 1x2 wood piece. Drill a 1" hole about halfway through the wood. Check to make sure that you have drilled deep enough that the threaded part of the switch will go all the way through.
- Drill a 1/2" hole in the center of the 1" hole. This one goes all the way through.
- Now insert the switch into the 1" hole, so the threaded part sticks through the 1/2" hole. Use the included nut to attack the switch to the board.
- Now, screw the wingnut onto the #10/32 screw so that the wings face towards the head of the screw.
- Screw this assembly into the nut that is glued onto the stake bracket. Take a look at the finished photo to see which direction everything is assembled.
- Thread the #10/32 screw onto the wafer thermostat disc.
- Adjust the #10/32 screw so that the wafer disc stays inside the bracket to allow you to screw the bracket to the piece of wood.
- Align the switch button to the center of the wafer disc and screw the stake bracket assembly onto the wood using wood screws.
- The diy wafer thermostat is now complete. You can just use a phillips screwdriver to adjust the temperature.