Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 339: New burner

Tonight I hollowed and finished the bottoms on the 2 hollow forms I started the other night.

Unfortunately when I turned on my battery charger burner to start burning them nothing happened.  I opened up the case and double checked all the connections but couldn't find anything wrong with it. 

I made a quick trip to Auto Zone and to Home Depot for some parts and got to work.  This is the charger I selected.  It's a Schumacher 6 amp manual charger from Auto Zone.  Approx $38.  The dimmer switch is a standard 110v single pole dimmer switch, model #6681, approx $5.

4 screws are removed and the case is opened.  The modifications are fairly minor but they will prevent the charger from ever being used for the intended purpose.  This will also void the warranty.

Step 1 is to undo the clip in the back that secures the cord to the case.  Move 6-8" of cord into the case and then resecure the clip.  This extra length of cord is required because of where we're going to place the dimmer switch that will control the power going to the burning tip.

Cut and strip the ends of the hot wire and the ground wire.  The hot wire runs to the volt/amp switch on the front of the case.  Do not cut the neutral wire.  Doing so won't hurt anything but will require you to splice it with a wire nut.

On the left side of the unit you need to remove the clip securing the battery clip wires.  Cut off the wires leaving enough length to attach the wires to the 1/4" mono headphone jack.  You'll also need to move the wire connected to the internal circuit breaker (pictured center) from the copper screw to the steel screw.  This will bypass the circuit breaker.  The 1/4" mono headphone jack was purchased at Radio Shack and is secured in the opening that the battery clip wires passed through. 

3 holes then need to be drilled in the left hand side of the case.  A standard household switch plate is a great jig for placing the holes the correct distance.  1/8" holes are drilled for the screws, a 3/8" hole is drilled dead center for the center post on the dimmer switch.

With the holes drilled the dimmer switch can be secured to the case.

Wire nuts are used to secure the connections to the wires.  Black to black for the black wire running from the cord to the dimmer switch and black to black for the black wire running from the dimmer switch to the volt/amp switch on the front panel. All 3 green wires are also connected with a wire nut.

The case is then reattached using the 4 screws removed in the beginning and a pen using a 1/4" mono headphone plug is attached to test it out. 

If you have problems. do the following:  Double check all the wire nuts.  Make sure that the the dimmer switch was spliced into the hot wire (the wire running to the switch).  Make sure that you've bypassed the circuit breaker by moving the wire from the copper bolt to the steel bolt.

To operate the burner push in the dimmer switch to turn it on and then adjust the dial so the pen heats up to the temperature you want.  Push the dimmer switch in again to turn it off.

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