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Heating a home made 'bator with a serving tray

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Knittycat, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. Knittycat

    Knittycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been scouring the thrift stores and driving around town on big trash day (I got foam board insulation! score!) gathering materials to make a home made incubator. One of the things I found (Haven't bought it yet, thought I'd check with y'all before i spent money) was a 70's heated serving tray. Like this, only avocado green:
    [​IMG]

    What do y'all think about using something like this as a heat source. What if I took it apart? Does anybody know what kind of wattage it'd draw? Should I just stick with the light bulb heat source?

    I wouldn't set the eggs directly on top of it of course, and I have a thermostat to regulate the temperature.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  2. Knittycat

    Knittycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Buler?
     
  3. quintinp

    quintinp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you thought of using a crock pot heating element. They use a coil heating element, and most already have a Bi-metal thermostat, and Bi-metal thermostats are used in quite a few incubators. I have one in my Brower incubator, and I like how well it works.
     
  4. Knittycat

    Knittycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ooo, yes this makes sense. I've also thought about using a bi-metal thermostat in my kerosene lantern heated incubator that i've got planned. It makes sense to try one out in an electric one.
     
  5. quintinp

    quintinp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kerosene Lantern incubator??? I have never heard of anyone using one of these things. How would a bi-metal thermostat work in a Kerosene heated incubator.
     
  6. Knittycat

    Knittycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The antique 'bators I've seen are water heated. The lantern heats the water, and the water circulates through copper tubing to heat the inside of the 'bator. The bi-metal thermostat is used to move a lever that lifts the 'lid' off the water reservoir so that the heat goes up and into the air, rather than heating the water further. The lever is counterbalanced with a small weight, so it doesn't take much pressure from the bi-metal coil to lift the lid. It's really quite ingenious.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  7. Knittycat

    Knittycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    Here's a pic of the one on EBay that inspired me. The end of the lever has a hook that would hold the cap to the reservoir. The glass shade is missing too. The reservoir is double walled, and you can see the fill cap there on the outside. The metal slide on the top of the incubator further regulates the temperature. There is a picture of the internal mechanism, but it doesn't detail the thermostat very well. These pictures were taken by somebody selling this as an end table, so they were vague on the particulars. So I used google's patent search and decided that it was likely a bi-metal coil or strip that tilted the little lever inside.

    Later models I've seen use a wafer thermostat, but I'm not sure how that would be used in a 'bator like this. I'll have to do more thinking to figure it out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  8. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I used a Crock pot heating element on the hatcher I made a couple weeks ago - I thought I was original - Darn [​IMG] lol. Mine didn't have coils but a metal band. It really works great !!! I didn't use the Bi-metal thermostat from the crock b/c I already had a GQF wafer.
     
  9. quintinp

    quintinp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, that's cool, I have never seen it done, but I have heard of it. I then saw your post, so I recommended it to this person. You didn't create the idea, but you were probably the first of us BYCers to do it. I would like to try and do that some time. I haven't came across an extra crock pot, or left over crock pot. I do have a dehydrator, and it has coils, and uses a Bi-metal thermostat. I want to make another incubator out of it, but I would rather keep it as a dehydrator. I dry things often any way.
     
  10. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't take apart something you want to keep. Crock pots are easy to find, just try the resale & reuse stores, Salvation Army, garage sales are all good places to find them. Coolers & aquariums are also easy to find. I'm a regular customer at our Habitat Resale Store. LOL I'm going to replace the light bulbs in my incubator bator with a larger crock pot heating element as soon as, I don't have it in use. I bought more eggs to hatch last night so, it'll be awhile. Good thing we are building a new large coop so, we have a place for all these chickens. LOL
     

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