Its raining outside, time to build a new hatcher


14 Years
Aug 23, 2008
Murphy NC
If you are supposed to be on vacation and all it does is rain, and your trying to quit dipping snuff, and suffering withdrawals terribly bad. ( been dipping for 40+years), What you supposed to do. I needed a new hatcher so here it is.
3/4inch Birch plywood being cut to size.

Assembled to make the outside walls of the cabinet

False back wall added, notice the hole in the top for the fan and heat strip, top shelf for water pan, and slides for the egg trays.

Top shelf has slots along the sides to allow air flow to tray area.

False back wall has slot at bottom to allow return for air back to the fan and heat strip.

Egg trays added,

Notice these trays are going to be qite a bit bigger than a tray for incubating the first 18 days.

Exterior back and side after a little stain.

If you can buy or borrow one of these,, You can have your wood supplier make all the cuts on your plywood and put a cabinet like this one together in about an hour after your get home with the wood. I put mine together testing the fit, then took it apart to do the staining. It takes the stain 8hrs to dry so I left it overnight and reassembled it this morning in about 15 minutes. I still have to make the door but I am going to scrounge around and see what size peice of glass I can comeup with first. No use buying a special size, when I can built to fit a freebie peice of glass.

I have a heat coil and wafer thermostat ordered from Cutler Supply I am waiting on to finish this hatcher, should be here today. I already have a electronic thermostat and fan, I will probably add today. I have the parts for the humidity tray, including float valve and water bottle already. If I had the door made, I could probably put this one in operation with about another hours worth of work.
Hey I am doing the same thing today! finishing today hopefully!! Mine is from some red oak plywood left over from one of my cabinet jobs..


Copy Cat!!

Just funnin, but very similar designs. I can see your thermostat, but what are you using for a heat and fan source?
It is a heat element and fan out of a small space heater. It already had the metal box and everything built around it. I plugged it in for a day to see how it would do and seemed to hold the temp real good.. Yours looks real good!! I am not going to stain mine but just clear coat it..
I have used the elements and fans out of a space heaters before also. One tip you might find usefull. During operation I think that you will find the heat strip, as it is configured straight out of the space heater, will get to hot and can actually start burning the wood close to the strip. You might not notice this at first, but over time you could start seeing charred places in the area around the heat strip. If you look at the strip, you will probably see that there is more than one coil configured to work with adjustable heat settings. If you disassemble the strip and reconnect them to form just one long strip instead of two smaller strips, you can cut the Wattage in half and reduce the amount of heat generated. Usually a space heater is configure to heat at 750watts on the low side and 1500watts on the high side. Combining the strips together to form one long strip will reduce the wattage to 300+/- watts. A factory incubator heat strip is around 220 watts. Also be sure the heat is being blown away from the fan and not thru the fan. The fans have plastic parts inside them and they readily melt if the hot air is pulled thru them.
Thanks for the info! I didn't know the wattage but this one actually had two separate elements so I took one of them out and I also mounted the box so that the ends of the heat element were 3½" away from any of the wood and mounted the fan on the back so that it was pushing the air forward into the incubator. It just looked to be the safest way to do it but I will definitely watch for any charring that may happen!! I think your first post said what you used for the heat element.. Where did you get yours? I think I may build some more. It was a good project..
Why two thermostats? How do they work together?


If you look at the Sportsman or Dickey brand of incubtors you will notice that they have as options, dual wafer thermostats or their electronic thermostat with a wafer backup. Electronics do stupid things when you least expect them to. Temps are measured using a sensor which can be effected by changes in the humidity levels. The wafer thermostat is a bimetal design that expands and contracts according to temperature changes. The electronic thermostats are a little more accurate, but the wafers are more reliable. Most companies will use the electronic thermostat as their main temperature control which is set at the desired temperature you wish to maintain. The wafer thermostat is set just a little bit hotter than the desired temp. This way, if the electronic thermostat fails, the wafer will stop the incubator from overheating. Usually the two thermostats are wired in series with each other. The wafer tstat is adjusted first to about 1/2-1 degree higher than the desired setting, This way it is always providing power to the electronic thermostat, which is set at the desired temperature. The electronic thermostat, since its temps are lower than the wafer thermostat will cut off the power to the heat source once desired temps are reached, but since the wafer tstat is set at a higher temp level, it never sees the temp it is set for and will always remain on. In the event that the electronic tstat malfunctions and doesnt cut off at the desire setting, the wafer tstat can then reach its control setting and turn off the heat strip. Not 100% fool proof, if the electronic thermostat decides not to turn on, the wafer tstat cant keep the temps from getting to cold, and if the micro switch fails in the wafer tstat, then power will never reach the heat source. My experience is that usually the electronic tstats stick wide open when they malfunction, causeing the bator to overheat. Little electronic relays + moisture= corrosion.

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