Author Topic: My new $4 star pump  (Read 320 times)

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Offline Falcon

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My new $4 star pump
« on: October 04, 2013, 04:22:49 PM »
Just thought I'd share what I built in the shed yesterday, since it was so successful.

For a long time I haven't had much interest in pumping stars since I've been exploring both cut and rolling methods. However, I have now got a fascination with glitter stars, and given that these require as small amount of water as possible when forming, pumping is one of the best available methods.
So rather than buy a star plate or single star pump from overseas and wait a few weeks I thought I'd have a go at building one. But while I'm at it why build one when I can build 10!
Since I haven't got access to reamers (for nice smooth holes), I wondered how I could do it another way. I thought I could use extruded aluminium tube, which has nice shiny inside surface.
So after a trip to Bunnings for a grand total of $4 for a piece of 8mm tassie oak dowel and 10mm x 1mm x 1m (8mm ID) length of aluminium tube I built this:

The two plates move apart showing the pin plate and tube plate (moves pretty freely but a little touch of graphite helps to stop any sticking):

I'm using a piece of 10mm thick perspex to set the depth to fill the tubes with damp composition as you can see here:

This image shows the open cavity in the pump

This is one quick machine too, turning 250g of Winokur #20 into stars in roughly 30 minutes

Just incase your wondering this is so simple to operate. Simply add the spacer bar between the plates, press the tubes into the damp composition (only used 6% moisture for these), cut off the excess outside the tubes. Remove the spacer bar and, using body weight, press down on the top plate, and finally gently eject the stars by bringing the two plates together.

Goes to show with a little ingenuity you can turn out simple effective devices!
« Last Edit: October 04, 2013, 04:24:28 PM by Falcon »

Offline Bismuth

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Re: My new $4 star pump
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2013, 09:30:04 PM »
Great stuff Falcon! Looks like it does the job. I've always been a fan of pumping. I never make enough shells or variety to use rolled. Cut stars just annoy the crap out of me with inconsistency with sizing. Pumped it is!