This weekend I finished my cigar box stir plate. It is the second stir plate I have made. The first one I made out of a plastic project box, and had a hard time keeping it balanced. Eventually I got so fed up with it I threw it in the trash. A couple weeks ago, I was at my homebrew club meeting and saw an beautiful cigar-box stir plate. I decided to make one.
I started with a cheap pine ‘cigar box’ from the local craft store. I thought about picking a real cigar box up at a cigar shop, but I really wanted an unlabeled box. I removed the hinges and the latch, filled in the gaps with some wood filler, drilled out the holes for the fan, switch and knob, and finally stained the box. Then I spent a couple days adding a few coats of urethane to seal it.
I removed the hinges because I really wanted to be able to store the power supply and cord inside the box when its not in use.
Another nicety I picked up from my inspiration plate was using heavy duty velcro to secure the magnet to the fan. It’s nicer than appoxy-ing the magnet because it makes it really easy to reset and adjust the magnets when trying to center them. Also, the slight play the velcro allows lets the magnet find it’s own center as the fan spins.
I won’t go into detail on all the parts and wiring, but this link has most of the info you would need to make your own.
Here are some more photos of the stir plate: