Circular Saws In The Kitchen, Good Idea Or Best Idea?

Kitchen centrifuge using a circular saw

[Mike Warren] was contemplating risky but exciting projects he could do when he came up with this magnificent contraption. A centrifuge made out of an old circular saw!

First question — why? Well if you’re a foody or you enjoy the study of molecular gastronomy, bringing a centrifuge to the kitchen can allow for some more technical dishes. It suddenly becomes possible to separate food based on its density, just like how it works in the lab. Practical applications for super fancy dishes — we’re not too sure — but it involves relatively unsafe power tools and food so we felt obliged to share it!

Let’s start off with the generic warning — in fact, [Mike] states this before the Instructable begins:

Do not replicate this project, it is incredibly dangerous!

The project makes use of an old corded circular saw, a few salad bowls, some threaded rod, a few nuts, some binder clips and some metal plates to hold the plastic test tubes. At 4900RPM (the speed of his saw),he’s calculated his G-Force to be around 1879G’s. Holy cow. A person passes out at around 10Gs, and a bullet fired from a typical handgun is well over 50,000 — on the extreme end of things, a professional lab ultra-centrifuge can hit over 300,000.

These all of course pale by comparison to the Large Hadron Collider, which can accelerate protons at approximately 190,000,000G’s! And to conclude, this is what happens when lab centrifuges blow up. Don’t do it — but do watch the following video and enjoy!

21 thoughts on “Circular Saws In The Kitchen, Good Idea Or Best Idea?

    1. Yes. The big commercial units have that built into the rotors for the big tubes and bottles. Surprisingly, for the small tubes (<50ml) the rotors themselves are built so the cavities are fixed at like 40 degrees. So the sample "pellets" of the densest materials form just off of the bottom of the tube to one side.

  1. “centrifuges do blow up” I’ve actually worked on that exact model of machine, and yes, occasionally rotors get micro-fractures in them or they react badly to reagents (read: mercury in an aluminum low-speed rotor) and things go…”pear-shaped” is being too charitable. As for G forces, if you use a machine that spins at 100,000 RPM, you can actually get close to 1,000,000 G’s! They have to be run under total vacuum to prevent heating due to the friction of the rotor and the air! It can actually separate chromosomes at that speed! One centrifuge that size had a “rotor failure” and it destroyed the 10’x6′ room it was in! It happened overnight on a long run so no one was hurt.

  2. I want more tests. Coffee, eggs (would they scramble?), etc. I can’t believe he didn’t try pulling the fat out of milk. The Man Whose Seen Some Shi+ mentioned heat from friction. Could you cook bacon via super-high-speed centrifuge and simultaneous pull all the liquid fat from it?

    Could you sift flour, or better yet, force flour through a super-fine grate to get the lightest cake flour possible?

    So many possibilities…

    1. sifting particulate would need something to keep the particles moving after hitting the high G spin. Otherwise, you’d just get a clump of different sized particles that pack tight, or block up that fine grate.

      As for eggs, you can pull the water apart from the fat if I recall some molecular gastro books. They’d scramble at the low speed, but if you can avoid that they should separate into the fat, the water, and the other proteins. Cream from milk is easy enough. Bacon, being a solid, would be tough; it might heat enough to fry in a kitchen hack, but you’d only get the liquid pooled at the top of the tube on top of the bacon that should have slid down from the force. Density wins out, remember.

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