A DIY coffee roaster with part callouts.

Follow The Red Ball Wobble Disk Roaster To Coffee Excellence

If you’ve never considered roasting your own coffee at home, you may be surprised to learn that it can be done in a few minutes with a regular popcorn popper and not much else. After all, you only really need two things to roast coffee: heat, and constant agitation to distribute that heat evenly. While the popcorn popper provides both, it’s easy to end up with semi-uneven roasts, probably because the beans are mostly just spinning around and not being tossed as well as they could be. Eventually, one might want a more advanced machine, and that’s where something like [Larry Cotton]’s latest wobble disk roaster can step in.

For starters, this machine roasts more beans than the average popcorn popper in a single throw — the maximum is 350g, or just over three-quarters of a full pound, which is way more than the average popcorn machine will hold. It essentially consists of a heat gun pointed upwards at a sieve full of green coffee beans that are being constantly pushed around by a motorized wobbling disk. As the heat blows, the large metal disk does figure eights through the beans, keeping the heat nice and even. So where does the red ball come in? It’s at the bottom, keeping the flying bean skins (chaff) from entering the heat gun’s fan motor.

Toward the end of the short video after the break, you’ll see a diagram showing all the parts of this roaster. If that’s not enough for you, here’s a build guide for a previous wobble disk roaster (PDF) that should be quite helpful in building either version.

If you want to see some of Larry’s previous machines, we’ve got ’em. And then you can let Hackaday Editor-in-Chief [Elliot Williams] tell you all about roasting at home.

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Wobble Disk Coffee Roaster Looks Good In Wood

If you love coffee, you probably make it yourself at home most of the time using beans from some hipster coffee shop where the employees have full-sleeve tattoos and strong opinions. Maybe you even buy whole beans and grind them right before you use them. If you want to go all the way, you gotta roast those beans yourself. There are various ways to go about it, like repurposing a hot air corn popper. If you’re [Larry Cotton], you buy heaps of green beans and keep building wobble disk roasters until you’ve achieved DIY perfection.

[Larry]’s latest roaster boasts all-wood construction with no metal brackets or housings in the structural parts. This is good because you’re less likely to burn yourself on anything, and you aren’t sinking heat away from the beans. Nothing should get hot except the sifter, the beans, and the stiff triangle of wire that holds the heat gun nozzle in place. Once the roasting cycle is complete, [Larry] just shakes out the beans onto an adjacent screen that’s situated over a fan so they can cool off.

Unlike some of [Larry]’s previous designs, this one uses an 8-cup flour sifter situated over a heat gun. A battery-powered screwdriver drives the wobbling disk that churns the beans and helps them roast evenly, and a wooden arm holds down the power button. We love the simplicity of this machine, and think wobble disk roasters are mesmerizing to watch. Check out the video after the break to see it in action and learn how to build your own.

There’s more than one way to roast beans, and one of them is even officially sanctioned by Hackaday editor [Elliot Williams].

Continue reading “Wobble Disk Coffee Roaster Looks Good In Wood”