Hey everyone, I thought I'd share the sausage stuffer I made yesterday. It's made from 3" pvc, some reducers and increasers, and a garden hose to NPT thread adapter.
Instead of having two holes for water inflow and outflow, I'm just using a gated Y with an inline ballvalve in front of that. This works pretty well, but i need to thread a hole in the water chamber to purge the air so that I don't have to put the stuffer on its end to fill it with water.
I wandered all over the hardware store looking for something that might work as a plunger. What I found is designed to temporarily plug an open pipe end. It works by screwing down on the red knob, forcing the rubber ring to expand. I had to cut off the shoulder which would normally keep it from fitting inside the pipe. It was important to only shave down this shoulder enough so that it would fit in the pipe, because it acts as a guide to keep the plunger from turning sideways. I like this plunger because it's very easy to slide into the pipe, and you just tighten it up to create a good fit. I haven't had any problems with water getting into my meat.
Three things I would have done differently:
-use threaded caps instead of increasers and reducers. I would have had to drill some threaded holes, but as it is now there are a lot of nooks and crannies to clean because of all the adapters.
-It would have been just as easy to do this with 4" pvc. I had to load this four times to stuff 15 lbs of meat, and it would be MUCH easier to load a four inch pipe. My hand just barely fit in the three inch pipe, and my forearm wasn't even close to fitting.
-US Plastics.com sells clear pcv. It would be great to see what's going on inside the stuffer.