2016-03-20 (Su) Drip Coffee Maker

I was not a big coffee fan until I started making cold brew coffee in a French press. I even went as far as to freeze that coffee and make a 2-ingredient iced coffee drink. I was not disappointed and I am even sipping on some as I write this.

Drip coffee makers look cool. They function well and don't have any parts more complex than a valve. I'll even tell you how to build one without even using a valve! They are the next level but expensive. Then I saw a neat Instructable about how to make one and I decided it was within my reach. Naturally I am going to add my own twist and, in a rare turn of events, I am going to put effort into making this project look nice. In fact, I am going for a steampunk look.

Enough background.

A vase was purchased from a thrift store. Shape was important, the opening had to be large enough to accept regular size ice cubes and there also had to be a flare at the top and bottom. The flare was to allow the vase to be suspended upside-down. A rubber (neoprene) stopper was purchased from a lab supply store, #13 in this case. Cork would have worked as well. Plumbing hardware was purchased to attach a needle valve to a barb connector. In this case a barb connector, bushing, and a needle valve. It may be possible to use different plumbing parts which would cost less and if that's possible I recommend it since these cost over $10 USD. It is possible to completely ignore the plumbing parts and instead fill the vase with ice cubes which will regulate their own flow by melting slowly and water will only drip as fast as the ice melts. You may want to try that method first before spending money on the brass fixtures.

Vase from above

Side view of vase to show shape

Large stopper

Hardware for attaching a needle valve

Teflon tape (PTFE tape) was used on the threads of the brass fittings. Teflon tape should always be wrapped around the threads so that it tightens as the fittings are wrench tightened. Here's a quick video, skip to 1:54 to jump right into the technique. The brass fittings should allow the barbed end to hold in the rubber stopper. The rubber stopper I purchased had approximately a 1/4" (6mm) hole so a 1/4 in ID (8mm) barb worked well. Once all the brass pieces were assembled they were pushed into the stopper.

Assembled plumbing pieces

Water jar assembled

To do:

  • Build stand
  • Build cylindrical coffee holder
  • Add filter
  • Build base
  • Design and build water jar holder
  • Add tube for water jar to prevent vacuum

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1.
Completed projects from year 2

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2015-07-30 (Th)