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Sous Vide is a wonderful cooking technique to get the most out of your meats. However, actual off-the-shelf sous vide setups can run in the hundreds of dollars. Here's an alternative approach the uses an analog slow cooker, an aquarium controller, and a laser-cut plywood enclosure. 

Full Discloser: I made it at Techshop and I highly recommend anyone near one to check them out. 

Materials List:
1 Analog Slow Cooker: I used one I found on Amazon. The analog part is important because we're going to mess with the power. 
1 PID Controller: Search for "Mini Digital Temperature Controller Thermostat Aquarium" on ebay and find one for around $16.00
1 sheet of 1/4" thick plywood: I used Create for Less 
1 lightbulb socket adapter: I got one from Amazon
1 lightbulb socket: From Amazon
1 two prong power cord (I took mine from a broken appliance)
a small length of regular electrical wire
 
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Step 1: Laser Cut The Encloser Pieces

Disclaimer, this step may seem optional, but what I've learned from experience is that working with a slow cooker means you're inevitably going to spill some water on whatever surface you're cooking on. If you have a bare PID controller (or worse, bare wires) anywhere around the area, you could put yourself in danger. I would highly recommend making at least some type of enclosure for your PID controller and to practice safe wiring techniques. 

I have attached the three .ai files you'll need for the Epilog laser cutter (found at most Techshops). It's based on a 1:1 scale and is designed for 1/4" thick plywood and the exact controller I linked to on the previous page. If you are in any way going to deviate from the plan (and even if you aren't) I would highly advise going in and double checking thicknesses and clearances. Make it yours. Also, the hexagonal shapes on the layouts are not necessary, I just included them since two pieces couldn't fit in my original lasercutting stock. Feel free to disregard those. 

Step 1: Follow all necessary procedures to setup your laser cutter
Step 2: Cut the stock
Step 3: Check fits

This is supposed to be a tight-fitting jigsaw puzzle, so definitely play around with it. The tolerances in my design were rather snug, so I chose to lightly sand some area, but for the most part was able to leave the design as it was. 
dllind10 months ago
Do you have a wiring diagram? What is the light socket for?
robertdavidmartinez (author)  dllind9 months ago
Alas, I do not have a wiring diagram. I did my best to describe how it should be wired up, and took the clearest pictures I could. Feel free to PM is you have any questions i this regard.

The light socket was used as the only fastener in the enclosure. Admittedly, there are much better ways to do this, but for this project I felt compelled to be as fastener-less and adhesive-less as possible. I needed some way to hold the back panel on, so I decided to use the light socket and socket-plug adapter to accomplish this. The tines on the light socket dig into the wood as you screw in the socket-plug adapter, essentially locking the back panel into place.
That's awesome - I love the enclosure. :D
robertdavidmartinez (author)  jessyratfink9 months ago
Thanks so much for the feedback! I really enjoyed this project.
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