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Inspired by a comment in the Will Ferrell movie Talladega Nights, the Ballad of Ricky Bobby, my son (Seth) just HAD to have a Six Cheese Fountain at his October 2008 wedding. After exhaustive research we determined first off that the fountain is only mentioned in the movie but never shown, so we were actually entering uncharted territory. Join us as we chart the steps we took to build our glorious Six Cheese Fountain, including:
  • Fountain Design
  • Fountain Construction
  • Cheese Pump Design
  • Cheese Pump Manufacturing
  • Heat Source Solution
  • Cheese Choice and Prep
  • Power for the Cheese Pumps
  • Lights, Camera, CHEESE!

The Tools used to produce this masterpiece include:
  • Shopsmith Mark V as a Table Saw, a Horizontal Boring Machine and as a Drill Press
  • Jet Mini-Lathe
  • Kreg Pocket Hole Jig
  • Shopsmith Bandsaw
  • Shopsmith Over Arm Pin Router
  • Hitachi Chop Saw
  • Hafele Hole Cutter
  • Bench Grinder
  • Shop-Made Sheet Metal Break
  • Miscellaneous Hand Tools

Don't miss the VIDEOof the Six Cheese Fountain in action on Step 9!

Step 1: It All Starts With a Biscuit and a Design

Over bacon, egg and cheese biscuits everything becomes clear: There is no way we can make a single fountain that will hold and dispense six different cheeses without mixing them, so we decide on a design that incorporates six individual fountains arranged in a hexagon. This design will allow us to rearrange the fountain for future use as a single cheese, three cheese, or even to line them up along a wall for a Wall-O-Cheese!

The fountain will be made from 3/4" x 4" pine lumber (which is called "1 by 4") and simple butt-joints. This means no fancy joinery or complicated tools are needed for this step, though a pocket hole jig is used for a few of the joints. This is a specialized fixture that allows the user to drill an angled pilot hole for a special screw, which will add strength to what might otherwise be an unsupported butt joint. The pocket hole jig we are using is manufactured by the Kreg Tool Co.

We decided to use a 12" x 10" x 2.5" aluminum foil chaffing dish as our bottom cheese reservoirs, so the footprint of each fountain segment will have a 12" x 10" inside dimension. These are the aluminum pans that are used for lasagna, and we found them two for a dollar at Dollar Tree.

The 1/4" plywood bottom was almost an after thought, but we realized that we needed to protect the table from the heat source. These pieces were cut a hair under size so they wouldn't be seen, and were attached with a bead of glue and a few brads.

The last photo below shows how the back braces are pocket-screwed in place. Later we will attach the pumps to these braces.

For this step we used a Chopsaw to cut the boards to length, a Bandsaw to safely cut the long taper on the angled board, and a Kreg Pocket Hole jig for some of the joints.

Don't miss the VIDEO of the Six Cheese Fountain in action on Step 9!
Looks pretty gouda
Well played.
It'll brie great if it went faster.
It didn't seem to flow that pourly.
Edam-nation. You guys are gods among men. Amazing instructable, outstanding device!<br>Now, if only you could create a device for dispensing bacon, kind of like ATM receipt dispensers....
I like it! We'll get right on it.
Brilliant work!
Thanks!
nice cheese rap first time i had heared it...one thing not to criticise anything But have you took in to account the heat and cold factors on the pvc? as the ambient temps rise and fall so do the toxin levels? on a helping note you could always use food grade steel tubing as a base for your pumps and fountains couldnt you ?
Perhaps. We knew that we were making this for a single event, and if you knew the properties of the cheese you'd know that the moment the heated cheese hit the cool (ish) PVC that it would congeal and create a layer of sacrificial goo that would absorb any toxins. Naw... actually we didn't give it a moment's thought and this might explain why our eyelashes are falling out. Thanks for thinking about us and whatever you do, don't do THIS. Scott
Since you base it on fondue, can you use it with chocolate? If so, how should it be changed, if at all?
Jestersage, Yes, it could be used with chocolate, but I would suggest the use of a chocolate sauce, just like the cheese sauce we used. Melting chocolate to the proper temperature, then maintaining that temperature would make this a difficult task. If you watch the videos on youtube showing chocolate fountains you will see what I mean. Most folks start with chocolate chips and wind-up with unappetizing clumps. This condition is even worse in the few cheese fountains that have been attempted. Thanks for the question and don't forget rate us generously!
isn't that why you mix in cooking oil in the chcolate?
Maybe bacon fat would work.<br><br>mmmmmmmmmmmmmm Chocolate-y bacon-y sauce
Bacon is good with anything
UPDATE! Did you see our &quot;Pig Nuts&quot; instructable? You comment was partially my inspiration.
Okay...that's very nice. I thought it was pig nuts, but everything went better than expected.
Dude, don't even get us started! That's exactly how our recent &quot;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwI4Yz80ccs">Cakepie</a>&quot; invention came into being!&nbsp;<br>
now try bacon cake!
You are correct, Sir.
Nicely done. Look up Vitruvius for how to make an Archimede's screw from a log. You could also turn the spiral on a lathe with a router mounted above it.
Gravy fountain! With a mashed-potato dispenser on the side.
hmmm have you thought of using a better motor for the pump? <br>i feel the flow rate is a little ..emm un-satisfying <br>maybe a washing machine motor O.O ? <br>
A true engineer. Builds something that works but looks terrible lol.<br>When it was done you should have let a woman make it look presentable (it was a wedding).
haha.. i got to agree with this.. gals have a better sense of looks.. <br>for me if it works its great..the looks are well.. secondary or just labeled steampunk
True. But if we had shown it to any of the women in our lives first, we would never have been allowed in the room in the first place!
Just what the world needs, a bunch of fat guys and a cheese fountain! Seriously, just because you can doesn't mean you should. For the time and money you spent on this you could have really helped out someone in need...
Actually, we were fat guys long before the fountain, but I appreciate your concern and tact. As for the time and money spent, what percentage of the projects covered on this very site would fit your definition of a worthwhile project? Perhaps I should take a look at some of your Instructables for inspiration? <br>Some things ARE done because we can. Some things are done because they are fun or silly or constructive, or philanthropic, or educational; either way it's OK for adults to decide for themselves.<br><br>If it makes you feel better, some of the parts of the fountain have been resourced into a couple H2O-saving container gardens; but again, they're just producing more food! Oh, the circle of life...
Well I apologize for being rude. And thanks for trying to correct me. Yes I go to movies, but rarely spend money on fancy food and some of the things I do are frivolous, I'm all for frivolity and having fun in fact. But I try to frequent businesses and organizations and invest in companies that are socially responsible. Does Instructables and Eric Wilhelm spend a portion of their income to charity? I'm just having a real problem lately with how very spoiled we americans are and how much we take for granted. We have been blessed with so much, why can't we be more charitable and willing to help out those in need? How much less narcissistic would our society be if all 17 year olds had to spend a year of their lives in the Peace Corp and see how the rest of the world has to live? We would all be happier and blessed and the world would be a better place if we simply tried to help out a little more, starting with your neighbor. <br><br>This is obviously the wrong forum for this, I guess the cheese fountain was my last straw for hope for humanity. <br><br>&quot;When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat.&quot; <br>George Carlin
Get out there being charitable and quit bitching in here. Minding your own business is a good mantra to live by too. <br>
You just vilified yourself..
Please get a grasp of English. You can't &quot;vilify yourself&quot;, you were vilifying the author of this 'ible I was vilifying your blanket condemnation of the O/P.
Al contrario amigo, from a treatise on punishment;<br><br>...any undeserved evil that you inflict on someone else among the people is one that you do to yourself. If you viify, you vilify yourself; if yo steal from him, you steal from yourself; if you kill him, you kill yourself. Only the law of retribution (jus talionis) can determine exactly the kind and degree of punishment. <br><br>It's also considered proper in most english language usage dictionaries. <br><br>And there is a difference between simply bitching, and expressing righteous indignation.<br><br>Now go forth and invent a new flavor for jello shooters. I'm gonna go shoot my potato gun and annoy my republican neighbor....
An answer isn't an answer if no one is asking a question. A little 1 Peter 3:15 goes a long way.
.&nbsp;&nbsp;&lt;snicker&gt; Most excellent answer.<br>
Do you realize how many more (and much worse) gross wastes of time and money this world commits, all of which could have been used to help the poor? And do you have the slightest clue how many of those seeming wastes of time and money end up helping the world in one way or another? If nothing was done that seems frivolous until the world's poor and needy were all helped, we would still be living in the stone age, and dying off when we're in our 20's and 30's.
Your post reminds me of all the Ronco products cluttering the landfills. Except of course the Smokless Ashtray. Oh, and the Mr Microphone. I met my wife with that one. And the &quot;Inside-The-Shell Egg Scrambler&quot;, which we use all the time. And the Showtime Rotisserie, and the Popeil Pocket Fisherman. Ya know, on second thought, Ron Popeil is a genius and I take back everything I said.<br><br>Long live Ron Popeil!
What an offensive comment! You never go to a movie or out to dinner? Do you have any decorations of any kind in your home? Do you buy music? Perhaps you have thrown a birthday party in your lifetime? ALL of these things are frivolous and you could use the money and time to help others. Just plain dumb.
Good points fly_boy_bc.
Beautiful. Great gonzo engineering at its finest. Well done.
is his real name waffle<br>
Just his first name.
wow do you call him pancake.
No, we call him Roscoe.
what about flap jack or shortstack or even hot cake
We're giving some consideration to &quot;Uncle Jemima&quot;. I think we'll wait until he's an actual uncle though.
huh that is funnt does he have a brother named pancake<br>
lol /thumbsup
Interesting you mentioned a food-safe sealed hardwood plug. How is the PVC protected so it doesn't leach toxins into the cheese foodstuffs? <br><br>http://www.pvcfree.org/<br><br>Cool idea, design, and implementation otherwise; I'm just interested in the PVC piece and what considerations were made to go with that material.
With the exception of a quick coating of PAM cooking spray inside and outside of the PVC pipe, (causing, no doubt the further destruction of what I like to call the &quot;Ozone Layer&quot;) there was no accommodation made to prevent the &quot;leaching of toxins&quot; into the cheese. <br><br>It looks like the site you link to is more concerned about the burning of waste PVC, which we would never do, and the exposure to DINP. According to the site: &quot;Based on measurements of the rate of leaching they concluded that children would exceed the acceptable daily intake after 75 minutes of mouthing vinyl toys.&quot; <br><br>In light of this I'm happy with our decision to make absolutely certain that no one was allowed to &quot;mouth&quot; any part of the fountain for more than 20 minutes at a time. <br><br>Whew! And to think that you had me worried there for a second.<br>

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