Instructables

Recirculating gravy fountain

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thanksgiving 2k5 : what's more excessive than a giant pie? recirculating fountains of food seemed like the obvious escalation. a custom peristaltic pump design powered by an electric drill provided a gushing torrent of delicious, piping hot gravy.
 
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Step 1: Pump design

the key component of a gravy fountain is a gravy pump. while there are a wide variety of commonly available
pumps based on impellers, these would at best cut up the giblets or even jam on thick gravy. instead we
based our design on the peristaltic pump, used, for example, to move blood without damaging the blood
cells (blood cells being analogous to giblets and blood being analogous to gravy).

six plastic rollers arrayed in a hexagon (nature's polygon) roll against a large diameter flexible hose.
pockets of gravy trapped between two successive rollers are gently transported around the circumference
and squirted out the top.

the sheet metal backing plate (leftovers from the previous thanksgiving) was left intentionally springy to
assure a good seal without precise tolerances. the tubing was glued to the backing plate with construction
adhesive providing a strong but flexible bond.

to power the pump, we used a cheap electric drill from harbor freight. this is an incredibly easy way
to add a variable speed, high torque motor to any project which mates with a wide range of shaft diameters
thanks to the adjustable chuck. we added a dimmer switch to provide better control over the motor speed
but it was ultimately run at a considerable clip. like most ac motors, the drill had relatively little torque at low speeds and tended to stall out under the pressure of 10 gallons of delicious gravy.
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canida6 years ago
This Instructable was featured on NPR's Here & Now on November 24, 2008!
buskrat9 months ago
Was this made for honey boo boo lol but seriously the pump system is brilliant just brilliant and can be used for several applications
HAHA this is hilarious!! I love it
mnmama1 year ago
You are having WAY TOO MUCH FUN!! I'm thinking your parties are the ones that get the most memorable votes from family and friends. Thanks for the smile.
KevinOKane1 year ago
This gravy fountain most certainly does not look that simple to build and I think it does require certain expertise and skillset too in order to be achieved. Plumbing skills are also crucial so as to ensure the gravy goes straight down to the bottom instead of towards all over the place because the gravy is hot and it might just hurt someone if not done up properly. I would consider doing this innovative and useful fountain should I have a party in the future. It would be great for fruit punch as well.
sethcim3 years ago
This is the most totally amazing thing ever!
shaun8 years ago
Jesus Christ on a moped, this person is a genius!
maker12 shaun6 years ago
i like mopeds
ilpug maker123 years ago
Apparently, so does Jesus.
adamvan20007 years ago
I know this'll sound gross, but would the addition of a spout like a squatting cupid facing the back of the fountain be too much? I mean, with gravy and all? (OK, I know I'm inviting hate mail for that one, or milk-through-the-nose laughs) ~adamvan2000
i like that idea
you people are sick, in the best sense of the word :D
I loev that idea! Add lumps or a tiny loo ans shoot it out of that!
what a great idea
The gravy fountain would be surprising enough, any sort of sculpture with gravy flowing from any orifice would just add to the presentation. Hand, bucket, weiner, butt, nose, who cares where it comes from, as long as it tastes good.
kenbob4 years ago
This is the next best thing to a bacon fountain;)
ilpug kenbob3 years ago
add bacon bits?
Mmm, scalding!
i asked my mom if i could build one for thanks giving and she said no its gross
I'd have to say, in this case, mum knows best!
I say build one anyway. Then throw a party and put something else in it! Mums do not always know best!
Hmmm! Beer or wine might work better and my mum might approve, especially if I don't tell her. I think more might come to my party than to a gravy party.
I like the idea of attaching the fountain portion to a slushy machine. Blended Margaritas Here I Come!
MT-LB5 years ago
a cheese fountain would be nice
all I can say is, NACHO BAR!
Dumbhead4 years ago
In the photo where we can see the spillway from above, there seems to be a fair amount of splash taking place.... in actual use, how much spillage is there really? There would be obvious health concerns if the wood could be soaked with gravy or other biomaterial
I hope your not planning on eating the wood! Just clean it when your done just like a cutting board
My God,
You've made a gravy Dialysis machine~!
Bravo...
I can't seem to find the "like" button, but i'd press it if I could!
seabee8904 years ago
i am trying to decide if ironic is the corrrect word to be used for making a pump for something that will larwe require a pump for pumping blood? wonderful creativity
iLuxor4 years ago
Does this work with chocolate?
it would, but you'd need a heat source. also, because there's nothing to damage in chocolate, you could probably create a much less bulky pump (I think the norm is an auger system).
Hmmm slushie frosen marguritas come to mind instead of gravy :) Migtht be a project for later in the summer :D
turkey tek (author)  Brother_Bear8 years ago
the pump design would probably work pretty well if the slush was liquid enough to feed into the lower side. replacing the heating element with a cooling element might be a tad more difficult.
use a salt and ice bath to freeze it. Just like an ice cream maker.
Not if you use a peltier element.
mathieulj4 years ago
I cant decide whether to drool,... or vomit.
Do either, but not in the gravy please.
attosa4 years ago
That's amazing and uber cute :)
LemurX4 years ago
I... I just... I'm so happy. :,)

Thank you so much for this.
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