Introduction: How to Make a VHS Video Toaster

About: I'm an experimentalist, a scientist and I have a tendency to do things just for the sake of doing them, or to find out what they're like. I love life, show me something I can feel good about. I've got an ho…
The inspiration for this project came from BBC TV's The Young Ones. This video clip should explain the idea well enough.

The project was simple: convert a VHS video machine to make toast, and eject it through the cassette slot.

If I thought anyone would attempt this (and they shouldn't) I'd offer the following warnings:
Ensure the metal parts are earthed (I did)
Do not place it on heat-sensitive surfaces.
Do not place heat-sensitive materials on top of it.
Take care not to touch any hot surfaces.
Do not leave the machine unattended.

Step 1: Parts List

VHS video recorder/player - I used a Daewoo ST862P
Toaster - I used a Swan Elegance single slot "thick & thin"
Metal sheet - From steel drinks cans
Epoxy glue - (cheap, two part)

Dremel-a-like tool
A sharp knife
Sharp scissors
A screwdriver

Step 2: Toaster Dismemberment - Phase 1

This toaster was not designed to come apart, but the plastic case must come off. In this step I stripped off what I didn't want and wasn't going to use

On the underside are Torx screws for which I did not have bits. The two prominent screws were removed with pliers, the others had the brown plastic hacked away from them until I could finish the job with pliers.

The two control knobs are friction-fits on this machine and only required a good pull to get them off

Whilst doing this I observed that the outer shell is rather hard and must have good heat resistance. To some extent the toaster self-cools by natural convection, the last photograph shows the the comparison between inner and outer.

I wasn't going to be able to rely on this type of cooling or plastic in the video.

Step 3: Toaster Dismemberment - Phase 2

Once you're past the outer case on this toaster everything gets much easier. Most of the construction is held together by metal tabs, bent or twisted to secure. This is the stuff I need.

The electrical connections to the heater elements were push fits, the pulled off with pliers. Take care with this type of heater element, the mica support is fragile.

I needed to take the whole thing apart because the toaster has a central slot, the video has an off-centre slot. While it wasn't possible to bring the toaster fully up to the level of the VHS slot, it could be moved a bit.

Step 4: Video Dismemberment

The video was much easier to strip than the toaster, a few screws and I was done.

The front panel was a clip-fit, easy-on, easy-off.

Step 5: Toaster Adaption

It was apparent from the start that this would be a tight fit, so some of the video's black side-wall had to go (Dremel-a-like tool).
Having tested the toaster without it's case, I didn't think it a good idea to leave a sheet of black polystyrene under it, and some bits of this would have to be removed anyway (Dremel-a-like).
There's a thin steel sheet underneath the plastic floor.

The toaster has two chrome racks which hinge at the bottom, and are pushed central at the top so that they grip the bread in a central position - at varying thicknesses.

I fixed the top rack at it's thickest setting, and moved the bottom rack to "very thin". The overall effect is to move the toast off-centre and more towards the top in the finished machine.

Step 6: Assembly of the VHS Toaster

The main push-to-activate lever was bent around a piece of stiff plastic tube. In the horizontal position this now pushes forwards, rather than down as in the original toaster.

I hacked the play button from the video, and attached it to the tube with a screw, before adding epoxy glue to finish off.

The toast brownness control was simply set at a reasonable level and left there, I'd spent too much of the weekend on this already to be finding an adaption for that.

An "exit ramp" was formed from another piece of steel sheet. This guides the toast from the chrome rack, out through the VHS slot. Another spin with the Dremel-a-like cut slots in the front panel to secure the ramp at that end. The other end of the ramp was tucked into the toaster heat-shield / reflector (see images).

After that, back on with the case and let's start toasting!

Step 7: The Finished Product!

Three shots of the finished machine.

It does toast, see the video.

Yes it gets hot, yes I want to fit at least one fan before I use it again


Step 8: "VHS" Toast

I'd originally intended for the toaster to leave "VHS" on the toast. However, the top rack was too far away to be effective, and I knew that while it would work on the bottom rack the toast would stick to the VHS mask.

I laid the mask on the bread and toasted it in the toaster, horizontally.

Yes, I switched slices in the video, for artistic purposes.