Introduction: Mr. Tea, the Tea Drinker's Alternative to Mr. Coffee - Submitted by BayLab for the Instructables Sponsorship Program
Most people like to drink coffee in the morning, but I don’t like coffee, so I drink tea. I wanted a simple device to help me make tea, but actual tea makers cost around $300. I don’t even need a full coffee maker to make tea, just a hotplate, so instead of Mr. Coffee, I built Mr. Tea.
Step 1: Making the Top
I started with an old PSU enclosure that I ripped all of the electronics out of. I had a cheap hotplate that I dremeled out of it's enclosure and fastened with some screws and nuts I had laying around. The electronics of this particular hotplate were fairly well contained, so there wasn't a risk of something shorting out on the inside. I wired a light dimmer to the plug of the hotplate so I could adjust the heat of the hotplate.
Step 2: Making the Bottom
I used a Dremel to cut out a square on the top and installed a PC fan I had laying around. I glued a hard drive magnet to the middle of the fan and then cut a piece of plexiglass to cover the fan blades. To control the fan, I added a toggle switch to turn it on and off and a potentiometer to control the speed. The stirring itself is actually done with a small piece of a neodymium magnet that broke off a bigger magnet. I used ShapeLock, a thermoplastic, to encase the magnet in plastic and keep the metal from getting in my drink. The hard drive magnet is strong enough to spin the neodymium magnet while it's in the cup, separated by up to about half an inch. I also added the logo for the device I made to the side.
Step 3: Results
It actually works great. Magnetic stirring is awesome, because it works way better than with a spoon, and you don't get a spoon dirty! This took me an afternoon to do and I'm sure you can do it with stuff laying around your garage, or at most a trip to the dollar store.