Homemade water powered sausage stuffer.

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by teamteke, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. teamteke

    teamteke Newbie

    I have been a lurker here now for quite some time.  This forum is great and I have added much to my knowledge.  That being said, I have been making sausage and smoking meats and fish now over 35 years.  My equipment has been a mix of mostly odds and ends and some homemade devices.  It worked, but not all that well.  I was intrigued recently when I saw both a commercial and homemade water powered sausage stuffer on the internet.  Being a handy kind of guy I decided to build one.  Here is my story.

    -The most difficult part to make is the piston.  Others have used thick plastic cutting boards and thick sheet plastic but I went another direction using a 3" pvc glue cap.  The tube itself is a 4" pvc drain pipe.  Mine is 30" long and will hold about 15# of sausage.

    -The 3" glue cap will fit nicely inside of the 4" pipe.  I chose to turn the cap diameter down (I used a wood lathe) a little bit but I bet you could use it right out of the box.  Two grooves with square bottom corners need to be cut.  Again here I used my wood lathe and a faceplate jig to hold the cap concentric. I think you might be able to do this with a table saw also it you were careful and went slow.

    I purchased the "O" rings off the internet. Cut these two grooves carefully for depth so the "O" rings seal inside the 4".  If you cut too deep the piston will not seal and water will pass through.

    -The top of the stuffer is another area that requires a little work.  I glued on a 4" pvc threaded adapter.  I also then purchased a 4" threaded plug.  The plug needs to have a hole drilled into to accept the drainpipe adapter commonly called a desanco fitting.  I used a 1 7/8" hole saw or Forstner bit for this.  I must be a snug fit so the desanko can be glued in.

    -Now you must glue another 4" glue cap to the oposite end.  This is for water in and water out.  Drill & tap two holes for a 3/4" pipe fittings.  I did not have a 3/4" pipe tap so I made one by using a 3/4" galvanized pipe nipple.  Just make 4 cuts around its perimeter with an abrasive cut-off blade and this will work for the soft pvc plastic.  Be sure to tap this square and straight.  I purchased inexpensive plastic garden hose on/off valves for this.

    -When you are ready, grease up the piston with some shortening like Crisco, assemble your in and out garden hose and fill the tube with your prepared sausage blend. I purchased a Lem sausage tube for snack sticks and also have other sized in plastic.

    -Bleed the air our of your stuffer first by running water in and have the exit port open.  Close all valves and put your casings unto the stuffer tube. Turn your garden hose on just a little where it is connected at the house.  If opened up this thing moved way too fast.  Now just crack open the plastic valve on your tube and start filling the casings.  Here is a tip...when you need to stop, first open the drain valve and then close the inlet.  This prevents the residual pressure from pushing more meat out the tube.  Parts for this stuffer run $30-40.

    dirtsailor2003 likes this.
  2. that is just awesome...you know i had this same idea the other day when looking at water stuffers...i told the wife, i bet i can make one of those..lol..she just gave me the look...haha. thanks for sharing.
  3. smithmal

    smithmal Newbie

    Thanks for the info and your pics.  They are very helpful.  From my research on making a DIY "Dakota" water stuffer it seams the hardest part is making the piston with the o-rings.  From what I've read, one can purchase a replacement piston directly from Dakota for $12 and it will fit fine within a 4" PVC pipe.  The catch is making sure your pipe is not deformed when you purchase it.

    My ideal design would incorporate the following:

    1.  A "watch" window within the PVC tube so that one can see the progress of the piston.  I haven't yet seen anyone incorporate this into their design and have no idea how to do it.  Purchasing clear PVC tubing is very expensive.  So much so that it's probably better to suck it up and just get a Dakota instead of building DIY version

    2.  Incorporating a foot pedal for a "no hands" design.  Many have done this with a cheap solenoid and foot pedal

    3.  Converting a water pressure to an air pressure model so that one it not tied to the sink.  You could an air pressure stuffer with either a small air compressor or canned CO2 air cylinders.  There is limited information out there on how this should be done.  I've read that using air pressure for packing is more difficult to control than water pressure.  Also, there is an inherent increase in danger due to air pressure unknowingly building up within the unit and exploding in your face.

  4. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Nice job..........................
  5. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Fantastic job on the stuffer!!! stuff's real nice in that pic. Reinhard
  6. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thumbs Up great job ......
  7. thole

    thole Newbie

    Check out superior sausage stuffer's online
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2014
  8. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Impressive engineering - looks great
  9. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    ok, that is stuffer q-veiw right there.your link didn't work so I added it at the top
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2014
  10. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Meat Mopper

    Hey Smithmal, I'd say an air powered stuffer would be the best way to pebbledash your kitchen. If you want to be away from the sink, rig up a water pump with it's own resevoir tank like a bucket and stirrup pump.
  11. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Add to that a foot pedal switch and you have a winning combo! Have you discharge hose lead back into the reservoir. Hmmm best make a run to The hardware store....
  12. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks great what did you use for the stuffing tube?
  13. nice job!! just wondering how you clean it after using it ? I am trying to build one where both ends unscrew. Also trying my hand with air like some others mentioned. I ran it up to 90 psi and everything held together. Need to make a piston for it. maybe a piece of oak. My son is in machine shop at vo-tech. maybe he can make me one. Does water from the tap have enough pressure to push sausage through it?
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Using compress air is NOT a good idea.... If something lets go, there will be shrapnel flying everywhere.... Please rethink that idea....

    Water is perfect as it does not compress and if a part lets go, it may only travel inches instead of yards when using a compressable material...
  15. DaveOmak... Will take your advise... Don't need to create a bomb! Just don't know if tap pressure is enough to push sausage through the tube. If you have 15-20 lbs of tacky sausage you will get a lot of resistance.
  16. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    With 40 PSI water pressure, and a 3" diameter piston, that's 7 sq. in. at 40 PSI, that's 280 pounds pressure... It will work just fine... has been working fine for years...
  17. thole

    thole Newbie

    Everything except the main cylinder on mine fits into a dishwasher.  The main cylinder  which holds up to 100#'s is simply wash with hot soapy water and rinsed. 

    I agree with Dave, when PVC is used, the plastic can become brittle with age.  I have seen the remains of PVC stuffers that were operated with air and cannot imagine being near it when I explodes. With my unit being stainless steel, the rubber piston seal is designed to be the weakest link and the first thing to go if there is a malfunction.  Much safer.
  18. Yes, sink tap water pressure is more than enough. I have a Dakota stuffer and barely crack the intake to start the piston moving at a slow even pace.  The original white pvc stuffer was a pain not being able to see how close to to end you were.  The see through one is much better in that regard. After using the Dakota for 15 years, I got a 15# Kitchener vertical stuffer last year. I like the loading and clean up of the vertical much better.  The problem is the smallest stuffing tube is too big for snack stix casings.  I need to figure a solution for that in the next couple days.
  19. brandonthompson

    brandonthompson Smoke Blower

    You have any dimensions on how deep you cut the slots for orings? Diameter thickness of o rings
    Thanks fellas
  20. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    I agree. Air pressure is not going to work because air can be compressed, water cannot.

    You will not have any control with compressed air.

    I have a caulking gun powered by an electric drill, that can be used to make a great stuffer.


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