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Old 04-04-2011, 04:30 PM   #1
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A buddy of ours manufactured this great margarita machine using a cooler, a 5 gallon bucket, some plumbing supplies, and a brand new garbage disposal. I could easily see this at a few of the beach campouts...







Here is how he made it:

After seeing one of these it looks at lot easier to make than what it is. I made this one without any plans so I am sure anyone with any handyman skills can do this. I meant to take pictures during the construction phase but got so involved that I forgot. Here are the steps I went through and some of the gotchyas that you need to be careful of. You will notice that these are not exact plans in terms of measurements but they are close enough to get you to the end.

The wooden box

I made a wooden box for the cooler to sit on but just about anything would work. I have seen them sitting on a bar stools and steel brackets – anything will work. I was worried that our BBQ team would get too rowdy and tip it over or something so I made the box to sit on a table. No accidents yet. The box is about 15” wide and deep and about 18” tall. If I make another one it will be shorter, when it sits on a table it is a little bit too tall, especially for the short guy (Ron) on our team. This box is made out of 1x2s and ¼ inch plywood with a ½ inch plywood top. We painted the sides of the box white so our friends could make their mark with a sharpie. I won’t go into the plans for the box – if you can’t make the box on your own don’t even start this project!!

Attaching the disposer flange to the cooler

This is the part that you have to be exact – please measure twice and cut once!! Cut a whole in the bottom of the cooler just large enough to slip the disposer mounting flange through. If you have a drill with a circle cutter the exact diameter you need it would be best to use that. I didn’t have one so I used a jig saw to cut the whole. Be sure you do not make the whole too big or the lip of the flange will not stay in the cooler and you will have wasted the cooler. The thickness of the bottom of the cooler that I used was greater than the thickness from the lip of the flange to the bottom of the flange where the retaining clip went. Two tips here! First I had to take a screwdriver and remove some of the insulation between the inside of the cooler and the bottom. Then I had to use two medium sized bar clamps to compress the bottom of the cooler enough to get the retaining clip to slip into place (an extra hand would have helped here). I would do this once without the silicone sealer to ensure you can do it. Once you are satisfied that you can get everything to fit together properly, do it all again, only this time apply lots of silicone sealant to the lip of the flange. You have just completed the hardest part!

Putting the cooler on top of the box and attaching the disposer

I simply cut a whole in the top of the box large enough for the entire disposal flange to fit into. Don’t cut the hole too big as later you will need to permanently attach the cooler with bolts and you will need enough of the plywood top to drill through. Center the hole in the box as best you can. Before you attach the disposer to the flange I would add the tailpipe to the disposal outlet. You may need to cut the tailpipe so that it fits inside the box, you really only need a couple of inches. Now attach the disposal to the flange. I cut the rubber flaps in the throat of the disposal so the liquid and ice go into the disposal easier.

The Plumbing

This is another area where you definitely want to measure twice and cut once, also be sure to dry fit EVERYTHING before you glue it or attach it. Determining where to drill the whole in the box was difficult. The way I did it was to measure down from the inside of the box to the center point of the tailpipe and then transfer that measurement to the outside of the box. I cut the whole on that line centered between the outside edges of the box. I used a 1 and ¼ inch spade bit to cut the hole. Because the tailpipe would not fit to the 1” PVC pipe I used a flexible rubber coupling with two hose clamps to join the tailpipe to the PVC (See the picture of the bottom). Connect the PVC pipe and the various elbows and connectors as shown in the pictures. I used a length of clear PVC pipe for the upright but solid PVC would work just as well. The clear is mostly for show but it does tell you how much drink is left in the machine. I used a 90 degree elbow with a 1 inch to ¾ inch reducer for the down spout – a plain 90 degree elbow probably would have worked just as well.

Running the PVC Back into the Cooler

I ran the PVC back into to cooler several inches below the top of the cooler; again I used the 1 and ¼ inch spade bit to make the hole in the side of the cooler. AFTER the whole was cut, I cut the clear upright PVC pipe to the correct length. As you can see from the picture of the top of the unit, I ran the PVC through the cooler and attached a 45 degree elbow. I did this so that as the mixture circulated it swirled against the side of the cooler and didn’t create a lot of foam. I would make the extension inside the cooler a little shorter than shown in the picture as mine splashes when the top is not on the cooler.

Seal it up

Now that everything is dry fitted together you can go back and glue it with PVC glue. Be sure to use the PVC cleaner on all connections – you do not want a leak. After all of the PVC pipe is glued and dried you can attach the cooler permanently to the top of the box. I used four long bolts with large washers and drilled right through the bottom of the cooler and through the plywood top of the box. Thoroughly coat the top of the bolts and washers with silicone sealer and let everything dry. I also used silicone sealant where the PVC pipe runs back into the top of the cooler.

Wire it up

As you can see from the picture of the inside of the box, I used a short length of regular 12 gauge house wiring from the disposal to a standard household light switch. I purchased some sort of appliance extension plug and wired that to the light switch and out the back side of the box.

One note about electrical: At some BBQ contests we are far away (75 feet or more) from an electrical outlet. When we are using a regular outdoor (16 gauge I think) 100 foot extension cord the circuit breaker on the disposal trips continually. It is very annoying so if it happens you may need to use a heavier gauge extension cord or move close to the electrical source. Sometimes you may have to run the disposal for short periods of time and then let it sit before trying it again. I am going to cut a small hole in the back so I can reach in and trip the circuit breaker on the bottom of the disposal easier.

Parts List:

1 - 5 Gal. Cooler (you could use a smaller one if you wanted – but then what would be the purpose of that)
1 - ¾ hp garbage disposer (preferably a new one – not the one out of your sink!!)
1 – 90 degree 1 inch PVC elbow
1 – 45 degree 1 inch PVC elbow
1 – 1 inch PVC “T” connector
1 – 1 inch PVC ball valve
1 – 1 inch to ¾ inch 90 degree PVC reducer elbow
1 – Flexible coupling (rubber with two hose clamps)
1 – Tailpipe (not sure what the technical term is) for the disposal outlet
1 – Light switch and plate with a plastic housing
1 – Short piece of 12 gauge wiring
1 – Utility appliance plug cord
1 – Clear piece of 1” PVC (I had to order 5 foot from the internet) (could use solid PVC)
1 – 1’ PVC pipe (you don’t need much but I had to buy 4 foot)
1 – Tube of silicone plumbing sealer
1 – Homemade wooden box or bar stool or whatever you want to mount the cooler to.

Tools – you can probably figure out what tools you will need.

The MokKan Meathead Recipe

Ice – enough to fill the cooler within about 4 inches of the hole (I put a blue mark on the inside of the cooler)
Tequila – 1.75 Liters (You can use the expensive stuff if you want. I use the cheap stuff and have had no complaints.)
Triple Sec – about 3/4s of a bottle
Limeade – 5 10oz cans of frozen limeade
Beer – 5 12oz beers

Run the disposal enough to crush all of the ice. When you are ready to poor a drink run the disposal briefly to mix everything up and filler up.

You can use margarita salt but I wouldn’t recommend it. If you are anything like us, the second time someone fills up they will have just a little bit of margarita left in their glass and turn it upside down in the salt. I believe I was the first one to do that – makes a real mess!!

Enjoy - and if your machine turns out great, come and tell me about it. If you follow these plans and it doesn’t work – please don’t blame me – just try again.
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:38 PM   #2
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Richard Dellanini built one last summer. Makes Outstanding Margies.
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:47 PM   #3
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thats cool
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:06 PM   #4
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RF4, you guys still have that one you brought out to Easter way back in the day?
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:42 PM   #5
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RF4, you guys still have that one you brought out to Easter way back in the day?
no - didn't use it enough. After the ants incident, didn't want to bring it to the dez any more + didn't have a good genny to run it
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:11 AM   #6
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Those are pretty cool

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Old 04-05-2011, 12:19 AM   #7
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Margarita Ball was cool too......
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:19 AM   #8
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What do you think the base is for that? A black and decker bench of some sort?
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:27 AM   #9
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What do you think the base is for that? A black and decker bench of some sort?
looks like it ask Richard Dellanini
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:33 AM   #10
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Plastic step stool that holds nuts and bolts looks to me...
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