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  1. The Homemade Smokehowze Caulking Gun Sausage Stuffer This is detailed how to build it yourself post. I hope it gives you some ideas. You can buy a commercial caulk gun style stuffer for jerky making and get sausage stuffing attachments for them. Since I already had the stuffing tubes from my 5 lb vertical crank style stuffer I decided to build my own caulk gun stuffer. Besides where is the fun in just buying one? And this was an easy Saturday afternoon project. I noodled around in the shop with stuff I mostly had on hand and after going though a couple of design idea iterations, and a trip or two to the store, I settled on this solution as the simplest to make with a minimum of tools and fabrication required. I suppose the guy in the plumbing department thinks I am nuts. The end result works very well and is readily duplicated. I built this to stuff small sausage batches especially when making test batches of sausage (for example using store ground meats) or when getting out the 5 lb big vertical stuffer machine is too much trouble. I have easily and quickly done 3 pound plus batches. Besides all the parts easily and quickly wash up in a normal sink – whereas the larger stuffer is a pain to wash up. My caulk gun stuffer holds about 1 1/4 to 1 3/8 pound of sausage. It has been fun to grab a pound or two of fresh ground pork and make up a batch of sausage – makes quick work of trying new flavor ideas. Stuffing can easily be done by one person. With additional ingenuity one could also make jerky tubes for this. The most expensive part is the “28 oz quart size” caulking gun – about $20 for this heavy duty model. I have seen some for around $10 but they were junk. Picture Gallery: The 'Nose Piece Assembly' Press Fit of Threaded Flange into Drilled End Cap A Stuffing Tube of Threaded Flange Stuffing Tube Set (The front end “saddle” of the caulking gun where the stuffing tube goes through is a 1 inch “U” slot. The larger tube in this set just fits the slot) Seal Cap & Main Tube Caulk Gun Plunger Disk & Seal Cap Meat Tamper Tool - helps in filling main tube with sausage mixture Cleaning Brushes Supplies: (1) – Heavy Duty 28 oz (“quart tube”) caulking gun [Home Depot Workforce Model SKU 6920000612819] (12 in length) - 2 inch size schedule 40 PVC Pipe (1) - 2 inch size PVC Pipe Cap (1) - 2 inch size flat “knock out style” test cap [Home Depot SKU 611942052875] (1) - 1 ¼ inch size sink waste pipe extension tube (6 in long, threads one end with nut) [Home Depot SKU 041193461162] (12 in length) - 1 ¼ inch size PVC thin wall pipe (1) - 1 ¼ inch size PVC pipe cap (1) Set of Stuffing Tubes with 1 ½ flange - this fits on the threaded flange. Note: I used the stuffing tubes from my vertical style Northern Tool Stuffer. This one: http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200449319_200449319 A tube set is available from their parts house - Item ITI508314SS for about $7. Other sources on the web offer similar stuffer tube sets (do not use the grinder tube sets flanges are way too large) that show the flange as 1 9/16 in. Those should work but may need some gentle filing of the flange to reduce diameter to fit. UPDATE 5/1/15 - I obtained a set of 3 stuffing tubes from LEM Products with the 1 9/16 in diameter flange and they fit perfectly with no filing. These: http://www.lemproducts.com/product/plastic-stuffing-tubes-606/sausage-stuffers Picture of Home Depot Caulking Gun Label Picture of Sink Waste Pipe Extension Tube Package (Home Depot) Fabrication & Dimensions: Note: No parts are glued! Glue is not necessary. Screw Flange: Cut the sink pipe extension to overall length of 1 1/8 inches; the smooth part below the threads will be ¾ in long Extension Tube (as if not cut) Extension Tube (after cut - lower part of tube not used) Main Tube: Cut the 2 in PCV pipe to 10 3/4 in length (assuming the pipe only enters the pipe cap 3/4 in before getting hand tight friction fit – if inserts more than 3/4 into the cap without forcing adjust main tube length accordingly). I have pipe made by different manufacturers and the tolerances are such that one will go into the cap full depth. Note: Total Length of Main Tube and Pipe Cap should be 12 inches Total Length of Main Tube +Pipe Cap+ Screw Flange + Nut should be 13 ¼ inches Meat Tamper Tube: Cut the 1 ¼ in PCV pipe to 12 in length 2 in PVC Pipe Cap: Drill 1 3/8 in hole in cap exactly centered in the top of the dome. I drilled a 1/8 pilot hole then used a step bit for the final drilling to size. A bit like this one: http://www.harborfreight.com/2-piece-titanium-nitride-coated-high-speed-steel-step-drills-96275.html The hole in the cap actually needs to be very slightly larger in diameter than 1 3/8 to fit the extension tube. I ran the step bit through the hole several times on fitting to minimally increase the hole diameter and also used sandpaper to get the right fit. Drilling with Step Bit ( 1 3/8 hole size ) Tube Seal: The tube seal which pushes on the meat is made from a cheap “flat” knock out style pressure test cap. The modification is using a pair of scissors to carefully remove the outer flange. Lightly file/sand the cut edges only. You want to make a “cup” with no flange that will slide into the 2 in PVC main tube. The tube seal seats over the caulk gun plunger disk. Tube Seal (Left Cap is as purchased. Right Cap is with flange trimmed off.) Plunger Disk on Caulk Gun Push Rod: On this gun the metal plunger disk on the end of the rod is 2 in diameter. It must be slightly reduced in diameter to just be a loose fit into the plunger seal cap. Without reducing the diameter of the disk, the cap will fit over the plunger but if you put it into the main tube it is too tight to pull back the caulk gun plunger rod ( I learned this the hard way). Remove and reduce the plunger disk diameter by hand filing – or get a 5/16 in bolt of suitable length and 2 nuts and place plunger disk on the bolt as a mandrel and chuck in drill press and use file with disk rotating at slow speed. Reducing Diameter of Plunger Disk Assembly Notes: All fittings are friction press fit to be able to be easily removed by hand with little force. (NO GLUE) The size – overall length of assembled PVC unit - is such that the caulk gun frame ensures it all stays together. If necessary, use medium then fine/extra fine grit sandpaper on the mating surface of the fittings. Gently taper all fitting ends (tubes and holes for easy of insertion/assembly). After construction, clean all parts well including caulk gun with a safe degreaser/cleaner – I used 90 percent rubbing alcohol and then soap and water. When dry, I sprayed with sanitizer solution and let air dry. Usage: Assembly the nose pieces – press fit screw flange into pipe cap and attach the stuffing tube using the nut. Assemble the seal cap onto the plunger disk Assemble cap on tamper pipe. The rounded end of the pipe cap helps keep the meat from sticking to the end of the tamper and pulling back out. With main tube only, standing vertical, fill with sausage mixture and use tamper to ensure no air pockets. Tube will hold about 1 ¼ to 1 3/8 lbs sausage. Assemble main tube and nose piece. With caulk gun plunger full retracted, insert open end of main tube over seal cap and plunger disk and seat front of nose piece into front of gun. Thread casings on stuffing tube. In normal manner, squeeze gun handle and stuff the casings. I set the caulk gun lying flat on a sheet pan (to not scratch the counter) and use another sheet pan for the cased sausage collection. In my case I operate the gun with left hand and guide the sausage with my right hand. Simple! When empty, fully retract gun plunger. Remove stuffer assembly from gun housing and take off nose piece (with nose assembly intact). Take out seal cap from nose piece area or end of main tube and place back on plunger disk. Refill main tube, reassemble and stuff some more. One could cut additional main tubes and load them like magazines and justswap them out. But refilling is so easy it might not be much of an advantage to do that. Easy! Enjoy! Here's to making sausage! PS .. Before you ask - no, I am not worried about food contacting any of these materials. One, the contact time is minimal and two, the food is not one which has any significant "solvent" or "leaching" activity. However,standard disclaimers apply - use at your own risk.
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