What's an ammo can made out of

I have been searching for a metal box to build a coffee roaster out of.
The local military surplus store has ammo cans that would be an ideal
size and heft for this but I am concerned about whether the steel they
are made out of could be used for food prep.
Does anyone know what kind of steel those boxes are made out of or how
I could find out? Just for the sake of discusion let's assume that
they can be sanitized and stripped down to the bare metal.
I've looked at stainless and galvanized but the first is very expensive
and not nessesarily better and the second is obviously not acceptable
for food prep. Mild steel should be acceptable for food prep but some
of the harder steels with tungsten in them are not.
Just an FYI, too, a coffee roaster would need to be able to withstand
at least 600F and probably up to 750F while in operation.
Matthew Price
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I wouldn't worry about the steel so much as the paint. It seems like it's oil based.
They're mild steel, and would impart flavor to food product. I wouldn't do it.
I'd fab something out of stainless rather than trying to force-fit an ammo can into the deal. Can you maybe find a stainless steel thermos, for instance, that'd work for you? If you're near Milwaukee, I have one that's lost it's vacuum you could have.
Reply to
Dave Hinz
Thanks for the quick reply. I need a box that is roughly 4"x12" with a height of 2'+. Cylinders, although easy to come by especially in stainless, create problems with trying to get heat to all the beans. That's why the ammo boxes caught my eye in the first place. I would only need to fab one piece and drill two holes to get to what I need.
Stainless is what I thought of first but I was floored by the price of stainless sheet. I even thought about cutting an SS cookie sheet and the pieces reassembled.
Perhaps you or someone else has some suggestion for materials that wouldn't break the bank. I would like to keep this part of the project under $75. I know that's not much and it's a one-off sort of thing but I'm just trying to tinker and don't want to set the wife off on what was supposed to be a cost cutting measure long ago.
Reply to
How about a stainless steel sink? Get 'em at home stores for less than it'd cost to fab something.
Ah, there's your mistake. Don't sell these projects on cost, because SWMBO always knows better (based on previous similar projects). Sell it on quality, or self-reliance, or something like that - not cost. Cost is too measurable, when you sell it on something intangible, it's harder for her to show you just how wrong you are.
Dave Hinz
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Dave Hinz
Hmm, I'll definitely look into that.
A true pro, I can tell :)
Thanks again for your help
Reply to
How about a junk yard with a stainless steel section? I've been to one, and although i didn't lok around in the ss section, they did have tons of stuff. My dad bought some huge stainless (10-20 lb) pipe and hose connectors used in a nuclear power plant that had to have cost 100s (if not more) of dollars when new (pretty fancy machining, and nuc. plant reg.s are crazy) for about $30. He works for Southern Company (GA Power, Savanah Power....) and figured they'd make pretty cool paper weights. :)
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You need to find a good scrapyard- it's like a candy store. I think I'm paying about 40 cents a pound for stainless, about 70 cents for aluminum. They don't mind me rummaging through the bins and picking out what I want. Copper with insulation on it is a great deal- I've found practically brand new three phase extension cords, bundles of patch cords, reels of CAT5, 1000' of 10/3 romex, all cheap. Today I found a bunch of new 1/0-400 MCM connectors and a new 3" stainless flange. Recently got a nice 14' Al loading ramp for my box truck for $70.
Reply to
How about rotating the cylinders while they are being heated?
Reply to
Aren't the roasters copper - or just copper hooded ?
If you go stainless - get food grade - there are unique chemicals in the roasting beans that might leach out some SS components. Get the type for food. - You know - oven and stove SS pans - gosh - how about one of those - a large roasting or deep pot.
Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
Try Google--- "heat gun dog bowl coffee roast" will get you going
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He probably would have to install internal baffles to stir the beans.
Reply to
Nick Hull
Home-Roasting coffee in a popcorn popper seems to be the hot tip in some circles. You need to pay attention to the model you use and people crawl the garage sales and Salvation Army stores picking them up for a buck or two.
Google for "roast coffee popcorn popper" comes up with thousands of hits.
Reply to
Al Dykes
On Wed, 23 Feb 2005 22:18:39 +1300, the inscrutable Roger_Nickel spake:
AT LAST! The picture gives us solid proof that God was, indeed, a coffee drinker.
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Reply to
Larry Jaques
You might want to start by looking at the design for production coffee roasters. I did some work for a custom coffee roasting company a few years back and got a good look at the machines. They're basically a circular drum; inside there's a big rotor that stirs the beans and keeps them from getting burned. The inside space is like a donut; the beans ultimately get poured out throught the "donut hole" for packaging.
In addition to the big production roasters, the coffee man showed me a small "test roaster" that roasted a few pounds at a time for test batches. If you can get a look at one of those, you could probably build your own simplified version. Maybe you can find a coffee roasting company in your area and visit with them; or google up the manufacturers of these machines to get some ideas.
The coffee man also gave me some green coffee beans, which I managed to roast satisfactorily using a cast iron frying pan on a gas range. So that option will cost a lot less than $75.
Reply to
Jedd Haas

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