Sausage stuffer rebuilding

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kuroki

Meat Mopper
Original poster
Dec 27, 2022
157
150
Saskatchewan Canada
Figured I'd combine all this into one thread for anyone interested. I recently picked up several broken cast iron sausage stuffers. One had minor damage when purchased. One was broken in shipping and refunded by eBay. And there is another small lever style stuffer I'm debating if all do anything with or not.

Anyways, starting off with the 8qt Enterprise. It was quite dirty, a mix of rust and black goo I'm at least hoping didn't used to be sausage.
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You can see the damage to it. The square portion of the pinion gear shaft where the handle attaches is busted off. Luckily I own a machine shop as my day job, so this will be no problem.
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Next step after disassembly was to clean as much of the black goo as possible off. I decided to try my solvent tank parts washer, and it cleaned it off with ease. Everything will be cleaned multiple more times before any meat comes near it.
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That is everything for right now. I am currently out in my shop working on the next steps on the last day off I am taking before it's back to real work tomorrow. I'll keep this updated as I progress
 
Last I looked when I was at Allied Kenco in Houston they carried parts for these. Dont know if they do still.
 
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Last I looked when I was at Allied Kenco in Houston they carried parts for these. Dont know if they do still.
Thanks, I will certainly keep that in mind. Repair wise there isn't anything I can't make on these. I would like some different sizes of stuffing tubes though, so I'll check them out. I could make those as well, but I'd really rather not
 
Little more progress. Got the pot stripped down. I used a combination of a fine wire wheel on a die grinder that conforms to the hard to reach surfaces, and a surface prep tool with a Norton blaze rapid strip disc. If you've never used these before, they are unreal how fast they strip off paint and rust. I got onto them on the recommendation of a friend who works at an autobody shop.
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Masked off the top and primed the whole exterior. I had wanted to use etch primer but when I went over to the chemical cabinet I discovered I was all out. I'm sure I'll find a whole case of it somewhere after this project is over.... I instead used a regular aervoe industrial primer from a rattle can as it's what I could find in my shop.
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I should add it hurt me deeply to paint this on a lunch tray sitting on my small (Bridgeport type) milling machine, but I'm short on free bench space right now, and with a 9 month old Chesapeake Bay retriever running around painting on the floor didn't seem like an option
 
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Believe it or not this is one coat of paint. It will get a second, but that's it.
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This is by far the best paint I've ever seen come out of a rattle can. It covers exceptionally well, is very hard to make run, and one can will do about the equivalent of 4 cans of rustoleum in my experience. The resulting finish is as durable as proper paint from a gun in my experience. I have no idea if you can buy it retail anywhere. I have an account with Wurth and they send a sales rep here twice a month. A lot of their products are very overpriced, but this is one I can honestly recommend if you ever see it for sale or know someone who deals with them at work.
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Top casting is cleaned up and painted now. Letting the paint harden up overnight, and then hopefully moving onto all the small parts if I can find a bit of time between other projects tomorrow.
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I have my father in laws stuffer (not an Enterprise, but similar) that needs a facial.
Sorry i didn't see this thread earlier today and maybe too late.
The interior of the can needs to be oiled seasoned similar to a cast iron pan. The meat touching parts are far more important than cosmetic outside of the damaged pinion shaft handle
 
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I appreciate the thought. Don't take this as arguing or discounting your input, I just wanted to explain the thought process behind why I am doing it this way.
Seasoning at temperature as you would for a cast iron pan in my view at least isn't necessary. The main reason that is done with cookware is to provide a non stick surface. You certainly could season the inside of one of these, but I opted to treat this more as you would a carbon steel knife or the plates in a meat grinder. The inside has been polished out with scotchbrite wheels, and will be cleaned and coated with a food grade oil before and after each use.
The reason I opted not to season it is once you do that, you are basically stuck seasoning it. Unlike a cast iron pan, I want to be able to thoroughly clean and sanitize this. In my experience at least that is hard on seasoning.

Seasoning one of these would serve two purposes. The first would be preventing it from rusting between use. The second would be to smooth out all the little rough spots from casting to prevent things being trapped in there.
Polishing out the tub will eliminate all the rough places you'd otherwise be essentially filling with the seasoning. And a wipe down with food grade mineral oil will serve to prevent rust, and also lubricate the flow of meat through the channel at the bottom. The important part is that the inside of it can be made thoroughly clean, and stopped from rusting. A third option I would have been tempted by if there was a capable plating shop near by would have been to tin the entire unit much as a meat grinder head would be.
 
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Little more progress. Got the pot stripped down. I used a combination of a fine wire wheel on a die grinder that conforms to the hard to reach surfaces, and a surface prep tool with a Norton blaze rapid strip disc. If you've never used these before, they are unreal how fast they strip off paint and rust. I got onto them on the recommendation of a friend who works at an autobody shop.
View attachment 653187
Masked off the top and primed the whole exterior. I had wanted to use etch primer but when I went over to the chemical cabinet I discovered I was all out. I'm sure I'll find a whole case of it somewhere after this project is over.... I instead used a regular aervoe industrial primer from a rattle can as it's what I could find in my shop. View attachment 653189

View attachment 653190

I should add it hurt me deeply to paint this on a lunch tray sitting on my small (Bridgeport type) milling machine, but I'm short on free bench space right now, and with a 9 month old Chesapeake Bay retriever running around painting on the floor didn't seem like an option
On my 3rd Chessie.. You are either are into waterfowling or like dealing with strong willed dogs:) I do enjoy them along with the fowl life..
 
On my 3rd Chessie.. You are either are into waterfowling or like dealing with strong willed dogs:) I do enjoy them along with the fowl life..
I don't hunt anymore, I just have a real soft spot for these dogs. Their temperament is just right for me. This one isn't purebred, and is actually black, but he's still a wonderful dog
 
I appreciate the thought. Don't take this as arguing or discounting your input, I just wanted to explain the thought process behind why I am doing it this way.
...
A third option I would have been tempted by if there was a capable plating shop near by would have been to tin the entire unit much as a meat grinder head would be.

Sorry, mis typed. Meant to say oiled. Corrected earlier post
Somehow, I got it in my head you were going to paint the interior and was worried you had already done the deed.
Nice job on the cleanup and your thought process.
The broken piece on the pinion shaft taper appears pretty fresh. The crack was there a long time before the final fracture. Do you have the piece?

Do they still call this a government project?
 
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Ah yes that makes sense. I actually planned on not painting any part that moves or could wear. Everything that touches the meat or could shred little bits of paint off is just being cleaned/polished and oiled. Except for the screw and the gear teeth which I was planning on applying a very very thin coat of grease with a small paint brush. I have a tube of Lubriplate clearplex 2 here which is a food grade grease my wholesaler apparently sells by the pallet load to the chicken plant to grease all their equipment.

As to the broken part I unfortunately do not have it. It was already missing when the stuffer was sold. I was going to build up with brazing to replace the missing chunk, recut the outside to the right shape, and set it up in a lathe to redrill and tap the bolt hole.
This is the same idea on a larger scale I did just before Christmas. Transmission housing from a Caterpillar D6D. A bearing failed and the shaft chewed an inch and a half out of the one side. This is after we built up and remachined it. After it was painted and had the new bearing installed you could not tell it was repaired.
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My father used to repair cast iron with high nickel (arc weld) rods.

Worked in a machine shop many years ago. The term "government project" really meant a personal project. Goes back to war time eras.

My stuffer has the same bottom horn design that leave a lot of meat after the plunger bottoms out. I've been working on adder plate to force more meat out the horn.
 
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Ah yes, I had forgotten that term... Last time I heard it was from a friend of mine in the navy.

I have a few different sorts of those rods here. I like them for a few specific things, but in general I'm not really a fan. In my experience repairs done with them often fail again in the future. The extreme heat of stick welding tends to change the structure of the cast and it often cracks next to the weld. It can work if it's done right, it's just not quite as reliable in my experience.

I got my start working at a museum rebuilding steam engines, and I've used literally hundreds of pounds of brazing rods over the years. The biggest benefit to me is that once you get the hang of it, you can control it just like TIG welding. Building up a thin edge for example and shape your repair to match the existing casting with minimal cleanup work. I'm just so comfortable with it at this point I don't think anything would really convince me to change. I've done everything from paper thin impellers in brine pumps for ice hockey arenas, to reassembling the cast ductile iron boom on a Case backhoe that snapped in half. Some of my favorite projects to do actually, every one is unique enough to be interesting.


I can definitely see what you mean about the pocket at the bottom. Between that and the stuffing tube I wouldn't be surprised to see a pound of meat left in it. I haven't really thought that far ahead yet. I do like your idea of the plunger extension quite a bit.
 
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Forgot to mention I needed new stuffer tubes.
I got a 4 pack of SS tubes off Amazon for around $20 USD
The ends needed a deburr with 100 grit and polish with 400 grit to slide on the casing.
 
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Oh perfect! I'll have to take a look at those. I was wanting to find a smaller diameter tube to use with sheep casings. If I couldn't find anything that either fit or could be adapted, my plan B was to turn a piece that fit the stuffer from solid stock, and Silver solder a piece of suitable size tube into it.

I just got a used grinder on its way to me today. It's supposed to be ready to run but we'll see. Possible it could become another project.... Currently I have a #22 Enterprise hand grinder. And after one use I'm already tired of it.
I found a Berkel E222 I rather liked the look of, and the price was right. Overkill but better than wishing I got something a little bit better every time I use it.....
 
So a slight update. I have been too busy with real work this week to do anything more on the stuffer.
I did however find and order a new set of stuffing tubes. I saw several places (including the ones some of you were kind enough to suggest) that sold original style replacement tubes, made from thin aluminum. I also found that Smokehouse Chef out of Texas sells a 3 piece set of welded stainless steel tubes to fit the enterprise stuffers, for $45. 3/8, 1/2, and 3/4" if I remember correctly. I decided to give those a try, as I liked the idea of stainless steel instead of aluminum. And they had very reasonable shipping to Canada which is always a plus. I will post some pictures and my thoughts on them once they arrive incase anyone else is in the market.
 
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