Ok, no updates for a long, long time. However, plans have been coming together for my home-built roaster. The goal is at least a 5lb batch capacity, and to actually create a faceplate similar to a commercial roaster (hopper, door, temperature probe, the works).
The roaster will be based on a Brinkman 4 burner propane BBQ. A friend does industrial pipe-fitting and is handling all the welding needs. His expertise has been invaluable so far, and we’ve only just started! Currently, he is beefing up the structure of the side shelf of the BBQ and designing a brace to take the weight.
Today, I began assembly of what will be the cooling tray and am continuing a search for a motor. The best bet so far appears to be a used motor that is 3 times what I really need. The motor in a similarly sized Diedrich is easily $450, and I’d like to keep it under $200 if possible.