|$20 Plus shipping... and a few days...|
Recently I found myself in a pickle... well, it was still a cucumber actually. I had 25lbs of cucumbers packed into my crock with salt, dill and garlic... all in need of a way to submerge them, so they don't get nasty! I'd hard of boiling a rock and putting that on top... eh, no thanks! I'd heard of putting a plate on top and submerging it... there's got to be something better!
Well I decided to take matters into my own hands and see what I could do. In the garage I had a section of 2x12 that I'd bought to make some apple crates... I can work with this! The inside of my 5 gallon crock measured a hair over 11" in diameter, so I figured going a quarter inch under size would give me plenty of wiggle room... so I measured and found the center of the 2x12, on the flat side and made my mark by drilling a small hole through it.
|A blank slate...|
Next I used a scrap piece of wood to create a compass to draw a perfect circle. 10.75 / 2 = 5.375 or 5-3/8in long for my compass. I measured it, marked it and drilled two more holes. The nail seen above goes through the compass into the wood and a pencil goes through the other hole to draw a circle. Next, cutting it out on the band saw and drilling holes so I could pull it out of the crock...
|Houston, we have a problem...|
Well it worked well enough at first, but after a week of being submerged while we were away on a trip, that wood soaked up some water and expanded. When we got home it was wedged in the crock pretty good and going nowhere! I'm actually quite fortunate that it didn't expand more and bust my crock! As you can see above, I had to put some screws into the wood and use my crowbar to pry it out... a quick trim on the band saw (Let's try 10-1/2in diameter this time) and it's good to go! It did seems to require some weight on top of it, as the wood is less dense than the stone... but I cam sure make a bunch of these for the $20-$50 I'd spend on more weights elsewhere!
(See my follow up to this article here)