This is the Hatcher that I will describe the building of
This is a hatcher that I made for a friend, the one I will describe is the same, other than the colour of the formica inside and one or two minor improvements I have incorporated, but this time its for me.
Controlled by the Osaka OK 31 process controller for a perfect temperature, I'm going to include a variable motor control so I can slow down or speed up the fan. This helps to adjust the ventilation and humidity
Does size matter
This is an individual decision as everyone to his own needs but before you decide on the size there are some thing to take into consideration.
Humid air tends to settle at the bottom in still air conditions so we have to move it to get an even atmosphere inside the incubator . If the incubator is tall and thin you will need a lot of motor to move the air from the top to the bottom and this will be detrimental to the chicks when hatched, if its too wide the eggs in the basket will roll to the middle as the wire mesh shelf sags,
The size of a normal marine ply board here is 2440 x 1220 mm so all the bits need to come out of it unless you've money to burn
The top 180 mm is used up with the motor, element and light then a small separation of at least 40mm to the top of the egg tray(so you can see in)egg trays about 70mm deep x 2 with 10mm spacing, then a further 80mm for the water dish. That gives us 450mm so about 500mm is about right as we have 2 x 22mm thick ply boards and 4 x 1mm formica coverings (the glue will make up the last 2 mm)
Lets get down to it
My first incubator was made of melamine faced chipboard,even though it was antihumedad (water resistant)after 2 or 3 hatches it started to swell and the door wouldn't shut properly so i decided to make the next one out of 22 mm birch marine ply. To this i covered all sides with Formica some before joining together and others afterwards to cover the joints. You can use a straight forward butt joint, but i used a stepped butt joint to improve the strength and help with the sealing of the corners.
This incubator/hatcher is 50 cm x 50 cm x 50 cm enough for 2 trays but you can adapt the design to any size you wish. (make sure you add the amount of the rebate to the length of the sides x 2 one for the top and one for the bottom)
Once the pieces are cut and before making the rebate we have to cover the inside faces with Formica
Cut the Formica about 10 mm bigger than the piece to be covered just in case its not 100% aligned when gluing
Here we see one of the sides with the Formica cut ready to be glued
I use waterproof contact adhesive as it gets pretty warm and humid in there and water based might fail