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Star Popcorn Butter Dispenser 177

When looking for just the right dispenser to go with a popcorn machine, I just could not find the right one that I wanted.  When I stumbled upon this one, I knew it was the right one.  
I found that other people had this same model with a front lit display, construction was completely in stainless steel, and a big spigot for pouring on to buckets of popcorn.  
This project will be a near full restoration to bring it back to safe and normal operation.  

Things I need to fix/replace, because this is an older machine.

1.  replace cord
2.  replace lights possibly to LED after insulating the heater and tank. (this will happen later, incandescence will work fine for now.)
3.  add ceramic black for power
4.  add "heating" light
5.  Insulate heated tank
6.  Polish case to look like new

1.    This is straight forward.  I will use an computer power cable as a replacement (as I have hundreds)

2.    There are a few LED lights I would like to use.  But since this machine will only work for 2 - 3 hours a week with low wattage bulbs, this is on hold.  Its really easy to change.

3.    This is to allow 

4.    Since this is a huge tank, I wanted to know when it reached temperature since I think it will take about 6 - 13 minutes (est) depending on 1/2 to full tank.

5.    I hope this will help increase efficiency and help keep the heat in the tank and not just heat the cabinet.

6.    This is over 30 years old.  Since its dismantled, best time to really get it perfectly clean.

Known specs:

Case is fully Stainless Steel

2x 25-30 watt bulbs behind front display (currently using sylvania S15 bulbs)
1 gallon tank
350 Watt heater with adjustable thermostat, I think it is a "foil heater.
18 gauge electrical cord
Front display is 1/8" lexan back side silk screened with 1/2"x1/8" white felt with an adhesive side.
all case screws are #8 Stainless steel.


I found it might be possible to build a "ready" light.  (A light comes on when thermostat kicks the heater off.) But the only way I could think of was to use a relay as I have not seen a thermostat that has a SPDT contact.  A relay might be thought of in the future as you just need to use the NC side of the relay.  But I worried about heat causing a problem. So current design is to use a LED indicator light on the back that is tied to the heater contacts for a "heating" light, just like an oven.  

    Problem #2
When cleaning the display sign after letting soak in warm soapy water to help get the years of oil turned to tar off.  The blue paint slightly rubbed away.  Luckily I stopped and rinsed it off to let dry before anymore damage can occur.  But the felt that held it in place was removed with only light bits of paint taken off.  Luckily I have paint markers that get really close to this color and will be used later.

    Problem #3
Trying to find new parts.  Can't get the aforementioned different thermostat. nor can I get the same light sockets to replace the old ones.  They dont need to be replaced, just thought it would be nice.  But since the wires are in good condition and no cracks or breaks.  I will just use acrylic fiberglass sleeving to make a secondary insulator when reassembling.  Things with metal cases can never have too much wire insulation, even if the wires never move.  


    Still trying to decide if I need to add a ceramic power block.  The original Idea was if the cord ever gets damaged it will be extremely simple to replace.  The current wiring is quite stiff and I worry it might be really brittle if I bent it too much again.  I can rewire parts of it later if there is ever a problem though.  The current wiring will be sleeved with high temp fiberglass sleeving for safety.  


    Mostly finished, all wiring and internals complete.  Needing some repainting and final touches.  Used CPVC 1/2" street elbow and cap for spigot with 1/2" flat washer to seal.  Drilled 7 1mm holes probably too many as it flows out very quickly, will have to try another cap.  then sand and paint this silver to match.  Found a 11" stainless steel drip tray for a bar tap on ebay.  This looks and fits the part to help with any residual mess.