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|Next comes the support stand. In each short piece of wood, drill a hole one inch from either cut end and halfway between
the sides. Make the hole slightly larger than the diameter of
the wood screws. Then nail the short pieces to the ends of the
remaining piece of wood to complete the stand. Finally,
screw the disc halves to the stand uprights, using the washers
to separate the wood surfaces.
Before forming the reflector, buff one side of the aluminum to a shiny finish. This is very important. Use the other side to experiment on. Very fine steel wool should do a nice job (but press lightly). Or try a metal cleaner, or whatever else sounds promising. But get it as bright as you can.
Then cut out a piece 18 inches long and wide enough to reach the far ends of the disc halves. Bend back ½ inch of metal at both ends for added stiffness.
Now for the tricky part, which may require more than two hands. With shiny side inward, form the aluminum around the curved ends of the disc halves, and nail it in place. Make sure the reflector unit turns without binding.
Last but not least is the skewer -- that is, the coat hanger wire. Sand it down to the bare metal, even if it looks bare to start with (it could have a clear lacquer coating on it). And that does it.
To use the hot dog cooker, simply insert the skewer into one of the uprights, through the hot dog, and into the other upright. Then point the cooker toward the sun.
On a clear summer day, your solar cooker will get a hot dog hot in a couple of minutes. It may take quite a bit longer if the skies are hazy, or if the sun is too low, or if itís wintertime.
And by the way, the skewer will get hot too. So be careful when removing the cooked hot dog.