Posted by: ohmypuddin | April 25, 2011

Building Your Own Sous Vide Machine – Part 5

Aluminum U-Clamp

With version 4 of immersion circulator, I was finding that the acrylic U clamp was starting to bend under the weight of the device in combination to being submerged in hot water. I needed an alternative that could support more weight and not become malleable in hot water.

I went to the store and bought a piece of flat bar aluminum that was two inches wide. The nice thing about the aluminum U clamp is that it doesn’t require a bolt to keep it in place. The weight of the device, along with the rubber bumpers keeps it in place.

Following are the instructions to build and mount the Aluminum U clamp:

  1. Start by bending one end of the aluminum bar into the shape of a U. You’ll want the end that’s going to stick down in the water to be about 7 inches long. The other end of the U should be about 5 inches long. If you have a vice and something to give you enough torque to bend the aluminum, you can cut the aluminum into a 13’’ piece before you start bending. Since I didn’t have that I used my foot, and length of the bar to bend it. If you don’t have the right tools, I recommend bending the aluminum into shape before cutting it down.
  2. Once you have the aluminum cut and shaped into a U, you’ll need to drill 2 holes into the bend of the U so that you can mount the U bend onto your enclosure. You’ll also need to drill two matching holes into the bottom of the enclosure.
  3. Attach 2 rubber bumpers to the bottom of the U bend on the side that sticks into the water facing in towards the container wall. These will keep your mount from slipping back and forth on whatever container you mount it on.
  4. As you mount your enclosure onto the U clamp, you’ll need to play with the U clamp a bit to get it just right so that the enclosure ends up parallel to your cooking surface and not cocked either up or down at a funny angle. The aluminum should be flexible enough still to bend it into a proper shape. Be sure to take the aluminum off of the enclosure when you’re adjusting the bend, as you risk cracking the case if you try to bend it while attached.
  5. Once you have the perfect bend, use two nylon bolts to fasten it in place on the enclosure.

I used epoxy to mount my aquarium pump to the aluminum U clamp, and it seemed to work out fine. I sanded down the back of the pump to make it smooth and I roughed up the aluminum a bit to give the epoxy more grip.

That’s it. Thanks Seattlefoodgeek for posting your instructions. This has been a fun project to work on. Happy sous viding!



  1. […] How to build your own sous vide machine part 5 […]

  2. Nice post, the original build was sorely lacking. Always wondered how that box was going to do with heat build up and while you do have vents, they ruin the waterproofness of the box. I’m using a crock pot version at the moment but while it does work, it isn’t big enough for me. Looking to make or buy a portable unit.

    For clamping your build to the pot I’d use 6-Inch Steel Spring Clamp from hardware store, just bend one handle so it can be secured to box.

  3. Thanks for sharing!

    By the way, you shouldnt use epoxy in contact with water. The epoxy will hold up fine, but might also taint the food you put in it (vacuum bag or not)

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