How to Make an Electric Hot Plate

Written by lindsay haskell
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How to Make an Electric Hot Plate
Make your own electric hotplate. (gas stove image by Christopher Walker from

Electric hotplates are single burners used for cooking, keeping food warm, and heating laboratory chemicals. Their small size and portability has made them convenient for office buildings, college dorms, and single-person apartments. However, they easily catch fire, causing many colleges and offices to ban them. An electric hotplate is made up of a base that supplies the electricity and heat, and a circular top you put your pot or dish on.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Electric lamp socket with wire and plug
  • Pliers
  • Ammunition box
  • 4 bolts and nuts
  • Pot rest
  • 10 feet of No. 26 gauge heating wire
  • 2 feet of asbestos-covered rod
  • Electric drill with carbide tipped bit

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  1. 1

    Use your electric drill to make a hole in each corner of your ammunition box, 2 inches from the box's top edge.

    How to Make an Electric Hot Plate
    An electric drill is the best tool for making holes in your ammunition box. (electric drill image by terex from
  2. 2

    Insert a bolt into each hole. Use the nut to tighten.

    How to Make an Electric Hot Plate
    Insert a bolt into each hole. (bolt image by Grebenshchikov from
  3. 3

    Use your electric drill to make one hole in the bottom of a side of your ammunition box. The hole must be big enough to fit a plug through it.

  4. 4

    Use your heating wire to wrap the asbestos-covered rod firmly. Leave one millimetre between each wrap. Do not allow the heating wire to touch itself. At the end of the rod, leave five inches of wire.

  5. 5

    Put your electric lamp socket and wire into your ammunition box. Thread the plug through the hole in the bottom of the box.

  6. 6

    Coil up the extra five inches of wire inside the lamp socket. Push down firmly where a bulb would normally be on the base and sides of the lamp socket.

  7. 7

    Using your pliers, coil up your asbestos rod, wrapped, and heating wire so that they fit within your ammunition box.

  8. 8

    Allow the coil to sit on the bolts inside the ammunition box, producing a hovering heated stove coil.

  9. 9

    Put your ammunition box on top of your pot rest. Plug the lamp wire into an outlet to heat up your electric hotplate.

Tips and warnings

  • Ensure your lamp socket is unplugged while you touch the inside. Never let the heating wire touch itself when it's plugged in. The outside of the ammunition box is hot to the touch while it's heating.

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