Sometimes it pays to wait.
I’ve been wanting a hotplate stirrer for some time now but didn’t have enough time to devote to serious emulsion making and didn’t want to spend $50-150 on something that wouldn’t be used often.
Over the weekend Andres and I went out to a local tech swap meet called 1st Saturday. It’s got a long history and I’d been meaning to go for some time now.
I got lucky and found a guy selling a few hotplates and one hotplate stirrer. The stirrer was marked "stirrer doesn’t work" but the hotplate worked fine and since the seller only wanted $10 I decided to give it a shot.
As it turns out, the magnets on the stirrer had come loose and were binding against the bottom of the hotplate. Once I’d glued them back in place the stirrer worked fine.
Now I’ve got a fully functional hotplate-stirrer and it only cost me $10 and a little cleanup and repair time.