It was difficult to find information about the Belshaw Donut Robot 42 other than the owner's manual, so I will be the first person on the internet to tell the world about the warm, human, emotional side of the Belshaw Donut Robot.
The Belshaw Donut Robot 42 is an industrial donut making machine that looks sort of like an aircraft carrier, measuring 41 inches long and 20 inches wide. The Belshaw company is owned by the Welbilt company, the very same people who make the hotel icemakers, restaurant dishwashers, and the like. As it turns out, the Donut Robot 42 is an obsolete model, but despite its age (and associated dents, scratches, and stains), it still makes doughnuts like a champ.
Newer refinements in current Belshaw Donut Robots include a doughnut odometer, so you can tell if any of your thieving employees are stealing doughnuts from you. Probably most importantly is the ability to throttle doughnut production, because the Donut Robot 42 goes full-bore making doughnuts as fast as it can.
Most of the bulk of the Donut Robot is taken up by the kettle, which is the flat steel box you see in the picture. To fill it up, I needed 35 pounds of shortening. After laboriously scraping the contents of a dozen Crisco cans (and learning why they sell shortening in 50 pound blocks), dumping the shortening into the kettle, and turning on the robot, the robot ignobly caught on fire.
Fanning out the flames and re-reading the manual, the heating elements at the bottom (which are the same ones in your electric stove) are supposed to be covered with shortening. After coaxing the shortening to melt without igniting by fiddling with the thermostat knob like a game of Tempest, I got the shortening to melt and heat up to 375 F without igniting my laundry room.
The reason I operated the Donut Robot in the laundry room was that it needed a 220v 1 phase outlet, burning 21 amps of donut making fury. The only place I had this kind of juice was the one powering the dryer, so I commandeered the washer-dryer combo to be my doughnut center of operations.
Doughnuts are dropped by the hopper, shown in the picture that makes it more menacing than it really is. Probably by the red cyclops eye:
The batter is made from an industrial doughnut mix, which you buy from your industrial food store. My industrial food store is Thompson Foods in Wallingford, CT. However, if you don't live near Wallingford, you will need to find your own source of 50 pound doughnut mix bags. Doughnut mix sells from anywhere from 50 cents a pound to $2 a pound, depending on how good it tastes. In this picture, I used the cheapest mix they had, but it still came out pretty good.
To make the batter, you just add water to the powdered doughnut mix, giving you something that looks like elastic pancake batter. The instructions tell you how much mix and water to use by weight, not volume. The reason they do this is because industrial food manufacturers are communists who hate America. The best scale I had in the house was the bathroom scale, which is some balky digital thing that measured you to the half-pound. My first batch of mix was far too thin, causing the hopper to dump batter like it was blowing its nose, giving me a 41 inch doughnut that just came out the other end in a wadded gooey mess.
Going to Staples, I bought a postage scale that measured to the ounce, and subsequently after getting the mix to the right proportions, the hopper blew doughnut rings perfectly. In the picture of the hopper, you see the hopper motor (the red-eye cyclops thing on top of the bowl thing) operating a plunger, which churns up and down, the plunger having a ring like hollow space that is filled with dough on the upward stroke, and is expelled into the fat in the downward stroke. The hopper moves back and forth, like Alan Mathersburg's head when he sings the Devo song, "That's Good", to make two rows of doughnuts, side by side,
The tricky part of the Donut Robot 42 is the flipper that flips the doughnuts over in the middle of the kettle. The doughnuts are kept moving along by the conveyor belt, which you can see the chains in this picture:
The conveyor belt is a set of chains driven by the conveyor belt motor, which is the other device with the menacing red light in the first picture. Each pair of doughnuts are tended along by a thin metal slat that are attached crosswise to the chains on either end of the kettle. The dougnuts get flipped on the doughnut flipping paddle, and continue their way to the exit ramp:
This section is best described as the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, as long as 'D' stands for Doughnuts, like in 'Doughnut Day'. The doughnuts climb this ramp relentlessly, pulled along by the doughnut chains. Now, you could be the German defense forces preventing the doughnuts from making a beach head, but no matter how big your belly is, 6.5 donuts per minute are going to eventually overwhelm your defenses. The ones that come after the initial assault pile up in whatever doughnut collection device you have to collect them. I used my turkey roasting pan:
Everyone loves doughnuts, but not hundreds of them, much to my dismay. My neighbors are already tired of eating doughnuts, but I have high hopes I can sell delicious doughnuts in DaughterBot's school for fundraising. Making a shopping bag full of doughnuts costs me about $8 (and cheaper if I buy shortening by the block and not by the can), and depending on how much I sell each doughnut for, I could make ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Or I could just eat the doughnuts, that's probably an even better deal to me!
And that's all!