I see not many adventurous people are out there. I'm willing to sacrifice the behmor. Burn it out, burn it down, whatever. Not that it's not a great roaster (and i would probably replace it) - it's just that I want more consistent and better roasts. The machine, barring an explosion that sends molten metal flying, will not burn anything down if it goes up. It is outside the house. I was planning on separating the heating element from the board it's on, and running it directly off the variac. My only question is what will happen to the rest of the machine. Since the element is cycled on and off, I was hoping a short in the element circuit would not harm the machine.
I have had the machine for over a year, and i've been operating it at 125-127v for over 4 months. I only expected to get a year out of it. The interior light has burned out, and the external screws are rusting out (appear not to be stainless). I do live on a beach though (and leave it outside overnight sometimes).
My roasting history has been heatgun/dogbowl, home-made air roaster, home-made drum roaster, iroast2, and now the behmor. I don't really think roasts can get much better than the best roast i've pulled off the behmor. I frequently buy from ecco, klatch, intelligentsia, to compare my roasts. But as consistent as the behmor is, "guess and press" to time first crack and heat reduction means that I have consistency issues - and while all are good roasts, I want all to be great. Yes, a variac and P1 does the same thing, but i can't seem to drop the element low enough after first crack. I assume undervoltage, as well as overvoltage, could damage the behmor. I probably would want to drop the behmor down to about 70-80 volts to simulate the 60% of P2. Has anyone dropped voltage that low? is there any danger?