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Old January 2nd, 2015, 10:39 PM
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Default DIY ARCH/EVAPORATOR n00b ! need pointers!

Hi all Sugarbush community! I'm from maple Quebec and looking for some help in building my new evaporator .

I am sorry to ask something that must've been done 2000 times , but i lack the time right now to read all of those threads to find the tidbits of info i need to start working the arch design .

So i would dare to ask , if you could please link or tip me on the threads i should look into more deeply. I already have a flue pan and a finishing pan which i purchased used this last summer, so now i need to build the arch/wood stove to use them properly.

Things i wish to incorporate now or later ( but now in the design ) :

- Blower augmented burning
- possibility to use longer wood pieces ( please tell me what would be the max length i should consider )
- possibility to use a preheating pan ( is it really worth it ? )
- Glass front door ( this is a must, will not sit in front of a closed door for hours without seeing the fire )

I will join pictures of the nice pans i plan to use,
and a picture of my last year's setup for a good laugh !!

I have around 200 maples ( "plaines" ..red maples ) within radius of 150ft of my house,
and alot more in other lands i own ..but for this year looking to top around 100s should be enough to start with .

I have access to laser cutting, cam software , mig/tig etc..
Self taught type, like to tinker much :)

Have a nice winter and a happy 2015!! tx for helping !!
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Old January 2nd, 2015, 10:45 PM
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Pans are 9" high ( 11" with the top draftout )
18" wide
Flue pan is 48" long
and the finishing pan is 12" long

I plan on to use heavy steel laser cut parts , mig welded, black stove paint, thin bricks for weight.

Will need to include a way to install wheels on the evaporator because i will need to move it in/out of storage every year to do the boil outside .

Wish to use the finishing pan space as cooking grill for gatherings while the back is still working

I have access to free car parts, would a car blower do the trick ?
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Old January 25th, 2015, 08:21 PM
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jin,
The rear pan looks very nice I think it will work well. I am concerned about the size of the front pan. It may make syrup in one batch.? There is a guy near me that has a 17 inch wide by 6 foot long rig.
Do you have a picture of the front pan? and where the draw off ports are?
The depth looks good.
Do you have the arch built? Your wood may need to be 12 inches long approx. so you dont hit the flues.
I think you will have a lot of fun with this rig.
Regards,
Chris
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Old January 25th, 2015, 11:34 PM
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Hi Sugarmaker,

thanks for the comments :)


I do not have an arch yet, i'm still at the drawing board and that is why i came here asking for help.

Still balancing between a few design points, would like to keep it simple but at the same time i'd like to be able to use it for many years to come.

The front syrup pan is pretty small yes unfortunately, that was the kit i bought.
( used )

I'm not going for production ever, and if i read the numbers right, i don't think i'll go pass ~ 100 taps total. So if i can get a good few days of boil each year with this setup, i'd be a happy man. The trees here drip only for ~ 3 weeks or so. Mostly all red maples on an island with pretty wet feet in 100% sand , so they all grow fast and tall, not thick. ( i've got some 60-70' tall ones with less than 12" diameter and only a few main branches up there )
And my house land is half maple half spruce so the soil does not get as much sun as it should in a cleaned up bush, but i love it this way, green all year long!!

I'll try and take more pictures of the pans and post later.

At this step, i think i should learn more about how all this actually works.

I just thought that i don't even know if i should batch the syrup or draw off little at a atime, and what to do when the sap is running out at the end of the day ? How do i empty the pans or do i even need to ?
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Old January 26th, 2015, 11:05 AM
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From what I seen on other builds some say your firebox should be the size of your syrup pan. Others say that it should be 40 to 60% of your total pan length. I feel after looking at a lot and I do mean a lot of these builds that in your case you should extend the firebox a little deeper in to your flue section imo. Now some are going to say that you shouldn't because throwing in wood could possibly damage the flues on the pan. However Jim from Smokey lake maple (makes these styles of pans) recently stated on here that shouldn't be a concern. That the pans should be able to handle a bump now and then. He even offers lifetime warranties on his welds by the way. Question for you who made your pans. I think that you should have pretty much have a square firebox with very little room under your pans so that it will force the heat and smoke through your flues wasting very little heat. Also split your wood to about wrist size or baseball size and have fun.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 08:54 PM
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Jin,
Kind of bouncing between both threads.
Dr Perkins gave you some good advice also.
On the arch build I would probably make the fire box under 8-10 inches under the flues. wood length about 20 inches long.
On the front pan it may not have enough area to build a gradient? Are there partitions in the front pan?
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Old January 26th, 2015, 09:17 PM
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Syrup pan is only 12" long ... i wanted to use a bit longer wood..maybe up to 16inches
because i am going to use lots of construction scraps ..

Could i extend the firebox toward the front instead of the back ?

shouldn't the firebox stop at the beginning of the flues?


Anyhow, here are the pics of what i've got for now.

PICS of the pans :
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Old January 26th, 2015, 09:20 PM
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equipment i gathered
500' flex hose ( the one made for sugarshacks )
~200 plastic taps..the tree saver ones
~ 25 old alum buckets
~25 pails of all sorts
~ 75+ 4liters milk jugs ( we drink 2-3/week here :p , so tasty! )
Orlon filter with prefilters from atkinson website
used last year, worked perfectly

Would like to have a "siroptiere" this year ( the vessel you drop ur syrop for filtering and bottling in ..sorry don't know the english term )
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Last edited by jinMTVT; January 26th, 2015 at 09:23 PM. Reason: forgot pics the first time
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Old January 27th, 2015, 09:25 AM
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Build the combustion chamber as big as need for wood. You don't want to be cutting wood 12" long. you will be getting good flames and heat to the entire set of pans. Having any kind of cannels and a divided pan will allow you to operate your pans as a continuous flow evaporator. That means thin at the start and thick at the end.
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Old January 28th, 2015, 09:02 AM
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Jin,
Thanks for posting the pictures. That may help you get some responses.
Couple things I see.
1. this is a GREAT starter pan system! You are doing a lot of the correct things to get started.
2. I don't think you will be able to run this as a continuous flow draw off system since the front pan is one compartment.
I would put a valve and two draw off spigots one for getting sap from the rear pan and one to draw off syrup from the front pan. Also put in a shut off valve in between the front and rear pan. That way when you get the entire rig near say 212 F degrees then shut the valve and ladle more sap from the back pan into the front till its maybe 5-6 inches deep. This will hopefully allow you to finish syrup in the front, while the back pan is continuing to get more new sap.
Before the syrup is ready draw off hot sap maybe a gallon from the rear pan and set it aside to add to the front after you draw off the syrup.
Then draw off the syrup and quickly flood the front pan with new sap from the back by opening the valve between the pans and or dumping in the hot sap from the set aside contasiner, close the valve and start the process again.
I made syrup for years like this on a larger antique Warren brand rig.

With the short flues I think the fire could extend part way under them.

Hope some of this helps.
Your English is much better than my French.
Regards,
Chris
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