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Old February 3rd, 2016, 09:06 AM
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Default Hobby Vacuum setup

So I got tired of tramping around with buckets and decided to build a tubing/vacuum system this year for my "micro" operation. Maybe not a financially sound idea, but I love building stuff and it sure beats trips through the snow with 5 gal buckets.

The sap flow caught me by surprise when a local friend mentioned that they tapped and were getting good flows 2 weeks ago, so this last weekend I got my home-brewed system all together. Built the trap, electric releaser (external pump) over the last couple of weeks, but did all the integration Saturday and Sunday (you can tell by the way everything is hanging out). Need to button everything up nicely.

On Sunday afternoon I drilled and installed 72 taps. Releaser was dumping about every 10 mins, so I calculate about 12 -15 GPH. Gast pump was running about 26" at the releaser.

pdf attachment shows the business end of the system.

Now I need to get the RO put together. Sap concentration was at 1% when I measured yesterday (red maples).

Thanks to all that contributed to my knowledge here on Sugarbush. I took many hints, ideas and techniques from a lot of you guys.

Regards
John
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File Type: pdf Maple 1-31-16.pdf (300.5 KB, 244 views)
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 01:05 PM
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Nice system.

HAHA...
I found the same thing. Last year my vacuum system boosted my output so much, I had a 4 day stretch boiling 12+ hours, and was walking dead. My sap runs 1.7, but this run so far 1.5
I plan on starting my home built RO today!
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 02:08 PM
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Default Releaser and more

Yeah, my little 2x3 is slow.... I did about 70 gallons yesterday, in about 12 hours. Today I had to go to work! But I did order the feed pump for the RO system... Temp warmed up again, so maybe I have a few days to get it together.

Cheers
John
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 04:23 PM
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Looks like an awesome well thought out build! Im interested, does having the mainline in and vacuum in so close maybe get more sap in the trap then neccessary? I dont know, but you may find that moving the mainline farther away from the vacuum in decreases the liquid in the trap! You'll find out I guess. great build
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 04:51 PM
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Default Vacuum in vs Mainline in

Well, I put them as far away from one another as I could while putting them in the top of the flange (I didn't want to go through the wall of the pipe) That isn't too far apart because the pipe is 6 inch schedule 40, so they are maybe 3-4 inches apart (both are 1 inch diameter)

So far so good, I have found no moisture in the trap (with only maybe a total of 20-25 hours run time).

Only time will tell for sure. Thanks for the nice words
John
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Old February 4th, 2016, 10:46 AM
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Nice work John! Any more pics of your setup? Did you have to by a full stick of the clear PVC?
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Old February 4th, 2016, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
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Nice work John! Any more pics of your setup? Did you have to by a full stick of the clear PVC?
Agree. Are there more pictures, or a detailed design and operation document?
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Old February 4th, 2016, 02:52 PM
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Default Pictures

I can post some pictures, but need to take some good ones of the piece parts, will do that this weekend.

Regarding the transparent schedule 40 PVC, the piece for the trap (3") was a drop from work. The tank is made of 6" and I had to buy that. Instead of buying a complete piece, I bought a 2' piece from McMaster Carr for $114. No muss no fuss, and I ordered it in the am, was here in the pm (their warehouse is 15 miles from my work and they do 2 deliveries a day within close distances)

McMaster can be expensive for stuff, but for this, I think it is a bargain. The guys selling it cut on eBay are more expensive, and even US Plastic wants 44$ a foot and you have to buy 10 ft. I used a lot of parts from my junk bin and stuff being thrown out from work, but you can buy everything you need to make this from McMaster.

I use this PVC at work all the time, and I love using the glue on flanges. We make various vessels out of these for our research test benches. More expensive than the clip on tops, but there is also a lot of meat in the blind ends to drill and tap. I am not a fan of going through the walls of the pipe for inlets and outlets.

I am a big fan of vacuum so far!

Regarding operation, documentation, etc. I can post pictures, and things like schematic diagram of the control system. I can help anyone with questions. Just please bear with me on getting back to you, as the sap is running, I haven't put together the RO yet, and, oh yeah, gotta do some legitimate work too....


Regards
John

Last edited by johnnj; February 4th, 2016 at 02:59 PM. Reason: More detail
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Old February 6th, 2016, 09:39 PM
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Default Releaser pictures

As promised, here are a few pictures and explanations on the build of the releaser (see attached).

I'll try to post some more of the rest of the vacuum system tomorrow

If this is not clear, or you have any questions, let me know

Cheers!
John
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File Type: pdf Releaser 2016.pdf (546.3 KB, 112 views)
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Old February 7th, 2016, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
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or you have any questions, let me know Cheers!
John
John, does the pump that empties the releaser pump sap out while vacuum is applied? Or, is there a air relief valve of some sort?
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