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  #11  
Old May 22nd, 2017, 12:51 PM
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Why not do the install yourself Bryan ? Imo doing a smaller install such as yours is not that difficult. I believe you mentioned before your pretty flat so I would stay away from wireless . I looked into wireless but it was highly recommended by Dr Tim and others it's not the best for flat installs . Wire is not that big of deal to put up and besides if you go in and get your " hands dirty " you'll know exactly how to fix it when that branch falls on the mainline, tree rats decide to nibble , or in Xak's case , coyote pups decide to have some fun with the tubing !
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  #12  
Old May 23rd, 2017, 04:51 PM
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Bryan,

In addition to the PM I sent you - how long will the mainline be when you have all 800 taps online? With flat slope you may want to allow for a dual wet/dry system.

Set it up to be optimized on vacuum. Lots of mainline, short & straight laterals with 3-5 taps each.
Spend the money on good saddle manifolds that won't leak under high vacuum.
Use SS mainline fittings for unions and Y's.
Avoid mainline T's unless it's where a dry line tees into the wet line from above.
Don't skimp on wire ties - use lots.
Don't go around a tree with a lateral line thinking you might add a tap to in a few years once it gets a little bigger. Either tap it now or leave it for another 10 years when your laterals will need to be replaced.

Just my opinions - others may disagree but all of the advice above came at a cost to us in terms of out-of-pocket expenses, time or lost production.
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  #13  
Old July 25th, 2017, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wishlist View Post
Why not do the install yourself Bryan ?
Because I have no clue where to start or the proper way to lay it out given I want to be able to expand on it. Figure I will hire someone that knows what they are doing and work with them on the install. Tubing seminars are great but there's always specific situations to your own bush. Would rather pay the labour on a small install and get it right the first time.

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Originally Posted by EnnisMaple View Post
Bryan,

In addition to the PM I sent you - how long will the mainline be when you have all 800 taps online?
A good question that I don't know the answer to.
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Old July 29th, 2017, 10:37 AM
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I originally tubed without any experience at all and figured it out enough to make it work OK. However with experience in ownership and maintaining a tubing system I do see some errors of my ways and make annual improvements. This forum specifically has been an awesome tubing resource. Since you are hiring experience the end result will certainly be optimized to get you sap to the sugar house with minimal labor. If I would have had the experienced local support and cash in year #1 looking back I would have chosen that route too. After owning and operating/maintaining tubing you will be forced to be a pro in no time.
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Old July 29th, 2017, 11:59 AM
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As long as you pay attention to the slope and remember that sap only runs downhill on gravity tubing you can do it yourself. A couple of tools to consider. A mainline tool, but they're costly (you can do it without in warm weather, much harder in cold weather, use some warm water to slightly soften the line end, then use a plastic or wooden torpedo shape to slightly expand the end, then mussel it together as you insert a coupling or Y or tee fitting), Next is important, get some means to determine slope. You have options. CST/Berger 17-620A Hand Level
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I (my name is maple flats for a reason) had minimal slope potential so I used an old camera tripod and attached a wooden home made leveler to hold the hand level on a constant slope because I was only able to attain 1'/100' (1%) slope on my mainline. Inside that hand level there are 2 stadia lines that represent 1% and 2% slope as well as a level stadia. (like gun scope level lines for different elevations). On better slopes the tool can easily be held by hand. To use it, just stand normally and have your wife measure from the tool at eye level to the floor. Remember that measurement. Then in the woods, mark a tree at what ever height you need the line to end at for your collection tank. Measure if that is more than or less than the measurement your wife got. That difference will be used throughout the layout. Mark a nearby tree or post with that height at the collection tank, then repeat that every so foten as you mark the mainline route, every 100' is nice if you can, but do what ever you need to. Mark each tree at those intervals. In between can be done by eye. You can mark the trees either by plastic ribbon or paint or many other methods. Then string the mainline. Pull it good and tight and then tighten further by using side ties. I use the Rapid-Tube method, but it is very difficult on the flatter areas, generally those get high tensil wire or a sap ladder (sap ladders will not work on gravity). At 400 taps the first year, look into a larger sap puller type pump (look into Bosworth pumps), being diaphragm pumps they need no releaser and a second advantage, they both pull and push sap so they con be set lower and then push the sap up to a tank or to the sugarhouse. There are both 12V and plug in models as needed. With a vacuum, you can get as much sap from 250 taps as you can get from 400 on gravity (you might not need to put up enough for 400 taps in year 1 on the system, thus helping you pay for the diaphragm pump) In fact, if you keep the leaks to a minimum, you can get more sap from 250 on vac than 400 on gravity.
The main thing is to not be afraid to do it yourself. Just pay attention to the basics and don't get rushed. Take your time until you get comfortable with it, then you can start moving along faster. If you make a mistake, just learn from it.
Likely every "for hire" installer learned either on their own or by helping someone else, you can do the same.
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Old July 29th, 2017, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Ex View Post
I am not concerned about efficiency in the temporary gravity install but want to ensure I am setting things up correctly for later expansion and vac. Advice, opinions, what should I be aware of that the installer does not do? I know I could sell the surplus sap but just can't swing a full install this year after the thinning and other unrelated expenses but buckets are for the birds! They were fun when I had 25 or 50 but at 300 I am spending way too much time and effort on collecting.
Bryan here's a thought... Flats bring up a good point about making more sap with less taps on vacuum vs more taps on gravity. Hire help for tubing +- 1/2 of your anticipated taps for year #1 and Invest on vacuum equipment right away. You were going to buy the equipment any way. After working with tubing and vacuum on a small scale you will be educated enough to self perform the future expansion.
Unless I get really ambitious I probably won't tap trees on buckets anymore. The labor involved with collecting those buckets compared to "pump and cook"!!
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  #17  
Old July 31st, 2017, 02:05 PM
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Interesting proposal just hit my desk (wood pile?). Vice prez of our local producers association is hurting for sap and his proposal is to have the balance of the tubing installed at his cost with payments for excess sap credited toward the cost. We can take over all tubing at any time with just paying out the balance. That would give me a complete install on vac that helps pay toward it's costs while I work on the building and replacing all equipment for larger scale production. No issue with the arrangements should they work out as he is one of those "hand shake is my word" type guys that I have known for a long time.
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Old July 31st, 2017, 06:35 PM
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That sounds like a very tempting proposal.
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  #19  
Old July 31st, 2017, 10:25 PM
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You can tell a lot by a persons handshake
Sounds like a good opportunity Bryan

Another way of looking at it, this is really going to suck, sap that is
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