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Thread: 275 gallon fuel oil drum evaporator

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    191

    Default 275 gallon fuel oil drum evaporator

    Well I finally got to put it to the test, made a gallon of syrup. As it is I get about 7 GPH out of it, but if i tend the fire proper and had a few more firebricks I could easily get 10-12.

    Thanks to everyone her who offered tips and provided pics and details of their setups.



    I feed from the left to the right and could possibly finish it in the far right pan.



    Once it gets fired up no smoke comes up between pans and the sap doesn't burn on the sides of the pans, but the scummy foam will if you don't keep it skimmed off.



    Once the rear pans are empty I can fill them with water or just put this steel plate over the hole to keep soot from getting in the sap and maintain the draft.



    If I tend the fire well all three pans will boil, but I'm no Olympian of the maple syrup world. I can barely keep up with two boiling.



    The steel plate is big enough to cover the hole for all three pans, helps keep the rain and snow out, and it can be used in the off season for other purposes as well.



    More pics of the firebox and such here: http://www.mapletrader.com/community...ad.php?t=10147 and at my photobucket page, link below.
    Last edited by 3fires; 03-07-2011 at 08:35 AM. Reason: added link
    2010: 3 taps and a Coleman stove
    2011: 30 taps, knock on wood! Home built fuel oil tank arch, lotsa buckets, 2 55 gallon drum storage tanks.
    2012: ??
    No dogs or chickens, but plenty of stray cats, an opossum or two, a couple groundhogs and a hawk.

    http://s101.photobucket.com/albums/m...view=slideshow

    http://www.youtube.com/user/MiWilderness

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    191

    Default

    Just an update if anyone's interested:

    I put split bricks on the sides of the firebox to come up flush with the undersides of the pans, and added 6 splits to the ramp that leads back to the stack and am now getting 9-12 gph depending on how well I keep the pans and fire fed. Being real lazy I get 9. I put two aluminum turkey roasting pans on the back of the evap to preheat, they don't boil, but keep me from killing the boil.

    I've made close to seven gallons on this and burned through just over a face cord of wood doing so. The evap is holding up just fine. The pans do burn on the sides, but no smoke leaks through, my middle pan sits on the lips of the outside pans and somewhat seals off the smoke. The aluminum foil prevented the sugar from burning so much, but made it difficult to remove pans. I keep the level in the pans at 3" except when removing them, that helps prevent burning and they still boil like crazy.

    I'm no longer using the steel plate to cover the holes as I remove pans, but leaving the pans on filled with water for cleanup and such. Once I get down to 1 pan, I let the fire die back a bit and just feed in a stick or two to keep it boiling gently while I finish it right on the evaporator, no propane needed. Anything under a gallon might be risky as that'd put the strup level around 1" or less, it might burn?? But, I finished 1.8 and 2.2 gallons on it just fine, no issues whatsoever. You just need some good gloves to remove the hot pans from the fire. It takes about two hours to finish once all the sap is in the first pan, but I take it slow because I don't want to burn it, or have it boil over.

    All in all, not a bad investment for under 200 OTD with bricks and all. The sugar burning on the sides is a drag, but it doesn't affect the taste, it just means less sugar in the pot.
    Last edited by 3fires; 03-18-2011 at 01:08 PM.
    2010: 3 taps and a Coleman stove
    2011: 30 taps, knock on wood! Home built fuel oil tank arch, lotsa buckets, 2 55 gallon drum storage tanks.
    2012: ??
    No dogs or chickens, but plenty of stray cats, an opossum or two, a couple groundhogs and a hawk.

    http://s101.photobucket.com/albums/m...view=slideshow

    http://www.youtube.com/user/MiWilderness

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Steubenville,Ohio
    Posts
    375

    Default Design

    I am intrigued by your layout here. I have the tank and am looking at how to start cutting. Maybe someone here knows if there is a difference in laying the tank on the side like this or cutting it from the top. I've seen both ways now and wonder which is better. I'm looking for a 2x4 pan with dividers so which way would fit that type of pan better?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Reedsville WI
    Posts
    39

    Default

    I have mine upright and I made the cut right at the curve. This allowed me to keep the fire door alittle higher and easier on the back when loading wood.

    http://mapletrader.com/community/alb...&pictureid=187
    2010 - 15 Taps and an open fire made 2.5 gallons
    2011 - New 14X10 sugar shack, 125 taps
    homemade 2x4 oil drum evap with a Wegner Metal Works pan
    three wonderful sap haulers (kids) and a wife that's very understanding

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Glennie, Michigan
    Posts
    1,266

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    Quote Originally Posted by ehafkey View Post
    I have mine upright and I made the cut right at the curve. This allowed me to keep the fire door alittle higher and easier on the back when loading wood.

    http://mapletrader.com/community/alb...&pictureid=187
    My Rig is just about like Yours - even to the Vogelzang Door. Mine is cut off at the top bend like yours and is reinforced with angle iron all the way around the cut for strength and to support the 2' x 5' devided flow thru pan. Have a homemade ash clean out door with a grate seperating the ash area from the burn area of the fire box section. I'm very happy with my rig. -- Mike

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Banks of the Wabash
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    266

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausable View Post
    My Rig is just about like Yours - even to the Vogelzang Door. Mine is cut off at the top bend like yours and is reinforced with angle iron all the way around the cut for strength and to support the 2' x 5' devided flow thru pan. Have a homemade ash clean out door with a grate seperating the ash area from the burn area of the fire box section. I'm very happy with my rig. -- Mike
    What is your boil rate? I'm planning to build something similar. Why so tall? I have not found my tank yet, maybe when I get my hands on it I will understand, but it seems tall to me.
    Last edited by Indiana-Jones; 04-14-2011 at 02:10 PM.
    2011 19 taps, 5 gallons of syrup
    Moved from turkey fryers to barrel stove.
    A copy of the North American Maple Manual.
    "2012 in the book" 85 taps, new 24"X60" rig 5" drop flue, made 15 gallons
    2013 75 buckets and bags, 50 taps on tubing= 32.6875 gallons in glass.

    http://s1129.photobucket.com/albums/...%20rig%202011/

  7. #7
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    Feb 2010
    Location
    Glennie, Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indiana-Jones View Post
    What is your boil rate? I'm planning to build something similar. Why so tall? I have not found my tank yet, maybe when I get my hands on it I will understand, but it seems tall to me.
    Howdy Indiana Jones - I'm embarrased - I don't know my boil rate. Next Season I'm gonna figure it out - Being retired and a Backyarder I didn't think to figure it out. The Rig is not really that High and I don't have to bend over and I like that. My wood burner grate is about 8 inches above the bottom which I covered with sand, I have fire brick up the sides and back held in place with heavy duty steel mesh welded to standoffs. My Grandson welded a small steel box to the back - near the top - with a flange to receive my 8" stack and works good. I can burn wood just short of three feet long in my firebox as the last two feet has a steel bent plate that mimics a small arch - only is hidden by the tank on the outside. My evaporator pan is homemade 2' x 5' devided into two sap pans 12" x 24" and 3 syrup pans 8" x 36"..... Mike

  8. #8
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    Jan 2011
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    Banks of the Wabash
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    Ausable, I found a free for the hauling oil drum and have it draining. It has been out doors it's whole life and it is rusty. I pushed a nail through the bottom.

    I'm still thinking of how I'm exactly going to get this thing built. I have searched here in the Home Made section and looked at some other people's drum arches. Saw one that the guy cut half of the bottom out to make the ramp, looks good but man lotsa work. I'm just going to weld in a ramp

    My goals are a continuous flow process and 12 to 15 GPH

    Who makes a 2X5 dual pan set up for one of theses rigs.

    The rain has stopped for awhile. OUT the door.
    2011 19 taps, 5 gallons of syrup
    Moved from turkey fryers to barrel stove.
    A copy of the North American Maple Manual.
    "2012 in the book" 85 taps, new 24"X60" rig 5" drop flue, made 15 gallons
    2013 75 buckets and bags, 50 taps on tubing= 32.6875 gallons in glass.

    http://s1129.photobucket.com/albums/...%20rig%202011/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Glennie, Michigan
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    1,266

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Indiana-Jones View Post
    Ausable, I found a free for the hauling oil drum and have it draining. It has been out doors it's whole life and it is rusty. I pushed a nail through the bottom.

    I'm still thinking of how I'm exactly going to get this thing built. I have searched here in the Home Made section and looked at some other people's drum arches. Saw one that the guy cut half of the bottom out to make the ramp, looks good but man lotsa work. I'm just going to weld in a ramp

    My goals are a continuous flow process and 12 to 15 GPH

    Who makes a 2X5 dual pan set up for one of theses rigs.

    The rain has stopped for awhile. OUT the door.
    Hey -- Good Find--- If the bottom is real bad - could You flip it and make the bottom the top and cut that out at the start of the bend? Than re-inforce the edge - all the way around with welded angle iron - just a thought.

  10. #10
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    Feb 2010
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    Glennie, Michigan
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    Hey Indiana - Jones -- I think the boil rate of 12 to 15 gph is realistic. I was just thinking about how long it was taking me to pump out my storage barrels to my feed tank during a boil and I know I get at least that - not very scientific is it -- lol -- Mike

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