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Thread: Tubing Tool Controversy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Vermont
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    Default Tubing Tool Controversy

    Hello All,
    I am posing the question because there is some controversy in my sugaring operation over where we should be devoting our resources over the coming weeks.

    -We have around 225 trees right now
    - these trees 5/16th lines were all put together without using a tubing tool, so they were chewed to put fittings together.

    We have been told that chewing lines will hurt your natural vacuum and the controversy is if we should spend the 300 bucks (which would be a real squeeze for us) to fix the existing trees, or if we would be better off to run line we already own to get around 50 more trees taped without using the tool, bringing our tree count up to around 275(but all chewed).

    Basicly is it the investment in the tool worth it for the sap yield increase it might provided? I understand it is a big time saver, but that isn't a real issue for us.

    Just curious to hear what people think and to hear peoples personal experience. Has anyone made this switch and noticed a difference?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Adirondacks
    Posts
    2,791

    Default

    Chewing? What do u mean exactly
    FIRST GENERATION SUGARMAKER
    First boil 2/22/2012! Went Pefect!
    3,500' of laterals
    1,000' of mainline
    2012 - 105 taps on gravity, 12 sap sacks.
    2013 - 175 taps on gravity, 25 on sacks = 200 taps for 2013! Second year.
    2014 - 250 taps on gravity, 25 on sacks
    Tapped on February 16, 2014
    2015 - adding vac sap puller no more gravity for me!
    275 gallon holding tank for 2014
    20'x30' Sugarhouse

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Vermont
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    Default

    When trying to splice say a drop line (a T) or any fitting into the 5/16th lines i have always cut it, then chewed the ends of the 5/16th line to make it malleable enough to slide over the barbs on the fitting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Adirondacks
    Posts
    2,791

    Default

    Oh man.. Well first of all your gonna get the education on bacteria introduction into your system. So chewing is a no no. Some use hot water in a thermos but that can be comber some. Tell you what, u can make your own tubing tools. Plenty of guys on here have. A buddy of mine made my two handed tubing tool and my one handed tool for me. I think I paid him $40 for each toll. They work awesome
    FIRST GENERATION SUGARMAKER
    First boil 2/22/2012! Went Pefect!
    3,500' of laterals
    1,000' of mainline
    2012 - 105 taps on gravity, 12 sap sacks.
    2013 - 175 taps on gravity, 25 on sacks = 200 taps for 2013! Second year.
    2014 - 250 taps on gravity, 25 on sacks
    Tapped on February 16, 2014
    2015 - adding vac sap puller no more gravity for me!
    275 gallon holding tank for 2014
    20'x30' Sugarhouse

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Thetford, VT
    Posts
    380

    Default

    We started tubing with hot water in a thermos and maybe some chewing, but learned it was definitely harder. We pre-assembled the drops at the house with hot water, but had to put them in. A tool definitely makes it easier from the actual spreading of the line and pushing the line onto the fittings.

    If you need a tool to do the 75 taps let me know. I don't they we are too far apart and would be willing to swing over and loan my tool. I would be willing to help and this should not take too long either. I still doing some set up here so I cannot let the tool go away for too long, but it sounds like you could at least see that one worth the investment.

    Send me an IM I am checking the site frequently this time of year like everyone else.

    Mike

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    2,135

    Default

    You never mentioned what kind of spouts you are using. If using CV2s then chew away and no bacteria will enter the tap hole. It sounds like you are putting in new drops and most likely new seasonal spouts of some kind. You are not going to loose $300.00 in syrup on 225 taps because of softening the tubing in your mouth. Save your money and chew away. Maybe by next season you could buy the tool when you have more money to spend.

    Spud

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,315

    Default

    I would much rather you use a thermos of hot water than to chew the tubing. Many smaller operations use that method. If you do, try to hold the 5/16 at a angle (45 degrees or greater) and only put the tubing in about 3/4" deep on the deeper end, this will leave the tubing more able to be pushed on because one side of the tubing will still be cool.
    The next option I'd suggest, is either make a 2 hand tool, many on here have done that.
    The next is to buy a 1 hand tool. I do my repairs entirely with a 1 hand tool and a piece of parachute line when pull is needed. I just tie a pipe hitch on the tubing and tie the other end either on a tree or to the other end of the line being connected. Then I pull the 5/16 to tighten the line and slide the pipe hitch to hold. Look up a pipe hitch, it is very simple, even 1 handed. My parachute cord I use is about 8-10' long. It carries easily and weighs almost nothing. You could easily buy a 1 hand tool and use that trick to assemble your system. A 1 hand tool runs about $100. Another option is to buy a basic 2 hand tool, they run about $150-200, bit is the deluxe models with automatic adjusting pliers. A nice feature but certainly not required. Another option, if you don't weld, is to find a friend who will make one for you, you supply the materials and some syrup, with the promise of more syrup in the future. To make a std. 2 hand tool, you can build one for about $50-75.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
    Posts
    935

    Default

    Could you use hand warmers to heat up and soften the tubing? I have a 2 handed too that I made and it works great but for the people who do not I would think that wrapping the had warmer around the tubing for a few seconds would warm it enough and would be easier to carry along than a thermos of water.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Adirondacks
    Posts
    2,791

    Default

    Nope no chewing. Still putting bacteria in the lines that is unnecessary
    FIRST GENERATION SUGARMAKER
    First boil 2/22/2012! Went Pefect!
    3,500' of laterals
    1,000' of mainline
    2012 - 105 taps on gravity, 12 sap sacks.
    2013 - 175 taps on gravity, 25 on sacks = 200 taps for 2013! Second year.
    2014 - 250 taps on gravity, 25 on sacks
    Tapped on February 16, 2014
    2015 - adding vac sap puller no more gravity for me!
    275 gallon holding tank for 2014
    20'x30' Sugarhouse

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Duxbury, VT
    Posts
    416

    Default

    VTTSA,

    Where in VT are you? I have two old tubing tools I over used (they are broken). Could easily be welded and fixed. you can have one if you want to fix it.

    While chewing will work fine, your teeth, and time will appreciate the tool. Also it is easier on the hands and forearms to put fittings together with.

    Ben

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