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Thread: Homemade 2x5 Evaporator Build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    8

    Default Homemade 2x5 Evaporator Build

    Hi Everyone,

    I have been collecting information for a while now on some of the great homemade builds on here, but have never posted before. My grandfather has been making syrup in Quebec since the early 90s and that's where I first got into the hobby. In March of 2018 my wife and I moved into our first home in New Brunswick and I decided to tap 6 trees on the property just for fun. I boiled on the woodstove and ended up with about 2 liters of syrup after many hours . The following year my neighbor got into it with me and we did about 60 trees and boiled on a modified wood stove with a flat pan which worked pretty well.

    This year my Dad and I decided to tackle a homemade evaporator based on some of the ones seen on here. Now that it has been completed and up and running great, I will post the build pictures here for anyone else who might like to use them as reference for their future builds!

    First Job was to build the arch. We opted to go with 1/8" plate , and angle iron for the framing. The base of the firebox is grates from an old sander hopper, and finally the door is from a barrel stove kit.
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    All in all, the arch came together really quickly and without much trouble. Next, it was on to the tricky part of building the pans!
    Last edited by MattyMaple; 04-04-2020 at 09:08 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    8

    Default

    The next step in the build was going to be a lot more difficult: Building the pans. Like I mentioned above, my father build and soldered my grandfathers pans years ago, but this time he wanted to try his hand at TIG which is a whole different world.

    The first step was to build a brake for bending and shaping the pans:
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    Next, he started with the flue pan which is 20ga 304 stainless. The pan is 2x3 and has four 4" drop flues. The ends were tacked on, and then cut out to shape. Once everything was in place, it was then fully welded. It turned out to be quite a time consuming job to get everything watertight, but overall it turned out great!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    8

    Default

    The front pan was some type of buffet table from a restaurant that we picked up. It was cut down to the proper size, and a divider was welded in.
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    Everything being test fit for the first time:
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    The Arch was then painted and fire bricked. For the horizontal slope, I opted to use sand which seems to be doing it's job well.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Finally the last part of the build (for now) was the float box. It was built from the remaining scraps of stainless.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    604

    Default

    Wow very impressive work for a first attempt at making your own pans, especially a flue pan.

    Others will comment as well but looking at the space under your flue pan I think that will be too much. You want the floor of the arch shelf close to your flue pan bottom in order to send up the heat into the tops of the flues. In your current setup you may not getting your full potential out of the flue pan as the fire will just run underneath the flues.

    Also what size is your pan inlet and outlets? Hard to tell from the pictures but they seem on the smaller size which isn't terrible but you will have to be careful drawing off syrup. If you draw off too fast the small outlet size won't let enough sap enter the front pan fast enough to keep your pan level up. On a 2x5 this probably wont be a problem but something to think about.

    Other than that, very impressive work on the pan and arch builds.
    Camp Wokanda
    Peoria Park District

    2020 - 210 taps 3/16 shurflo, upgraded hp pump on RO - 66 gallons
    2019 - 150 taps 3/16 shurflo, Deer Run 125 dolly RO - 73 gallons
    2018 - 120 taps 3/16 hybrid (shurflo), 2x6 raised flue w/hood, homemade arch w/ AUF & AOF - 34.5 gallons
    2017 - 60 taps 3/16 gravity, oil tank arck w/ steam pans - 12.5 gallons

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mol1jb View Post
    Wow very impressive work for a first attempt at making your own pans, especially a flue pan.

    Others will comment as well but looking at the space under your flue pan I think that will be too much. You want the floor of the arch shelf close to your flue pan bottom in order to send up the heat into the tops of the flues. In your current setup you may not getting your full potential out of the flue pan as the fire will just run underneath the flues.

    Also what size is your pan inlet and outlets? Hard to tell from the pictures but they seem on the smaller size which isn't terrible but you will have to be careful drawing off syrup. If you draw off too fast the small outlet size won't let enough sap enter the front pan fast enough to keep your pan level up. On a 2x5 this probably wont be a problem but something to think about.

    Other than that, very impressive work on the pan and arch builds.
    Thanks for the feedback! The arch was designed to fit 7-8" drop flues if I ever look to expand. I think that if I need to, I could probably add another layer of bricks and sand to force the flue gasses closer to the bottom of the flues. That being said, on the first boil I was able to get a full rolling boil and was running in the neighborhood of 20 gph without pushing it too hard. The connections are all 1/2" which I know is on the smaller side, but we went with what we had available. I think we are going to go with slower/longer drawoffs but if it's an issue we may have to go bigger in the future.

    Matt

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Hartland, New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    196

    Default

    Awesome looking job! Where area are you?
    Murray

    About 1000 taps on vacuum
    1 Sap Ladder & 5 cans
    21/2 x 10 Waterloo/Small with preheater & hood,
    Ystec autodrawoff,Homemade filter tank with pump,Lapierre Sirofilter
    Air over & under fire

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Albion PA
    Posts
    4,921

    Default

    Great looking build! Who became the Tig expert??
    Your brake looks a lot like the one I built! I used plans on here from Big Eddy.
    Your work looks good! And if your getting 20gph on your hand built rig I think you did real good. I am not a big fan of the front end draw off location. I would guess it wants to make syrup sooner in the back of the front pan?
    Keep Boiling!
    Regards,
    Chris
    Casbohm Maple and Honey
    600 roadside taps
    3x10 King, WRU, AOF and AUF
    12" SIRO Filter Press.
    2015 Ford F250 PSD sap hauler
    One Golden named Maggie Cat named Lucy
    Too many Cub Cadets
    Ford Jubilee and several Allis WD's, and IH tractors

    www.mapleandhoney.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska (Minnesota For Sugaring)
    Posts
    288

    Default

    I'm impressed!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Thanks for the replies!


    murferd: I live in the Rusagonis area just south of Fredericton.

    Sugarmaker: My father started with a few scrap pieces of stainless and practiced until he got better. He also got a few tips from local tig welders which he said helped him a lot. You can tell the improvement from where he first started, vs the float box which was the last thing he did. As for the draw off location, you are definitely right about that but if it becomes too big of a problem, I could plumb it so that I draw off off on the rear compartment of the front pan.

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