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Thread: pre-made cupola purchase

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    386

    Default pre-made cupola purchase

    Hi Folks,

    My family built a little cabin that we used as a sauna for many years, but then fell into disrepair. I've been fixing it up and using it as my sugar shack. For the first few years I just had a little home-built evaporator, and with all the windows and door wide open, there was (barely) enough ventilation for the steam to escape (but it was still a bit of a steam sauna!) Now I've purchased a proper 2 x 3 Mason evaporator, and done a few boils in it. I tried putting a fan in an upper window, but that just was not adequate.

    So I realize I need to chop open the roof and put a cupola in. I do not have the time to build one myself. Would a pre-made one like this: https://cupolasdirect.com/amish-cupo...as-mcb4ss.html be adequate? Or is there something about a sugar-shack cupola that is different, that I have to look for?

    Thanks!

    Gabe O
    2016: First year. Homemade evaporator out of little woodburning stove with steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 gall syrup
    2017: Same homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls syrup.
    2018: Same setup. Limited time (New baby!) 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons syrup.
    2019: Still very limited time. Downsized to 7 taps and a short season. 1.8 gallons syrup
    2020: 9 taps, new Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season, 2 gallons syrup

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Nashville, MI
    Posts
    168

    Default

    You are going to want one that will open on the sides. Should be the same size as your pan 2 x 3. I had mine made by the amish and it is an opening of 2 x 4 inside dimensions for my sugar house and it was only $125.00. All I had to do was cut the opening and set it in place on the roof.
    2004 - 2012 2x3 flat pan 25 to 60 taps
    2012 2x3 new divided pan w/draw off 55 taps
    2018 - didn't boil surgery - bought new evaporator
    2019 new SML 2x4 raised flue high output evap. 65 taps
    made 17 gal syrup
    2020 - only put out 53 taps - made 16.25 gal syrup
    2021 - going for 50 bags and 50 on tubing

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Enfield NH
    Posts
    278

    Default

    I agree with diamond. It needs to have doors that flop down to open nice and wide. I can't see buying one though. I think it would probably take just as long to build one in-situ as it would to install a pre-made one.
    Boulder Trail Sugaring
    140 Taps on Vacuum
    Homemade Releaser
    Homemade 20"x40" Hybrid Pan - 15 gph
    Homemade Steamaway - 10 gph
    Waterguys single-post RO

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    386

    Default

    So it sounds like the common wisdom is that these standard ones with slats that open and shut on all four sides will not let out enough steam? Or am I misunderstanding?

    Pdiamond: Would you mind sharing the details (you can send me a message here if you want) about who you worked with, and what plans you gave them to build it?

    jrgagne99: While building it in situ might be fun, it's just not an option for me. I live two hours from my sugarbush, and any time I'm there is at a premium: if I'm not actively boiling, I'm playing with my daughter and helping my wife. I occasionally find some time to cut and split wood in advance of the season. And that's about it. So I can get a roofer to cut open the roof and install a pre-made cupola, but I don't think I can find a local roofer who would know how (or be interested) to make one.

    Thanks everyone for your input,

    GO
    Last edited by berkshires; 09-11-2020 at 11:04 AM. Reason: clarification
    2016: First year. Homemade evaporator out of little woodburning stove with steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 gall syrup
    2017: Same homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls syrup.
    2018: Same setup. Limited time (New baby!) 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons syrup.
    2019: Still very limited time. Downsized to 7 taps and a short season. 1.8 gallons syrup
    2020: 9 taps, new Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season, 2 gallons syrup

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,509

    Default

    If you can't or don't chose to do it, I'm quite certain any roofer or most carpenters would be able to do it. Just draw out a sketch, let them know you want the opening to be 6 sq feet minimum and that both sides should open. It's best if each side open equals the 6 sf in case a breeze from the wrong directions makes you open just 1 side.
    I don't think the one you referenced would be a good choice.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, downsized after I lost my help, about 450-500 planned for 2021 (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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sugar Camp, Wisconsin
    Posts
    269

    Default

    Just a thought for somewhere to go and have one built and possibly designed too. Check with your local high school trade classes some have carpentry classes. One of the high schools near hear builds complete houses that are auctioned off at the end of each year and the kids do a great job under the supervision of the teachers of course. Jay
    Zucker Lager

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