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Thread: Anchoring buckets on 5\16 drops

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Central Wisconsin
    Posts
    401

    Default Anchoring buckets on 5\16 drops

    Last year was the first year I used drops into buckets, boy did that work nice UNTIL the snow melted and I found 1\2 of my buckets tipped over and empty. In haste last year I ended up tying buckets to trees. What do others do?
    1960 - 1970s 70 taps on galvanized buckets with Dad and Grandpa.
    1970s - 1985 Acted crazy!
    1986 - 2005 20-30 buckets.
    2006- 2017 70 buckets and bags
    2017-2019 100 bags and buckets
    2020 Finally retired!!! 75 buckets, 50-75 on tubing. RO Bucket, New 12 X 16 Shack and a 36X42 flat pan.
    2021-Adding another 125 taps along with a second RO bucket.
    Lots of Family and Friends and a dog named Skyy!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    66

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    I put a brick or two on the top of each bucket.
    2017 - 20ish taps on buckets, boiling outside in two baking pans
    2018 - 70+ taps, 14-buckets, 50+ on tubing, homemade arch from oil tank in my barn, 17 gal syrup
    2019 - same set up, 20 gal syrup
    2020 - less taps, short season, but RO kit was fantastic! 6 gal syrup and a maple cat!
    2021 - planning on expanding to 50 taps on buckets and 40 taps on tubing - goal = 10 gal of syrup

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Nashville, MI
    Posts
    248

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    Trapper, I place a rock or a wood block on the lids of my buckets. That seems to work well.
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Wardensville, Wv
    Posts
    92

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    Here is a video showing how we have hung buckets. These are 7/16 taps, however properly seated 5/16 hold up a full 5 gallon bucket as well. This season we are switching over to stainless taps(5/16 smokylake), buckets hang GREAT on them, never going back to plastic. We never had much success putting buckets on the ground, between wildlife and wind somehow the sap would end up on the ground.

    https://youtu.be/1cxe5EdDaww
    Attached Images Attached Images
    2021 - new pans, new arch, lots of new taps and tubing
    2020 - 32 Gallons
    2019 - 27 Gallons

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Daleville Pa.
    Posts
    470

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    I also place a flat stone on the lid of the bucket and except for really high winds I have no problem.
    2x3 Patrick Phaneuf pan
    Homemade arch
    100+ taps
    Sugar Shack in future
    Wife into it as much as me
    Also do homebrew

    http://s928.photobucket.com/albums/ad121/ZMANSYRUP/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,737

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    A story of evolution: Back when I did "buckets" I actually used 5 gal cooking oil jugs from a Chinese Restaurant. I started by cleaning them several times, at first using Dawn dish soap and HOT water. 2X doing that, then a whole bunch of times using just clean hot water and shaking them vigorously. Then I used a hot (glowing red) old knife steel to put a hole in the cap. I tried drilling but the caps were too hard and brittle as the bit went thru they broke. I then sat the 5 gal jugs on the ground and had the tubing enter thru the cap, with a clamp under the cap. If wind blew hard the jug might while empty or very low, reposition but they never blew over. To empty, I had several extras, I just unscrewed the cap and either swapped the jug or dumped it into another empty. Basically if the jug was up to about half full, I got dumped, if over half I swapped it out.
    For dumping I made a funnel that worked well. It was a 4" x 1.5" PVC coupling, with about 3" of 1.5 out the bottom and about 6" of 4" out the top. That top piece had a slot I made, just wide enough to fit the threads on the outside of the jug neck. That helped eliminate losing sap.
    The 1 year I did that I have a carrier on the back of my 4x4 20hp tractor. I made a wooden box that mounted to it. With that I could carry up to 16 jugs. I rarely needed more than 1, sometimes 2 trips in to collect my sap. I also had a good set of chains on the rear tires, because, especially when I had 16 full jugs, and snow about 3' deep in spots I needed it (just drifts at the edge of the woods), never that much in the woods that year.
    By the next year, I had built my sugarhouse and had tubing on gravity. I then was only in the woods, and no drifts. I then used a 125 gal plastic tank, and had 4 or 5 collection tanks. A year later I changed again, to a larger tank (165 gal) and added more taps, I then had to collect from 2 locations.
    That now surrounds my sugarhouse and vacuum pulls all sap to the sugarhouse.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Will hold about the same for 2021
    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
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Central Wisconsin
    Posts
    401

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    A story of evolution: Back when I did "buckets" I actually used 5 gal cooking oil jugs from a Chinese Restaurant. I started by cleaning them several times, at first using Dawn dish soap and HOT water. 2X doing that, then a whole bunch of times using just clean hot water and shaking them vigorously. Then I used a hot (glowing red) old knife steel to put a hole in the cap. I tried drilling but the caps were too hard and brittle as the bit went thru they broke. I then sat the 5 gal jugs on the ground and had the tubing enter thru the cap, with a clamp under the cap. If wind blew hard the jug might while empty or very low, reposition but they never blew over. To empty, I had several extras, I just unscrewed the cap and either swapped the jug or dumped it into another empty. Basically if the jug was up to about half full, I got dumped, if over half I swapped it out.
    For dumping I made a funnel that worked well. It was a 4" x 1.5" PVC coupling, with about 3" of 1.5 out the bottom and about 6" of 4" out the top. That top piece had a slot I made, just wide enough to fit the threads on the outside of the jug neck. That helped eliminate losing sap.
    The 1 year I did that I have a carrier on the back of my 4x4 20hp tractor. I made a wooden box that mounted to it. With that I could carry up to 16 jugs. I rarely needed more than 1, sometimes 2 trips in to collect my sap. I also had a good set of chains on the rear tires, because, especially when I had 16 full jugs, and snow about 3' deep in spots I needed it (just drifts at the edge of the woods), never that much in the woods that year.
    By the next year, I had built my sugarhouse and had tubing on gravity. I then was only in the woods, and no drifts. I then used a 125 gal plastic tank, and had 4 or 5 collection tanks. A year later I changed again, to a larger tank (165 gal) and added more taps, I then had to collect from 2 locations.
    That now surrounds my sugarhouse and vacuum pulls all sap to the sugarhouse.
    I have a dozen or so jugs as you explain but mine didn't need such vigorous cleaning.
    With 100+ plus buckets, storage would be a problem for jugs. At least buckets I can stack.
    Slowly adding tubing where ever I can find enough trees in a group.
    1960 - 1970s 70 taps on galvanized buckets with Dad and Grandpa.
    1970s - 1985 Acted crazy!
    1986 - 2005 20-30 buckets.
    2006- 2017 70 buckets and bags
    2017-2019 100 bags and buckets
    2020 Finally retired!!! 75 buckets, 50-75 on tubing. RO Bucket, New 12 X 16 Shack and a 36X42 flat pan.
    2021-Adding another 125 taps along with a second RO bucket.
    Lots of Family and Friends and a dog named Skyy!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,737

    Default

    Storage room wasn't an issue, when I built my 16x24 sugarhouse I made a shelf 24' long x 26" deep on one side about 75" off the floor, my walls are 10'. That would have stored over a hundred such jugs. It was the collection time that pushed me to tubing. Back in that first year I had too many taps on a Half Pint, I kept adding until the sap really ran hard, I couldn't keep up. At that time I had 79 taps (yes, a half pint is not enough) Back then my wife boiled a lot while I collected more sap.
    I started that season with 27 taps, every time the sap ran, I said I can handle more. I kept adding, not realizing at the time that I was just getting a small % of what would come from each tap later in the season.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Will hold about the same for 2021
    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
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Oxford, Maine
    Posts
    157

    Default

    I use 5 gallon buckets, food grade plastic with 2-4 drop lines to each. I found that a ziplock plastic bag with water, placed in the bucket was the best way to anchor it.

    2018: 300 taps,60 gallons of syrup
    2019: 330 taps
    Drop lines and hanging buckets, all hand lugged
    2 X 6 raised flue evaporator
    7in. Filter press
    17 HP Kubota tractor
    12 X 16' sugar shack
    Sugar and red maples

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    431

    Default

    For what it's worth...I have found that a water bottle (the cheap crinkly type) inside the bucket provides enough weight to keep it on the ground during the "soft" winds, but for those high wind days a trusty string tied to the handle is the best!

    SDdave
    It's not the size of the tree...it's what inside that counts!

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