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Thread: Introduce yourselves....

  1. #1121
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,525

    Default

    That's not a cure, that's when you lose all control and can no longer control yourself. At any rate, It's great fun.
    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

  2. #1122
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    North Grenville
    Posts
    1,246

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jara View Post
    Hey

    Wanted to get into the hobby for a while now, and finally made the leap in 2019 - 2 gallons from 10 sugars over 20 days. I gave most of the syrup away, and in the process learned that many peopleís grandfathers used to tap hundreds of maples in this area. Iíd very much like to expand to 200+ taps this coming year, and in the process try to revive this great lost art on the prairies for future generations to enjoy. I've been studying the site a lot in preparation for March - a lot to learn!

    Looking forward to chatting with the good people of MapleTrader!
    Jara, it will be pretty interesting to hear of your experiences sugaring out there in the prairies!
    Been tapping since 2008, but mostly unexceptional til recent years.
    2015 - 18 taps/6 trees, 424l sap and 20.75l syrup
    2016 - 18 taps/6 trees..701l sap, 24l syrup
    2017 - 17 taps/6 trees...474l sap, 15.75l syrup
    2018 - 17 taps/7 trees...819l sap, approx 28l syrup
    2019 - 18 taps/8 trees...585l sap, 28l syrup...21:1 ratio
    2020 - 18 taps/8 trees...890.04l sap...gave some away, some snafu'd....23l total for me from more like 690l all told

  3. #1123
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Corbeil, Ont
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Hello everyone and Thank you all for the amazing information on this site. I finally had time to sit down and make myself a profile on MT after years of lurking and getting ideas. My biggest motivator for joining the site is the ability to reach out and ask members directly about some of their crazy inventions and share some off mine too.

    I am like most on here. Bought my dream property on the shores of a beautiful Northern Ontario lake that just happens to be filthy with sugar maples. Had to try it so bought myself 5 buckets and spigots and set my trap line. Boiled on the deck with a large turkey roaster and really enjoyed the whole process. But, my engineering mind knew I could do it better. That was 22 years ago. I've gone through every phase of my personal maple addiction journey and in 2016 bought a used, 80's vintage Dominion and Grimm 2x8 with 2007 welded pans. That was awesome but did it every chew through my wood!!!!

    So last year we had a good year. 285 taps with 3/16 lines on natural sloped vacuum. Just shy of 300 litres (79 us gallons for my more southerly neighbours, (and yes thats how we spell "neighbour" up here)) of syrup in the bottles. Pump up the hill to the sugar shack, which is 40 feet from the house and 30 ft from the Garage. I have been considering an RO system to cut down on the wood consumption but held off for the last few years because of one major improvement to the rig. I converted my evaporator to run on pure, used vegetable oil. Thats right, used veggie oil. it has by far been the biggest and absolute most incredible cost saving, time saving and wood saving endeavour so far.

    2017 was my last year of using pure wood. I was burning about a face cord a day and finishing between 6-8 gallons of syrup a day on a good day. It was hard work doing it mostly by myself. Kids help when they are not in school but it was stressful trying to keep up with the sap. It was full days of spitting my house heating wood down to 3-4 inch splits because thats how it burns the hottest. Loading the firebox every 7-10 minutes all day long. Stoke the right side, wait 7 minutes while splitting wood, stoke the left and repeat. There had to be a better way. I only had 150 taps that year.

    So that year I started thinking. I had a 5 gallon jug of used veggie oil from various fish frys and doing a turkey. I started to research how to supplement my fire with the used veggie oil. Everything I tried failed. Drip into a stainless pan burner, dipping logs before stoking, mixing it with sawdust to make cakes. All failed.

    My aha moment came in the depths of winter 2018 after returning from dropping off some scrap metal at the local recycling depot. They had one of the old, stainless steel fire extinguishers that had just been dropped off. It was about 3 gallons and designed to be pressurized with a standard valve stem and propel either water, foam or dry chemical. The guys at the depot gave it too me. Long story short, and after many many unsuccessful attempts to create a self sustaining and controllable flame, we finally got it.

    In the simplest terms, the jug gets filled with filtered oil. I plumbed the trigger mechanism to add compressed air into the tank to propel the oil and split the air intake off to rejoin the pressurized oil just before the spray nozzle. We used a needle valve for both the oil and air to make the mixture controllable. We made the nozzle into what we call a double Venturi ejector which basically mixes the oil/air mixture into a fine mist. We installed it into a 3 ft long, 2Ē pipe and ignighted it with a blow torch. It took many tries to get it to work. Eventually the flame lit and the pipe got hot enough to remove the blow torch and get the oil mixture flame to be self sustaining. Many adjustments to get the right spot for the ejector and the right mixture of oil and air. But it worked. By god did it work. It was so loud it sounded like a fleet of jets taking off. The Heat was so intense that it melted the nickel out of the galvanized pipe and it looked like a shiny coral when it hardened in the snow. So now I had to find a way to get this to work in the evaporator.

    With a bit of playing, engineering and cursing, I modified the evaporator and got it to work. I had to put a double layer of firebricks in the burn chamber. Once I get the fire lit with my normal wood and get the stove hot, I can initiate the oil mixture. I have to start slowly and let the heat build to keep it balanced.

    In 2018 I upped my taps to 200. I burned 70% less wood and my evaporation rate was 40% faster than with just wood. I went from stoking the fire every 7 minutes with finely split wood to adding normal home heating wood every hour and a quarter. Most importantly, my supply of used oil was free. The fire burns hot, clean, no soot, no smoke and burns to completion. There is no unburned oil leaking out the bottom. The exhaust does not smell like French fries and there is no off odour or taste to the syrup. Best part is, its biodegradable. If I happen to spill some on the ground, the dog is more than happy to come by and clean it up for me. I dump all the bits that I filter out of the oil in the garden and the chickens love to eat that up. The best part of the whole deal is that I get the oil for free. There are lots of people that use veggie oil in their diesels in the summer but canít use it in the winter because it gels way to easy. The restaurants are happy to give it to me because it piles up on them in the winter.

    2019 I changed the config of the burn chamber again and added some sort of a glow plug. It really just a metal structure with firebricks for a kind of plate that stays hot like a glow plug. I also upgraded to a pair of Cornelius pop canisters that many people use for brewing beer. So now I go out and light the fire in the morning like normal. Once the chamber is hot I introduce the oil/air mixture and away it goes. I get about 2.5 hours of burn time per tank. I Keep the second tank full and ready and warm. The changeover is just a matter of closing the compressed air valve, depressurizing the tank, disconnecting the input and outlet couplers and swapping tanks. It takes less then a minute and away it goes again. The glow plate works so well that I have about a 15 minute window before It gets too cool to to to ignite the oil. Im at the point where once I light my wood fire in the morning, I donít have to add another stick of wood all day. All of last year I burned less than a face cord of wood for the whole season and made almost 80 gallons of beautiful syrup. I got so confident with the system that I can walk away for an hour at time and putter in my garage while the automatic sap feed and the continuous burn keep things going.

    All my neighbours are fascinated by this system. A couple of my local hobby producers have come by to see it work and get some Ideas. I have been told to submit the design to either the Dragonís Den show here in Canada or the copy cat version down in the states called the shark tank. Not really interested in that because it is to specific to each rig and there is no way I could get it certified for CSA compliance. So I am happy to share the Idea and design with my maple syrup fanatics and give back to the community as a whole.

    Ive got some pics and videos on how its built and how to run it. I will have to figure out this forum first and get my kids to help me get the videos uploaded to youtube. The only thing I ask is please donít get the oil from my restaurants. I burned 750 litres of used veggie oil last year.

    Once again, thank you to everyone here on Maple Trader for the free flow of information and the amazing ideas that have been shared.

    Justin.

  4. #1124
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Corbeil, Ont
    Posts
    10

    Default The gateway experiment that becomes full addiction with the first tap!

    Hello everyone and Thank you all for the amazing information on this site. I finally had time to sit down and make myself a profile on MT after years of lurking and getting ideas. My biggest motivator for joining the site is the ability to reach out and ask members directly about some of their crazy inventions and share some off mine too.

    I am like most on here. Bought my dream property on the shores of a beautiful Northern Ontario lake that just happens to be filthy with sugar maples. Had to try it so bought myself 5 buckets and spigots and set my trap line. Boiled on the deck with a large turkey roaster and really enjoyed the whole process. But, my engineering mind knew I could do it better. That was 22 years ago. I've gone through every phase of my personal maple addiction journey and in 2016 bought a used, 80's vintage Dominion and Grimm 2x8 with 2007 welded pans. That was awesome but did it every chew through my wood!!!!

    So last year we had a good year. 285 taps with 3/16 lines on natural sloped vacuum. Just shy of 300 litres (79 us gallons for my more southerly neighbours, (and yes thats how we spell "neighbour" up here)) of syrup in the bottles. Pump up the hill to the sugar shack, which is 40 feet from the house and 30 ft from the Garage. I have been considering an RO system to cut down on the wood consumption but held off for the last few years because of one major improvement to the rig. I converted my evaporator to run on pure, used vegetable oil. Thats right, used veggie oil. it has by far been the biggest and absolute most incredible cost saving, time saving and wood saving endeavour so far.

    2017 was my last year of using pure wood. I was burning about a face cord a day and finishing between 6-8 gallons of syrup a day on a good day. It was hard work doing it mostly by myself. Kids help when they are not in school but it was stressful trying to keep up with the sap. It was full days of spitting my house heating wood down to 3-4 inch splits because thats how it burns the hottest. Loading the firebox every 7-10 minutes all day long. Stoke the right side, wait 7 minutes while splitting wood, stoke the left and repeat. There had to be a better way. I only had 150 taps that year.

    So that year I started thinking. I had a 5 gallon jug of used veggie oil from various fish frys and doing a turkey. I started to research how to supplement my fire with the used veggie oil. Everything I tried failed. Drip into a stainless pan burner, dipping logs before stoking, mixing it with sawdust to make cakes. All failed.

    My aha moment came in the depths of winter 2018 after returning from dropping off some scrap metal at the local recycling depot. They had one of the old, stainless steel fire extinguishers that had just been dropped off. It was about 3 gallons and designed to be pressurized with a standard valve stem and propel either water, foam or dry chemical. The guys at the depot gave it too me. Long story short, and after many many unsuccessful attempts to create a self sustaining and controllable flame, we finally got it.

    In the simplest terms, the jug gets filled with filtered oil. I plumbed the trigger mechanism to add compressed air into the tank to propel the oil and split the air intake off to rejoin the pressurized oil just before the spray nozzle. We used a needle valve for both the oil and air to make the mixture controllable. We made the nozzle into what we call a double Venturi ejector which basically mixes the oil/air mixture into a fine mist. We installed it into a 3 ft long, 2Ē pipe and ignighted it with a blow torch. It took many tries to get it to work. Eventually the flame lit and the pipe got hot enough to remove the blow torch and get the oil mixture flame to be self sustaining. Many adjustments to get the right spot for the ejector and the right mixture of oil and air. But it worked. By god did it work. It was so loud it sounded like a fleet of jets taking off. The Heat was so intense that it melted the nickel out of the galvanized pipe and it looked like a shiny coral when it hardened in the snow. So now I had to find a way to get this to work in the evaporator.

    With a bit of playing, engineering and cursing, I modified the evaporator and got it to work. I had to put a double layer of firebricks in the burn chamber. Once I get the fire lit with my normal wood and get the stove hot, I can initiate the oil mixture. I have to start slowly and let the heat build to keep it balanced.

    In 2018 I upped my taps to 200. I burned 70% less wood and my evaporation rate was 40% faster than with just wood. I went from stoking the fire every 7 minutes with finely split wood to adding normal home heating wood every hour and a quarter. Most importantly, my supply of used oil was free. The fire burns hot, clean, no soot, no smoke and burns to completion. There is no unburned oil leaking out the bottom. The exhaust does not smell like French fries and there is no off odour or taste to the syrup. Best part is, its biodegradable. If I happen to spill some on the ground, the dog is more than happy to come by and clean it up for me. I dump all the bits that I filter out of the oil in the garden and the chickens love to eat that up. The best part of the whole deal is that I get the oil for free. There are lots of people that use veggie oil in their diesels in the summer but canít use it in the winter because it gels way to easy. The restaurants are happy to give it to me because it piles up on them in the winter.

    2019 I changed the config of the burn chamber again and added some sort of a glow plug. It really just a metal structure with firebricks for a kind of plate that stays hot like a glow plug. I also upgraded to a pair of Cornelius pop canisters that many people use for brewing beer. So now I go out and light the fire in the morning like normal. Once the chamber is hot I introduce the oil/air mixture and away it goes. I get about 2.5 hours of burn time per tank. I Keep the second tank full and ready and warm. The changeover is just a matter of closing the compressed air valve, depressurizing the tank, disconnecting the input and outlet couplers and swapping tanks. It takes less then a minute and away it goes again. The glow plate works so well that I have about a 15 minute window before It gets too cool to to ignite the oil. Im at the point where once I light my wood fire in the morning, I donít have to add another stick of wood all day. All of last year I burned less than a face cord of wood for the whole season and made almost 80 gallons of beautiful syrup. I got so confident with the system that I can walk away for an hour at time and putter in my garage while the automatic sap feed and the continuous burn keep things going.

    All my neighbours are fascinated by this system. A couple of my local hobby producers have come by to see it work and get some Ideas. I have been told to submit the design to either the Dragonís Den show here in Canada or the copy cat version down in the states called the Shark Tank. Not really interested in that because it is to specific to each rig and there is no way I could get it certified for CSA compliance. So I am happy to share the Idea and design with my maple syrup fanatics and give back to the community as a whole.

    Ive got some pics and videos on how its built and how to run it. I will have to figure out this forum first and get my kids to help me get the videos uploaded to youtube. The only thing I ask is please donít get the oil from my restaurants. I burned 750 litres of used veggie oil last year.

    Once again, thank you to everyone here on Maple Trader for the free flow of information and the amazing ideas that have been shared.

    Justin.

  5. #1125
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Central Wisconsin
    Posts
    380

    Default

    My name is Larry, I've been tapping on or off (mostly on) other than the 70s for the past 50 years. As you can see in my signature I'm always increasing tap count with no reason why. My wife says I was born 200 years too late. I love gathering. I have 100 plus fruit trees, I purchased my 50 acres of Sugar woods with trapping money, I have gardens which are planted with 250 Asparagus and annually 50 tomato plants and 100 peppers and 500 onions along with all the other things in a garden. In the Summer time we do a lot of fishing and the Fall is for Whitetails in 3 states. My career path was a sheet metal supervisor or engineer for 25 years and then a twist of fate led me to a General Managers position in a 100-150 employee landscaping / garden center company. As of 1-1-2020 I'm now retired and really looking forward to this season as there will not be anymore 60 hour straight boils. Again, I want to thank all the contributors for asking the questions that I get to learn from as they are answered.

    Trapper, Central Wisconsin
    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.
    Lots of Family and Friends and a dog named Skyy!

  6. #1126
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Greetings all from Cedar Hill, MO. located 30 miles west of St. Louis. I started tapping two years ago with a borrowed pan and an open fire. I tapped about 30 trees during those two years. Sitting this season out because I want to work on getting my own equipment so I dont look like a mooch and always borrowing someone else's! Looking to improve my methods and number of taps though in the coming years. All the taps I have had before had been on a friends property, and I am looking to expand and find more locations to tap. Thanks for offering up such a great site with a ton of helpful information! If you are bored, you might want to check out the Facebook group Missouri Maple Syrup that a fellow syrup maker and I started a couple years ago. Thanks!

  7. #1127
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,525

    Default

    Welcome bkprscott, How many taps are you thinking next year and how many in 5 yrs?
    Dave
    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

  8. #1128
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Intervale, NH
    Posts
    30

    Default

    Hi All,

    New forum memeber here in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We tapped 35 trees last year, all on 3/16 gravity, and boiled on friends' evaporators, one a frankin flat pan rig, and the other a 2x6 Smokey Lake raised flue with all the bells and whistles. I've been running new lines the last month and have 6 different runs, 150 total taps, and drop up to 350 vertical feet on each run. I estimate between 5000 and 6000 total feet of line. We've built our farm by peicing together abandoned non-farm land and making it work for us. One of the existing buildings was a 34'x27' building on a slab with frost walls and a truss roof, which we are convertng into our Sugar House and farm stand. We just got our new Smokey Lake 2x4 raised flue SSR evpaorator with an electric steam jacket filter/bottler to go with it. Looking at the forecast I won't be putting taps in for atleast another week, maybe more. It's fianlly starting to get cold. This should give us time to get a cupola on the roof, the building ready to be a sugar house and the evpaorator setup. It will be a bit of a mad dash since we both work full time and have a toddler. Been visting these forums for ahwile now to figure out my systems. I think the only ridle I haven't solved yet is what I want for a pump setup to 1. Get sap from collection tanks (IBC Totes and 50 galon barrels) into my 200 gallon truck tank and 2. To get sap from truck tank into the tank in the sugar house. In both instances it will only be about 20' tops. I'd like electric to go from truck to sugar house so I can control On-Off with a switch from inside. We'll see.

    Good Luck on the season to all.

    Keith

  9. #1129
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,525

    Default

    Welcome to the Maple Trader.
    For that size I suggest a Honda WX10 to load the truck tank and at least a 1" pump line, a 1.5" will load lots faster. For at the sugarhouse I suggest a 1" SS sprinkler booster pump like this one https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...1411_200311411
    I have used one of these for about 9-10 seasons. Northern also offers their own product (likely made in China), a 1.5 HP similar unit, I have no experience with that pump and thus I don't suggest it.
    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

  10. #1130
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Enfield NH
    Posts
    282

    Default

    Welcome to the forum Keith. For what it's worth, I use a $80 ebay Chinese 2-stroke pump at both the woods tank and at the sugar house. My tanks, 10-ft hoses (2), and pump camlock connections are all "female-IN" and "male-OUT" so I have a lot of flexibility for daisy chaining stuff together. Nice to see someone from the north country on the forum-- I have roots in Milan. Good luck with your season.
    Boulder Trail Sugaring
    140 Taps on Vacuum
    Homemade Releaser
    Homemade 20"x40" Hybrid Pan - 15 gph
    Homemade Steamaway - 10 gph
    Waterguys single-post RO

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