How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Moderator: Forum Mods

How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby dixiedrifter » Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:36 pm

Ok thought I would do a quick tutorial on how to wind coils. First you need a jig. Mine is pretty simple, a 1/2" black iron pipe run thru a couple 7/8th bearings bolted down to a table with a pillow block. There are three eye bolts installed near the end to ensure that the coil gets plenty of grip when turning.

Step one. Using a small tubing bender from harbor freight, put a slightly less than 90 degree bend in the tubing and run it thru the eye bolts.

Winding a coil 1.jpg



Step two: After running the tubing thru the bols, turn the eye bolts at an angle to better grip the tubing and screw them into place.

Winding a coil 2.jpg



Step three: This is the second most difficult part after the final bend after coiling. Slowly start the tubing around the mandrel while holding it down to keep it from kinking. Once you get this one down it gets a lot easier.

Winding a coil 3.jpg



Step four keep turning:

Winding a coil 4.jpg



Step five: Keep on turning while allowing about an 1/8" on an inch of space between the tubing... keep holding down so the tubing doesn't kink.

Winding a coil 5.jpg



Step six: Once you get the inner coil as long as you want it, it is time to start the outer coil. However again you need space between the tubing for maximum effect. To accomplish this I used a notebook cover would around the inner coil and secured with some sacrificial zip ties. To start the coil around the tube simply pull it over and turn while holding down.

Winding a coil 6.jpg



Step 7: More winding.

Winding a coil 7.jpg



Step 8: At this point I decided to add on some cardboard tubing to increase the final diameter of the coil to better match the exterior of 2" copper tubing using exactly one round of cardboard. I recommend a 50-50 mix of notebook/cardboard to create a dual size coil.

Winding a coil 8.jpg



Step 9: When you get to the end, be sure to leave about an inch unwrapped. This will allow your uptubes to fit better. This is the really tricky part... if you can get this done your home free. I bent the tubing carefullly with the benders and then finished up with some channel locks and the spring bender.

Winding a coil 9.jpg


Winding a coil 10.jpg



Step 10: Cleanup of copper. Soak in warm Rid-X or weak lye solution for about one hour then take it down to the local car wash and blow out the cardboad with the pressure wand.


Final fit pics:

Winding a coil 11.jpg


Winding a coil 12.jpg



Well thats how it is done. No salt or other BS just a nice clean coil.
dixiedrifter
Bootlegger
 
Posts: 339
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:59 pm

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby olddog » Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:10 pm

Nice looking coil.
OLD DOG LEARNING NEW TRICKS ......
User avatar
olddog
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 3617
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: WEST OZ

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby LWTCS » Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:33 pm

And a darn fare offering
Trample the injured and hurdle the dead.
User avatar
LWTCS
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 8965
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: North Palm Beach

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby HookLine » Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:33 am

Very nice.
Be safe.
Be discreet.
And have fun.
User avatar
HookLine
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 5598
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:38 am
Location: OzLand

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby Barney Fife » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:35 am

Very nice work, fer sure. I, too, felt all proud after spinning a really nice coil of 1/4" copper, much like you do, thinking all the suggestions of salt and whatnot was BS, but then I found my little circulating pump was struggling with the restrictive flow, I realized I needed at least a 3/8" coil. So, buy the tubing, go to the jig, and, .... fail. Damn! Try again. Fail. Again and again... Yup, tried filling what I had left with salt, and finally got my coil. Morale of the story? 1/4" is a lot easier to make into a coil than 3/8"!
Barney Fife
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 1250
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 5:20 am
Location: Mayberry, NC

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby new_moonshiner » Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:18 am

Excellent Idea and Great pics Dixie Drifter .. thats almost the very same way I made the coils for my rigs, except I didn't think of those pillow block bearings, man that would have made life soooooooo much easier .. Im sure this will be a very valuable post when it comes to making coils .. who knows it may get sticked :idea: thanks for the time it took to bring this project to life in a thread.
NM
new_moonshiner
Trainee
 
Posts: 952
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 7:15 am

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby rad14701 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:33 pm

Nice How-To, dixiedrifter... A condenser that size should knock down just about anything a 2" column can throw at it... Very reasonable price, as well...
User avatar
rad14701
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 16590
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:46 pm
Location: New York, USA

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby HookLine » Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:37 pm

Barney Fife wrote:Morale of the story? 1/4" is a lot easier to make into a coil than 3/8"!

He he. Sure is.
Be safe.
Be discreet.
And have fun.
User avatar
HookLine
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 5598
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:38 am
Location: OzLand

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby new_moonshiner » Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:01 am

some copper mesh nicely rolled and placed in the center of the coil, from the bottom . makes it work even nicer...
new_moonshiner
Trainee
 
Posts: 952
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 7:15 am

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby myerfire » Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:41 am

Great looking coil, great tutorial and a great price also. For anyone building their first still, the odds of turning your first coil and have it turn out are pretty slim.
myerfire
myerfire
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 244
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 1:35 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby astrangebrew » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:51 pm

Hey DD,

Excellent work! I’m stuck trying to figure out if you are using ¼” or 3/8” tubing in that coil. That is so tight I’d swear you used salt if I didn’t see the photos. Darn good winding!!

Thanx
SB
Time flies like an arrow
Fruit flies like a banana
Groucho
User avatar
astrangebrew
Rumrunner
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:34 am
Location: Lurking - north of the border

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby astrangebrew » Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:21 pm

A while back I got a 25’ roll of ¼” Cu tubing “CHEAP”, later, I was checking it out and noticed that the wall thickness was 12mil - WTF?! (& country of origin was China). OK - that explained the cheap part.

On reflection, I figured that the thin wall would help on the thermal transfer. Much later (last week) I was inspired by Dixiedrifter’s post and tried to duplicate his results and had a rude surprise.

That thin walled tubing kinks and flattens at a drop of a hat. Goes through a bending die (that blue handled tool) no problem but is totally evil in a spring bender. Failed miserably 3 times to negotiate that 1st double bend that Dixie identifies as “the most difficult”. The tubing would collapse against the side walls of the spring bender and jam etc. I was winding on a ¾” mandrel (1/2” water pipe is .810” OD)
Anyway after sulking, I tried loading the tube with salt (hey guys we need somebody to do a tutorial on how to load a ¼” tube with salt – there has to be a better way that I did).
Once I got to the point I couldn’t jam anymore in there I gave it another shot.

(As my old sergeant always said “nothing is totally useless – it can always be used as a horrible example” - & he was always looking at me when he said that…)

Shit! Navigated dead man’s curve – OK (some buckling but not perfect). Quickly realized there is a definite technique you need to master (I hadn’t).

Before I started I thought that Dixiedrifter’s quote of 50$ for the job sounded high (remember the CHEAP part earlier) – but by the time I was on the second layer I was thinking "I wouldn’t do it for a nickel less".

I finished off ( with some sore fingers) and reviewing at the results – I would have graded it at 60% - (mostly for effort). I had snagged a ¾” female garden hose to 1/4:” compression fitting (that’s a rare item around here) and set about to clear the salt & see if it was worth keeping. I carefully configured this contraption in the “boss’s” laundry tubs and turned on the water – minor noises but nothing. 30 min. later the first blob of salt water (a drop a second, I’m thinking the kinks must really be restricting flow).

I get called off for dinner - 40 min. later I come back down to a minor flood, yes - most of the water is still going into the tub but the back blast is soaking: the floor, the washer & dryer, the furnace, the walls… guess the kinks weren’t that bad after all.!

Next trick was cleaning out the cardboard (I didn’t have Rid-X (50 bucks is looking like a really good deal at the point..).
Also noticed some scratches on the inside of the tubing & traced this to a burr on the end of the spring bender. I recommend that you check out yours and clean up any rough ends with a Dremel tool first.

Final results of the Mark I:
Flow rate is good, ID = 0.75” OD = 1.80”, length = 8”, tube length about 16 feet.
Wall thickness = 0.012”
Thank you HookLine& Dixiedrifter!
Time flies like an arrow
Fruit flies like a banana
Groucho
User avatar
astrangebrew
Rumrunner
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:34 am
Location: Lurking - north of the border

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby dixiedrifter » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:04 pm

Try this...

One gallon of fresh not from concentrate cider.
Three liters of regular apple juice
7 cinnamon sticks
3 cups of sugar
two 5th's of close to azeotrope you can get.

Warm apple juice up to a low simmer. Dissolve sugar in that, add in cinnamon sticks and cider. Continue to simmer covered for one hour, Cool in the bathtub and add in the alcohol.

Guarantee it is some good shit!
dixiedrifter
Bootlegger
 
Posts: 339
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:59 pm

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby JeepJunkie » Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:17 pm

Thanks a ton Dixie, i used your ideas and wound a so-so coil this weekend. I figure for my first attempt it's a success. Being a woodworker, tweaking metal is new for me. made several mistakes along the way, and i'm not afraid to laugh about it.

1. Didn't see on the first go, that the spring bender was all the way inside first of the eyebolts. Snip that off, start over....

2. Was so excited that i made the bend and was actually wrapping nice, that i got my spring bender caught on the copper and wrapped about a turn and a half of it arount the pipe. Snip that off start over.... (along with a little de-burr from the dremel)

3. Noticed that the more i had on the wrap, the flatter i was making the tube. Too late to snip off and start over....

4. As i was nearing the last of the second layer, grunting to get the spring bender to slide a bit farther along, my 8 year old walks by and asks 'why don't you use that WD-40 to make it slippy' Bless her heart...

5. finished the coil, having no pressure washer or rid-X, i jab a dull knife into my palm poking out the soggy paper, did manage not to fling it across the room. Good thing the 8 year old wasn't around....
JeepJunkie
Novice
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:56 pm

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby Samohon » Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:27 pm

I Love this post, You make it look so easy dixiedrifter.

Thanks man... Gonna read it again...
:roll:
♦♦ Samohon ♦♦

Beginners should visit The New Distillers Reading Lounge and the Safety and Related Issues among others...
User avatar
Samohon
Moderator
 
Posts: 3435
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:22 am
Location: Somewhere in the UK...

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby de`Canthas » Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:55 am

Lye, or sodium hydroxide, will severely corrode copper. You should use a copper-inhibited sodium hydroxide solution.

This is the same stuff I use to pump through my copper plate heat exchanger for my home-brewing.
de`Canthas
Novice
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:29 pm

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby chris69ca » Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:04 am

dixiedrifter wrote:Ok thought I would do a quick tutorial on how to wind coils. First you need a jig. Mine is pretty simple, a 1/2" black iron pipe run thru a couple 7/8th bearings bolted down to a table with a pillow block. There are three eye bolts installed near the end to ensure that the coil gets plenty of grip when turning.

how much 3/8 do you recommend using i couldn't find that part hear
Australian made and Australian owned that the way i want it
chris69ca
Rumrunner
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:01 am

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby Austin Nichols » Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:25 am

how much 3/8 do you recommend using i couldn't find that part hear


Forget 3/8 dude, it will be too hard to wind being your first coil & 1/4 inch is more than enough to knock down anything you can throw at it in your two inch boka, and it WILL be a lot easier to wind than 3/8.

You will need about 3 meters of 1/4 inch to wind a double helix coil about 200mm long.

Cheers.
Austin Nichols
Trainee
 
Posts: 723
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:57 pm
Location: Dow nunda QLD

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby Herrick Hubbard » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:17 am

I just finished off my first coil using Dixie's method described here. Am very pleased with the effort.
Wasn't looking forward to soaking the unit and taking it to the carwash so I managed to deftly twist the coil in the opposite direction and with the help of a vise and some vise-grips - grab hold of the notebook inside and GENTLY pull the paper out. I didn't include any extra cardboard to enlarge the diameter of the coil so the paper more or less easily slipped out. Here's a pic of the result.
Thanks for the post Dix.
2 Notes: 1. I need to work on the bends at the top of the coil.
2. I'm not sure of the length - maybe it's too long? Input anyone....
coil_1.jpg
coil_1.jpg (56.46 KiB) Viewed 14404 times
Herrick Hubbard
Novice
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:35 pm

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby tafinaf » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:26 pm

de`Canthas wrote:Lye, or sodium hydroxide, will severely corrode copper.

Will it? That's new to me. There are metals that will react with bases such as sodium hydroxide, but copper is definitely not one of them. You can get corrosion when your lye is contaminated with some oxidant, such as sodium carbonate. That will give you an oxides layer which can be removed by soaking in weak acid, such as vinegar.
tafinaf
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:35 pm
Location: England

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby chris69ca » Wed May 04, 2011 6:16 am

well i was going to build a bok for my first build but picked up a pot still on the cheap now going to do a nixon stone so this is still very handy looks great to nice bends guys
Australian made and Australian owned that the way i want it
chris69ca
Rumrunner
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:01 am

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby rad14701 » Wed May 04, 2011 8:09 am

chris69ca wrote:well i was going to build a bok for my first build but picked up a pot still on the cheap now going to do a nixon stone so this is still very handy looks great to nice bends guys

You're still better off building the Bokakob dual slant plate... With recent increases in copper prices the elimination of extra fittings is a major consideration...
User avatar
rad14701
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 16590
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:46 pm
Location: New York, USA

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby chris69ca » Wed May 04, 2011 7:24 pm

i have about a meter and all sorts of odds and ends i actually dont need much else for a Nixon but might look at what elce it would cost me im taking my time at the moment just reading i have the pot still so that keeps me going in the meantime and im getting off the essences at the moment trying to do all my recipes from scratch with oak chips
Australian made and Australian owned that the way i want it
chris69ca
Rumrunner
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:01 am

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby Grehund » Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:13 am

Thanks to Dixiedrifter's post, I too was able to wind my first coil without any kinks.
coil_crop_sml.jpg
my first coil.

I was worried about how I'd go after reading some of the other newb's comments here, but it went ok. I think I may have left too much of a gap between my coils, but I'll test it out and see how she performs. Now I'm more confident, I think I could wind a much better one - if need be.

Thanks again to Dixie for this great guide.
Column: Bokakob, 50mm Diameter, 1035mm High, Copper
Packing: 720mm High, Stainless Steel Scrubbers
Boiler: 25L capacity, 1800W heater (no heating control), Stainless Steel
Grehund
Novice
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:50 pm
Location: South East Victoria, AU

Re: How to wind a perfect coil condenser.

Postby Bushman » Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:15 am

I thought I would revive this thread as I made a small discovery. I have used this method with a lot of success making both 1/4 and 3/8" coils. I have not been able to do it with the 10' - 1/4" copper from lowes without salt. Yesterday I rolled 2 coils from some 1/4" tubing that was marked fro refrigeration that I was able to get at a reasonable price. The first one I added salt as per the ones I have made in the past. The person I am making it for wanted it a bit longer than I usually do so I added 3 more raps. This has been a bugger to clean so I decided since it was a bit different copper that I would try without salt. It worked great, the reason the refrigeration copper is a bit softer and doesn't kink as easily as the other. Both turned out nice but the latter took a lot less work. The basic difference between them is that the one without salt does flatten a bit but not much and will not effect it's performance. The diameter difference between them the one with salt is 1-7/8" while the one without is 1-5/8". Hope this helps anyone about to attempt a double condenser coil.
"Beer is not a good cocktail-party drink, especially in a home where you don't know where the bathroom is" Billy Carter

The only person you need to be better than is the person you were yesterday!
User avatar
Bushman
Moderator
 
Posts: 6732
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:29 am
Location: Pacific Northwest if not on the water boating


Return to Other Stilling Hardware (condensers, flanges, controllers)



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests