A Comedy Of Errors

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A Comedy Of Errors

Postby yakattack » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:51 am

Ladies and gentleman, I've about had it. This 4 inch modular playground idea was about as successful as my marriage. I'm about ready to scrap my 4 inch flute altogether. But I'm getting ahead of myself here.

From early on in the build I was plaged by delays and shaping and soldering problems. Fought leaks, both with the condensors and the home made furrals.

After a while I got the solder leaks fixed but seamed every run would always have a few leaks with the furrals. Would take a bit of fiddling to get it to seal.

Fast forward through a number of runs to today's spirit run for vodka. Every joint leaked. Couldn't get it to seal at all. After a few hours I finally said enough is enough. I shut down. Capped the boiler and now I'm on the verge of scrapping the 4 inch all together until I'm able to get to the welder. Get the column welded together and both condensors brazed instead of soldered. Then I can pressurize the reflux and main condensors for finer control . Have my 40 inch packed packed section and make it a plate tree instead of sandwich plates. Limit the number of leak points. Tired of chasing leaks.

Also I'm going to be upgrading to quick connect water lines. Mine are hard lined and make it hard to switch things around.

Unless someone else has another option I can pursue.

Frustrated stiller.

Yak
HDNB wrote: The trick here is to learn what leads to a stalled mash....and quit doing that.
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Re: A Comedy Of Errors

Postby googe » Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:27 pm

Hey mate, think most plate builders have been where you are!. It can be very frustrating with leaks!. what do you think is the main issue with why your ferrule joins are leaking?. What other areas are leaking?. I know what its like, trying to get something right but it feels like its against you!. I've found the best way is to try to slow down and do some trouble shooting, pic one problem at a time and work on it till its right. Maybe write down a pros and cons list, can you use parts off this still to make a plate tree still, can I use the same condenser, am I confident enough to have the plates round enough for no bypass on the column wall, etc etc. I've thrown still parts against the shed wall and smashed parts with a hammer in the past, felt good at the time but just meant I had to fix the parts again lol. Good.luck mate :thumbup:
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Re: A Comedy Of Errors

Postby bitter » Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:35 pm

Ouch yak sorry to hear. Told ya you should have given that copper to me ;( sorry man hope not too soon to joke.

When facing problems with soldering I find you need to desolder clean everything and start over.. Normally it works the second time.

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Re: A Comedy Of Errors

Postby yakattack » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:36 pm

googe wrote:Hey mate, think most plate builders have been where you are!. It can be very frustrating with leaks!. what do you think is the main issue with why your ferrule joins are leaking?. What other areas are leaking?. I know what its like, trying to get something right but it feels like its against you!. I've found the best way is to try to slow down and do some trouble shooting, pic one problem at a time and work on it till its right. Maybe write down a pros and cons list, can you use parts off this still to make a plate tree still, can I use the same condenser, am I confident enough to have the plates round enough for no bypass on the column wall, etc etc. I've thrown still parts against the shed wall and smashed parts with a hammer in the past, felt good at the time but just meant I had to fix the parts again lol. Good.luck mate :thumbup:



Hey googe, was more of a rant then anything. I know what the majority of the problem is but not how to best fix it.

My furrals are home made. So they arnt exactly true. Nor are they thick enough. So when thr colum floods, while the vapor doest find a way out, the condensed alcohol that is entrained in the column is finding it's way out between the seals.

I may strip them down and tackle the furrals a different way. Or just buy some new furrals.

The condensors are water tight as long as there's no water pressure past open flowing water. Otherwise it's pinhole leaks that spray a mist and not a water jet. The down side is it's at.the.vapour tube to plate connection that's the issue. Shitty area to solder.

The other problem I am having with these condensors ( both shotgun style. ) is I seem to be getting a lot of vapor that just blows by due to excessive vapor speeds coming out the top of the packed column. Though now that I type that I wonder if I may have to much restriction in my packing.

And to be honest Im not even 100 percent sure it's actually alcohol vapour and not just condensor fog as its cold to the touch. It's a pain in the ass to regulate
Which means I'm more than likely shock cooling causing rapid pressure change. Hmm. Now that I am writing this out I'm realizing I may have been coming at this from the wrong angle. I've got some work to do tomorrow before I make a conclusion. Will update son.
HDNB wrote: The trick here is to learn what leads to a stalled mash....and quit doing that.
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Re: A Comedy Of Errors

Postby bitter » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:21 pm

Yak I think stainless ferrels will help a lot!!!! If I build a flute (Once I find some 4") That is my plan. But its the cost that is stopping me right now.

Lets hope 2018 turns your leaking frustration into a leakless and high producing dream to run!

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Re: A Comedy Of Errors

Postby Oldvine Zin » Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:28 pm

Het Yak,

just went by and reread your build thread, remembering how cool that was building your ferrules from scrap - I had already built mine with premade stainless ones, thought that yours much cooler than mine. Maybe with a little re soldering you can close those leak points.

As far as the vapor speed problems it might be as simple as changing power vs cooling, learning how to drive her - took me a few runs before I could get a decent drop out of my flute. One thing that I did that helped was I added copper packing in the deflem to slow the vapor a bit.

Keep with it it looks like it will be a great piece of stilling gear once you work the bugs out.

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Re: A Comedy Of Errors

Postby Swedish Pride » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:04 pm

chin up mate, I think making 4" ferrules isn't for the fairthearted.
Id never do it myself, I'd never get it right so anyting bigger than 2" I'm buying.
It's the main reason I' never made a proper 4" plater, the cost of the fittings would kill me, cost of the copper is the smallest cost i think.

However i think you are almost there, don't throw in the towel, I'm sure you'll get it right
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Re: A Comedy Of Errors

Postby markieb » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:48 am

i had leak issues when doing my 3" column stainless ferrules and copper column. it just wouldnt melt correctly all the way around, there was always a very small hole where the solder wouldnt mate together.i did a run to check and alas it leaked. i undid the solder re applied the flux blah blah blah same problem again.altho its not exactly a pretty sight i fixed mine by using ptfe tape it bugs the shit out of me seeing it the way it is but i figured its not a show peice,its a peice of equipment and as long as the end product isnt effected thats my main goal the product not the equipment. so to me a little patch work, a bandage here or there shouldnt hurt just doesnt look like a show peice.
if this advice isnt what your looking for then maybe try using a higher acidic flux i was told by a plumber friend that a black paste solder has a higher acidic rate that helps on larger pipes.but for me my ptfe has been doing me fine since aug last year on my ferrule it dampens the ptfe but doesnt leak and keeps the pressure regulated when in reflux.
if you want to go this route then roll a little ptfe into a ball or point one end then stuff the gap then wrap tape around several times.
again lol failing that then use some flour/oat paste when going to do a run find the gap and paste it up :D hope this helps i know its a bit basic but im only a noob myself to this and im learning all the time.
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