iFlute - 3" build

Vapor, Liquid or Cooling Management. Flutes, plates, etc.

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banjo
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iFlute - 3" build

Post by banjo » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:44 pm

Hi guys, I’m planning on making a 3” plated flute style(credit to olddog here) column with my own twist.  All of my inspiration has come from this site, You’re all the tops in my book. I knew nothing before visiting the parent site 7 months ago & then learning how you all are pushing the envelope really got me interested.   Since making my first 1.5” potstill In October I have really found a love in this art that seems to have been lost.  I live in an area with no distilleries around so everything I know comes from the net, my limited research skills, & drive for… product.
 
I’d like to lay it all out for you one piece at a time.  I’ve got quite a few questions for group answering & ideas for approval.  This build is going to be on the economy side of things using anything I already have over buying more copper (ferrules & tri-clamps omitted).
 
My current vision is a mini-flute, 3” column with 6 valved plates, 3” sight glasses made from 3” pipe with flanges for cork gasket mated with cut glass & tri-clamps. Plate tree will be removable & attach via one rod that will run up though the center of the dephlegmater with a through rod to hold it in place. Dephleg. Will be another section of 3” pipe with ss flanges  with 9 – ½” sections to provide cooling. Above the Dephleg. Will be a pot-still style head made from cut 3” pipe tapering down to 1” traveling straight down into the product condenser.  Product condenser will be removable via tri-clamp & be a 3” shotgun style with 9 - ½ “ tubes which will be packable if I need it.  Parrot will be planned & added later.
 
I will add pics of my sketches of the individual components & questions/Stuff I have got to figure out. Once it’s all figgur’d out… well… I guess after that I’ll take as many photos as I can & provide as much information in the hopes that someone will benefit from it. You’ve all given me the basics & hopefully now I can try & pass them along.

banjo
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by banjo » Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:30 pm

Need to know how long to make the column. also plate spacing - since I'd like to have 3" sight glasses they've got to be at least 3" apart anything between 3-4 inches goes? does this effect product? how?
Need to know how long to make the column. also plate spacing - since I'd like to have 3" sight glasses they've got to be at least 3" apart anything between 3-4 inches goes? does this effect product? how?
Need to know how long to make the column. also plate spacing - since I'd like to have 3" sight glasses they've got to be at least 3" apart anything between 3-4 inches goes? does this effect product? how?
plate tree.jpg
As far as the plate tree goes, this is where I think Ill need the most help. I'd like it to be valved, I hear people complaining about making the thing but nobody complains about any down sides to them. I'd like input on hole size, rivet size or valve ideas, how many valves do I need? i know I cant have too many, but where do I break even? Is valve travel a factor? or just so long as it opens & closes. Can the first plate be too low? or was that just me not remembering from all of peoples first plates not bubbling consistently with perforated plates? How do I go about deciding how much fluid I want on the plate? since I will have slightly more volume with the large sightglass area than the scaled down version of the 4 inchers will it effect how it runs? takeoff rates? or is it just how long it takes to stack the plates? the tree will attach through the center cooling hole on the top of the dephlegmater with a through rod.
dephleg.jpg
Wanting it to be shotgun style. really just need to know how long ive got to make it. I'm concerned with making it too big & having to wait too long during a run then questioning my decision before a change takes effect. I'm thinking around 3.5" but that even sounds big considering the 4 inchers are recommending 4"
topper.jpg
Really just for show, I think it will be fun trying to make it the shape ive got in my head. any downsides to the rough shape I've chosen?
condenser.jpg
Again, just need to know how long. I'm leaving the top detachable just in case Id ever like to bolt it onto anything else. Im planning on installing a coarse mesh screen & being able to put in copper packing or ceramic pellets to disrupt even vapor flow.


SO.... Have at it boys!(and possible ladies) I've read & learned alot here on HD, lets see if I picked up the right stuff. I'd love to be able to pop up here with a complete explanation of why I went with these Ideas but I really cant. all I really know is what I hear people say works well. If I would have seen as many people building 3 Inchers with results I might have changed my mind on what to build but it dosnt seem so, dont know why. heres my chance to contribute & find out.

-& I come from Alabama with a . . .

banjo
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by banjo » Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:31 pm

HA, quick to respond Rock, I appreciate the enthusiasm!

olddog
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by olddog » Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:39 pm

You work out the height of the column by how many plates you have not by the size of your sight glasses, you normally work on a gap between the plates being around 4"- 6", multiply that by the amount of plates + a bit for mounting to your keg, and there you have it.
I think that KS put a template for valve plates in the Flute Talk thread, you could scale that down for a 3"column.

OD
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banjo
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by banjo » Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:47 pm

So somewhere between 2' - 2.5'. is there a reason for the 4-6" or simply rule of thumb?

olddog
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by olddog » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:02 pm

banjo wrote:is there a reason for the 4-6" or simply rule of thumb?
As a very very rough guide, the gap between the plates is similar to the diameter of the tubing for the column, this is not set in concrete but obviously extremes would not be good.


OD
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banjo
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by banjo » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:58 pm

Update: While figuring out the details I've started the build, Like I said before this is a build mainly with what I ahve on hand. I dont really have any material to make the trays outof & it seems like a large shame to me to cannibalize 3"pipe so I cut down some 1/4" x 2" that I have. Heres pics of the material I had & how they turned out.
IMG_0030.jpg
IMG_0031.jpg
Once I cut segments of the bar & sanded the ends & soldered them together to make a 3 x 4" square. knocked off the excess solder i could & sanded the rest down to get a flat piece.
IMG_0032.jpg
IMG_0033.jpg
IMG_0035.jpg
IMG_0052.jpg

Barney Fife
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by Barney Fife » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:14 pm

To make the trays for your 3" column, just buy a length of 1" copper pipe. Cut it into 3" lengths, and then cut these lengthwise, and hammer them flat.

A 1" diameter pipe opens up to 3.14"(a hair over 3-1/8") in length. Perfect. And easily available at any hardware store, and cheap.

Save that beautiful flat bar for something else!!

banjo
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by banjo » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:15 pm

IMG_0060.jpg
From rough cutout I mounted the soon to be tray in my drill press on a 1/4" bolt & used 40 grit sand paper to knock it down to the rough size & then filed it to a fine fit.
IMG_0058.jpg
Rinsed & repeated... I would NOT recomend this method to anyone like me with only a grinder, Hacksaw, & basic hand tools, the amount of fab time for each plate is just nuts.
IMG_0061.jpg
IMG_0062.jpg
I spent quite a while working with the 3 that i have done at this point & still have 3 more to complete. I would usually not be so persistent but due to the "secretive" nature of what we do Id rather not chance all the resources I have available to me unless truly necessary. On the plus side, they do fit very well inside the soon to be column & I'm hoping the 1/4 will not give me any more problems. I've orderd rivets yesterday for the valves & expect them within a week. Got them off ebay, for those interested: buy them by the pound. almost twice as cheap as buying 50 at a a time. for 3/4" rivet & burr theres about 200/lb. Last thing I really ahve to order is the ferrules & clamps. anyone know of the latest best price stateside? not much on ebay atm & if they're all roughly the same I'd like to give a member the business.

banjo
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by banjo » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:25 pm

Barney Fife wrote:To make the trays for your 3" column, just buy a length of 1" copper pipe. Cut it into 3" lengths, and then cut these lengthwise, and hammer them flat.

A 1" diameter pipe opens up to 3.14"(a hair over 3-1/8") in length. Perfect. And easily available at any hardware store, and cheap.

Save that beautiful flat bar for something else!!
Meh, I know its overkill, but what else am I going to use it for? originally I got it thinking I'd make a brace for the Condenser But how itve got it thought out in my head it wont be necessary. ive still got about 12' of it left if I get an itch. once I have her up and running I may try a brass screw with a small engine power-valve or other reed type valve in order to hold distillate on the tray. that means I'm doing this all over again! :cry: Oh well. The 1/4" would still be overkill but offer a known flat surface for the reed valve to sit up against when not in use. Anyone tried That before? theyd be pretty cheap, just a few $ or less per. propably could fit 5 or 6 inside a 4" column. I'll try it eventually unless anyone can site somone thats done it before.

/B

olddog
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by olddog » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:33 pm

banjo wrote:ive still got about 12' of it left if I get an inch.
You will need some one inch tubing to make a parrot, :mrgreen:


OD
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ginjo
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by ginjo » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:55 pm

klg stainless is pretty cheap. Get your circles from metalferrous.com. 1/16'' thick max, so less sealing area, but easier to get the heat in to braze....

Kentucky shinner
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by Kentucky shinner » Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:44 am

I think I have what you need if you want to jump over to hillbillystills.com

Barney Fife
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by Barney Fife » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:29 am

Gingo, great find! But it took me a while to find the supplier you've mentioned a couple times lately. Turns out that you're spelling it wrong; metalferrous.com doesn't exist, but rather, it's metalliferous.com. Even then, their site is a mess to navigate, so here's a link to the copper circles. Damn well not worth the effort to make our own anymore, even from scrap, at these prices!

http://store.metalliferous.com/departme ... ?dept=3037

ginjo
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by ginjo » Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:49 am

Whoops, sorry about that! Glad you found it though. I wonder if the 'domed' circles they list could be of any use?

Usge
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by Usge » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:02 am

ginjo nice build! and thanks for that link too!

Barney Fife
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by Barney Fife » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:05 am

I've been using small bowls to make my 3" fittings and plates, so I think the domed circles could be even handier than the flat ones. The dome shape makes the plate stiffer, by a lot, and makes a very solid fitting. I also have to wonder, now that I think of it, if having a large, centered bubble cap inside of a domed plate(like I've used on my variable volume column) will negate any flow irregularities, the kind that OD is trying to rectify with the latest flute design, using flat downcomers. With the domed shape, the bubble cap is at the deepest part of the plate/tray, so we'd be assured to not have any dead-zones. Would make it tougher to disable a plate/tray, but we haven't shown that the ability to disable plates is really necessary, yet. Hmmmm....

banjo
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by banjo » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:30 am

olddog wrote:
banjo wrote:ive still got about 12' of it left if I get an inch.
You will need some one inch tubing to make a parrot, :mrgreen:

OD
I've got some 1" that's seen better days. I will make a parrot from it closerr to the end of the build. I like to try making it part of the Cooling system if possible. od, what do you think of a copper reed valve?

banjo
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by banjo » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:02 am

ginjo wrote:klg stainless is pretty cheap. Get your circles from metalferrous.com. 1/16'' thick max, so less sealing area, but easier to get the heat in to braze....
Very very cool source for blank trays! I wish I'd known before making these. Oh well, nothing ventured...

banjo
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by banjo » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:41 pm

Got Home today & found my rivets waiting for me. theyre pretty coarse but the head is 3/8, stem is 1/8" & OAL is about 3/4" on most. I've got a question regarding how much open area I should shoot for. Do I go for the 30% guideline or somwere around 25 like KS's template for the 4"? maximum I can fit on one with the downcomer is 30 & its a pretty tight squeeze. with 30 on there & the largest hole size being .360 I would end up with 35% open after taking the 1/8" stem into account. THoughts? ... Was also able to make another blank tray today. took me between 20-30 minutes now that I got it down.
IMG_0063.jpg
IMG_0064.jpg
IMG_0065.jpg

-B

olddog
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by olddog » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:39 pm

You could drop down to 20 on a 3"plate without any trouble.


OD
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banjo
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by banjo » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:02 am

I was guessing I could... Mainly I was concerned that if I went for more than 25% there would not be sufficient pressure to act on the valve & the vapor would just seep by causing it to act as a perf plate. In a perfect case scenario where the valve is a good seal I could make as many as I wanted but we know that's not the case.

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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by banjo » Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:55 pm

So, I've completed my blank plates & have drilled the required holes for the rivets/valves & down comer. I received my ferrules & started work on the sight glasses. I used a hole saw on both side of the pipe & then ground down the edges where I had to to get the radius right. then used sandpaper wrapped around the 3" to get it as close to perfect as possible.
IMG_0085.jpg
I chamfered the edges of each hole since the back of the rivets are tapered. I am hoping this will give me a better sealing surface when the valves are closed. each rivet now sits flush with the surface of the plate.
I chamfered the edges of each hole since the back of the rivets are tapered. I am hoping this will give me a better sealing surface when the valves are closed. each rivet now sits flush with the surface of the plate.
2 & 3/4" hole saw got me close enough to cut the edges off & sand.
2 & 3/4" hole saw got me close enough to cut the edges off & sand.
This is a shot of a pretty rough fit. all the blanks were made to the same height and angles by the end of fitting them all.
This is a shot of a pretty rough fit. all the blanks were made to the same height and angles by the end of fitting them all.
IMG_0096.jpg
They all look about like this. I was surprised with myself at how uniform I was able to make them as my mandrel for the hole saw was bent & measurements didn't seem to help much.
They all look about like this. I was surprised with myself at how uniform I was able to make them as my mandrel for the hole saw was bent & measurements didn't seem to help much.

banjo
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by banjo » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:00 pm

I'm still waiting on my 2x3" copper reducer, I'll finish up work on the down comers & plates untill I get it. Once I get it I plan on soldering the base of the column on up with the sight glasses & easy flange at the top of the flute body. If it dosn't come before then, then I suppose I'll start on the dephleg & condenser. Heres some photos of the sight-ferrules mocked up on the body, I think She'll look great when I'm all done.
IMG_0098.jpg
IMG_0099.jpg
Whacha think?

Oxbo Rene
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by Oxbo Rene » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:33 pm

Awesome ! ! ! :!: :!:
It is not the matter, nor, the space between the matter,
but rather, it is that finite point at which the two meet,
that, and only that, is what is significant...........
(Of course, I could be wrong) ..........

Mr.Spooky
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by Mr.Spooky » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:39 pm

id love to see this in action!!!!!
spook
4" plate column >>>[/color] the flame that burns twice as bright only burns half as long

Samohon
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by Samohon » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:43 pm

Looking good banjo.... :thumbup:

Like the copper sight ports... Thanks for sharing and keep it coming please... :thumbup:
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by Prairiepiss » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:53 pm

Lookin good banjo. I like the sightglasses. Keep up the good work. :thumbup:
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by Kentucky shinner » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:15 pm

Mighty fine my friend, might fine work.

banjo
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Re: iFlute - 3" build

Post by banjo » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:03 pm

kept on truckin tonight... got the end caps for the dephleg. & condenser done. I dont have any drill bit size larger than 1/2 inch so I improvised. I first cut out a round with tin snips from what used to be copper flashing, then fit it to the inside of the pipe. then I drilled the 1/2" holes in the round & switched to a steep grade curve routing bit that ive got & got em close & finnished them with a file... theyre waaaayy ugly.. I'm talkin teaching your dog to walk backwards ugly... no matter though, cant see em when theyre installed & nobody will ever know but me and the other 9 thousand of us. also had a buddy come up with a cool find. got me a pretty sweet thermometer, check it out. from the end of the threads to the tip is just under 3" so it will work perfect, i dont know what kind of fitting this looks like - I tried to get a close up. if anyone knows drop a line & I'll try I work it in, I think it'd look sweet at the top of the column stickung off to one side.
dog ugly...
dog ugly...
any guesses on what fitting this will use?
any guesses on what fitting this will use?
IMG_0103.jpg

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