Woo Hoo - new pot ?

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Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby Pikey » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:31 am

Whaddya think ? - has this got promise ?

The tank is 450mm diameter (18") and useable height is 600mm (24") - which I make to be 96 LItres, or about 26 of your gallons. It is all made of copper, including the lid - I'm very hopeful !

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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby The Baker » Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:01 pm

Looks old, probably lead in the solder (if indeed it is soldered but to a non-metal worker it looks like it).
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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby Pikey » Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:11 pm

The Baker wrote:Looks old, probably lead in the solder (if indeed it is soldered but to a non-metal worker it looks like it).
Geoff


I agree ! :evil:

So now I'm stuck with cutting the damn thing up and rebuilding it with new solder, or scrapping it ! What a pissser ! But thanks for your observation :(
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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby Pikey » Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:15 pm

Any other ideas ? :roll:
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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby Pikey » Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:31 pm

Ok, I had thought it would burnish up and become a lovely piece - the bottom as a boiler and the top as a thumper tub. I'm thinking if I cut the clearly defined solder joints out for their full width and replace them with strips cut from the top tub, using lead free I may be able to make it work. I have another, but deliberately went for a really old one since the copper is much thicker. Won't look much, but I'm not bad with a torch and it will give me a chance to fully clean the inside and out. Also to take a good look at the heat exchanger and see what that needs.

Whadya reckon ?

Thanks again Geoff 8)

[edited for spellings]
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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby xyz123 » Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:36 pm

I'd test them first with a lead test kit.

If they are lead, cut them out and just solder it all back up. Only thing is that it will be slightly smaller.
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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby Pikey » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:55 pm

xyz123 wrote:I'd test them first with a lead test kit.

If they are lead, cut them out and just solder it all back up. Only thing is that it will be slightly smaller.


Had a look on ebay - I can only find "Water lead kits" so I don't quite know how to go about testing. I do know those Fortic tanks were 1960's or a little later. this is one of teh earliest I think, so could be even earier - and even in the '70's Plumbers were still "Wiping" Lead joints on drinking water pipes - so I'm not optimistic !

But yes, I haven't thrown the baby out with the bathwater yet and was coming to a similar conclusion. More work than I'd hoped, but a chance to really "build my own" too !
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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby Pikey » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:27 am

I'm hoping to unsolder the seams and clean them up. Has anyone tried this ? I'm pretty sure I can get them hot enough to melt the solder, but I think it will set again as I move my arc along. I have electronic solder wick - but that would ruin masses of wick with the amount I'd need to use. Anyone know of another way of sucking the wet solder off ?

[Edit - typos]
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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby nerdybrewer » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:54 am

Depending on where you live...
Hardware stores carry lead test kits, here are examples:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-LeadCheck ... /203313743

http://www.acehardware.com/product/inde ... 13.1259815
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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby Pikey » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:12 pm

nerdybrewer wrote:Depending on where you live...
Hardware stores carry lead test kits, here are examples:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-LeadCheck ... /203313743

http://www.acehardware.com/product/inde ... 13.1259815


I'm going crazy here in uk - ebay will seel me a couple of swabs for £35 or Amazon for £12.99 - but their amazing delivery says they can get it here by Marck 17 ! B&Q, Homebase, Plumb-base don't know what I'm talking about ! - yet you can walk intoany hardware store and buy one :evil:

Thanks for trying 8)

I'm pretty certain though that the solder will be lead based - the thing is c 60 years old !
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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby nerdybrewer » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:24 pm

Pikey wrote:
nerdybrewer wrote:Depending on where you live...
Hardware stores carry lead test kits, here are examples:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-LeadCheck ... /203313743

http://www.acehardware.com/product/inde ... 13.1259815


I'm going crazy here in uk - ebay will seel me a couple of swabs for £35 or Amazon for £12.99 - but their amazing delivery says they can get it here by Marck 17 ! B&Q, Homebase, Plumb-base don't know what I'm talking about ! - yet you can walk intoany hardware store and buy one :evil:

Thanks for trying 8)

I'm pretty certain though that the solder will be lead based - the thing is c 60 years old !


I've got it pretty good, I have literally lived across the street from a small hardware store for about the past 30 years.
I have walked in and bought one of these kits for $10, used it to determine the crap still I bought on eBay had lead solder, sent it back and got a refund.
Then I built my own properly.
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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby Hank Reardon » Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:22 pm

nerdybrewer wrote:
Pikey wrote:
nerdybrewer wrote:Depending on where you live...
Hardware stores carry lead test kits, here are examples:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-LeadCheck ... /203313743

http://www.acehardware.com/product/inde ... 13.1259815


I'm going crazy here in uk - ebay will seel me a couple of swabs for £35 or Amazon for £12.99 - but their amazing delivery says they can get it here by Marck 17 ! B&Q, Homebase, Plumb-base don't know what I'm talking about ! - yet you can walk intoany hardware store and buy one :evil:

Thanks for trying 8)

I'm pretty certain though that the solder will be lead based - the thing is c 60 years old !


I've got it pretty good, I have literally lived across the street from a small hardware store for about the past 30 years.
I have walked in and bought one of these kits for $10, used it to determine the crap still I bought on eBay had lead solder, sent it back and got a refund.
Then I built my own properly.



Pikey, surely you can get your hands on a lead test kit. Paint test or water tests will work, as you are just trying to detect lead. If it is negative, check the test kit and see what its detection level is, and go from there. If it is positive, you have your answer. I'm thinking of a swab test when I say that, I'm sure others may have better advice on the accuracy/capability of other types of tests.

I think consumerreports.org had some articles on this in the recent past that might prove helpful.
Last edited by Hank Reardon on Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby Hank Reardon » Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:29 pm

By the way Pikey, the boiler is a score. If it has lead based solder, well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I'm rooting for you on this one. :)
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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby Pikey » Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:33 am

Thanks Hank, I'm thinking maybe if I grind a little solder off and stand it in water for a few days I may be able to get enough contamination for the water to leach some out and use a water test (Water tests ARE available) - but then it's just so old I don't think I'd believe it even if it was negative ! :lol:

Hank Reardon wrote:By the way Pikey, the boiler is a score. If it has lead based solder, well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I'm rooting for you on this one. :)


Thanks for that - I've been looking so long I really can't believe it ! Ok so I had to drive a couple of hundred miles to pick it up - but got the whole thing for £32 (about 40 dollars) - and magic, it comes with the free Thumper tub, just the right size for the boiler !

Time to clear a space in my garage to get the thing started methinks !
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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby Shine0n » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:48 am

Pikey, I just now seen this thread and man what a great find!
How has it turned out on redoing this beautiful thing you've found?
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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby Pikey » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:47 am

Things moved on ShineOn. :?

I managed to score a complete 50 Litre stainless boiler, with a 2" triclamp and electric element, so the impetus has gone out of it. PLus loads of other stuff which is calling for my time, so in honesty, I'm never going to get round to doing anything real with it, so I guess in reality - it's up for sale ! :( Anyone in the middle (ish) of uk who's interested, can drop me a pm, else I'll advertise it when I get around to it.
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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby Squint » Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:19 am

Pikey, instead of stripping out the lead solder, could you not cover the seams with strips of copper foil ( you know the copper foil in that pot head you bought lol ) and silver solder it on.

more than one way to skin a cat. as the saying goes,
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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby Pikey » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:24 pm

Nice suggestion Squint, but it's not just the possible lead - I'd love to see it / up and running mate - on some racking - with the big fermenter, then that preheater from another thread - then bottom part of this unit all shiny as a pot, then the top part as a thumper, all of them shiny, coppered up and looking cool, standing in a line :D Trouble is I just have so much else I'm committed to and I now have a nice stainless pot which is adequate for the job. :) So I just don't have the incentive any more. If nobody else wants it - I'll probably use the top part to make a thumper at some point, but at the moment it's just taking up space. :(

Now if someone near me had some oxy-acetylene I could borrow or hire for a couple of days - THAT might drive me to reconsider :lol: But it's a forlorne hope I expect.
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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby Kareltje » Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:50 pm

About the testing of lead: you could do a run with water or alcohol and then test the distillate.
The problem is not in the lead in the solder somewhere in the still, but any lead in the product.
I doubt that leadcontaining molecules will distill with the vapour, but I can imagine lead will leach out in the fluid in the condenser.
Dissolved lead in the spent lees can be a problem too, depending on how you get rid of them.

If you test the distillate and the spent lees, you will know what to do.
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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby NZChris » Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:42 pm

If you modify it to build a boiler, that has to be better than building with SS then adding bits of copper to the boiler to emulate the real thing.
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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby Pikey » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:48 am

Kareltje wrote:About the testing of lead: you could do a run with water or alcohol and then test the distillate.
The problem is not in the lead in the solder somewhere in the still, but any lead in the product.
I doubt that leadcontaining molecules will distill with the vapour, but I can imagine lead will leach out in the fluid in the condenser.
Dissolved lead in the spent lees can be a problem too, depending on how you get rid of them.

If you test the distillate and the spent lees, you will know what to do.


BLASPHEMY ! :shock:

However I'm not terribly Religious and that sounds like good sense 8)
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Re: Woo Hoo - new pot ?

Postby Pikey » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:50 am

NZChris wrote:If you modify it to build a boiler, that has to be better than building with SS then adding bits of copper to the boiler to emulate the real thing.


I know Chris and the thought of those 3 in a row is really sweet :)

{Edit - the thing is tho' there's no "build" needed on the stainless one - except doing up tri-clamps and perhaps changing the plug :shock: ]

it certainly sounds as though the overwhelming view of the forum is that I should keep it then ! :lol:
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