Copper still.





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  1. #1
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    Default Copper still.

    I had an old geyser and thought I would mess about and try make a still. I didnt want to make a big one ,just a little one.
    Ive seen a basic shape and pretty much copied it.

    I learnt a few things. My maths sucks. All those maths formulas you learnt at school for volume ,Ive forgotten.
    Anyway i made the main cylinder and seamed it. This is quite simple .I used my ring roller that I made a while back and it worked nicely but is not needed on new copper.(my copper is very old)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Then I soldered it with plumbers solder. In hindsight this was poor planning on my behalf.Ill tell youa bout that later.
    Here is the seam.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by plunger; 2020/06/03 at 09:31 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Sorry Im having trouble with loading (computer stupid) Please ignore the drawing. I cant seem to erase it and posted by mistake.

    Then I made a cone for it. It taught me that all I learnt about developmental drawing I have forgotten.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is a bit of a posed pic because it helped to roll it but in reality my roller is just not big enough.

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    Default Re: Copper still.

    I tigged the top piece to the cone but tig is not neat. Its convenient because I never had oxy acetalene but Its just not as neat. Here is where It dawned on me that using soft solder was dumb. Because the copper to copper rods use a much higher heat and my soft solder seam just melted apart.. Here you can see the ugly tig weld. The soft solder came out well.Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Copper still.

    I didnt want to soft solder the cone to the cylinder because my fabrication is just not that great and there would be biggish gaps(it actually came out better than I thought)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I got some oxy gas so I could copper braze the cylinder to the cone . Its also much stronger.The gas welding is a different story and the braze weld comes out real sweet.
    Ive got to a point where I dont know what to do now. Ive made it that the top piece can come out with the proposed 54mm copper pipe. So I have an opening of about 130mm to get to the tank from the cone top.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    What should I do now.?Not really understanding things properly is the usable stuff what is evaporated from the top 50mm pipe.?Will this need a tap to drain if I have acsess from the top .?What happens to the stuff in the kettle. Is it discarded and only the stuff that is evaporated used. ?
    Will this thing work.?
    Some have a nice tapered looking pipe that looks like a birds bill. How does that work.?
    Should I make the 50mm pipe a specific length and then do the down turn that can be hooked to a garden tap or must I do the coiled pipe thingy.?

    Ive tried to keep the old geyser looking patina because I like the aged look.

    If I had to do this from scratch it could be relatively easy to cut this with laser out of thicker guage copper as this geyser is too thin.
    The downside of using braze is the copper becomes very soft.I wonder if there is a way to take it to a harder state.?
    Please give me some ideas what to do from here or improvements.

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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Hell dude that is looking awesome.

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    Default Re: Copper still.

    thats coming along nicely, you will have people come asking you to build them one.
    so the one thing you need to remember is that you will need to clean the "pot" part of the still (as well as needing a port to fill the thing) so the long 2 inch pipe on the top is a problem, because no way can you get your hand or any kind of equipment down there to clean, and the cone needs to be soldered / braized onto the pot otherwise you will have massive vapour leak which is a big no no.

    I was going to suggest you buy 2 copper ferrules from distillique and cut the pipe down closer to the pot, but they seem to be out of stock.
    https://distillique.co.za/Shop/brass...r-ferrule.html

    Hmm not exactly sure what to suggest unless you can find a supplier in durban.
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Quote Originally Posted by ColeGP View Post
    thats coming along nicely, you will have people come asking you to build them one.
    so the one thing you need to remember is that you will need to clean the "pot" part of the still (as well as needing a port to fill the thing) so the long 2 inch pipe on the top is a problem, because no way can you get your hand or any kind of equipment down there to clean, and the cone needs to be soldered / braized onto the pot otherwise you will have massive vapour leak which is a big no no.

    I was going to suggest you buy 2 copper ferrules from distillique and cut the pipe down closer to the pot, but they seem to be out of stock.
    https://distillique.co.za/Shop/brass...r-ferrule.html

    Hmm not exactly sure what to suggest unless you can find a supplier in durban.
    In terms of a vapour leak, I made a lid and intend to solder the 54mm pipe to the lid. If you hold it up to the light you can see its not a bad fit. Will this work. I would prefer to be able to use the aperture in the lid compared to a ferule.
    By the way that ferule for R180 is damn cheap. I could not machine that for that price. The brass cost is einna
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Quote Originally Posted by plunger View Post
    In terms of a vapour leak, I made a lid and intend to solder the 54mm pipe to the lid. If you hold it up to the light you can see its not a bad fit. Will this work. I would prefer to be able to use the aperture in the lid compared to a ferule.
    By the way that ferule for R180 is damn cheap. I could not machine that for that price. The brass cost is einna
    Click image for larger version. 

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    aaah is that how you did it, was hard to tell.
    what you would probably need to do is make a "flour seal" when you use it but that's not a big deal.
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Quote Originally Posted by ColeGP View Post
    aaah is that how you did it, was hard to tell.
    what you would probably need to do is make a "flour seal" when you use it but that's not a big deal.
    So I have to take up distilling and baking.?
    Am I on the right track?Whats next.

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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Quote Originally Posted by plunger View Post
    So I have to take up distilling and baking.?
    Am I on the right track?Whats next.
    well you are already messing with yeast so its not a big step.
    you need to now do your transition to whatever your condender will be.
    you can either have a straight 54-22 or you could do a 90 degree 54/54 and then transition to 22.
    then a compression fitting to then connect your worm coil or liebig.
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    that's my column, has a port for a thermometer before the top of the column and then the column is joined to the condenser with a compression fitting.
    Last edited by ColeGP; 2020/06/04 at 02:15 PM.
    2009 Suzuki GV 3.2
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Quote Originally Posted by plunger View Post
    I didnt want to soft solder the cone to the cylinder because my fabrication is just not that great and there would be biggish gaps(it actually came out better than I thought)
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	574346

    I got some oxy gas so I could copper braze the cylinder to the cone . Its also much stronger.The gas welding is a different story and the braze weld comes out real sweet.
    Ive got to a point where I dont know what to do now. Ive made it that the top piece can come out with the proposed 54mm copper pipe. So I have an opening of about 130mm to get to the tank from the cone top.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	574347
    What should I do now.?Not really understanding things properly is the usable stuff what is evaporated from the top 50mm pipe.?Will this need a tap to drain if I have acsess from the top .?What happens to the stuff in the kettle. Is it discarded and only the stuff that is evaporated used. ?
    Will this thing work.?
    Some have a nice tapered looking pipe that looks like a birds bill. How does that work.?
    Should I make the 50mm pipe a specific length and then do the down turn that can be hooked to a garden tap or must I do the coiled pipe thingy.?

    Ive tried to keep the old geyser looking patina because I like the aged look.

    If I had to do this from scratch it could be relatively easy to cut this with laser out of thicker guage copper as this geyser is too thin.
    The downside of using braze is the copper becomes very soft.I wonder if there is a way to take it to a harder state.?
    Please give me some ideas what to do from here or improvements.

    That looks great

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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Quote Originally Posted by ColeGP View Post
    well you are already messing with yeast so its not a big step.
    you need to now do your transition to whatever your condender will be.
    you can either have a straight 54-22 or you could do a 90 degree 54/54 and then transition to 22.
    then a compression fitting to then connect your worm coil or liebig.
    so its a 15mm inner core in the liebig?

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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Quote Originally Posted by RvanZ View Post
    so its a 15mm inner core in the liebig?
    in my case yes, 15mm inner and 22mm sleeve because my local hardware store sell per meter but only has 15 & 22 in stock, would have liked to go 15/28 if they had stock.
    it all boils down to what is readily available.
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  20. #15
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Is there some science to how long the vertical pipe has to be. ?On a small ten liter still like this does a 42 mm riser pipe work less effecient than a 54mm pipe. I have 42 mm pipe and only a short piece of 54mm

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    Default Copper still.

    Quote Originally Posted by plunger View Post
    Is there some science to how long the vertical pipe has to be. ?On a small ten liter still like this does a 42 mm riser pipe work less effecient than a 54mm pipe. I have 42 mm pipe and only a short piece of 54mm
    I read somewhere that the ratio is from 15:1 to 20:1 (height:diameter)

    Jelo.....
    Last edited by GaryFrank; 2020/06/11 at 10:39 AM.

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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryFrank View Post
    I read somewhere that the ratio is from 15:1 to 20:1 (height:diameter)

    Jelo.....
    sorry you're on your own, I know nothing about still science
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Im nearly finished making my copper small still. Ive tried to make it look old. I am not sure if this will work. The colum can come free of the main kettle as its like a lid.
    I made a nut to fit onto a bought male coupler. Its less bulky than a plumbing coupler. It can be seen on the 35mm pipe that slants down. Am I on the right track. I will braze two pipes onto this downward sloping pipe. The coupler allows for orientation .But will the 35mm pipe be too short for sucessful cooling of the vapour. Its not big ,quite deceptive. The still is only 250mm wide and 2580mm high to the top bottom of the cone.Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Looking good.

    Boil some water in your pot. It is a good test to see if you can make distilled water and it will help cleaning it out.

    Second run white vinegar.
    Kobus

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    Default Re: Copper still.

    And don't run water through it for just a few minutes. Run it for a good two hours or so. It'll give you a good indication of how well the thing cools once it's "warmed up".

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