Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Perforated & bubble cap plated columns

Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby Lesgold » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:40 pm

Hi Folks,

Starting to get a bit on the boring side sitting around all day during this lockdown. Finished building my pot and CCVM and now just waiting for the postman to deliver some goodies to get things up and running. A few members here subtly suggested building a bubbler but realistically that may not happen for a little while. But it will happen....... Been doing a bit of reading from member builds. Looks like it would be a lot of fun. So, rather than sitting around, I thought I might build one. Not a real bubbler, a virtual bubbler. Let me explain. I used to teach high school kids a bit of woodwork. My Senior students had to design and make a piece of furniture for their HSC during Year 12. As part of the design phase, I had the kids draw their projects up in Sketchup. Each individual component was drawn accurately to size and as much detail as possible was included. After all of the components were drawn, each piece was pulled into place in a virtual assembly process. This enabled students to see how the furniture would come together and also highlighted errors in their design. What I am proposing is a virtual build through the design and drawing of each of the major components of a bubbler with some of the critical measurements showing. What I would like to see is some input from forum members to help with a design so that it could form the basis for a simple build. I’m quite happy to take any info provided and produce an evolving plan which may then be used as a resource for others who want to head down this path. If it is of interest, please contribute your ideas. If it turns out to be a bit of a fizzier, that’s also OK. Give me your thoughts.

Cheers

Les
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby Birdman85 » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:16 pm

Mate, you're an absolute legend. This is a great idea both for plans for anyone who endeavours to build themselves a bubbler but also a genius idea to quell your COVID-19 boredom.

Cannot wait to see your plated column evolution. And am interested in actually seeing the bubble plate drawings (still so confused by it all).

Mitch.
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby Dunnonuthin » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:00 pm

Not a bad idea. I use SketchUp daily myself. While I’m just putting the finishing touches on my own bubbler, I was going to model the whole thing up before I started the build. But after doing my research, then more research, then overthinking it, then rethinking it, I just hooked in and winged a lot (near all :D ?) of the build. Which had its drawbacks :angry-banghead: Now looking at it in front of me, I wish I had done a few things differently. Like you say, things that I would have sorted if I had modeled it first. It would of also meant I would have done ALL my research first, and I would have had basic shop drawings to work from. That would have saved a lot of second guessing myself, and referring back to posts here on all the builds done by members.
All that said, aside from the basic principles, there are so many ways to skin one of these cats, it’s mind bending.
Perf plates or caps? Modular or Semi modular? Glasser or sight glasses? What style of sight glasses? Blockhead or reducer and bends at the top? Cooling system details...
I think you should aim at a solid, easy to build, low cost design. It would be a great resource for people wanting to build a bubbler. However, there are those that will take the view that folks need to do their own research, and reading, to gain the knowledge to build one. In effect, you need to earn that knowledge. And I can understand that perspective. But if you have the money, you can simply go and buy one ready to go.
I’ve not posted much here, but have read, learned and practiced the art a lot. And I can use SketchUp pretty good, including producing PDF shop drawings. Interested to see how this pans out and if I can help at all.
Will post my build shortly. Once my glass discs get here from 5star.... :text-coolphotos:
Last edited by Dunnonuthin on Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby rlmisso » Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:01 am

This would be awesome to follow! I would be keen to see how things turn out. I reckon low cost and simple is key, especially something which can scale up or down in diameter
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby Lesgold » Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:21 am

Good onya Birdman. This type of build can do your head in as far as understanding what’s going on. Been doing a lot of research and I reckon I could now build the whole thing with what’s stuck in the grey matter. Some of the dimensions look to be critical if the bubbler is to work efficiently. A lot of people who have built before us went through the same process of researching heaps before starting but a common thread that comes through is in relation to the subtle changes that they would make to their bubbler if they were to go again. The beauty of a virtual build is that changes can be made and improvements implemented before a piece of copper is cut in anger.

Dunnonuthin, I don’t think your user name is quite appropriate. After completing a build already, you will have some insight and knowledge that will be very handy along the way. Sounds like you are going to be my mentor in the use of Skechup. My knowledge and skills with the package are at an elementary level. I know enough to get myself into trouble and that’s it. I only have an old freeware version which has its limitations but I make do. Can’t do fancy presentations and exports are basic but it should do the job. So I’ll be most likely sending you the odd PM to ask for assistance. Looking forward to see evidence of your build.

Thanks for the comments rimisso, My thinking also. Scaling may have a few issues but I agree that keeping costs down will be important.

Just a couple of points that I’d like to make. Should have stated a few things right at the beginning. I want the design to be:

1) Modular. This allows for modification as needed.
2) Must have a design that is relatively simple. I would like the bubbler to be one that a person with limited equipment could construct without the reliance on specialist machinery.

My prerequisites are:
1) 4 plates (4” modules)
2) Sight glasses (3”)
3) single 50mm bubble caps
4) 4” packed section
5) 2” shotty

OK, let’s get into it. Time for a virtual scrounge for copper. What quantities do we need?
C6986ED3-C209-4B8E-B0C1-F3BB86188DDA.jpeg

Here’s what we have so far. Some 4”, 3” and 2”. Picked up from a local virtual scrappy...
What lengths do we have? I’ll let you know shortly.
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby RC Al » Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:37 am

Personally, I dont think a single 50 cap is a good build, a 65 would get you to a better bath open area ratio and slot flow space, just be aware that single cap systems I 've seen have reported comparatively low output rates
If you want to keep the skill level and complexity down, perf is a better option
With the modular aspect, it's kinda a moot point though as the plates are easily changeable

Also if you looking at the budget side 2" sight glasses would be much cheaper, 3" isn't much less than 4" fittings cost wise
Last edited by RC Al on Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby Birdman85 » Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:12 pm

    Lesgold wrote:Picked up from a local virtual scrappy...
    What lengths do we have? I’ll let you know shortly.


    GOLD !!! :laughing-rolling:
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    Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

    Postby Lesgold » Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:48 pm

    Thanks RC. That’s some of the info that we need to know. So we can go 2” sight glasses or spend about an extra $28 on the four modules and go the 3”. You guys let me know and I’ll start drawing. Next decision. Stick with a 50mm cap, go to 65mm or perf plate. I suppose we should also consider 25mm bubble caps x 5 as another option. Let me know and I’ll start updating materials.
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    Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

    Postby Dunnonuthin » Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:55 pm

    I second the vote for perf plates for simplicity. And cost.
    4 plates is the rule of thumb, the gold standard minimum number of plates in a bubbler. I would make that 4 plate section one module. That drastically reduces the number of flanges, clamps and seals. Clamps and seals add up to significant costs. Every easy flange is more labour, while your labour is free, build time is precious. If your not adept at keeping fabricated parts square/plumb/flat it’s not hard to make a wonky/leaky column that you have go back and fix. It’s not a quick fix, even if you don’t have to re-solder and re-clean your column.
    If you want to add more plates, they can be set in individual modules.
    Use a plate tree dropped down in from the top.
    Agree on the 2”shotty
    Assume a virtual ceiling limit of 2400. :-D
    Assume a 50l keg boiler, set on legs high enough to get a bucket under the drain tap.
    Use a blockhead with integrated RC. That’s another joint removed, removes an elbow and 4” to 2” reducer, and lowers the overall height.
    That’s my thoughts on a pragmatic bubbler.
    Last edited by Dunnonuthin on Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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    Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

    Postby Dunnonuthin » Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:58 pm

    I would pay the extra for 3” sight glasses over the 2”. If you make the 4 plate section as one module, your end cost is probably going to be about the same. They look better balanced, scale wise to
    me. And you have nice big peepers to gaze vacantly into for hours...
    That’s the thing with these builds, soooo many options, and opinions.
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    Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

    Postby scythe » Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:19 pm

    Sounds like a good idea.
    Everyone is always looking for bubbler plans thinking there is some instructable they can follow, and now there can be.

    But to me a bubbler is not something that can be built quickly AND cheaply AND easily.
    That's more the realm on a boka or pot.

    Happy to contribute.
    I vote for multiple plate plans and modular sections.
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    Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

    Postby Lesgold » Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:09 pm

    Good thoughts guys. OK, time to move on. Decided to go modular with perf plate and bubble plate designs so that people can opt for what ever rocks their boat. Looks like we are also going with the 3” sight glass. I agree with you scythe in relation to your comments. Jumping into a bubbler build is a pretty big decision especially if you don’t have a lot of fabricating experience. Starting on a boka or pot would give you the confidence to tackle something a bit more demanding. Thanks for your offer to help by the way. As Dunnonuthin has said, there are a hell of a lot of approaches that could be taken and everyone will have their own thoughts and ideas. (Most of which will have value) Time to go and start a drawing. I have some dimensions in mind but won’t place them on the drawing until people offer their views. To make life a little easier, I will use approximate, rounded figures for pipe sizes. Eg 4” tube will be drawn as 100mm, 2” will be 50mm etc. Will also set tube wall thickness at 1mm for all copper tube.
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    Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

    Postby dans.brew » Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:36 pm

    Good stuff Les... i see some interesting discussion brewing with this one.
    Prob need to decide if this design is going to be restricted to a budget or just built to what people agree is the ducks nuts for a bubbler
    Def stick with 3" sightglasses and im for fully modular too.
    Im one to build once and not limit myself too much down the track... as i learn more in this hobby i dont want to be restricted by my still to what i can do.
    I can always add components, but i don't really want to rebuild anything.
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    Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

    Postby Dunnonuthin » Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:50 pm

    Hey Lesgold, on the sizes of components, if we are are going to model this and make shop drawings from it, for gods sake make it dimensionally accurate to Australian pipe sizes from the outset. Trust me mate, the extra effort now will pay off later, especially for blokes fabricating parts from the drawings. Pipe sizes should be available off the web.
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    Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

    Postby Dunnonuthin » Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:11 pm

    Ok, not so simple. This little tome has what we need re pipe sizes. Go to PDF page 7.

    https://www.kembla.com/assets/Uploads/g ... dition.pdf

    But here’s the kicker “ It is noted that copper tubes are made from the one alloy and are of similar quality. The word “TYPES” refers to the 4 thickness categories with Type “A” being the thickest and Type “D” being the thinnest tube permitted for use by water authorities.”
    So unless someone can tell us what the most common Type is likely to be encountered, just go with Type A sizes?
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    Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

    Postby tenorbrew » Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:16 pm

    Awesome thread, and thanks for going to the trouble, Les!
    Just finishing off my 3" CCVM, so a bubbler is a bit far off. But one day...

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    Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

    Postby Lesgold » Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:13 pm

    I know what you are saying BUT, as was stated, when looking at pipe sizes, there are up to four grades. Wall thickness will vary and therefore internal diameters will change. For this type of build, most of the distances are lengths eg 2” shotty 450mm long, 4” module height 150mm etc. Where critical dimensions are required, they would be included. This should be just a bit of a guide to get interested members on the right track. I’m sure people will grab certain bits, ignore others and modify what they think they can do another way. It should really be just a visual presentation that supports all the great builds that we have read about on the forum. Hopefully it will just give a little bit of clarity as to what components are and their appearance.
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    Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

    Postby scythe » Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:27 pm

    I'm using type D (mainly because thats what i got) in mine but it does not actually matter because the only thing it changes is ID.
    And since we are using the Tri-clover ferrule as our connection standard again ID does not matter, well it might make it harder to flare the pipe if that's what you choose to do.
    Or it may come into play if you make plates out of it.
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    Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

    Postby Bobsyauncle » Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:50 pm

    Lesgold, this is a great idea!
    I vote 2" caps, only because I'm in the process of making them atm :pray:
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    Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

    Postby Dunnonuthin » Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:17 pm

    Lesgold, you make a solid argument, and after considering all that, carry on.
    Just my day job habits getting the better of me.
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