Tiny Tim

Boiler, burner and boiler modification talk.

Tiny Tim

Postby invisigoth » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:15 am

hi all :)

when i bought the old spear keg from the scrappy for the squat pot, i also bought a skinny keg with the idea of making a smaller boiler. I sometimes do small brews where i am either experimenting or just don't have enough ingredients for a larger brew.

for some reason which escapes me ( i started the project at the same time as the squat pot), i cut the top off and sectioned the rest to give me my final volume. have no idea what that volume is now.. probably about 15l :)) . i discovered the mummified remains of a mouse inside, along with a nasty stain and a whole mass of pitting. I just the bottom off with plan of repairing the pitting, and discovered that some of the pitting was holes :o .

i decided to cut a 2in hole in the pitted bottom ready for a flange after i had repaired the pitting. that was a mistake :naughty: . it was my first time welding with the tig and i had the thing set for dc+ve instead of dc-ve :angry-banghead: . couldn't work out why i kept melting the tungstens all the way back to inside the cup :oops: . i dumped so much heat into it i warped the bottom to the point of being useless. i figured i'd get some other material at some point for a new base.

here it is thus far:

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well actually i finished welding it up today....but more on that later ;-)

i used a 4in holesaw to cut the hole in the top and welded on a 4in flange. the original flange looked like this:

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to use the hole saw i first had to have a pilot hole. luckily i had the bit cut from a 2in hole laying about, so i welded it to the underside of the top:

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there was big gaps on either side because it was welded to two flat raised sections. i clamped a piece of anneled copper plate bent to the curvature of the flange behind the gap and built up the gap with filler, then fusion welded the inside of the flange to the top and smoothed the back side of the fill with the tig :handgestures-thumbupleft: . there was a surround with handles like most modern commercial kegs. it would have made welding the flange a bit more tricky, and wouldn't have given enough clearance to put on the clamp holding the column to the flange on the keg, so i dremeled it off. i was able to use the material from the original weld holding it on to fill the shallow trench left by the dremel. i welded a couple of stainless handles on to the top so i still had something to grab.

today i finished welding the top to the sectioned bit. nothing is ever easy! first i added weld to the low spots and filed till fit up was nice and tight, then mated them together and only 1/3 of the two halves had matching curvature. i tacked it together, then backed the underside of the seam with a strap of annealed copper and welded up that 1/3. after that i had to use a luggage strap a hammer and dolly and some heat to slowly get the rest to meet up, welding each bit that matched as i went. what a pain! the copper backing worked a treat to keep the back side of the weld nice and sugar free :handgestures-thumbupleft: .

just *after* i'd finished the squat pot, a couple of 30l kegs came my way 8-} . since i already had the squat pot, decided to make one into a fermenter. i cut a 4in hole in the top, freeing up the 2in flange that was there. originally i was going to put this on the bottom of the fermenter for drainage, when it struck me it was longer than a standard 2in flange :

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because of the curvature of the boiler to be, a fair chunk of the fitting would need to be removed and it may either bee too short or too little room to weld. i figured the flange from the keg would made a good flange for the element .

i know a few of you out there leave the 2in flange on the keg for a keg boiler. what do you use for a seal? the standard triclover seal is too thick.

till next post!
invisigoth
 
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Re: Tiny Tim

Postby Doubleuj » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:44 am

Nice start, im sure i used to use a tri clamp seal with the ridge cut off on my old still :think:
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Re: Tiny Tim

Postby bluc » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:36 am

yep a tri clamp seal thats flt one side :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Tiny Tim

Postby invisigoth » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:30 pm

thanx doubleuj and bluc. i ended up getting a couple of 2mm seals from china. they work well, but as you will see.. it became a moot point :wtf: .

i welded up the top and middle parts. for the squat pot i used some annealed copper plate behind the join with a block of mild steel brazed on at either end, and a magnet bonded to a heat sink at either end on the other side to hold it in place. :

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the strip seems to have disapeared, so for tiny tim, i made a strip from some 4in tube :

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the black line is from where the weld was. the strip was held in place with a couple of clamps i made:

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here's an example of a section of weld from the front:

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some of the discolouration is from having to heat up the metal to belt it to match up ... the two halves did not match up. and here is the back side of the weld where the copper backing was used:

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it's a bit sooty, but smooth. a soak in hot citric acid will clean up a lot :handgestures-thumbupleft: .

when i offered up a standard 2in fitting to the hole i cut for the heater, i saw there was plenty of room to weld, so i didn't bother with the fitting from the bud lite keg. i got it in place, then fusion welded the sections that were flush with the inside of the boiler, then dremeled away the excess finished off the weld:

Image

to weld the front i backed it with some copper plate helt in place with a couple of clamps:

Image

on one of my trips to the scrappy, i picked up a stainless steel pot, so i cut off the bottom to use as the bottom of the boiler. sadly the bottom appears to be some metal, either mild steel or a stainless grade that a magnet will stick to, sandwiched between two layers of stainless. i didn't want to risk having a stainless/mild steel mix for the weld, so i discarded it and picked up some nearly 2.5mm thick stainless plate 630 x 500mm when I picked up some copper tube next trip to the scrappy. so far all i've done is cut a piece about the right size and cut a 2in hole in the middle. should be welding a fitting to it soon.

it's surprising how thin the modern kegs are. tiny tim is a fraction under 2mm thick, the squat pot was a bit over 2mm thick. the stuff top and bottom that came out of the hole saw from top and bottom of the bud keg is only a bit over 1mm thick.

well that's it for now, till i get the next bit done :-D
invisigoth
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:57 pm
equipment: bte cm reflux head
5l pure distilling pot still
t500 boiler +extra pure distilling lid
diy phase angle controller
diy output extension tube+parrot
3 plate modular macbubbler

Re: Tiny Tim

Postby Lowie » Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:46 pm

Looking good mate :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Tiny Tim

Postby woodduck » Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:44 am

That's some nice work there. It's coming along nicely.

Keep up the good work :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Tiny Tim

Postby invisigoth » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:09 am

and so it continues...

i cut out a piece of 2.5mm stainless plate and cut a 2in hole in the middle with a hole saw. i then put a piece of copper plate under it, fitted a 2in fitting, put a piece of copper tube on the inside of the fitting, and tacked it in place:

Image

the fitting was welded up and fusion welded on the inside. next was tacking the base to the body of the boiler:

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the excess was trimmed and fusion welded up:

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nearly there! i had a custom 1500w element made. that's when i discovered that the 1in bsp element guard was not 1in bsp ~x( . it took a lot of effort to tap it out with an actual 1in bsp tap, but once sorted:

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the manufacturer believes that for the size of the boiler the wattage density would be good for brewing :handgestures-thumbupleft: . so here it is with the element and drainage tap fitted :

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the working volume turned out to be 12l... 3l short of the target. if only i had been thinking and measured the diameter and calculated the height it needed to be :angry-banghead: . one small problem.....if you put it on the ground it falls over on it's side... not ideal for distilling :)) . my solution to that problem will be the subject of the next build post for this thread :handgestures-thumbupleft:

this is what i did with the left over:

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it holds 9l.
invisigoth
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:57 pm
equipment: bte cm reflux head
5l pure distilling pot still
t500 boiler +extra pure distilling lid
diy phase angle controller
diy output extension tube+parrot
3 plate modular macbubbler


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