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Still design

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  • haydenw1@hotmail.com
    Im using a s/s 50liter keg with a Copper coloum that is 2 inch in diameter and 44 inchs long .I have two 7/8 copper cooling pipes that run thru the coloum for
    Message 1 of 13 , Aug 2, 2001
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      Im using a s/s 50liter keg with a Copper coloum that is 2 inch in
      diameter and 44 inchs long .I have two 7/8 copper cooling pipes that
      run thru the coloum for reflux which are 5 1/2 inchs apart that are
      located near the top of the coloum . Vapor run off is 1 inch copper
      that is reduced into 1/2 inch and runs into the Condensor which is 27
      inchs long surrounded by an outer tube which is 1 1/2 dia and 23
      1/2inchs long .
      The coloum is paked with 8 s/s pot scrubbers from bottom to around 1
      1/2 inchs from the top .Ive also got a s/s mesh located at the bottom
      of the coloum to stop the scrubbers from falling into the boiler.

      If anyone could offer any info on what % i could expect from this
      still or anything that i may have over looked please let me know .I
      are looking at using an electric heating element in the near future
    • Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
      Hayden, 44-1.5 = 42.5 inches = 108 cm of packing Assuming that the HETP for stainless steel scrubbers is around 15cm (eg every 15cm height will give us the
      Message 2 of 13 , Aug 2, 2001
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        Hayden,

        44-1.5 = 42.5 inches = 108 cm of packing

        Assuming that the HETP for stainless steel scrubbers is around 15cm (eg
        every 15cm height will give us the equivalent increase in purity similar to
        doing another single pot distillation, this would put your column as having
        the equivalent of 7.2 theoretical plates. Add one for your pot, and you've
        got 8+ stages.

        (I'm being a little cautious here - previously I'd put SS HETP at 10cm, but
        now I figure its more like 13-15cm. Aim low, and be pleasantly surprised
        when it does a lot better than expected)

        Plug 8 stages into the wee diagram at the start of
        http://www.geocities.com/kiwi_distiller/refluxdesign.htm and you'll see that
        you're expecting about 94% purity from it (for a typical amount of reflux).

        If your top tubes aren't very efficient at making the reflux liquid, then
        you'll not do so good. If they're very good, and you run with quite a high
        reflux ratio, then you should do better than this. But its a starting
        point for what to expect.

        If asked to guess, I would have initially just reckoned that it would do
        95%+

        What size element to run it with ? Mine does ok with 1800W in a 1.5inch
        column. A 2inch column has 1.77 times the cross-sectional area, so yours
        should be OK with 1.77x1800=3200W. Maybe play safe and only keep it less
        than 3000W ?

        Tony
      • Shane Kirkman
        Could I have few opinions ( biased /unbiased ) on weather the Inline still or the offset head still performs better than the other in respect of efficiency
        Message 3 of 13 , Nov 26, 2002
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          Could I have few opinions ( biased /unbiased ) on weather the Inline still
          or the offset head still performs better than the other in respect of
          efficiency or quality / quantity / etc . Or is it just a matter of material
          supply / cost / height restrictions / aesthetics etc . The more opinions I
          receive the better , thanks in advance Shane .




          Eat - Drink - Smoke and be good ! Shane .

          http://www.yahoo.promo.com.au/hint/ - Yahoo! Hint Dropper
          - Avoid getting hideous gifts this Christmas with Yahoo! Hint Dropper!
        • abbababbaccc
          IMHO there s no performance difference between inline or offset head designs. I started with offset head with couple of construction flaws. Then I found this
          Message 4 of 13 , Nov 26, 2002
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            IMHO there's no performance difference between inline or offset
            head designs. I started with offset head with couple of construction
            flaws. Then I found this design
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/OFTS/EL/Elliptical%
            20in-Line%20Overflow%20Vertical%20Condenser%20Head.PDF
            and it was easier to make that than fix my old head. Instead of
            having short tube on lower lip I bent it enough to make it drip to
            the center of the column. Very easy to make and produces over 95%
            ethanol.

            Greetz, rkr

            --- In Distillers@y..., "Shane Kirkman" <shanekirkman@y...> wrote:
            > Could I have few opinions ( biased /unbiased ) on weather the
            Inline still
            > or the offset head still performs better than the other in respect
            of
            > efficiency or quality / quantity / etc . Or is it just a matter of
            material
            > supply / cost / height restrictions / aesthetics etc . The more
            opinions I
            > receive the better , thanks in advance Shane .
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Eat - Drink - Smoke and be good ! Shane .
            >
            > http://www.yahoo.promo.com.au/hint/ - Yahoo! Hint Dropper
            > - Avoid getting hideous gifts this Christmas with Yahoo! Hint
            Dropper!
          • BOKAKOB
            In my opinion the shape does not matter. Both types are equal in output quality in practical terms, lest forget the theoretical molecular differences :-) if
            Message 5 of 13 , Nov 26, 2002
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              In my opinion the shape does not matter. Both types are equal in output quality in practical terms, lest forget the theoretical molecular differences :-) if the the main parameters are same...

              What matters to me is this:
              - cost of materials (cheaper is better)
              - ease of building and materials availability (no elaborate things is no brainer)
              - interchangability and repair of parts as well as cleaning ease
              - lenght of the reflux column (from 80 cm to 120 cm is reasonable)
              - proper packing of the column (famous scrubbers, I tend to move to lose packing)
              -  most important proper operation of the still (safety 1st, then everything else... especially running the still at "slow" speeds)

               Shane Kirkman <shanekirkman@...> wrote:

              Could I have few opinions ( biased /unbiased ) on weather the Inline  still or the offset head still performs better  than the other in respect of
              efficiency or quality / quantity / etc . Or is it just a matter of material supply / cost / height restrictions / aesthetics etc . The more opinions I
              receive the better , thanks in advance Shane .


              I can be wrong I must say.
              Cheers, Alex...



              Do you Yahoo!?
              New DSL Internet Access from SBC & Yahoo!

            • Mike Nixon
              Shane Kirkman wrote: Subject: [Distillers] Still design Could I have few opinions ( biased /unbiased ) on weather the Inline still or the offset head still
              Message 6 of 13 , Nov 26, 2002
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                Shane Kirkman wrote:
                Subject: [Distillers] Still design

                Could I have few opinions ( biased /unbiased ) on weather the Inline  still or the offset head still performs better  than the other in respect of efficiency or quality / quantity / etc . Or is it just a matter of material supply / cost / height restrictions / aesthetics etc . The more opinions I receive the better ,
                thanks in advance Shane .
                =========================
                Simply a matter of aesthetics and personal preference Shane.  The main work goes on inside the column, and the type of head merely determines how you manage the liquid reflux coming from the top condenser.  The offset type is easier to make if you have access to standard plumbing bends etc, but they usually cost more than home-made parts which can be incorporated in the same tubing you use for the column.
                 
                Mike N
                 
              • deanthms
                Hi guys, Im new to the distilling game and although i havent distilled a drop yet I have done a lot of research and am Fascinated by the hole deal. the history
                Message 7 of 13 , Jul 3, 2004
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                  Hi guys, Im new to the distilling game and although i havent distilled
                  a drop yet I have done a lot of research and am Fascinated by the hole
                  deal.
                  the history the process the designs ETC.
                  I am in the process of designing and building my first still and have
                  come across a reflux still design at
                  http://www.thickos.co.uk/brewgod.html
                  which sounds perfect. and it sounds relatively easy to use. Basically
                  it sounds like you heat the mash and control the reflux via the flow
                  of water through tube soldered to the reflux tower.
                  I am a refrigeration mechanic and dont have a problem with the
                  construction and from what if learnt so far the design should work
                  well but some guidance would be appreciated.

                  Thanks, Dean.

                  P.S I stumbled accross Tony's site and it was the wealth of
                  information that got me started. thanks
                • linw992003
                  ... If you do some more reading I think you will conclude that the aforementioned design is far from optimum. Most good forced reflux designs only have
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jul 3, 2004
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                    > I am in the process of designing and building my first still and have
                    > come across a reflux still design at
                    > http://www.thickos.co.uk/brewgod.html
                    > which sounds perfect. and it sounds relatively easy to use. Basically
                    > it sounds like you heat the mash and control the reflux via the flow
                    > of water through tube soldered to the reflux tower.

                    If you do some more reading I think you will conclude that the
                    aforementioned design is far from optimum. Most "good" forced reflux
                    designs only have reflux cooling at the top of the column (find
                    relevant discussions by Mike Nixon and McCaw and others). Indeed, most
                    columns are insulated to keep them hot rather than force cold water
                    around them. The reason for the top to bottom cooling is to allow for
                    a high wattage heater system. Most distillers who are after high
                    purity restrict the power input to remove the need to cool the column
                    as this design does.

                    My personal advice would be to keep looking! It is difficult for
                    someone else to pick what design you should go for but you do need to
                    evaluate designs which use vapour and liquid management as well as
                    better cooling management designs. Indeed, the thread you have replied
                    to is a good start!

                    Good luck and happy distilling.
                  • Robert N
                    Hi Dean, sounds like you have been doing some reading on the subject. This along with your skills as a fridgie should see you well on the way to making a good
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jul 3, 2004
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                      Hi Dean, sounds like you have been doing some reading on the subject. This
                      along with your skills as a fridgie should see you well on the way to making
                      a good product. Until I had actually done some distilling I found it hard to
                      understand how the process worked. The guidance that others gave me a few
                      years ago was the difference between frustration and a steep learning curve.




                      A few questions if I may; what type of material do you propose to use to
                      build the still? What are you going to use as a boiler? Do you want to make
                      a clear spirit and add shop bought essences or do you wish to make grain
                      wash's and make whiskey rum etc.? Or a still that you can do both on. Is
                      this going to be a no/little cost unit or are you willing to spend some
                      money on parts. These questions will allow us to better guide you on the
                      way. Dean I would have to second "linw992003's" message and say that there
                      are better designs out there than the one you pointed to in the link.



                      These newsgroups have been going for a number of years and people have
                      developed some great designs, which produce fine results every time they use
                      their still with the minium of fuss. Look to the designs of Nixon, Stone,
                      Mc'Caw, Tony Ackland, Bokokob, and others. Look through the files and photos
                      section of the yahoo newsgroups and you will see all sorts of creations.



                      Yours in Spirit



                      Robert



                      _____

                      From: deanthms [mailto:deanlil@...]
                      Sent: Saturday, 3 July 2004 8:39 PM
                      To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [Distillers] Still design



                      Hi guys, Im new to the distilling game and although i havent distilled
                      a drop yet I have done a lot of research and am Fascinated by the hole
                      deal.
                      the history the process the designs ETC.
                      I am in the process of designing and building my first still and have
                      come across a reflux still design at
                      http://www.thickos.co.uk/brewgod.html
                      which sounds perfect. and it sounds relatively easy to use. Basically
                      it sounds like you heat the mash and control the reflux via the flow
                      of water through tube soldered to the reflux tower.
                      I am a refrigeration mechanic and dont have a problem with the
                      construction and from what if learnt so far the design should work
                      well but some guidance would be appreciated.

                      Thanks, Dean.

                      P.S I stumbled accross Tony's site and it was the wealth of
                      information that got me started. thanks






                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • DeanThomas
                      Hi Robert, at the moment ive been able to aquire the parts i need reasonably cheap much of it because of my line of work. so far i have a boiler and a lid and
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jul 4, 2004
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                        Hi Robert, at the moment ive been able to aquire the parts i need reasonably
                        cheap much of it because of my line of work. so far i have a boiler and a
                        lid and two choices of column diameters either 2 1/8inch or1 7/8 inch copper
                        pipe. So far ive only spent $11 au.
                        Im planing on useing a 50 litre keg for my boiler a stainless steel mixing
                        bowl for the lid and the rest will be copper.
                        I realise 50 litres is pretty big Ill probably only half fill it, and if a
                        smaller alternative becomes available change to that.
                        At first im planning on makin clear spirit and flavouring it. keeping things
                        simple to start with, but eventually id like to start playing around with
                        grains, ageing with Oakchips and maybe even barrels.
                        Oak barrels can be bought in Australia in sizes ranging down to 5 litres.
                        I dont want to spend to much money to start with hence the original reason
                        for making my own still. Ive already sussed out the store bought products
                        availabe and believe that i can atleast match them in qaulity ( with some
                        practice) and as my enthusiasm grows so does my desire to design (read copy)
                        and build my own contraption.

                        thanks for your input

                        Dean.
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Robert N" <dinks_c@...>
                        To: <Distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2004 2:29 PM
                        Subject: RE: [Distillers] Still design


                        > Hi Dean, sounds like you have been doing some reading on the subject. This
                        > along with your skills as a fridgie should see you well on the way to
                        making
                        > a good product. Until I had actually done some distilling I found it hard
                        to
                        > understand how the process worked. The guidance that others gave me a few
                        > years ago was the difference between frustration and a steep learning
                        curve.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > A few questions if I may; what type of material do you propose to use to
                        > build the still? What are you going to use as a boiler? Do you want to
                        make
                        > a clear spirit and add shop bought essences or do you wish to make grain
                        > wash's and make whiskey rum etc.? Or a still that you can do both on. Is
                        > this going to be a no/little cost unit or are you willing to spend some
                        > money on parts. These questions will allow us to better guide you on the
                        > way. Dean I would have to second "linw992003's" message and say that there
                        > are better designs out there than the one you pointed to in the link.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > These newsgroups have been going for a number of years and people have
                        > developed some great designs, which produce fine results every time they
                        use
                        > their still with the minium of fuss. Look to the designs of Nixon, Stone,
                        > Mc'Caw, Tony Ackland, Bokokob, and others. Look through the files and
                        photos
                        > section of the yahoo newsgroups and you will see all sorts of creations.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Yours in Spirit
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Robert
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > _____
                        >
                        > From: deanthms [mailto:deanlil@...]
                        > Sent: Saturday, 3 July 2004 8:39 PM
                        > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                        > Subject: [Distillers] Still design
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Hi guys, Im new to the distilling game and although i havent distilled
                        > a drop yet I have done a lot of research and am Fascinated by the hole
                        > deal.
                        > the history the process the designs ETC.
                        > I am in the process of designing and building my first still and have
                        > come across a reflux still design at
                        > http://www.thickos.co.uk/brewgod.html
                        > which sounds perfect. and it sounds relatively easy to use. Basically
                        > it sounds like you heat the mash and control the reflux via the flow
                        > of water through tube soldered to the reflux tower.
                        > I am a refrigeration mechanic and dont have a problem with the
                        > construction and from what if learnt so far the design should work
                        > well but some guidance would be appreciated.
                        >
                        > Thanks, Dean.
                        >
                        > P.S I stumbled accross Tony's site and it was the wealth of
                        > information that got me started. thanks
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Distillers list archives : http://archive.nnytech.net/
                        > FAQ and other information at http://homedistiller.org
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • rodmacd2000
                        I agree 100% with linw992003. Any still design with so-called reflux cooling tubes running through the bottom or middle of the column is a bad one done by
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jul 4, 2004
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                          I agree 100% with linw992003. Any still design with so-called reflux
                          cooling tubes running through the bottom or middle of the column is a
                          bad one done by someone who doesn't understand the principles of a
                          fractional distillation tower.

                          I urge you to carefully read any or all of the following books all
                          available online in pdf form for about US $10.

                          "The Carriage Still" by John Stone at www.gin-vodka.com

                          "Making Pure Corn Whiskey" by Ian Smiley at www.home-distilling.com

                          "The Compleat Distiller" by Nixon & McCaw at www.amphora-society.com

                          If you don't want to even spend $10 then read through Tony Ackland's
                          terrific WEB site at homedistiller.org paying particular attention to
                          Tony's personal experience and recommendations.

                          A little time and very little money invested now before you begin
                          construction will save you a lot of grief later IMHO.

                          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "linw992003" <linw@x> wrote:
                          >
                          > > I am in the process of designing and building my first still and
                          have
                          > > come across a reflux still design at
                          > > http://www.thickos.co.uk/brewgod.html
                          > > which sounds perfect. and it sounds relatively easy to use.
                          Basically
                          > > it sounds like you heat the mash and control the reflux via the
                          flow
                          > > of water through tube soldered to the reflux tower.
                          >
                          > If you do some more reading I think you will conclude that the
                          > aforementioned design is far from optimum. Most "good" forced reflux
                          > designs only have reflux cooling at the top of the column (find
                          > relevant discussions by Mike Nixon and McCaw and others). Indeed,
                          most
                          > columns are insulated to keep them hot rather than force cold water
                          > around them. The reason for the top to bottom cooling is to allow
                          for
                          > a high wattage heater system. Most distillers who are after high
                          > purity restrict the power input to remove the need to cool the
                          column
                          > as this design does.
                          >
                          > My personal advice would be to keep looking! It is difficult for
                          > someone else to pick what design you should go for but you do need
                          to
                          > evaluate designs which use vapour and liquid management as well as
                          > better cooling management designs. Indeed, the thread you have
                          replied
                          > to is a good start!
                          >
                          > Good luck and happy distilling.
                        • Robert N
                          Hi Dean, stick with the 2 1/8 pipe and the 50 litre keg. Never hurts to have too much head room in the boiler. Something to consider when building the still
                          Message 12 of 13 , Jul 5, 2004
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                            Hi Dean, stick with the 2 1/8" pipe and the 50 litre keg. Never hurts to
                            have too much head room in the boiler. Something to consider when building
                            the still is how you plan to heat it. If electricity then try Lawrence and
                            Hansen etc for a hot water heater replacement element. Fit castor wheels to
                            the bottom of the keg, your back will thank you. You should build in a
                            failsafe device in case of pressure build up. Never design the still with
                            cooling tubes running through the tower, they are there for operators that
                            use way too much heat. A design with the condenser above the collection
                            point is best. This way you have direct control over the amount of reflux
                            that is happening.

                            The more heat you put into the boiler the greater the vapour velocity up the
                            tower and the greater the condenser has to work. For a 2" tower you can get
                            away with 2400 watts of energy, the downside is the amount of water it takes
                            to cool the vapour at the top of the tower. I run 1800 watts and find this
                            gives me better purity but the trade off is longer heating and running time.
                            Some use a big element and use a triac or similar to reduce the wattage once
                            the wash is boiling. One thing you are realising by now is that there is a
                            lot of science that goes into designing a good still.

                            Yours in spirit

                            Robert


                            _____

                            From: DeanThomas [mailto:deanlil@...]
                            Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2004 6:34 PM
                            To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [Distillers] Still design

                            Hi Robert, at the moment ive been able to aquire the parts i need reasonably
                            cheap much of it because of my line of work. so far i have a boiler and a
                            lid and two choices of column diameters either 2 1/8inch or1 7/8 inch copper
                            pipe. So far ive only spent $11 au.
                            Im planing on useing a 50 litre keg for my boiler a stainless steel mixing
                            bowl for the lid and the rest will be copper.
                            I realise 50 litres is pretty big Ill probably only half fill it, and if a
                            smaller alternative becomes available change to that.
                            At first im planning on makin clear spirit and flavouring it. keeping things
                            simple to start with, but eventually id like to start playing around with
                            grains, ageing with Oakchips and maybe even barrels.
                            Oak barrels can be bought in Australia in sizes ranging down to 5 litres.
                            I dont want to spend to much money to start with hence the original reason
                            for making my own still. Ive already sussed out the store bought products
                            availabe and believe that i can atleast match them in qaulity ( with some
                            practice) and as my enthusiasm grows so does my desire to design (read copy)
                            and build my own contraption.

                            thanks for your input

                            Dean.




                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • shinershane
                            This answers a lot of my questions :-] SS ... hurts to ... building ... Lawrence and ... wheels to ... in a ... still with ... operators that ... collection
                            Message 13 of 13 , Jul 5, 2004
                            • 0 Attachment
                              This answers a lot of my questions :-]

                              SS

                              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Robert N" <dinks_c@y...> wrote:
                              > Hi Dean, stick with the 2 1/8" pipe and the 50 litre keg. Never
                              hurts to
                              > have too much head room in the boiler. Something to consider when
                              building
                              > the still is how you plan to heat it. If electricity then try
                              Lawrence and
                              > Hansen etc for a hot water heater replacement element. Fit castor
                              wheels to
                              > the bottom of the keg, your back will thank you. You should build
                              in a
                              > failsafe device in case of pressure build up. Never design the
                              still with
                              > cooling tubes running through the tower, they are there for
                              operators that
                              > use way too much heat. A design with the condenser above the
                              collection
                              > point is best. This way you have direct control over the amount of
                              reflux
                              > that is happening.
                              >
                              > The more heat you put into the boiler the greater the vapour
                              velocity up the
                              > tower and the greater the condenser has to work. For a 2" tower you
                              can get
                              > away with 2400 watts of energy, the downside is the amount of water
                              it takes
                              > to cool the vapour at the top of the tower. I run 1800 watts and
                              find this
                              > gives me better purity but the trade off is longer heating and
                              running time.
                              > Some use a big element and use a triac or similar to reduce the
                              wattage once
                              > the wash is boiling. One thing you are realising by now is that
                              there is a
                              > lot of science that goes into designing a good still.
                              >
                              > Yours in spirit
                              >
                              > Robert
                              >
                              >
                              > _____
                              >
                              > From: DeanThomas [mailto:deanlil@p...]
                              > Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2004 6:34 PM
                              > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                              > Subject: Re: [Distillers] Still design
                              >
                              > Hi Robert, at the moment ive been able to aquire the parts i need
                              reasonably
                              > cheap much of it because of my line of work. so far i have a boiler
                              and a
                              > lid and two choices of column diameters either 2 1/8inch or1 7/8
                              inch copper
                              > pipe. So far ive only spent $11 au.
                              > Im planing on useing a 50 litre keg for my boiler a stainless steel
                              mixing
                              > bowl for the lid and the rest will be copper.
                              > I realise 50 litres is pretty big Ill probably only half fill it,
                              and if a
                              > smaller alternative becomes available change to that.
                              > At first im planning on makin clear spirit and flavouring it.
                              keeping things
                              > simple to start with, but eventually id like to start playing
                              around with
                              > grains, ageing with Oakchips and maybe even barrels.
                              > Oak barrels can be bought in Australia in sizes ranging down to 5
                              litres.
                              > I dont want to spend to much money to start with hence the original
                              reason
                              > for making my own still. Ive already sussed out the store bought
                              products
                              > availabe and believe that i can atleast match them in qaulity (
                              with some
                              > practice) and as my enthusiasm grows so does my desire to design
                              (read copy)
                              > and build my own contraption.
                              >
                              > thanks for your input
                              >
                              > Dean.
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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