Re: [new_distillers] Re: Quick test update.
- In message <9odqc9+qesf@...>, slacker75@... writes
> Dick,Hi Tone,
> Your still is looks fantastic. The wooden slats really make it
> look good. You say they are curved? Where did you get them? I was
> wondering what to use for insulating the pot on my still, I think
> I've just found the answer!
Thanks for the compliment, I think it looks quite neat as well. Just
'cos something is hand made there is no need to not finish the job properly
as my old metalwork master used to tell me.
The wooden slats are curved and you use the urn to do it. I started
of with a pack of thin softwood tongue & grooved planks from the local DIY
store. The planks/slats I used are about 7mm thick, 92mm wide, 1m long
and come in packs of 6 - I don't where you are located but if you can get
something about that size it'll do. Measure the depth of urn to see how long
each slat has to be (mine were about 410mm/16" long) and its
circumference to see how many you'll need (I used 12), add 2 or 3 to the
number you first arrived at 'cos a few spares come in handy.
If you're going to used brass/metal bands to hold the slats in place
then a shallow groove to hold the band in place is a nice, secure, finish. This
I did by assembling the slats on a flat surface, clamping them all in place &
routing a shallow slot across the top and bottom about 3" in (remember to
check where the tap comes out of the urn - and avoid putting the strap
through the middle of it !!). The brass straps used were made out of ½" x
1/16" brass strip. Cutting the slot while the slats are still flat is a much easier
option than waiting until they're curved believe me, and doing the whole lot
at one pass of the router makes sure everything lines up when you assemble
Put 2 or 3" of water in the urn & heat up to a steady boil. Suspend
the slats (2 or 3 at a time) in the steam but above the water. Using bits of
straightened out wire coat hanger to hold the bottom end you should just be
able to fit the slats diagonally in the urn. Put the urn lid back on & leave to
cook for 15 - 20 minutes. When this is finished, take them out and clamp
them in position round the outside of the urn. I did this using a couple of 2"
wide luggage straps that had a ratchet arrangement for tensioning, start off
with the straps just loose enough to be able to slip the slats under while un-
curved, get everything in position (you can even start pushing the tongue &
groove together at this point) then start tightening up on the strap. The slats
will start curving round the urn without splitting - just apply enough tension to
give a nice snug fit, you don't need anymore than that. Leave for about an
hour to dry out on the nice hot outside of the urn, take the straps off &
remove your now nicely curved pieces of slat to cool. Repeat for the rest of
the slats. The last slat to fit will probably not be full width so just take a full
width one curved one and adjust to size by cutting a section out of the
middle. You'll now have two pieces, one with a tongue on one side & the
other with a groove that, together, will fit in the last slot hole. Work out where
the tap comes out of the urn, cut 2 semicircular holes in these slats at this
height & you've now got a split slat that'll fit round the tap. When everything
was dry I just painted with a couple of coats of yacht varnish & that was it.
I made the bands by getting a short length (2-3") of 7mm brass rod
and cutting a shallow saw slot down the length of it. Next I bent a shallow
90° flange across the end of the strap, fitted this flange into the slot in the
brass rod and used it to hold the end of the strap while I bent the rest of it
180° round the rod. Cut the rod into 4 x ½" lengths, drill holes through the
middle of each length, at right angles to the slot. Slip each little piece of rod
back onto it's end of the strap, mark the hole position on the strap, drill a
clearance hole in this position on the strap and there you have it, a strap
tensioning device ! Put a long bolt through from one side, a nut on the other
end & just start tightening up. The nut/bolt will pull the pieces of rod together
and, because you've got the straps fitted into those slots on the rod, the
straps will tighten up at the same time. If you tap a hole through two of the
short lengths of rod you don't even need a nut to tighten up.
That's it, bit of a long winded description but I hope you get the
idea. None of the dimensions are critical, if you have to use thicker slats pre-
soaking in water and/or a longer cooking will probably solve any problems.
Get back to me if you need anymore info & sorry about the mixed
metric/imperial measurements - I tend to use whichever is handiest!!
Fra' Auld Reekie