Weldless Triclover Element?

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Bobby_M

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There's been some interest and I'm a sucker for something new to draw in CAD. We messed around with bolt on versions but scrapped the idea for a few different reasons. Right now we're focused on solder-on flanges like below:


IMG_6371.jpg
 
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BadNewsBrewery

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Do you have a close up photo of the inside whith just the triclover installed, no element? I'm curious what the screws/bolts/studs/whatever you use to hold the fitting in looks like. Basically the 2nd photo, but with the triclover installed.
 

OMJ

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Looks awesome bobby. I will definitely be ordering the solder version when you put it up for sale.
 

srice

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Looks great - I'm definitely interested in the solder version.
 

rollinred

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Bobby,

I just placed an order with you but now wish I would have waited for a bit for you to release this thing. Exactly what I have been looking for. Might try the silver soldered one on my Blichmann if you do release it. Not so sure I want to drill that many holes. The contoured solder one would be real darn nice!
 
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Bobby_M

Bobby_M

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Do you have a close up photo of the inside whith just the triclover installed, no element? I'm curious what the screws/bolts/studs/whatever you use to hold the fitting in looks like. Basically the 2nd photo, but with the triclover installed.
I can take that closeup pic, but right now I have the screws shimmed out with various washers and nuts because the 4mm screws I have are too long.

If the screw-on flange does ever work out, the best way to convey the hole placement is with a paper template that you'd apply AFTER you have your 1.5" hole drilled or punched. That way the screw holes are relative to the actual center you end up with.

What I need to figure out is if four screw holes are enough for even gasket pressure. It should be because this install example is on the Bayou pots and they are about the thinnest wall you'd use. A keg would definitely work.

I also need to see if the radius on the face can adapt +/- for different pot diameters.


Hang in there on the solder units. I have two prototypes on hand and I'm fixinta try one today.
 

Brew52

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Thanks Bobby. I would be very interested in the option to purchase a 2" Weldless Tri-Clamp Ferule for my setup as well. Nice work. Thanks
 
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Bobby_M

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I took some time today to try one of the solder-on ferrules. One mistake I made was using too much solder and for that reason, it's not photo worthy. Of course, the most important thing is that it's strong and liquid tight.

I only have the 1/8" diameter stay-brite #8 solder and I tried using a ring of it similar to how I like to attach the weld-spuds. However, since the tolerance is so tight with the radiused surface, it was way too much and it globbed all over the damned pot when the weight of the ferrule dropped into the molten solder.

The way it should work:
Drill or punch pot to 1.5". The Greenlee 1" conduit punch and die is awesome for this.
Sand solder surfaces, flange, etc..
Apply Harris Stay Clean liquid flux to both surfaces.
Line it up in place, centered over the hole.
Clamp in place with a pair of small C-clamps or you can also use a long bolt, nut, and a pair of fender washers.
Heat the ferrule directly, moving around the circumference. When the flux starts boiling, start testing if the solder starts melting at the pot/ferrule joint.
Once it flows, remove the heat and just work the solder around the joint and let it wick in. It won't take much solder given the small gap. If it starts dripping out of the sides or into the pot, you're done. Let it cool, clean the flux off with some spirits on a rag, and polish it up with some barkeeper's friend or other SS polish.
 

Weezy

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Drill or punch pot to 1.5". The Greenlee 1" conduit punch and die is awesome for this.
Did you say this part right? 1.5" & 1"?

Is there any concern for the strength of the soldered connection? The hardware we might hang off a ferrule, especially, adds up in weight.
 

srice

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Did you say this part right? 1.5" & 1"?

Is there any concern for the strength of the soldered connection? The hardware we might hang off a ferrule, especially, adds up in weight.
Yes - a 1" conduit punch doesn't make a 1" hole. The actual hole is around 1.4".
 

kzimmer0817

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What I need to figure out is if four screw holes are enough for even gasket pressure. It should be because this install example is on the Bayou pots and they are about the thinnest wall you'd use. A keg would definitely work.
Bobby,

I'm very interested in one of these. The typical weldless device involves only a gasket and screw-on nut that you tighten down to effect a water-tight seal. Is it due to the diameter of these that this cannot apply here and you have to employ mounting screws?

OTOH, once you've determined how many screws this design will require, it will still be easier for those of us who possess no welding skills.

Please keep us posted,
Keith
 
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Bobby_M

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Did you say this part right? 1.5" & 1"?

Is there any concern for the strength of the soldered connection? The hardware we might hang off a ferrule, especially, adds up in weight.
Yup, sorry. Actual hole size is around 1.5" literal. The 1" conduit punch is very close because 1" pipe has an OD around 1-3/8". I know it's confusing. You either need a 1.5" radio punch or a 1" conduit punch, both having an actual hole size of 1.5" Measure twice, punch once.


Silver solder strength? I believe you'd rip a tear in the side of a pot before the solder would let go.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqDdkzVDvRY


If you're extra concerned, you could drill a series of 1/16" holes in the pot within the footprint of the flange to have the solder grab onto. The same can be done on the flange for even more surface area. In both cases I think it's overkill.
 

kopper

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Bobby,

I'm very interested in one of these. The typical weldless device involves only a gasket and screw-on nut that you tighten down to effect a water-tight seal. Is it due to the diameter of these that this cannot apply here and you have to employ mounting screws?

OTOH, once you've determined how many screws this design will require, it will still be easier for those of us who possess no welding skills.

Please keep us posted,
Keith
Curious about the same things myself.
 

emjay

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Would definitely be an automatic customer for this.
 
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Bobby_M

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The solder-on version is in production right now, due in stock by the end of September. I didn't pull the trigger on the bolt on just yet. I need to prove to myself that the first install wasn't beginner's luck. It held water tight just fine even after a lot of deliberate hosteling of the element enclosure, etc. To be honest, the solder process is easier and way more forgiving. Do it poorly the first time and you can start over without ruining the kettle.
 
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Bobby_M

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I'm not 100% sure yet, but I'll speculate. The first plan is to package it with my element enclosure kit at a discount but I'll definitely have enough to sell them separately. Just the raw double flange fitting will be somewhere in the $19-20 area. The kit with the enclosure, gasket, and clamp is probably going to be around $59. I'm also planning on offering it with a larger cord grip and electrical terminals for the big 10 gauge cables.
 

dkmag

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Great. Looking forward to picking up a couple of the solder-on version kits. How about a solder-on TC bottom drain kit as well? Seems like a perfect solution for flat bottom kettles.
 

emjay

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What exactly differentiates the solder-on version from a typical weld-on ferrule?
 

OMJ

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What exactly differentiates the solder-on version from a typical weld-on ferrule?
It has the surface area to solder it. A normal ferrule you would have to dimple the pot to solder it on.
 

kzimmer0817

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It has the surface area to solder it. A normal ferrule you would have to dimple the pot to solder it on.
Great. So I could probably learn to solder this without much experience? Bobby, is it about as easy to solder as your spuds appear to be?
 

emjay

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So, just to make sure I understand how this works...

The TC enclosure along with the element will be just as easily removable as any other TC fitting, correct? Because the main reason I intend to go with these is that I want to be able to swap the elements+enclosures out for simple TC end caps, so that I can still use my "electric" Boilermakers on gas burners if I have to (eg a homebrew club event).

In other words, being able to go electric without having to entirely commit to it.
 

Carlscan26

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emjay said:
So, just to make sure I understand how this works...

The TC enclosure along with the element will be just as easily removable as any other TC fitting, correct? Because the main reason I intend to go with these is that I want to be able to swap the elements+enclosures out for simple TC end caps, so that I can still use my "electric" Boilermakers on gas burners if I have to (eg a homebrew club event).

In other words, being able to go electric without having to entirely commit to it.
I was wondering the same thing. Would the heat from a burner be too much for the gasket?

Also second the question about the weldless version and why screws vs. a threaded solution? I'm guessing its because of the diameter of the hole?
 

tjash

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Should be okay as long as you have a flame shield to block direct flame on the fitting. I use a welded on ferrule and have gas fired it once or twice with a blank tc flange in place with no damage to the gasket.
 
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Bobby_M

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Sorry I haven't kept up but I'll answer all the questions in one post here..

What exactly differentiates the solder-on version from a typical weld-on ferrule?
A regular ferrule either needs to be TIG welded on or you CAN use silver solder if you pull a flare or "dimple" the hole so that you have increase surface area for the solder contact. This solder-flange version provides even more surface area for solder than the flare/dimple technique and you don't need to source parts for the dimpling tool so it's BETTER(tm) :D

Great. So I could probably learn to solder this without much experience? Bobby, is it about as easy to solder as your spuds appear to be?
I think just about anyone can do it. The biggest challenge is finding a cheap enough 1" conduit punch for the hole itself. I happened to have scored a nice Greenlee 4-size set on Ebay for $65, but I think they retail for over $100. The process for soldering the TC flange will very similar to the spuds, but use less solder due to the close contact between the pot and curved flange.

The TC enclosure along with the element will be just as easily removable as any other TC fitting, correct? Because the main reason I intend to go with these is that I want to be able to swap the elements+enclosures out for simple TC end caps, so that I can still use my "electric" Boilermakers on gas burners if I have to (eg a homebrew club event). In other words, being able to go electric without having to entirely commit to it.
Correct. You'll solder the TC flange to the kettle first. Now, you can use the TC clamp and gasket to attach the element adapter (with element installed into it) to install the assembly into the TC flange. It's now an electric kettle. If you don't want to use the element for one brew, you remove the assembly and clamp a blank 1.5" TC cover on to seal the hole. The ONLY thing you need to be concerned with is dry firing. Once you have liquid in the pot, at least covering the TC flange area, there's no way it's going to heat over the silicone gasket's tolerance. They're good for 500F.

Also second the question about the weldless version and why screws vs. a threaded solution? I'm guessing its because of the diameter of the hole?
I think an OD threaded solution could work. I just haven't gotten there yet. I'm trying not to overload my manufacturer with prototype requests because I know it disrupts production runs on other parts (that I really can't wait for).
 

huntb

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I think an OD threaded solution could work. I just haven't gotten there yet. I'm trying not to overload my manufacturer with prototype requests because I know it disrupts production runs on other parts (that I really can't wait for).
If/when an OD threaded one goes into production I can guarantee you one customer good for buying a few of them! Keep up the good work man
 

emjay

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Sorry I haven't kept up but I'll answer all the questions in one post here..

A regular ferrule either needs to be TIG welded on or you CAN use silver solder if you pull a flare or "dimple" the hole so that you have increase surface area for the solder contact. This solder-flange version provides even more surface area for solder than the flare/dimple technique and you don't need to source parts for the dimpling tool so it's BETTER(tm) :D

I think just about anyone can do it. The biggest challenge is finding a cheap enough 1" conduit punch for the hole itself. I happened to have scored a nice Greenlee 4-size set on Ebay for $65, but I think they retail for over $100. The process for soldering the TC flange will very similar to the spuds, but use less solder due to the close contact between the pot and curved flange.

Correct. You'll solder the TC flange to the kettle first. Now, you can use the TC clamp and gasket to attach the element adapter (with element installed into it) to install the assembly into the TC flange. It's now an electric kettle. If you don't want to use the element for one brew, you remove the assembly and clamp a blank 1.5" TC cover on to seal the hole. The ONLY thing you need to be concerned with is dry firing. Once you have liquid in the pot, at least covering the TC flange area, there's no way it's going to heat over the silicone gasket's tolerance. They're good for 500F.

I think an OD threaded solution could work. I just haven't gotten there yet. I'm trying not to overload my manufacturer with prototype requests because I know it disrupts production runs on other parts (that I really can't wait for).
Alrighty then. Since it'll allow me to use a gas burner as well, I'm 100% certain I'll be buying this (based on your price estimates, of course).

Would strongly prefer an OD threaded version, but I guess the solder-on version will have to do. I'm assuming it's the same type of solder and torch used for soldering copper plumbing? In any case, would it be possible to put up a video of yourself demonstrating good technique, by the time you've got them in stock?
 

biertourist

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Bobby,

The world of electric brewing needs this! HUGE unfulfilled need here.
I wish this thing existed a year ago.

I'm with you and slightly nervous about the weld/solder-free version with the 4 surrounding holes version. I'm also with Emjay that I'd prefer an OD threaded weldless version. You could provide a paper template to put over the 1.4" hole to ensure that the other 4 holes are perfectly aligned...

I might honestly sell my current HLT and build a new identical one with one of these solder-in one. After hiring a stainless welder mine looks terrible (warped from too much heat).

I've also got a great alternative to C-clamps while installing the soldered version.
We used these while welding my HLT and Boil kettle; they're called "Colecos" and they're great for this kind of job:



Adam
 

emjay

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Bobby, do you think you could offer an all-inclusive kit with a Camco 4500W and/or 5500W ULWD (by far the most popular elements) pre-installed so that thw buyer only has to make a hole, solder the ferrule in, and then clamp the TC closed for a sealed fit? I would definitely pay extra not to have to mess around with anything else.
 
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Bobby_M

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I've looked for wholesale sources on elements and have come up empty. In many cases, my price would be the same or even a dollar more than Amazon. I'll keep looking.
 
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