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The Red Door Distillery and the tale of the 8" Crystal Dragon.....

Well after working with Lloyd over the last few months to develop all the various parts for the 8" Crystal Dragon, everything is packed and ready to ship. Lloyd is waiting for EMS to show up today to pick everything up so it can start it's journey of being drop kicked across the Pacific Ocean by EMS to me here in Everett Washington USA.

13 Packages and 91kg (200lbs). But I have ordered a lot of spare parts, really enough to build 2 columns of 10 plates each but I would need different rods.

I plan to use this thread to log everything about the 8" Crystal Dragon as I unpack it, set it up, and test the hell out of it. I will log power use and output in a few different configurations so if you want to follow along here is the thread to watch.

Now just to sit and wait in anticipation of its arrival. "Is it here yet?" 8-} "How about now???" :(( LOL..... =))

Thanks to Lloyd and LOo for all your hard work and putting up with me as we worked thru all the design and engineering issues.


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  • Looking forward to the evolution of this thread very much. The new glass columns are going to turn it all on it's ear again, just like when we released the Dash.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • @RedDoorDistillery pushed me along to get this accomplished and that was a good thing as I get easily distracted with other projects. The upside of this is the 4" Crystal Dragon was developed alongside the 8" so that will also be ready soon.
    I ran the 4" version last night and was pulling 95+% with 6 plates easily.

    It will surely be great to get hard data from RedDoor on the 8" Crystal Dragon.

  • Can't wait to see the Crystal Dragon up and running. Something to aspire to.

  • Well it is official. The shipping company picked everything up yesterday from Lloyd and it is on it way.... :-)

  • Everett. That is not so far away from me (Vancouver, the Canadian one). I may drop by for a tour once you get set up!

  • @chill said: Everett. That is not so far away from me (Vancouver, the Canadian one). I may drop by for a tour once you get set up!

    Hey Chill. No Problem. Typically we are only there on the weekends. But once we get everything setup you are welcome to come down and visit.

  • Can't wait to see how this evolves. The amount of development over the last year has been outstanding.

  • I reckon you'd be like a kid waiting for christmas, Red door. Only 5(?) sleeps to go...

  • LOL yeah something like that.... I was just saying to Lloyd it was gonna be like Christmas opening up all these packages.

  • Old, fat, creapy, yep Lloyd would make a good santa...

  • @Law_Of_Ohms said: Old, fat, creapy, yep Lloyd would make a good santa...

    ...and have you been a good little boy this year? =))

  • Well the shipment cleared Customs today. Set for delivery on Wed next week. Cant come fast enough. I am drooling.....

  • 12 of of the 13 packages arrived today... The support rods got separated in transit and are supposed to show up Sat or on Monday. I was not there to inspect them when they arrived so I will be working unpacking them and inspecting everything tonight and tomorrow. More pictures to come. :-)


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  • Yippeeee

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • RedDoor,

    I'm quite bit closer than Chill, and I'd love to visit some weekend when I wouldn't be in the way. I'd sure like to see that rig, although I'm reminded of what an old friend said when his son in Italy sent him a hugely expensive pigeon-grade Perazzi shotgun. "Now what's an old ground-sluicing sonafabitch like me gonna do with something like that?"

    Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

    my book, Making Fine Spirits

  • The boxes look good. They didn't arrive as a cardboard ball.

  • Not heavy enough for them to run over i guess :ar!

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • edited July 2013

    @Lloyd said: The boxes look good. They didn't arrive as a cardboard ball.

    Was thinking the same thing Lloyd. You done good RDD, most of mine look like card board bags when they arrive more often than not.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • So we unpacked and checked everything tonight. All 20 of the glass survived. 0% breakage. Everything looks intact and looks awesome. Now I need to drill and tig weld in the thermowell port on the top flange and then tack weld the 2 cups to the pipes for the floating Downcomers. I will try to do that on Sunday as Saturday I have to do another 260gallon mash.

    Lloyd's packaging is impressive. The glass is very well protected from the drop kicking it gets in transport. Fedex says the last package with the custom rods will arrive on Monday.

    @zymurgybob No problem give me a few weeks to get it all setup and running then you are welcome to swing by on a Saturday to see it in action.


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  • This is VERY exciting, can't wait to see more!

    Your Place to be >>> <<< Home of the StillDragon® Community Forum

  • RDD the thermowells might could be just press fitted into the flanges no welding required... just a thought...

  • All that needs is a fat roast turkey on top and it really is christmas in July.

  • So I loaded up all the Stainless Parts and spares in the dishwasher and gave them a good high temp cleaning to remove any remaining residues from machining. Will do the same with all the glass before I put it all together. Tomorrow I will be working on the welding in the Thermowell and attaching the cups to the 2 DC tubes where they will not have a plates to sit on. Progress Progress....

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  • So today I added the thermowell the the top flange and also added a new thermowell to the top of the column elbow. Then welded 2 of the cups to the downcommers. My welds don't always look the prettiest but they are very functional. ;)

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  • Well the 13th package arrived today. We were right customs wanted to extra inspect it cause it looked like a very heavy pipe bomb being sent from china.... lol.

  • Keep the pictures coming I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to see it all together. :D/

  • Ok here we go. I put it all together tonight. I will break this up into several posts with pictures and instructions for each step of the assembly. I already assembled the 1st column section so that I knew what I was doing as I assembled the 2nd section and took pictures along the way.

    Here is all the parts laid out for the 2nd column section. I will be using 5 glass sections and 6 plates. You can see the 1st section assembled in the background. The 1st section also has 5 sections of glass and only 5 plates.


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  • Here you see the bottom flange. Any place you are putting a plate right at a flange you need to cut the gasket down so it will sit in the flange recess. You cut the entire outer ring of the gasket off and inner leg of 1 side of the gasket. This way the plate is still held in the gasket but it will fit in the recess of the flange and then connect to only 1 piece of glass.

    Because this bottom plate will not be close enough to the top of the bottom column section you I had to tack weld the cup to the downcommer pipe so it would free float.

    On top of the 1st plate you attach the cup with the provided Allen head bolt.

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  • These downcommers are adjustable from 1/4" to 3/4" (6mm-20mm). I have chosen to set each one right in the middle of the range so I have measured each downcommer and set the 2 lock nuts to give me .5" (13mm). Lock them in place by tightening both the upper and lower lock nuts.

    Each gasket is slotted inside to capture the plate. I am using one of the cut down gaskets here as it is the 1st plate that will sit under the 1st Glass. Stretch the gasket around the plate and then place it in the recess of the bottom flange.

    Then place the 1st glass section on top of the 1st plate and gasket. It takes a little bit of massaging to get the gasket to fit inside the glass all the way around. You MUST make sure the glass is seated all the way around.

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  • Now repeat the process for each plate and glass. Attach the Cup and set the height of the downcommer. Attach the gasket to the plate and then place the plate and gasket on top of the glass. Again make sure you get the lower glass seated fully in the gasket groove. It does take a little work to massage the glass into the gasket. Try rotating the glass if you are really having issued getting the glass to seat in the gasket.

    Also make sure you get the downcommer pipe into the cup as you set each plate.

    Repeat until you get the last glass put on the tower.

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