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4" Crystal Dragon

edited September 2013 in Configuration


Finally got the new 4" flanges for the 4" Crystal Dragon glass column with the 6 holes instead of 4 rod holes yesterday (BIG THANKS TO @Law_Of_Ohms!!) and today went and got the allthread connecting rods. They are sold locally in one meter lengths.
The two extra rods should add a great amount of stability and I also "double nutted" but doubt that detail shows well in the picture above. Maybe this?...


OK, maybe not entirely scientific for plate count but the one meter lengths allowed for 9 glass sections and 9 bubble plates so I went with it. No sawing off of the 1 meter long rods were necessary with 9 glass sections.

Eager to put this into action to test out a few new bits! If it is not raining tomorrow (big if because a super typhoon is heading my way soon) I'll see what this puppy can do. And see if it feels solid with the heavy condensers hanging off it.
The 4 rods with 6 plates felt a bit wobbly and hoping the 6 rods with double nuts and 9 plates will feel more firm.

600 x 800 - 92K
800 x 600 - 50K


  • edited September 2013

    It looks good, but a little weak in only 4" ( in my yeas) to hang produktcooler in, I think! so personally I would have chosen to insert 2pc rings in stainless steel with the same hole pattern as both ends and shared this long distance in 3pc and put these stainless stability rings just at / above silicon gaskets and a nut on bottomside ore mayde each side to keep them/stabilisator steel plate in position . this addition would stabilize up those long threaded rods with several 100%.

    Only a tips of that a was thinking when a se this foto.


  • if you wanted to support the center of the rods you could just make a support plate/ring/flange 1mm thick with a bore larger than the gaskets and glass sections and with the same bolt pattern. Call this thing what you want ... a support plate/ring/flange its just a center support for the all thread rod.

    then glass sections could be added or removed at will with interference with the support ring/plate...

    This would add stability...

  • Just in time for Christmas! I have a feeling these are going to be popular. Any idea on pricing?

  • Well I have to try this out first before deciding to modifying it. So far it feels solid but it is not attached to the boiler yet. If not stable past 6 plates then more flanges at the midpoint like @RedDoorDistillery did, yes?

  • Breaking the column into 2 sections would make it more stable. But I also have 8 rods. Looks nice without a middle connections though. with 8 rods I am pretty sure I can put all 11 glass between just 1 flange set and it would be fine. But in 8" it weighs to much to handle safely.

    I am sure that 9 glass with 6 rods should be just fine for the 4".

  • Is it too early to mail a letter to Santa?

  • @Law_Of_Ohms said: can you add a 10th plate at the top?

    Yes but I could not see it bubbling and it would be very, very close to the dephlegmator without adding a small section of 4" pipe.

    However!, adding a 4x3 reducer (better yet, a 4x3 torpedo reducer) and 3" super dephlegmator might be a good thing.

    A wash run through 9 or 10 plates and the hearts run through again should produce a very, very clean neutral - hopefully. I need a neutral as clean as I can get for the gin basket experiments.

  • or just redistill your barrel of Grain Neutral Spirits...

  • When assembling the Crystal Dragon I put 2 nuts on each rod about an inch from the end of the rod and then used 2 more nuts under the flange. I tightened the bottom nuts to lock them together and then tighten the top nuts and locked them together too.
    After adding all the glass and plates I ran down 2 more nuts on each rod about an inch or inch and a half and positioned the top flange. I then put about 8Kg of weight on top of the top flange and hand tightened the nuts to the bottom of that flange before locking them together. Then I was able to remove the weight and add the rest of the nuts and tighten them. A bonus is now I can remove the top nuts to modify the plates If I want and can reassemble without needing to add the weight because the nuts under the flange are still locked together.

  • image

    Strong enough for me but there is still some flex because the span is so long.
    6 plates would probably be the maximum height needed (I just wanted to use the meter long rods without cutting them).
    Punkin may be on the right track with putting pipe over the allthread and tightening against that. I could have tightened the nuts down more but that is not good for the glass or seals and I'm sure that will be a common mistake.

    Standing proud even with the condensers full of water.

    4in CD 9 plates.JPG
    600 x 800 - 116K
  • Hi gixxerpilot750,

    We do have all parts in stock here in the US except for the (truss) rods. We have no way of knowing what length to stock as every customer may have a different opinion on how many plates to use.

    But having said that, you can expect a 4 plated/4" Crystal Dragon to be about $350.00- $375.00 less expensive than a comparable Dash system. And you can drive costs down by about $150-$160 more if you choose perf plates over the Bubble cap solution......not including the truss rods. These are US estimates however. Punkin has a different set of circumstances and can not really match these numbers in the same way as he has more import expenses than we do here in the US.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • Yep, haven't been able to work out costs until i see the duties and costs from this latest shipment. Another 5 cubic meters of parts. Aiming to try and keeep the CD's under the Dash price, they will be offered standard in Aus with the stainless allthread, nuts and anodised tube covers. I'm thinking the best way is to allow the customer to cut and fit there own rods and tubes.

    Just a matter of a hacksaw and threading a nut on before carefully measuring twice and cutting once, then unscrewing the nut back off to make sure the thread is ok.

    I intended the covering tube to fit loosely on the rods rather than take any structural weight. Not that it won't take the weight, it will, but that it would be pretty difficult to cut to that level of precision. At least for a numbnuts like me it would anyway.

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

  • edited September 2013

    StillDragon - 4" Crystal Dragon - First Run

    Watch @Lloyd run the 4" Crystal Dragon with 9 bubble plates for the very first time on our own StillDragon User Group YouTube Channel!

    Have a look at the Announcement of our StillDragon User Group YouTube Channel as well.

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  • Thanks so much @Moonshine for posting this to YouTube. It is impossible for me to do YouTube (behind the great firewall of China) directly but with your suggestion to buy a REAL camcorder and tripod I'll try to get that done so the quality of the videos are good enough. I'll post them to you for upload and please feel free to edit them as you see fit.
    I'll shop around for a quality video camera over the next few days.

    My photographer/videographer Tan will have a learning curve about this but unlike me when she does get it right she can always repeat it. If I don't do it for a few months then I need to relearn it :)

    Proxies and VPNs are OK but the overhead causes the upload and download to come to a crawl and more often than not it will time out. Best for us is to send the videos to you to post.

    For me, uploading, downloading or even accessing YouTube is simply not an option. Even with a proxy/VPN it does not work. Gonna order a new laptop soon that is virgin enough to not have the countless unneeded applications and programs installed so maybe that could change. My 4 year old laptop hasn't ever been reformatted during that time and it is painfully slow now. Its my 'old friend' and typing from the old box of bolts now.

    I used Tan's laptop today to send the "Koji" post because this one would not load the pics. Hers loaded them fast and easy, except for the language translation. I'm sold that I need a new computer but I cannot lose this one because it is the left half of my brain. At least for now. Getting a new English OS windows system in China ain't all that easy.

  • All i have to do now is figure out how to put that on my youtube channel and my face book page.

    Just brilliant.

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

  • wow that really gives you an idea of how the plates are working, it is just awesome you should be very proud Lloyd

  • Will not let me post on the SD North America page....Only my personal page....

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • @punkin & @Smaug, please explain in details what problems you are facing reposting that video.

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  • The more I look at this and the more I think about it the more appealing it becomes. Punkin you could countersink the holes around the threaded rod and hide the ends of each tube Will standard 4" SD copper bubble plates fit inside these beauties?

  • @Lloyd are you using the new bubble caps on these plates we can see In the video

  • @what, the SD 4" sieve plate or the 4" standard copper bubble cap plate will fit the 4" Crystal Dragons.

    @cooperville, yes, 9 bubble plates all using the new version of the caps and downcomers. I feel confident that if it works this well with 9 plates then it will work even better with 4 to 6 plates because there will be less pressure difference between to top and bottom plates.

    Its easy to make the bubble cap slots so long that people think it bubbles more. It's just the bubbles are pushed deeper inside the fluid bed with the shorter slots to hopefully improve plate efficiency.

  • StillDragon - 4" Crystal Dragon - Loading 9 Bubble Plates

    In this video @Lloyd demonstrates the loading of all nine bubble plates in a 4" Crystal Dragon:

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

  • Every school that teaches reflux distillation in any way needs one of these. Period.

    I like the idea of a reinforcement pipe around the all-thread, but it'll be tricky. For the pipe to really have an effect, it needs to be exactly the length between the flanges.

    If the pipe is shorter, then the all-thread will still take most of the burden.

    If it's longer, then you'll have loose gaps between the sections.

    It's definitely best to err on the side of too short. In this case, the all-thread will still take most of the burden. Once it flexes a certain point, the pipe will prevent it from flexing any more. The smaller the difference between the pipe length and the length between the flanges, and the greater the pipe radius, the sooner the pipe will stop the column from flexing.

    Really, you only need one or two pipes on the side of the column that faces the PC. Although symmetry looks better with a pipe on both sides.

    Food for thought I S'Pose.

  • Lloyd, i'd love to see a side by side video with the sieve plates?

    Top work and it looks great, i'll work on trying to post the videos to my site and to my youtube channel and facebook.

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

  • I didn't think the sleeves would add any support only colored tubes over the all thread rods....

  • It's just bling in it's idea, but if someone wanted to measure well it would certainly add support.

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

  • First time I looked at the crystal dragon video. Well done again SD. That would look awesome running at the end of a bar. Almost like a water feature.

  • @MickyMoonshine said: First time I looked at the crystal dragon video. Well done again SD. That would look awesome running at the end of a bar. Almost like a water feature.

    Punkin had something like that in mind if he ever decided to open a walk-in retail outlet. Set it for full reflux and let it run all day and just circulate a little water through the parrot.

    A surefire eye catcher.

  • Exactly my idea for showing off at fairs :)

    StillDragon Europe - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Europe & the surrounding area

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