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He Made His Sap Pump Portable
“Every spring I pump maple tree sap from my gathering tank to the holding tank near my sugar shack, so I built a sturdy carrying box to hold the pump and hoses,” says Minnesota handyman Tom Hohl. “By having the pump and hoses portable I can easily carry them inside when I’m not using them so they don’t freeze.”
Hohl’s carrying box looks like an old time woodworker’s tool box, made from spare wood pieces and held together with wood screws. The 18-in. long base is a piece of green-treated 1 by 12. The sides and ends are made from 3/4-in. thick finish grade plywood. Each of the inside corners are reinforced with short pieces of 2 by 4’s. The carry handle is a wood closet pole mortised into the end pieces.
“I made the box strong because the Shurflo pump that moves sap from my portable tank to the holding tank has a fair amount of torque,” Hohl says. “I bolted the pump to the wood base and the weight of the box keeps it level when it pumps. A 6-ft. inlet hose goes from the pump to the portable tank and the 20-ft. outlet hose goes to the holding tank.” Hohl runs the pump with power from his sugar shack. He mounted a switch inside the box to turn the pump on and off. An inline filter on the intake removes any residue that might be in the liquid carried in the portable tank.
Like most property owners who produce maple syrup, Hohl’s operation is a fun hobby that he and his family and neighbors enjoy every year. They collect sap in bags from about 120 trees several times during a two week timeframe in late March. Bags are emptied into the portable tank and hauled to his sugar shack, which he built with the help of neighbors. Sap is pumped into the holding tank, which is mounted on a sturdy base that he built outside the shack. It empties by gravity into the boiling pan that sits on a fire chamber. “Over the past few years I’ve tweaked a few things to make the operation run smoother, which continues to make it a fun hobby rather than work,” Hohl says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tom Hohl, Duluth, Minn.

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #4