WIP - new quench tank

jaxxas

Well-Known Member
Probably not the most exciting work in progress, but just writing it up helps me solidify my plans and allows for input and criticisms before I get too far along.


So I needed/wanted a bigger quench tank. Parks 50 comes in a 5 gallon bucket so that was my goal. I wanted one that I could filter, cool and and hopefully the pump flow would help with agitation but that is a secondary concern. In the summertime here in southern Arizona my shop can easily hit 105ºF ambient during the day, so probably just a single blade quench as Parks 50 says 120ºF is the maximum temp for use. The ATP-641 I use as an anti-scale flakes off into the quench and accumulates at the bottom of the tank. Also I don't know if the ATP-641 will degrade the Parks 50 but I thought if I going to rig up a cooling system I might as well filter out the ATP-641 as well. Though I suppose if it's trapped in the filter it could still degrade the quench!?



Most of this design I just dreamed up just by looking around and seeing what was available at a reasonable price. I debated about having the outlet at the top or the bottom, the size of the pump, using a regular oil filter or a diesel fuel filter, 12v or 110v. Below is what I finally settled on....



So the parts...


a big piece of square tubing (bought)

Harbor Freight casters (3.5" as I already have them!)

flat .25" plate for the base and the lid, already laying around the shop

Wix oil filter adapter and filter, $30 (ordered)

new heater core 10"x7.5"x2" $25 (ordered)

high flow 12v computer fan which I already have

6' of heater hose $6 (bought)

small Harbor Freight 12v marine utility pump 200 GPH (3.33 gpm) $35 (bought)

assorted brass connectors ?? maybe $30



The plan..


Most of you probably already guessed the plan just from the parts lists but here goes...


Cut the tube, clean the tube on the outside. Layout the positions of the heater core, pump and filter hopefully just on a single side of the tank. Drill an inlet near the top and and an outlet near the bottom. Tap the holes for .5" NPT. Plug those holes. Weld the bottom plate to the tube. Water test the tube and braze up any leaks. (And there will be leaks!) Weld (small tacks) the casters on the bottom.

Then I plan to clean the inside of the tank using electrolysis, I will weld up a 2 or 3 piece anode using re-bar and suspend it in the tank using a board with holes located appropriately. Then I will wheel the tank out to the back porch, fill it with hot water and a couple of cups of sodium carbonate, stir it up a bit, insert the anode and hook up my battery charger to it. Positive on the anode, negative on the tank. Let that run for 24 hours or so and inspect. Assuming it's clean then onto the next step.


Next will be assembling the pump, oil filter and heater core. First I will make some mounts out of bar stock, drilled and tapped for each item and then tack them into the appropriate positions on the tank. Plumb everything up and test it for function. Fabricate some kind of junction block to power the fan and pump. Paint the outside of the tank with some rust converting paint at this point. I will weld a short piece of steel gas tubing to one inside top corner of the tank to hold my thermometer. Add a small weld on hook up high on the inside to hang the chain of my strainer basket. Probably make some tong holders on one side of the tank with a drip tray. Then make the lid. Flat 1/4" plate with a handle and a gasket and I'm not sure of the retention device yet. Something to hold it on tight so when I'm moving the tank nothing sloshes out.



So it begins....(I will post updates as it comes along...)




I bought about 30" of 8"x8"x.25" square tubing from a local scrap yard. $20. I cut it down to 24" with my 7"x12" horizontal band saw. Basically I could only cut the top side so I had to rotate it four times to make the cut. 5 gallons of Parks 50 should fill the tank to within 3.5" of the top. The tubing insides measures 7.5"x7.5", my calculations show approx 20.5" of this tubing to hold 5 gallons.


The pipe was fairly rusty but mostly superficial.



Used a heavy wire cup on my angle grinder to clean up the outside a bit. There is still a bit of rust so when it's finished I'll paint it with a rust converting paint.



I cut a 12"x12"x.25" plate for the bottom. Here is the related parts so far.... I need to get a 1/2" NPT tap for the next step.
 
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stezann

Well-Known Member
I understand the need to move the unit, but please give the UTMOST PRIORITY to its STABILITY.
 

NEILYEAG

Well-Known Member
Boy I 100% agree with Stezann. When you are ready to use this. Make certain sure it is stable and lashed in place.
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
May I suggest rather than wheels on the bottom, put a big flat plate for stability? Then use a hand cart to move when it does need moving. Or, perhaps a tripod frame (legs) around the tube for stability? Like the other folks I'm VERY concerned about stability of a 24" tall full of quench oil. Looks like that 24" will be just right for 5 gallon of quench.

This heater core you mention - is this something like a hotwater heater element? The pump will circulate the oil for even heat thru out?

Sounds like you're going to have a nice quench tank,
 

jaxxas

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys for the input. Really the casters are a must, shop is just too small! My shop floor is fairly flat, just expansion joints to watch out for. Also I do plan on moving this tank from the bottom only, sort like a tow hook. And I do plan on tight fitting lid to handle any splashing. This tank will probably weigh in at near 100 lbs, probably 50-60 lbs in steel alone, add the oil, pump, filter, hoses and heater core it's probably 100 lbs or more. I think it will be fairly stable. Worst case I cut the casters off and weld on outriggers for a wider base.


Ken, the heater core is like one from an automobile. I using it as a radiator as in my climate I need to lose excess heat.


I haven't been able to spend much time on my pastime hobbies for the last week or so, my real work is getting in the way, hopefully I can post more soon on the build.
 
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KenH

Well-Known Member
Joe, isn't it aggravating when "real work" keeps getting in the way of "fun work"?

I like the idea of the outriggers for more stability when moving. I see the need to keep from overheating when quenching a lot of blades - what's your plan to bring quench oil up the 130ºF (or desired quench temp) for the first quench?

Looking forward to rest of WIP.

Ken H>
 

jaxxas

Well-Known Member
Yes Ken it really is!:biggrin:

The Parks 50 working range is 50-120ºF, rarely does my shop see 50º except for a few winter nights. More typical would be 75-85º in non-summer months, and probably 105º in the summer months. My problem is keeping it cool enough for multiple quenches, so I didn't provide for a way to heat the quenchant.

A bit of an update, I have drilled and tapped the outlet hole near the bottom of the tank, and I have the tank welded to the base, all leak tested, it's kinda ugly! After work today I welded on the casters and the tow hoops. Then I towed the tank out onto the back porch across the living room carpet and the tank never even stuttered. Pretty stable and smooth rolling. So far so good. I took a couple of pictures, I'll try to get them posted up tonight.
 

jaxxas

Well-Known Member
Pictures from earlier today...

A couple shots of the tank on casters.... you can see the outlet and the tow hoops (4 total).






Towing in action....rolls nicely!



The anode and my dog Skip....



Cleaning the tank with electrolysis




The tank is going through it's electrolysis cleaning for now, should be done tomorrow afternoon.

I had a couple of oh-oh moments. I had planned on using galvanized pipe to plumb the outlet to the filter with a small piece of hose for the final connection but the outlet is so low (which I wanted) I won't be able to turn an elbow to screw it in, so I'll be using copper for that plumbing. I could just use a longer pipe nipple but I would like to keep other three sides within the footprint of the base. No chance of that for the component side!

Also I discovered that it probably wasn't a good idea to use a water pump for the oil, apparently the seals may deteriorate fairly quickly, so I went with a regular oil pump, takes it up to 10 GPM, so more agitation is probably good.

Spent quite a bit a time on layout of the filter, pump and heater core. The pump sits up fairly tall so I built up brackets for the filter and heater core to match it's height. Basically just an effort to keep the hose connections between the different components straight with no kinks. I just cut and stacked up steel stock of the appropriate thicknesses and welded them together, probably added another 5-10 lbs weight. The mounts will all be tack welded on one side while the outlet will be on the side to the right and piped up and over to the filter. All the mounts are drilled and tapped for easy removal of each component.

Here are the components laid out approximately as they will mount....




The oil filter and mount...




The oil pump and mount.....




The heater core, mount and fan...




Tong(s) drip tray and tong retainers....




The lid and fasteners, I have some spongy gasket material for it somewhere....(I still need to plug that hole!)




The oil inlet (with the wrong type of hose on it), which will be between the pump and the heater core, approximately in my quench zone....(Note I haven't drilled and tapped this hole yet.)




I may have to re-edit these last eight pictures a few times, I just got a new camera and I'm not sure of how the sizes will come out.

Anyway I will post more updates as I get to them.
 
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jaxxas

Well-Known Member
Got quite a bit done today, a few more hours and it will be time to test it, just ran out of time today.

Once I had mounted all the components on the rear of the tank it was a bit tippy to the rear. I think it would be fine once it was full of oil but just to make sure I added a fifth wheel. As it sits I can roll it all over the shop using just the top handle and it is very stable. We'll see how it rolls once it's full of oil. Still need to make up some kind of junction block for power and maybe get a coat of paint on it. I had a heck of time getting a leak tight joint between the base and the tank, ended up just soldering it, kinda ugly, paint would definitely help.

Front side....



left side...



rear....



right side...



top...



oil thermometer......



parts basket, you can see the inlet and outlets as well....



tongs....
 

Bill Hubbell

KNIFE MAKER
Joe-
That's quite a project- but you are really going to town on it! And, thanks for the detailed pics and updates. That's the kind of stuff that saves us time and gives ideas if someone decides to build the same thing.
But everyone has their $.02 so here's mine:
- I am concerned like everyone else about stability- but I'll bet the 5th wheel helps, and pulling down low with the tow loops.
- Turning the radiator 90 degrees so that it exhausts out the side, and building a tin cover for the circulatory components, would shield them from inevitable quenchant drips.
- In theory, the oil shouldn't need to be changed often, but adding a drain port/ball valve either below the tank, or better yet somewhere in the exhaust side of the pump, will make the task a lot easier when it comes time.
- I know you aren't interested in doing this (at this stage), and maybe it wouldn't have fit your needs anyway, but capping both ends of the tank and cutting a long opening in one side for the top access, would allow blades to be quenched horizontally - when desired.
- Adding a block of layered screen in the bottom (maybe 1/2 to 1 inch thick) would serve as a pre-filter to catch scale particles before they reach the main filter, or block flow between the tank and pump. You could leave small chain or wires attached to this pre-filter so it could easily be removed and flushed out. I think you might find this necessary.
- If that's a 12 volt pump, you could build a shelf on the other side for as small 12 volt battery and hard-wire it in. That would require you to move the caster out, but would also help with balance and stability (located down low). But, it would also add to the footprint, as you say.

I always obsess over these kinds of projects- don't know where to stop. There's no drink holders! How about a compass to find due north!? (just kidding as I'm not convinced on that one)- But, where does it end?
I think your build is looking great and will be great to use! I also appreciate your willingness to document and share (I'm terrible at that).
Build on!
Bill
 

jaxxas

Well-Known Member
Joe-
That's quite a project- but you are really going to town on it! And, thanks for the detailed pics and updates. That's the kind of stuff that saves us time and gives ideas if someone decides to build the same thing.
But everyone has their $.02 so here's mine:
- I am concerned like everyone else about stability- but I'll bet the 5th wheel helps, and pulling down low with the tow loops.
- Turning the radiator 90 degrees so that it exhausts out the side, and building a tin cover for the circulatory components, would shield them from inevitable quenchant drips.
- In theory, the oil shouldn't need to be changed often, but adding a drain port/ball valve either below the tank, or better yet somewhere in the exhaust side of the pump, will make the task a lot easier when it comes time.
- I know you aren't interested in doing this (at this stage), and maybe it wouldn't have fit your needs anyway, but capping both ends of the tank and cutting a long opening in one side for the top access, would allow blades to be quenched horizontally - when desired.
- Adding a block of layered screen in the bottom (maybe 1/2 to 1 inch thick) would serve as a pre-filter to catch scale particles before they reach the main filter, or block flow between the tank and pump. You could leave small chain or wires attached to this pre-filter so it could easily be removed and flushed out. I think you might find this necessary.
- If that's a 12 volt pump, you could build a shelf on the other side for as small 12 volt battery and hard-wire it in. That would require you to move the caster out, but would also help with balance and stability (located down low). But, it would also add to the footprint, as you say.

I always obsess over these kinds of projects- don't know where to stop. There's no drink holders! How about a compass to find due north!? (just kidding as I'm not convinced on that one)- But, where does it end?
I think your build is looking great and will be great to use! I also appreciate your willingness to document and share (I'm terrible at that).
Build on!
Bill

Thank you Bill!

Right now I'm feeling fairly confident about the stability, if it doesn't work out though I'll cut the wheels off and extend them 6" or so with outriggers.

I agonized over the radiator placement for what seems like days and was never really happy with anything I came up with, so finally I just let the pipe connection flow determine the order. I really didn't want it horizontal as it is now but with the limited space and piping issues it just seemed to work out for the best. And I do have a cover in mind for the radiator which should shield the components from the quenchant drips. I think it will do double duty, one as a protector for the radiator when not in use and two when flipped up at a 45º (or so) will shield the components and direct the airflow away from me.

A drain was on my wish list but I didn't come up with any good way to work it in. I thought about putting one in the bottom but then I would be draining 5 gallons of oil into a fairly shallow pan. So I figured I would either siphon it out or maybe just buy another pump to pump it out and then I would have a spare pump.

Good idea, I hadn't considered a pre-filter/screen, that would be nice. In hindsight I could have easily created a slot on either side of the outlet that I could have dropped/slid a screen into. Also I use a electric heat treat oven so I have to coat each piece with ATP-641 beforehand so I get little to no scale and the ATP-641 breaks up pretty easy.

I really like the idea of a battery, much better than dragging out the battery charger every time, though I would still have to charge the battery. To conserve footprint it would have to mount on the left or right side, definitely down low. It would still help with balance though not as much as in the front. I found a small battery that would fit pretty well, it's 7"x7"x3" but it's only 18 AH, probably about 1.5 hours of run time which may be enough, I'll probably give it a try. It would only add about an inch or so to the width.

Edited to add: I looked more into the battery situation and found I could get a 15 amp AC->DC converter as cheap as a decent battery, so I'll probably go that way, much smaller too!


Yes I too obsess over these things. Usually the longer I stew on them the more complicated they become!

Thanks again!
 
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