Making Maple Spiles

Today, I’m going to tap some of the maples in our yard to make syrup. Since I didn’t have spiles (taps), I decided to make my own. I found a length of electrical conduit at Lowe’s for $2 per 10 feet length, and I worked it into a few spiles. I began by cutting a wedge out of a five-inch length of conduit.

1-Cut Wedge

I held the flat end with vice grips, and took a hammer to the cut side, curving the edges in to make a tube. I used the head of a nail as a mold to keep the tube round.

2-Mold

By working it with a hammer, I managed make a tight nozzle on the spile, the same with as the nail.Next, I cut two slots near the top of the spile, just over half an inch inward. This will become the hook for the buckets to hang on.

3-Cut for Hook

A pair of pliers easily bends the resulting flap upward, making a hook.

4-Finished 1

In the end, I made three slightly different spiles, and today I will see which ones work. I’ll try to make a traditional one out of wood as well.

Watch for tonight’s post on the actual tapping process. I hope we get lots of syrup!

~The Homesteading Hippy

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