First time running a short path distillation setup. Comments and Suggestions Please!

Just as the title states. Im about to run my first THC distillation run. Im gonna post everything from my failures(probably gonna be al lot of them…to my successes if any.

Im running a 500ml short path i pieced together from chinese suppliers. Most of the other stuff was bought used.

Im gonna list all my equipment for any others to see.
-500ml short path.
-alcatel 2021i 14.6cfm rotary vacuum pump (pulling at 7 micron to the pump)
-7l polyscience chiller/heater (-20C-200C) -running Ethylene Glycol mixture

  • Bullseye Vacuum pump gauge.
  • Kangaroo Head Temp Digital Thermo.

What i have but not using on my first run.

  • 2 more alcatel vacuum pumps running ideal - plan to run 2 eventually one for head and one for body.
  • all viton circulating hoses for hot condenser tech if i ever get there.
  • various glassware for adapting other configurations.

So this is my ghetto table and set up for the moment. Im in the process of moving and have a stainless table for this.

Right now im testing my pump before i try to vacuum down the system. Here is what i got so far. Please be kind. Please if you see something i should change. Please let me know. Right now the pump is pulling a steady 8 microns for a 1/2 hour to the blank off. Now im gonna grease the joints and pull down the system and see if i can get close. Thanks for viewing and helping along the way in advance.


Good luck brother


I guess this is why we test dry…

So I ran into a few little issues which i fixed already.

First issue was i could not get my whole system below 6000 micron. Here we go another @Eastcoaststrange. I knew i had a serious leak after pulling the vacuum down to 8 micron.

Immediately i saw the kangaroo thermometer deep into the short path head. Pulled it bit. And its super loose under vacuum. Thank god i anticipated that location to be a problem after all the issues i had with BVV on the 14/20 adapters they kept sending wouldnt hold the thermometer right. Replaced that adapter with another one i bought from china and a mercury thermometer which was thicker.

And im down to 3900 micron…Almost regretting this…especially with the money i have wrapped up into this project…well i guess i still have a problem. Looked at all the joints and noticed the short path head to the cow joint looked like it had barely any grease in it. I know i need the joints to look clear with the grease…this was still frosted. Regreased that joint and we are in business!!! Yes…i did a few fist pumps with no one here.

So now im down to 87 micron with gl fittings, all chinese glass, and a used pump. I think that works.

im decarbing my oil right as we speak. If i can get it done fast enough…i will start distilling today but if not…this might wait till tomorrow cause i dont wanna rush anything.


lesson 2…dont try to decarb in a mason jar. Just cracked a mason jar while decarbing…lost some oil…not a lot. Off to walmart to get a pyrex dish. LOL


just this past weekend i exploded a 10L flask just from slightly heating it to evap off some ISO… cheap chinese glass sucks lol


Pave the way brother!!!

Wish you weren’t 1500 miles away, we could have found our woopsies together.

Good luck bro!

May the short path be with you


Might want to change the concrete tiles in wood or something less heavy
Personally a lab Jack would be best
If at Any moment You want to stop the heating mantel stays hot for a while
Making Some space between the heating mantel and flask Gives a direct Cool down all glass wear should be clamped to the iron bar the stand
Other than that small thing looks :ok_hand:


Ok. I was afraid of the bricks. I just bought them today as I noticed the cow and receiving flask dipped pretty low.

I have plenty of wood here. I’ll change that. I’ll get a clamp on the short path head.



ok i changed out the bricks for wood. Now i can only get down to 133 microns on a cold pump…should i run the pump blanked off for a 1/2 an hour to get warmed up. Or do you all think i need to re-adjust my joints.

The oil is just about finished decarbing. Looks to be a tad over 250ml. I think i should wait till tomorrow but im pretty anxious to run tonight.


I think it was @Soxhlet who tossed up the tricks of the trade idea of using distillate vs grease. And sleeves.

I also bought and used this
7.00 at HD or lowes


No Need to be worried now
Tomorow before You really start last check
30 run without heat and set


I decarbed the oil at 120C until all bubbles stopped which took a bit over an hour. I have the GLG SOP on Decarbing and it states an optional step is to take it up to 140c for 10-15 mins. I think ill just stop at 120c. I saw the change from large bubbles to small bubbles to dead flat oil at 120c. I think i should be good now. Im gonna wake up at like 630am. I try to get this going. i would start tonight…but ive been at this practically since 10am and i need to help my kid with homework and stuff. Thanks guys. Ill have this done tomorrow.


Nice what time is iT on your side now
Don t want to miss iT
@reverandsin and soxhlet i hope they can be around

their guidance was fantastic last time with @Eastcoaststrange


Use teflon tape over the silicone tape.


Damn you

I have like 6 rolls of this.


I’m on eastern standard time.

Hey @Soxhlet where should I use the Teflon tape. I’m a little confused. By my thermometer adapters?


Maney hardware stores sell it.


Checklist before starting

All Doors to other area s shove a towel to close large gaps once terpenes. Start evaporating from the vac pump iT smells
Aluminium foil always handy to create Some extra heat on the head by insulating
Some Grease to seal of Maybe to come leaks yust Ad Grease from the outside
Small spatula the glass is hot When having to Ad grease
Flashlight at times a little light on a spot comes handy
a decent chair can take up several hours
A piece of cloth or heat resistent glove If You have to intervene
Don tforget to put the stirbar in
And remember al Gods are on your side for this is a holly plant


I had a brain fart.

I thought there was some sort of special teflon tape used for sealing glass joint connections.

Do you use this on the gl threads?


you can tape a joint with it in a pinch, just wrap it candycane style around the male cone of the joint.