For the past few years I've been making my own maple syrup, using techniques found here on Instructables, but I've been doing it the old fashioned way over an open fire. It has worked great for years, but this year I have tapped too many trees and therefore had a problem to solve.
How can I boil more efficiently.
So I took a look at my Mother-in-laws commercial evaporator, then went into my office to contemplate a solution, I should also say my budget for this build was exactly Zero (as usual)
I thought to myself "What would MacGyver Do?"
After Staring at paperclips and duct tape for far too long my eyes came to rest on my filing cabinet, and my hoarder genius mind went to work.

Step 1: Gather Your Equipment

Here is what you need
 One old metal filing cabinet
A circular saw or jigsaw
Drill and bits
A couple of old hinges
An old chimney pipe
Boiling pan
A couple of hinges and hasps
Saws all
Sledge Hammer
<p>are you still using this? You inspired me to make one!</p>
<p>I do still use it, it works great, please share photos once you make yours</p>
<p>Great setup! Do you find that as the sap reduces it burns on the sides of the pan since your pans are inset? I do mine with the same pans on a stacked brick oven, and one year I set the pans down inside like you have them. I found that initially it worked great, but with less in the pan it started to burn on the sides real bad.</p>
Great idea! I like how it's portable to a degree so it could be stored away off season! Where did you get the boiling pan and how much?
The pan is a steam table pan, i got it at a used restaraunt store, I think it was ten bucks...thanks
Way to go Clay! Getting in touch with your inner MacGyver.
Glad you like it! I think making syrup is an important part of our culture, keep it going...
My grandparents had a cabane &agrave; sucre and a sugar bush in southern Qu&eacute;bec. They used to gather the sap in buckets attached to maple trees in the early spring with horses and sleigh and boil it down to syrup. I remember having sugar on snow in August many years as my grandmother would save snow in large flat pans and freeze it just for that purpose. <br> <br>Great 'ible! I have to pass this on to my family.
Fantastic idea. Will make one of these. any suggestions about how to pour the finished syrup out of the pan without slopping all over the place?
Use a ladle ...works great..<br>Thanks for the comment!
What a great idea. I just finished up a week working with my uncle using a commercial evaporator. I am in the process of looking for an evaporator to start myself... I had been looking at designs using old barrels, but this is way better. I am going to try using a 4 high cabinet, but lay it on its back, that way I should be able to run at least 2 pans. thanks for the idea to get me thinking down this road.
I've considered that too, but I never find the bigge cabinets, I now have two of these so I can run them side by side... Thanks for the comment! And please vot for me!
I love the simplicity and portability of this! We've been hobby sugaring for 4 years using propane and it gets very expensive. The size of your evaporator is nice for storage in the off season and bonus points for re-purposing the file cabinet. Thanks for the 'ible!
Thanks! We are happy with it, I will probably line it with tile or some sort of file brick to enhance the efficiency, but it works great and we get some great syrup. <br>I love to re purpose stuff like this. Please vote for this in the McGyver contest and the Indestructible Contest.
Of course I voted for you :-)
could you just remove the guts of the top drawer and bold the front on with some angle stock. leave the bottom drawer as is and have it be able to slide out to refuel? <br> <br>we did a smoker like that once with a 3 drawer file cabinet. fire on the bottom drawer. open space then punched holes in the top drawer bottom and added a chimney. <br>it actually made a really good turkey.
Very nice !&hellip; <br>This is also a pleasure for all the family : it makes it even better !&hellip;
Yup, the kids love it! We roasted hot dogs in it they had a blast! <br>Please vote for this
Who do you think I am ??? <br>Why of course I voted !!!... <br>I did it a soon as a read your Inst'. <br>I was well raised : I know how to brush my feet on the rug before coming in and when an how to say thank you !!!... ;D
Thanks Vincent!
Many years ago I bought a few abrasive blades for my circular saw, mostly because they were on the clearance rack. Wow, they sure are worth it! A circular saw makes a great metal-cutting tool to light stuff, and I still prefer it over a sabre saw or sawsall for many chopping jobs or straight cuts. <br> <br>Also: The minute I saw the picture of the filing cabinet, I knew you were a junk-yard-genius. That is some great thinking.
Thanks! And the syrup is terrific... I love repurposing stuff...it's not always pretty but it's always interesting! Please vote for this!

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm just a regular guy trying to do extraordinary things. In addition I produce a weekly podcast, write and garden. I love to look ... More »
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