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The Makings of a Butane Extractor

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  • Sep 19 2009 12:07 AM
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Posted 19 September 2009 - 12:07 AM

Hello all, I want to make a butane extractor to make some good quality honey oil. I have seen multiple styles on the web from using glass tubing made specifically for extraction to cheap plastic bottle with holes, but I wanted to make a good quality extractor for myself that will be SAFE and DURABLE.

My idea is to go to Home Depot and purchase some piping the thing is I do not know which piping will be best for this sort of extraction. This thread is on focus on MAKING THE EXTRACTOR.

Which material is best to use?

Black Malleable Iron
Galvanized Malleable Iron
Cast Iron
[FONT="]Other Easily Accessible Piping?[/FONT]
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Posted 19 September 2009 - 03:28 AM

I was reading another forum and found a helpful post that might help others that are in a similar issue.

Here's a lil diddy I pieced together, from some well educated concentrators, on making Butane Honey Oil.

This method has its basis in a fascinating industrial extraction method known as Supercritical Fluid Extraction. It uses totally over-the-counter butane gas as the extraction solvent and requires nothing even remotely suspicious or difficult to purchase. Posted Image

Butane, and perhaps other gas/solvents with similar ultra-low-boiling properties, selectively solvate the desirable fraction(s) of cannabis oils. Pulling out only a beautiful amber "honey oil" and leaving the undesirable vegetative oils, waxes, chlorophyll, etc. behind in the plant matter. Even unsmokable shade leaves produce a wonderfully clean and potent gold oil with this method. There is every reason to suspect that this would work splendidly to extract a super-strong and tasty oil from gross, unpalatable "schwag" too. Of course, the better grade of herb you put it in, the better the resulting oil.

Note that the amount of honey oil resulting is very low. As we all know, cannabis leaf and bud varies in THC content and with a perfect extraction, the yield will be less than a gram of oil from each ounce of LEAFand between 1 and 3 grams of oil from each ounce of HIGH POTENCY BUD.

The primary use for this technique is to render leaf into a form more appropriate for medical use by removing other tars and ash-producing material from the psychoactive principals.

What you'll need:

-A BHO tube: One can be bought here BHO Tube or made using the tips below.
-Good butane. quality, triple refined butane is essential. NO RONSON BRAND. King and Colibri work great. 6-8 OZ cans are the best.
-Screens: Either stainless steel (preferred) or coffee filter
-Hose clamp or zip ties to hold screen in place
-Pyrex dish
-Pan to heat water in
-Outside area to do extraction


I suggest buying a ready made tube and stand, but if you don't have the means you can easily do it yourself.

Find a plumbing supply service that sells stainless steel pipes and accessories. You'll need a stainless steel pipe that is 3/4" to 1.5" wide and about 18" long, 1 appropriate size stainless steel cap and something to drill through stainless steel. The tube must be made from stainless steel. PVC, copper or the like will tarnish or change chemically. This could leave impurities in your oil that could, very well, be harmful to your health.

In the stainless steel end cap, drill a single small hole in the center. This hole should be correctly sized to snugly receive the little outlet nozzle of your butane can. This is where the butane goes in the tube.

Place the afore mentioned coffee filter/steel screen over the open end of the tube and secure tightly. This is the bottom of the tube. If using coffee filters, trim the excess paper so that goo doesn't get stuck on it. Affix your screen/filter using either a hose clamp or zip ties. Make sure it stays in place by jerking it either direction: Again, you don't want your butane to blow the filter/screen off, that would be just as bad as blowing out of the top.

After the filter/screen is in place, fill the pipe up with plant matter that has been worked into a coarse powder. You want it filled, but not packed down tight. Whole, not broken up, buds can be used for a more clear oil. Then that bud can be ground up and "re-run". Grinding these buds will allow for more trichome exposure. The yield from this 2nd run will be smaller and more than likely darker.

Place the top end cap on the pipe. Again, push it on as securely as you can by hand.


Find a location outdoors with a decent breeze. You want these butane fumes to be quickly carried away. Seriously.

If you don't wear gloves, goggles, a mask and do it outside, you might as well not even do it. this is not a joke.

Mount the tube (single hole-side up) over a vessel that can hold 300mL+. Pyrex dishes work great. A lab stand and clamp are ideal for the mounting, but a regular shop clamp or anything that can hold it sturdily is fine. (Avoid metal if you can, to reduce the chance of sparks.) Position the bottom end of the pipe immediately above (1-2") the receiving vessel to eliminate splatter loss.

Turn the butane gas can upside down and dispense the gas into the tube via the single top hole. An 8-oz can takes about 10-12 seconds to evacuate. Be brave, swift, and careful. A spark at this moment would spell disaster since you have basically created an incendiary explosive device that is leaking.

Use 12-16 ounces of butane per full tube of plant matter. The tube will hold approximately 1 oz of plant. Take a 15 second break between cans.

When you've exhausted the can into the pipe, back off to a nice distance and let it do its thing.

The butane moves down the pipe, extracting the cannabis as it goes. When it gets to the bottom, ~30 seconds after dispensing, it begins to drain into the receiving vessel. Notice the pale, glowing yellow-green-gold hue of the extract. It is obvious no chlorophyll was pulled out of the herb.

Over approximately five to eight minutes, prolly quicker, the butane extract will finish draining from the pipe to the receiving vessel. Maintain caution with the pipe, however, since there is a lot of residual butane still evaporating from within the pipe. Notice the stream of fumes coming from the top hole. When it slows down to a drop every few seconds, you can tap on the top hole with your finger and it will help push the last of the liquid butane out. Remember, NO SMOKING!!!!!

Being very low-boiling and volatile, the collected butane will likely begin boiling at ambient temperature. The receiving vessel will gradually frost up as the butane cools it down, slowing down its rate of evaporation. One can speed this up again simply by holding it in your hands. A better way is to set it in a saucepan containing a little bit of warm water. NOT BOILING. Cold butane can have a violent reaction if submeged into boiling water. Watch the butane start bubbling madly with the increase in temperature. Again, be doing this outdoors with a nice breeze! It takes about 20 minutes or so to allow the butane to evaporate, or much quicker if you help it along. You are left with a deep amber, almost orange oil of amazing purity.

Place the dish on a heating pad for an hour or so to evap the last of the butane. Remove from the pad and allow to cool. Use a razor to scrape the goo into a "pile".


You can simply leave it in the pyrex dish or move it to a smaller, non pourus container.

Another way to collect and store the oil is to let all of the butane evaporate off and then redissolve the oil in some anhydrous or high-% alcohol, and then pour this into a vial and let it sit out for a day or two to allow the alcohol to evaporate. Trying to transfer the oil into a small container while it is still solvated by the butane is too risky. This was learned the hard way about this, thanks to the volatile temperament of butane. I had filled a vial almost all the way to the top and was preparing to drop those last couple drops in, so that cleverly, I could let the last of the butane evaporate from the vial and the oil would all be neatly contained. However, when the last drop hit the mother lode in the vial, it changed the temperature of the solution in the vial upward by a hair and it all "superboiled" out of the vial and onto my fingers, which of course startled me and caused me to drop the vial. I suggest dissolving it in alcohol as I mentioned above. If you can get pure or 99% isopropanol (isopropyl), use it, because THC's photosensitivity reportedly does not occur in isopropanol.

The final product is a deep yellow-amber oil of the highest quality, incredibly pure and potent. Note also that this oil has a somewhat higher melt/vaporization point than traditional hash oils; the traditional dispensing method (dipping a needle or paper clip in, getting some goop on the end, and warming it with a flame to get it to drip off into your bowl) still works with this stuff, but it seems you have to be more careful with it because it doesn't heat to liquid state as quickly or in the same manner, and it can more easily be allowed to burn up on your needle. So be careful.

Honey oil is BACK! Posted Image


Thanks to the good folks at plantet skunk, Marijuana Passion and Breedbay for chipping in.

Link... Make Your Own Butane Honey Oil (BHO) - GrowKind.com Marijuana Cultivation Forum

I did not find the Stainless Steel Piping so I was curious as what to purchase, I do not know of the HAZARDS when using certain piping through cooling and butane content and therefore I did not want to create something harmful.

I have done some more research and found what exactly Galvanized Steel is

It is the process of coating iron or steel with a thin zinc layer, by passing the steel through a molten bath of zinc at a temperature of around 860 °F (460 °C). When exposed to the atmosphere, pure zinc reacts with oxygen to form zinc oxide, which further reacts with carbon dioxide to form zinc carbonate, a dull grey, fairly strong material that stops further corrosion in many circumstances, protecting the steel below from the elements. Galvanized steel is widely used in applications where rust resistance is needed, and can be identified by the crystallization patterning on the surface (often called a "spangle"). Lead is often added to the molten zinc bath to improve the fluidity of the bath (thus limiting excess zinc on the dipped product by improved drainage properties), helps prevent floating dross, makes dross recycling easier and protects the kettle from uneven heat distribution from the burners[1]. Lead is either added to primary Z1 Grade Zinc or already contained in used secondary zinc. A third, declining method is to use low Z5 Grade zinc[2].


This reveal to me that Galvanized steel is cheaper and slightly less resistant to rust then Stainless Steel but I did read somewhere that they have LEAD in it or so and was wondering if this might be an issue. So does the bold me that the final product contains LEAD?

Also whats wrong with COPPER?
A: Copper does not rust, however it will oxidize and turn a dark brown and then green over time. The statue of liberty is a fine example of the green patina that copper turns to. Rust comes from Iron and Oxygen.

Q: Does Oxidization of Copper affect or dilute the quality of Oil?

Edited by Painkilla240, 19 September 2009 - 03:33 AM.

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 05:04 AM

What you have to remember, is the temperature range you're working in when making honey oil via butane. When metals, gases, and plastics get extremely hot, they become liquid. Even higher temperatures, they vaporise. We're working with extreme cold, so any unpolished surface or cluster of molecules that's out of place could be cut off and drip through as it's frozen.

Considering this, my choices would be as follows:
1. Glass (pyrex, preferably).
2. Cleaned, polished metal.
3. Plastic

The reason I say this, is because chemical glass is unaffected by the temperatures we're working with. Plastic last, because plastic surfaces are bumpy (molecularly speaking), and freeze easier. So the potential for some small plastic particles to get into the oil is higher.

Definitely avoid rusty copper. That's guaranteed to get into the oil.

Also, lead becomes stronger, and less malleable in cold temperatures. So the risk of a significant amount of lead leaking into the honey oil is low, but it's up to you.

Edited by Mezmiro, 19 September 2009 - 05:19 AM.

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 05:18 AM

Are you sure that the plastic tubing is safe? Because Plastic would be easiest to work with esp. for the price but I want to be sure that I do not get any additive. And I know Pyrex would be best but I cannot find a Pyrex tube but thanks for your input.

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 05:26 AM

Go with your budget man, seriously. The amount of plastic that gets into it is extremely low, especially after a few uses. Just providing options to feed the paranoia.

Also, I'm outside, and a giant beetle flew at me from the middle of nowhere. That scared the shit out of me...

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 05:32 AM

I guess I got to now go down to the depot :wave:...well its closed now but I am sure it will be open in the morning

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 05:04 PM

What is the best brand of butaine for making oil with? sold in canada?

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 09:45 PM

Vector Butane

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 01:16 AM

Could Electrostatic Discharge be an issue? It should be taken into consideration when working with a combustible material like butane. A spark would not be good.

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 10:51 PM

Butane dissolves PVC, so I would highly recommend anyone whose interested do some research before they go using a plastic option. Also glass just won't work (or would be an extremely expensive custom commission) because of a lack of attachments and workability. Clearly stainless steel or another type of metal tubing (ie: plumbing) will suffice, however do take caution in using Copper as it will oxidize and these copper oxides may be stripped from the surface during the extraction process.

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