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Skaalvenn    24
3 hours ago, kleclerc77 said:

http://www.piwine.com/italian-hand-held-heat-tunnel.html

I found this tool to be remarkably helpful, but was wondering if anyone knew where to get it for under $400? Thanks!

I've tried one out and didn't care for it. We prefer a $30 heat gun from the hardware store.  We just use clear shrink sleeves though.

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Blackheart    10

St. Pats sells one too.  Same-ish price.  We have used it and love it. 

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kleclerc77    5

Got one off of morewinemaking.com , it was about $150 instead of $400 and the guys on the bottling line love it. Especially if you have few people on the line and do large quantities step by step, it is super helpful. Thanks for your feedback everyone!

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RobertS    10

We've been using the heat gun, too. I'm trying to figure out if and when we would want to upgrade to a more dedicated tool. Is a heat tunnel that much faster or more reliable than an operator who has fumbled through a couple cases with a heat gun?

We are using a tube film style of sleeves, which makes me a little leery since all the pictures I've seen with tunnels have the closed top style sleeves.

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Foreshot    13

For the thin clear sleeves hair dryers/heat guns work fine. For the heavier colored pvc ones hair dryers/heat guns can cause it to wrinkle due to uneven shrinkage. My OCD won't let me have wrinkles.

From a speed perspective the heat tunnels are the way to go, way faster and easier. The clear ones are in, out and done, less than a second.  PVC will take slightly longer, maybe a little over a second.

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RobertS    10

@Foreshot, thank you. I had this image of the sleeves getting caught up and misaligned somehow. Adding it to the list.

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Foreshot    13

SCD - that's the one I'm used to using. Both styles have a top that is used to bump the caps down on the bottle. Best practice is to push the bottle in until it hits the top then pull it back just a bit, maybe a half inch. Otherwise you risk melting the bottle top or shrink wrap to the bump stop. For the clear ones that are open leave ~1/4 inch of the plastic above the top of the cap and let the bump stop push it down. It will make it even with the top of the bottle. It's faster than trying to do it by hand.

And in keeping of Rule 34, here's a video. You can skip to 1:30, before that it's just fluff.

This video shows what happens when you don't hit the bump stop. Look at the top of the bottle when he pulls it out, it's a mess. Not a good look for customers.

 

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