Fast & FREE Shipping!

This blog provides information for educational purposes only. Read our complete summary for more info.

August 18, 2021
Last updated

How to Assemble an Essential Oil Distiller | Clawhammer Supply Assembly Guide

Owner of Clawhammer Supply
Essential Oil Distiller Assembly Guide Essential oils are commonly known for their wide variety of uses, from aromatherapy to cooking additives. Purchasing essential oils can be expensive, however making them at home with our essential oil distiller is much cheaper.
Follow the six steps below to learn how to assemble our essential oil distiller kit


Assembly Video 

*Depending on what accessories you order the assembly process may vary, please continue reading for more information.

What's Included 

The base system comes with 

  • Two 8 gallon stainless steel boilers. (one for water and one for plant material)
  • Sight Glass Tube. (to monitor the liquid level)
  • 2-piece column / condenser.
  • Two built-in safety pressure relief valves (set to 5psi).
  • All necessary tri-clamps, fittings, and gaskets.
  • All necessary stainless pipes to attach the two boilers.
  • Welded 1/4" bung on the domed lid.
  • Welded 1/2" NPT port on the boiler.
  • Welded 1.5" ferrule on the boiler.

Recommended Accessories 
When purchasing our essential oil distiller, we recommend the following accessories to make your distilling experience much easier. All of these can be found on the main product page.    

  • Boiler thermometer 
  • Column Thermometer 
  • Controller Kit (Included in this kit are the following)
    • 1650 watt digital electric controller
    • Waterproof PT100 temperature sensor
    • Heavy duty stainless steel element adapter
    • 1650 watt stainless steel heating element
    • 8 foot 15 amp controller power cord
    • 6 foot 15 amp element power cord
    • 1/2" NPT thermowell
  • Output hose 
  • Thread tape 

We do not sell the following products, but you will need them for a complete assembly

  • Garden hose 
  • 5/8 in hose clamp 


Step 1: Install Threaded Inserts 

To make sure all the threaded inserts are tightly secured, wrap your fittings with thread tape. Thread tape helps seal and prevent leaks while also working as a thread lubricant.

Thread Tape

To install thread tape, securely wrap it around the threads 2-3 times. Make sure the tape is flat (not bunched up) over the threads.

Once the threaded inserts are wrapped, place each component in its corresponding opening and hand tighten. Then, take a crescent wrench or a pair of pliers and tighten firmly. If using pliers make sure you cover the fitting with a rag to protect it.

thread tape tighten

Using a crescent wrench to tighten a fitting  

Apply thread tape to the following fittings

Pressure Relief Valve

Pressure Relief Valve  

Sight Tube & Thermowell

Thermowell (left) & Sight Glass Tube (right)

Note: You will only have a thermowell if you purchase the controller kit. By default there is a plug on the front of the sight glass. You can also install a thermometer here.

Column & Boiler  Thermometer

Column & Boiler Thermometers


1/4 in Bungs. These fill any holes that would otherwise be filled by optional accessories.

Step 2: Assemble the Steam tubes 

Steam tube

To assemble the steam tube, place all components flat on a table and begin connecting one tube to another. Following the photo guide below, place a silicone gasket between each pipe and clamp them together using a tri-clamp.

Steam Tube Assembly
Steam Tube Assembly 2
Steam Tube Assembly 3
Finished Steam tube

Our system includes all the gaskets and tri-clamps that you will need. When assembling the steam tube make sure you connect the correct long pipe, the one that fits here is the 15.75in. If you attach the 15in long pipe that is meant for the column, your two vessels will not line up correctly. 

Step 3: Connect the Steam Tube to the Boilers 

Locate the water boiler, this is the large pot with the sight glass on the front, and place the lid on top of the boiler with a large butterfly clamp. The still lid has a gasket already built into it. To attach the steam tube to the water boiler, place it on top of the water boiler with a silicone gasket and secure it with a tri-clamp.

Connect Steam Tube To Boilers

Next, connect the steam tube to the input of the second vessel with a gasket and a tri-clamp.

Connecting the Steam Tubes

Step 4: Install the False Bottom 

Once the two stills are connected, insert the false bottom into the second vessel. To do this, fold the false bottom in half and place it in the vessel, once it is in the vessel unfold it and place it on the bottom.

False Bottom

Step 5: Attach the Column and Condenser   

Place the lid on top of the second vessel and secure it with a butterfly clamp, note the lid has a built-in gasket, so there is no need for an additional one.

Attach the 15inch column to the top of the lid with a gasket and tri-clamp. In our assembly video we attach a column thermometer, which is a recommended accessory. 

Column Installation Column Thermometer
Column Thermometer 

Before installing the condenser you will need to attach some hoses to it. You will need your own hoses and hose clamps for the condenser. We used nice silicon hoses but regular garden hoses will work just fine. Cut a garden hose in 1/2 and attach the cut ends to the condenser by using 5/8th inch hose clamps. Please follow the diagrams below.

Water Set Up

We recommend attaching a food-grade silicone hose to the lowest port of the condenser. This is where the distillate and other extracts will come out. This tubing can be purchased on our website as an accessory. Our output hose is made out of high-quality food-grade material and comes with hose clamps.

Extract Hose
Output Hose

Step 6: Set up the Controller and Heating Element

To get the water to a boil, you will need a source of heat. Our 120v controller and heating element are not included in the base system, however we highly recommend these accessories for an easier distilling experience. Everything in this step is included in our controller kit, which can be purchased as an accessory with our still.

First, install the thermowell into the front of the sight glass.Thermowell

Next, assemble the heating element. You'll need to watch this video to do that.

Once the heating element is assembled slide the heating element into the 1 ½ inch ferrule on the lower side of the water boiler. Don't forget to add a silicone gasket! Secure the heating element with a tri-clamp and then plug the heating element into the controller. After plugging in the heating element, install the temperature probe. The shorter end of the temp probe goes into the controller, and the longer end goes into the thermowell, located on the front of the sight glass.

It is super important to fill the vessel with water before turning on the heating element. Failure to do so will result in a dry fire which can ruin the element.

Using the Essential Oil Distiller Kit

Now that your still is assembled you are ready to distill essential oils. Watch this video and read this article to learn more about distilling essential oils with your Clawhammer Supply Essential Oil Distiller Kit!



Kyle Brown is the owner of Clawhammer Supply, a small scale distillation and brewing equipment company which he founded in 2009. His passion is teaching people about the many uses of distillation equipment as well as how to make beer at home. When he isn't brewing beer or writing about it, you can find him at his local gym or on the running trail.

Leave a comment

Please note, the design of our website does not allow us to respond directly to blog comments. Please email us directly regarding questions about products. We don't answer questions about recipes, procedures, etc. However, feel free to leave a comment or respond to comments made by others!

Enter your email address below and we'll send you a free eBook on how to get started with brewing or distilling!