Open Source Lye Production Apparatus

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  • Part of the Open Source Bases Construction Set
  • A device that allows for the leaching of wood ashes to produce lye
  • Uses wood ash and distilled (or whatever the user has access to that is as pure as possible) water

Used For

  • Production of lye

Industry Standards

Existing Open Source Designs

Minimum Viable Product

  • Two Versions:
    • A small simple batch device for small scale
    • A larger continous flow device for larger scale

Small Version

  • ~10 Liters Produced per Batch
  • Very cheap to make
  • Can be standalone or part of a plumbed system
  • 100% 3D Printable and/or made using precious plastics' equipment
  • Modular

Larger Version

  • Anywhere from 100-1,000Liter Storage Capacity
  • Contious Production
  • Smart (IE automated measuring+metering of componets, mixing, ph measuring, and filtration of final products)
  • Can be standalone or part of a plumbed system
  • Modular

Basic Design

Smaller One

Water Funnel/Resevoir

  • A 10 Liter Bucket with a hole drilled in the bottom (A ball valve can be attached but isn't required)

Ash Container

  • A 10 Liter Bucket with a hole drilled in the bottom (A ball valve can be attached but isn't required)
  • A circle of cloth (or other suitable filter medium) should go on the bottom to hold the ashes back

Lye Resevoir

  • A 10 Liter Bucket that holds the lye that drips down from above


  • A wood/plastic/metal frame resembline a shelf
  • Has holes on each level that are big enough for the bucket holes to not be obstructed but small enough the bucket is supported

Larger One


  • An arduino with servos+solenoids attached to it
  • Also has 2 ph sensors (1 in the mixing chamber, 1 in the lye resevoir)

Ash Resevoir + Auger

  • A box that holds the wood ashes
  • Has a lid for easy axis
  • Has an auger for metered additions into the mixing chamber

Mixing Chamber

  • A container in which the device adds wood ash and water, agitates them until the desired ph is reached, and thenpumps the slurry off to the filter module (for the lye and waste ash respectively)
  • This can then lead to the cycle restarting, or stopping depending on the mode selected (batch or continuous) and the capacity of the lye tank

Filer Module

  • Either a hydrocyclone, a cloth filter, or both
  • Empties into the waste resevoir, and lye tank

Waste Resevoir

  • Holds spent ashes
  • Can be a removable bin or a permanent one with a lid
  • Could also contain an emptying auger

Lye Resevoir

  • Holds Produced Lye
  • Can act as a final storage solution, or be a buffer to a plumbed system
  • Has a ph sensor


  • A wood plastic or metal frame that holds everything together


Smaller One

  • 3-4 Buckets depending on if the filter is intigrated in the mixing chamber or not
  • Mataerials for the frame
  • Filter Medium (such as a cloth circle)

Larger One

See Also

Useful Links