Glumpy burner, easy to run!

Discussion in 'Burners and their construction' started by Ironsides, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. Ironsides

    Ironsides Silver

    I just watched an amazing video about how easy it is to run a glumpy oil burner and he melted aluminuim bronze with it. Another amazing fact is that he has only started foundry work as a hobby about 5 months ago so he is a very quick learner. He said that his next goal is to melt and pour cast iron with the glumpy oil burner. For those that are wondering if glumpy is still around he commented on this video 20 hours ago.

  2. PatJ

    PatJ Silver Banner Member

    The video and burner shown are great, but he makes some misleading statements about a siphon nozzle burner, perhaps due to lack of familiarity with it.

    For those who want to operate a siphon-nozzle oil burner correctly, the following notes may be of interest:

    1:05 "Its not very controlable".
    This is not a true statement; they are very controllable.

    1:06 "The (compressed) air pressure is the only thing you can change".

    This is also not a true statement.
    A few psi can be used to pressurize the fuel tank, which makes for easy and well regulated fuel control over a wide flow range when using a needle valve.
    You can also put a valve on the combustion air supply and control combustion air in that fashion.

    1:32 "Its noisy".

    I agree.

    1:50 "can use up to 60-70 psi at full tilt".

    This is not true.
    30 psi max is all a siphon nozzle needs, and is the maximum compressed air pressure that should be used.

    1:52 "the compressed air going to the burner is quite damp, and its water content makes it hard to obtain high temperatures quickly".

    This is nonsense. I live in a high humidity part of the country, and I can debunk this one.

    2:15 "from room temperature to bronze pouring temperature might be 2 hours total".

    This indicates that his siphon nozzle burner is not set up correctly.
    I can get 25 lbs of iron to pour temperature in under 1 hour using a siphon nozzle burner just like his (but with a combustion air blower).

    2:18 "its wearing out my air compressor".

    Its wearing out mine too.
    That is why I am changing to a gear pump and a pressure-style nozzle, which works the same as a siphon-nozzle burner, but without using compressed air.

    Some notes about an Ursutz burner:

    1. Clarke uses one, and he began using it because his air compressor wore out.

    2. Clarke loves his Ursutz burner (the design appears to be named after a guy who published an article about it in the 50's, I think in Popular Mechanics).

    3. The top of Clarke's Ursutz burner melted, and it blew molten steel and flame all the way up to the ceiling, and all over the shop.
    Luckily he was not injured when this happend.

    4. Clarke rebuilt his burner using refractory, which is how Ursutz originally built his too.

    5. If an Ursutz burner is allowed to puddle fuel inside, and the fuel flashes to vapor, you can get a huge flame coming out the furnace, up perhaps 20 feet into the air (ask Clarke about this).

    6. An Ursutz burner that is set up and operated correctly will absolutely melt iron, and will melt it faster than a siphon nozzle burner, however, the downside is that a Ursutz burner running at its maximum also will damage the crucible, and you may only get a few melts out of the crucible before it fails (again, ask Clarke).

    7. An Ursutz burner is bulky, large, and heavy compared to a siphon nozzle or drip burner.
    An uninsulated Ursutz burner is no fun to stand around due to the radiant heat.

    Ursutz burners do work.
    I would not use an Ursutz burner.
    Clarke would not use anything but an Ursutz burner.

    Different strokes for different folks.

    Ironsides: Thanks for posting. Very interesting.

    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  3. Tobho Mott

    Tobho Mott Silver Banner Member

    I saw that, loved the intro scene! Also noticed that Glumpy aka Oil Burner had commented. To suggest a no-external-firebox type drip burner ie. Brute instead, of all, things!

    He had been quiet for so long, I had started thinking maybe he'd finally pushed his neighbours too far and wound up buried in several remote corners of the outback...o_O

    Did you guys see Julian's bottle opener video? Pretty cool. Everything that guy tries just seems to work perfectly on the first attempt. And then he does a hilarious little dance of glee and amazement. One can't help but smile to see it.

  4. Melterskelter

    Melterskelter Silver

    A few comments on the comments:

    I have been reading some about drip-style oil burners but have never actually seen one or used one. so I may have a few things wrong about them. But, the main advantage of a siphon burner for our applications seems to be ease of starting. Once the furnace is well warmed up, turning down the compressed air to zero or near zero in essence converts a siphon burner to a drip burner. ( The one caveat of turning the compressed air to zero in the siphon burner is that having no compressed air flowing to cool the tip MIGHT cause damage to the o-ring. Or just having combustion air running may be enough to cool the ring and burner and I suspect it would. I have not tested that.) I have tested turning the compressed air way down from a starting pressure of 8 or 10 to 2 pounds or so. There seemed to be no reduction in burner performance at very low compressed air and no evident improvement at high compressed air pressures around 30 or so. I can push more than enough diesel fuel into my siphon burner by using a simple and very inexpensive 12v 8-10 PSI automotive diaphragm fuel pump with the compressed air at 2 PSI.

    On my last melt I ran the burner at 2 PSI after warm-up and found that I needed to increase my combustion air, provided by a re-purposed 12v hand-held blower, slightly to compensate for slightly decreased total air available for combustion due to the reduced volume provided by the compressor. Otherwise, I think all these folks touting Brutes and the like must be right. In a good hot furnace (they warm u on propane typically) the siphon may offer little over a drip burner. If that is true, you can save on your compressor since at 2 PSI it will cycle on and off very infrequently.

    That blower is housed in a plywood insulated box to reduce it noise level.

  5. oldironfarmer

    oldironfarmer Silver

    Very well put, Pat.

    I must say I can't imagine anything being easier or simpler than a drip burner with a pressurized tank (or fuel pump, but a fuel pump is moving parts and a pressurized tank just takes a bit of air).

    Bottom line, once the box is hot, all you need is air a fuel somehow inserted into the firebox. Drip burners prove you don't need atomization after things are hot.
  6. oldironfarmer

    oldironfarmer Silver

    I guess the real bottom line, why not put your crucible in the Glumpy Burner.
  7. Tobho Mott

    Tobho Mott Silver Banner Member

    Agreed. Even Glumpy said as much in the comments.

  8. PatJ

    PatJ Silver Banner Member

    I have shared a few comments with him via y-tube in the last year or so.
    I am not sure he knew who I was, but he did return with some comments (some folks will forgive and forget, and some will harbor a grudge to the grave; not sure where he falls on that spectrum).
    I asked him if he was going to get back into the oil burner scene, but he seems to have grown weary of it, and is perhaps into other things ? (that is my slant on what he said).

    I love enthusiastic people who do backyard casting work.
    It makes it a lot more fun.
    I will have to look for that video.

    I love the reaction that guy above had when he opened the mold and found out that his casting had turned out ok even after his mold split open (same guy as the bottle opener video).
    I have experienced that too, and as long as the part is in the drag, you can often still get a usable part even if the mold splits (I use a lot of weights these days).

    I would agree that a siphon nozzle burner is a piece of cake to start on diesel at any temperature.
    I decided I was going to go with a drip-style burner like the one ironsides uses, and so built it and tried to make it work.
    It was a miserable experience to say the least, and I have a video of that if you look at my videos. (see "Drip-Style Burner Tests - 11-20-18").

    As usual, I built my burner to what I thought was exactly like ironsides, and as usual, his burner works perfectly and mine was totally uncontrollable, and was fluctuating all over the place.
    So either ironsides knows something I don't, or I am a dumbass, or both are quite possibly true, the latter perhaps is a given.

    I tried this one time, but it did not seem to work well at all.
    Perhaps I did not have the furnace hot enough.
    I have seen some who run much less pressure to a siphon nozzle burner.
    I think Myford runs 15 psi ?
    Technically, it seems you should be able to run a siphon-nozzle burner with no compressed air once the furnace is hot, but I could not prove it with actual testing.

    I don't see any way for that to happen, since the nozzle has cool liquid flowing through it, and thus is liquid-cooled.
    I don't use an o-ring anymore in my siphon nozzle, so I can pretty much leave it in place with impunity, although you have to be a little cautious so that the fuel in the tip does not coke up from the heat after the burner is turned off.

    The siphon nozzle burner is about the most variable burner I have ever tried, and it works smoothly with almost no fluctuation over a very wide fuel flow range, with and without combustion air.
    For small melts, it can be operated as naturally aspirating, and you can use it at a reduced heat level (like the guy in the video above did).

    I have heard this argument before, and seen others like ironsides prove it with actual results, but I can't recreate that situation myself, so I stick with my siphon-nozzle atomization, and would argue that atomization is critical, at least for me to achieve a consistent burner control and get a smooth, non-fluctuating burn.
    I recall trying pressures above 30 psi, and that seemed to actually cool the furnace.
    No doubt a siphon nozzle burner can be operated at less than 30 psi, but I stick with 30 psi.

    And as I mentioned, once I get the gear pump rig finished, my siphon-nozzle burner will be relegated to a backup unit, and I will not longer be using compressed air unless I have a problem in mid-melt with my pressure-style burner.

    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  9. oldironfarmer

    oldironfarmer Silver

    Well Pat you seem to be pretty hard on yourself. You do seem to over analyze stuff before doing it but that's a personality thing that's not going to change. Just look at the results.

    If you have a link I'd like to look at your drip burner. You've seen mine run, and I just guessed at what to do. Maybe I was lucky, but I really think they work easily, and your experience is different. I'd like to look into it to see what might be different.

    Glad you're gearing up to cast.
  10. PatJ

    PatJ Silver Banner Member

    It gives a point of reference, so that when you start testing things, you can either prove or disprove your theories.
    Some people just blindly stumble into builds, and never stop to ask why it works, or how it could work better.
    From an engineering design standpoint, the blind approach is a very bad one, and I come from 34 year engineering design background, so you can sort of see why I do what I do.
    I stick with a scientific approach with data collection, and that format that has worked well for me for many years, and has been highly profitable too.
    My approach is not for everyone, and perhaps not for anyone, but it works for me.
    I like self-depreciating humor; it keeps one humble (as humble as is possible in my case).

    This it the downside to us living scattered all over the world.
    Someone with drip-style burner experience could not doubt show me what I am doing wrong in a few minutes.
    I learn more at the F.I.R.E. event in a week than I sometimes do in years talking over the net to folks.

    I blog a lot on this forum.
    Is that a good thing?
    Not sure, but it sure makes me feel better.
    Everyone else who reads my stuff is probably contemplating jumping off a cliff (DON"T DO IT, or if you do, have somenoe get it on video and post it.) :)

    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  11. Ironsides

    Ironsides Silver

    The glumpy burner has a fearsome reputation when it comes to getting it to work and controlling it but he showed that was just a myth. I was most impressed when the flame was very stable outside the furnace and also when connected to the furnace. Pat I think you gave up too early trying to get the glumpy burner to work and deserves a revisit seeing that that he had no trouble getting it to work.
  12. oldironfarmer

    oldironfarmer Silver

    Yeah, I retired after 45 years as a Mechanical Engineer. Probably not a very good engineer but I can go toe to toe with each discipline including planners and estimators.

    Some fields are so broad that a full analysis is paralyzing. I can't learn the entire field of foundry work so I'm picking my way through the brush to get the results I want. I'm tickled to death I don't have peer review to limit what I do.

    For instance, I have no idea how much oil I'm burning. I run my leaf blower on low speed for aluminum with 10 psi on the oil tank and the needle valve almost closed and my air damper wide open. For brass and copper I leave the leaf blower on low and wait a little longer, 30 minutes to melt instead of 15 on aluminum. For the three iron melts I've done I needed to up the leaf blower to high speed and cracked open the needle valve more to get the flame I want. I'm cheap and don't want to overheat my crucible so I warm rather slowly. The burner would certainly put out a lot more. The more I watch others the more I think having a big firebox is an asset.
  13. Rasper

    Rasper Copper

    Allow me to bust another misconception: that drip oil burners are hard to get started. I made a U-Tube video years ago of me starting my Hot Shot burner. (My only video.) It's simple.

    The qualities I like about drip burners are:
    • they are easy and cheap to build
    • they do not require filters, pressure feeds, fuel pumps, or compressors
    • there are no nozzles to clog up
    • they can put out as much heat as I can pump in air and oil
  14. Rasper

    Rasper Copper

    An addendum:

    I miss Glumpy. Over on AA, where I am the administrator, the moderators were unanimous in wanting to ban him. I am not a dictator. I bowed to their decision to ban him. But I still miss him. He had a priceless sense of humor, an ironical slant on life that I loved, and an inspiring irreverence. The world needs more Glumpys, and perhaps fewer administrators and moderators.

    _Jason, Jason and Tobho Mott like this.
  15. PatJ

    PatJ Silver Banner Member

    My main objection to the "glumpy" burner (technically an Ursutz) is that the one I built weighs about 40 lbs, and is made of thick steel.
    It is a real pain to drag in and out of the shed, and is large and bulky and takes up a lot of space in the shed.
    Thin steel will not last any time at all, and even thick stainless will fail on you when you least expect it (Clarke).

    I can literally lift my siphon nozzle burner with two fingers, and it is compact and easy to hang on the wall to store it.

    My second objection is the degradation that the burner experiences over a short period of time, due to the heat, which causes heavy scaling.
    This does not happen with a drip or siphon-nozzle style burner.

    The burner style that deflects heat out of a hole in the furnace and onto the burner tube is a Rube Goldberg arrangement at best, and this is totally unnecessary (my opinion only, I am sure the guys who use this style burner love it).
    But again you will get into some serious burner tube degradation over time, and will be operating a senselessly hot burner tube, with tends to cook/melt anything connected to it.

    There are too many long-term con's to the Glumpy burner, although it does work well in the short term.

  16. PatJ

    PatJ Silver Banner Member

    Well I do, my wife looks out the door when the big flames are coming up and things are going terribly wrong, and says in a genteel southern voice "Is everything ok ? ".
    I give her "that look" and she knows to go back inside and NOT call the fire department, no matter how big the flames get.
    She is also an engineer, but don't hold that against her, she really is a nice person.

    Richard has a valid point; drip-style burners are very simple and robust.
    I wish I could make mine work, but alas I have given up on it and moved on, and there is no going back for me.
    If my drip-style burner had worked perfectly when I tested it last year, you can bet that would be the burner I would be using.

    I miss the good side of him.
    He could be very entertaining and pleasant to chat with (and still is).
    On a bad day, he was no fun to be around at all.
    We all have our good and bad days, and lord knows I am no saint, but he crossed some boundaries that you should not cross on a forum.

  17. OMM

    OMM Silver Banner Member

    Since I am so green to this hobby...

    Are most saying that the drip burn chamber outside the furnace will have a limited fire time to reach appropriate melting temperatures?

    And there would be a fair amount of build up?
  18. Melterskelter

    Melterskelter Silver

    Pat, I guess you tried turning your compressed air down on the siphon burner and had trouble getting good heating. I have been trying this option of late and feel the siphon burner may make a very convenient drip burner. It has the nice feature of starting simly and immediately on compressed air at only 8 pounds and then running for maybe 10-15 minutes with atomizing air until the furnace is good and hot. Then it becomes a drip burner if you turn the compressed air off and open up the combustion air a bit.

    I've been thinking more about my probably mistaken concern for the o-ring if the copressed air is off. Indeed the fuel flow and combustion air flow should dissipate the radiant heat that strikes the burner and keep the nozzle cool enough to prevent melting the ring. (And you don't even have a ring in yours!) So, next melt in a few days will include completely turning off the compressed air where last time I turned it down to about 2 pounds with no ill effects on performance or ring.

    I like the idea of the external burner but can see the disadvantages you point out. Its evident major advantage is that the cold portion of the combustion process takes place outside the furnace and only the already hot portion of the flame is introduced into the furnace. Makes sense. I have been wondering of scaling could be minimized by coating the external burner with
  19. PatJ

    PatJ Silver Banner Member

    Trouble with atomization.
    It started smoking, puddling in the bottom of the furnace, etc.

    A feature that is actually a disadvantage.
    It runs so hot at its maximum that it will ruin the crucible, so it is a self-defeating feature.
    You build a burner that produces more heat outside the furnace, and then have to turn it down to prevent overheating the crucible.
    There is absolutely no logic to this.

    The best way to make an Ursutz is using refractory in my opinion.

    The best way to melt iron in my opinion is to use a lightweight drip or siphon-nozzel style burner with a combustion air blower, and not use an Ursutz burner at all, but then we would not have these cool videos, so there is that.

    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  20. DavidF

    DavidF Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    The one thing that I see as a benefit to the Glumpy burner is that it increases the size of the combustion area possibly eliminating the cooler area at the bottom of the furnace that some have run into.

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