The best of the best burners!

Discussion in 'Burners and their construction' started by OMM, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. OMM

    OMM Silver Banner Member

    Let’s assume we needed to be totally portable. And we only a have hook up of 120 V at 15 A.

    So my monster air compressor, it is now out of the running...

    I don’t want to use propane! (Maybe just a small torch if needed.)

    I only want to use diesel & recycled car engine oil...but mainly engine oil.

    Remember this is portable. (No 30 foot rigging for elevation to pressurize The fuel source. In 20 to 30°C outside temperatures.)

    Enough combustion to melt cast-iron.

    Remember I’m new to this game. But I’m sure if we all put our minds together... maybe I’ll/we’ll come up with something!

    The reason I am asking this is, I might be building this summer a small foundry shed in my backyard with primary heating source being used motor oil.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  2. Jason

    Jason Gold Banner Member

  3. Petee716

    Petee716 Silver Banner Member

    I think preheating a drip without propane or a compressor will be a challenge. Another option for preheating is to build a wood fire, but that gets sparky and tedious. I haven't watched any of Glumpys many vids lately, but he gets fire from waste oil with minimal or no preheat. Ironsides started a thread recently here that might get you going. I think that's what Jason is referring to above.
    Another possibility might be to use an atomizing nozzle like a Delevan. Not like the "siphons" that many of us use with compressors (me included), but one that atomizes by means of a pump. PatJ posted a pretty comprehensive comparison explanation of those types of nozzles awhile ago.. Maybe he can post a link to it.

    You may be able to run it from a unit from a home heating furnace. I think 4cylinderfury over on Alloyavenue might run one. It may exceed your amp requirements though, I don't know. It may not be as easy as that, I've never really looked into it. Another way I've seen it done is with an automotive power steering pump driven by a fractional hp motor. A member named Topendscraper also at AA used one. That would keep the amp draw within reason.
    Even with the atomizing nozzle that I use with a compressor, I still preheat with diesel and then switch over to WO. Trying to burn waste oil in furnace that's not quite hot enough is ungratifying at best.

    Or maybe you could give in on the propane. It's easy and makes the whole issue go away.

  4. oldironfarmer

    oldironfarmer Silver

    So there you have it. Good descriptions.

    If you don't want to use propane to start you add complexity and stuff to go wrong. I'd take a propane start any day over a mechanical pump to atomize the fuel (and associated filtration and cleanout of small orifices). You won't spend much on propane compared to a pump and maintenance of the pump.

    If you're building a shed in the back yard why does it have to be portable?

    You need to pressurize your oil supply tank just a little to make the oil flow easily.

    Bottom line: most all the burners people on here use work well. It boils down to getting oil into a hot furnace. Does not have to be atomized (that's for cold start without a preheat source), does not have to be clean (that's for small orifices), does not have to be consistent (you can burn oil, gear grease, transmission fluid, cooking oil, paint thinner, gasoline and other liquids which burn). If you want to impress people that you can start your oil with the flick of a switch it's already been done, millions of units for 100 years in home heating furnaces. I'm impressed by people who can light their furnace and melt metal over and over without maintenance.
  5. OMM

    OMM Silver Banner Member

    I’m still working on it. Haven’t lit it yet. I’m waiting till mid month to know exactly what kind of brick I am going to be getting(and their condition) for free. From there, I’ll build the furnace.
  6. PatJ

    PatJ Silver Banner Member

    I am traveling and cant find anything on this tiny phone.

    I will find the gear pump nozzle link tonight.
  7. Jason

    Jason Gold Banner Member

    What are you guys talking about? Glumpy never used propane to get his burner running. A rag soaked in diesel and he started on straight veggie oil. watch the videos.
    He didn't need 30ft of gravity, he didn't use propane, It will get hot enough to melt iron, and it didn't require the use of a compressor. It didn't require any nozzle, atomizer or anything other than
    a small piece of copper pipe to drip oil in the old fire extinguisher. Yeah he was a nut case, but the thing was NASTY HOT.
  8. Tobho Mott

    Tobho Mott Silver Banner Member

    Gravity feed for a drip burner doesn't need 30 feet of elevation. I only have to stand on my tippy toes to hang up my oil tank on a hook.

    I doubt I'd ever say it's the 'best of the best', but my new furnace and everything I need to melt and pour all fits in the back of my minivan. For me though, that includes a standard gas BBQ size propane tank.

    I suppose you might get a hot shot or brute type drip burner to start on diesel and/or waste oil without propane, if you used some wood or charcoal for preheat. Thereby avoiding the need for a Glumpy style external burn chamber. But I have never tried that. Other than that all you'd need is an outlet for your shop vac or leaf blower.

    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  9. HT1

    HT1 Silver

    this subject has been stuck in my Craw for a while . so Bear with me

    Mifco Claims their High speed Melters melt Brass in 35 Minutes on Propane or natural Gas ( read the Link above) and will Make Cast Fe temps
    They use a cast dense Refractory over a Kaowool like product . In short their System is WAY more efficient then any of the Furnaces and burners we are building
    and Yes the B30 and Newer b301 have a cart option and run on 110 ( probably Hard wired) but the B 30 is alot of furnace.

    So in short : what are We the Hobbiest missing???? because the two trends I see are insulation and Oil . and the Professional furnace that is outperforming all of us seems to use none of the above.


    V/r HT1

    P.S. I personally think that there is some airflow and Volume Numbers that we do not have the Means to experiment with that make furnaces way more efficient. I think most of us are blowing the heat(energy) out of the top of our furnace
  10. Rasper

    Rasper Copper

    I am sure you are right, and if I were paying for fuel I would care about efficiency, but with free fuel and a Hot Shot burner that can make an almost unlimited amount of heat, I see no need to even think about it.
  11. Jason

    Jason Gold Banner Member

    I've got a bottomless source of used motor oil and Jet fuel. Why I'm not driving an old 70's diesel benz is beyond me.
  12. Rasper

    Rasper Copper

    I'll tell you why.

    I had a 1980 300D for over twenty years. I finally sold it last year. I bought it from a good friend who was ninety years old and couldn't drive any more. He bought it new and took meticulous care of it. It had a new factory transmission. I replaced the entire front end, the calipers and rotors, and a ton of other stuff. It drove like a new car up to when I sold it. Why did I sell it? Mercedes-Benz nowadays is a poor remnant of its former self. They have stopped making a lot of the parts for the older Benzes, something they used to take pride in. And the mechanics who were factory trained to work on them are mostly retired or dead now.

    From an engineering standpoint, those W123 Benzes were maybe the finest cars ever built. They cost 20,000 dollars back then, and they sold a ton of them; they were everywhere. Today that would be equal to about 100,000 dollars. They couldn't make a car that good and sell it. Few people now can afford a hundred thousand dollar car.

    Jason likes this.
  13. You can trade efficiency for speed which makes sense if you are paying wages and have to wait around for an hour to melt a pot of bronze. Propane's speed of combustion makes it easy to build a fast working furnace without getting too scientific. This furnace runs off propane and can melt an A25 full of brass in 15 minutes from cold, it's been estimated to be around 3% efficient and wastes heat to get the speed. It has been used to cast monel and has melted stainless steel to win a bet (2700 deg F) . It has 3" of dense castable refractory and gets to 680 deg F or 360 deg C on the outside of the furnace. The exhaust is full of unburnt fuel when tested but in 1958, gas was very cheap and the time saved meant it was more productive to do so.

  14. oldironfarmer

    oldironfarmer Silver

    Did you notice they said to turn their furnace down when melting aluminum or it would blow aluminum out the top. Their air blower is putting about a lot more pressure than anything we use. And their melt times are not that much less than what we get, are they? More flame with more fuel makes faster melt times. Nothing magic about their insulation or burner design. So long as you get the fuel burned you get the heat into the furnace.
  15. Like you say, it's all down to rate of burn, propane burns faster than oils so you can burn more fuel... and it's more energy dense than oil.
  16. Jammer

    Jammer Silver Banner Member

    The best burner is the one that works for you. Too many variables, size of furnace , inside diameter, insulation, exhaust hole size... etc. I like forced air propane and forced air oil drip burner.
    oldironfarmer likes this.
  17. PatJ

    PatJ Silver Banner Member

    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  18. OMM

    OMM Silver Banner Member

    OK, here’s my thoughts... all fuels need some sort of oxygen to burn. Since the simplest (cheapest) way is just using outside air, the air we breathe and all around us.

    Has anybody made a direct relationship to gallons per minute of oil to CFM of air?

    To elevate things one step further let’s say the CFM was under different pressures. This is some food for thought, if I can deliver a max 150 CFM through a garden hose, (and that can be variable) what would be the gallons per minute or gallons per hour suitable to have a clean burn with a 3 to 4 inch exhaust.

    Jason on this site, (has done a very well documented) uses our old microwave squirrel cage fan(Jason great videos by the way). Jason chokes or throttles his fuel mixture to the CFM that is a capable in a feeder tube.

    Some other guys pressurize there oil to get enough output to suit the air.

    I guess what I’m getting at is,..... if you if you can control your oil flow from anything from 1 gallon to 12 gallons an hour, what kind of CFM would you need for the variable steps?
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  19. PatJ

    PatJ Silver Banner Member

    This blower on its lowest speed is what is required to burn 3 gal/hr of diesel in my 13" dia x 14" tall (interior dimensions) furnace.
    I don't use the black plastic extension on it when melting iron.

  20. OMM

    OMM Silver Banner Member

    Pat, do you know what the CFM is at the lowest speed for 3 gallons per hour?

    And is the pipe you are feeding it into bigger than the blower and the hole at the top of the furnace bigger than the pipe the blower is attached to?

    It is nice to know that you have variable speed on your blower. Is even better that you know that your best burns are at some of your lower CFM levels. What happens if you click your blower up one notch? Do you have to add more fuel to keep a fine balance?

    Edit; I do believe you stated you have to pressurize your fuel to keep your flow rate adequate to your air rate. Am I correct?

    Edit; Pat I looked up the maximum airspeed for the unit you pictured. It looks like it has 350 CFM. Most manufactures would not measure this with any of the black tipped down piping. Have you ever measured the CFM exhaust thing from the top of the furnace without the furnace running and just the blower?
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019

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