Editor’s Note: This article describes an oil burning backyard foundry that Jason built in 2005.
I started with this old minnow bucket. It measures 9 inches high x 9 inches in diameter. I used a dremel tool to cut holes in the bucket, round hole for the flame output, square hole for the blower.
This is the preheat coil for the burner. It’s just some 3/8″ copper tubing wrapped around a 5 inch diameter soup can. The cardboard is the inner form, so the tubing gets embedded in the refractory.
These are the intake and output pieces. The round one is a coffee can and the square one is a piece of sheet metal bent into a square duct.
Well, here is it all put together. The oil drip pipe has been put on (see arrow) and yes, it’s both preheat and oil dripping. I can use either one or both at the same time.
Here’s a front view of the burner with the blower. Looks pretty good, doesn’t it? (The blower came from an upright vacuum cleaner.)
So there’s all the stuff for the homemade refractory cement. I use the recipe from BYMC.com. It’s 1.5 parts portland cement, 2 parts silica sand, 1.5 parts perlite and 2 parts fire clay.
Well there’s me in my basement, next to my warm wood stove, with the refractory all mixed up (this stuff is hard to mix!).
So there’s the burner full of refractory and the lid waiting for its turn.
Lid filled. Now I have to wait for everything to dry. It will take 4 days…
Finally we get to the good stuff. Well boys and girls, there she runs! Now I can brag that I have a oil burner that runs on pure waste oil. (If you are wondering why there isn’t much flame, that’s because it was the first time running it.) Oh, and I use little chunks of wood to preheat the chamber before I run the oil (in these pictures, through the preheat coil).
Now that’s better! Ok so this time I preheat the oil burner with my propane burner. I just stick the burner into the blower hole and it heats up in about two minutes and there’s no messy chunks of wood flying everywhere.
Ok first I use my propane burner to heat the chamber to red hot, then I put the blower back on, turn it on, open the oil valve and the oil goes down though the preheat coil, gets vaporized, comes out the bottom and starts flaming. Oh and the preheat coil is encased in the refractory so it won’t melt.
Styled and edited by Tim, 02/2005.