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Waste Oil Burner For Backyard Foundry
***UPDATE: As strange as it sounds, I stumbled upon a lot of pipe fittings from what seems to be a plumbing supply warehouse that went out of business. I still needed to pick up a handful more fittings for these and a few other builds. I spent about $120 on the lot of pipe fittings and wound up with thousands of them. Including an assortment of fittings that I had no idea even existed - some of which look like they might turn out to be pretty useful in the construction of these burners
Burner #1 Ingredients...
The Process...
Key to this build are my air compressor and oxygen station. I already knew that I wanted to have the ability to use concentrated O2 for my foundry from the time that remaking it was just an idea. It's benefits are too great. Especially with a waste oil burner that otherwise needs to be heated to over 400*F to even work. But pure O2 can make oil spontaneously combust without the high temperature. As a result, NEVER use any product with oil in an O2 line if you do something like this yourself. Don't even use regular white thread tape. Use the green, O2-specific thread tape. It's about $5 for peace of mind. I hate spending a penny more than necessary because that's a penny that could be spent on a different project instead. And my budget is already pathetic. But I can't build anything if I blow myself up. Please do a LOT of research before working with explosive gases... And now back to your regularly scheduled program... I learned about these interesting devices called oxygen concentrators and began looking for one. Their secondhand market is pretty rough. A device that costs over a grand new, can be found for $1-200 used. I ended up finding one for $60. Now I could make the oxygen, but had no idea how to actually apply it to my projects. So I started looking into applying the O2 to the burner. I have a bunch of O2 regulator fittings and parts (explained on My Welding Page - it was quite the mess) that I am now able to use in the assembly of my O2 super whip that should make it a good bit cheaper/easier. But in the meantime I can just lug a cylinder to the foundry to be able to test run it and whatnot. I totally forgot that I already have a disposable O2 cylinder with regulator/check valve, hose and 1/4" NPT fittings already that can just plug & play with this burner. The one part that I still need for my burner to reach completion is support. Just this burner unit would sag if it's only support is the connection to the foundry. With a jug of oil on top, it's likely to just snap off. So I need to support the oil jug as well as the burner. I also will likely seal together the fittings and adapters from the jug lid/input down to the 1/8" NPT pipe nipple that is essentially the oil nozzle.

As most people that have looked into or built a waste oil burner know, one issue that everyone has needed to contend with is the need for a secondary fuel to fuel the burner until the oil heats up enough to combust. As my being sick of needing to constantly drive to the store and buy propane was a key motivator for building a waste oil burner, I didn't much care for the idea of still needing propane to be able to burn oil. With this in mind, I came up with a couple ways to address this issue. First, what seemed to be the most obvious approach, an inline chamber to preheat the oil. I have a few old espresso machines that I gutted for other parts (switches specifically). The main body of these machines seemed like the perfect solution. I only needed to adapt them to attach to my burner. So I brazed fittings for that purpose and hooked it up.

The second approach I took serves 2 purposes. It should create initial combustion, but should also make the burner reach much higher temperatures. And best of all, I don't need to go buy it. All I need is electricity. But if there's no accessible electricity, I can use a cylinder instead.


I think I'm going to make an alternative burner that's completely different from this design just to compare since I have all of the parts that I need to do it already. Will update as it progresses...

The key part to this burner will be my fuel pump. It's just a cheap bolt-on inline automotive fuel pump - as a result, it requires a 12V DC adapter. And because it's a simple inline bolt-on, it's easy to power with a generic 12VDC adapter and bolt to the system. Very little customization. I picked up some older espresso machines a couple months ago because they had cool power switches that I wanted that cost more per switch than the entire espresso machines. As a result, I ended up with a bunch of parts that I consider basically free after using the switches. That's where I got the siphon hose w/ filter that is where the oil will enter the system. And then, after the fuel pump, I will be installing the high pressure water heater from one of them that I will likely try to braze on a common thread output to connect it into the fittings that will ultimately be the burner assembly.

I put the cheap burner together along with the cheesiest "mount" ever so that I could test it ASAP. My original burner is done as well, but it still needs a mount - which I will likely carve out of a firebrick and then make a rack to support the waste oil jug and then I'll be testing it as well. For a video of it, please check out my new YouTube channel.

***UPDATE: As strange as it sounds, I stumbled upon a lot of pipe fittings from what looked like a plumbing supply warehouse that went out of business. I still needed to pick up a handful more fittings for these and a few other builds. I spent about $120 on the lot of pipe fittings and wound up with thousands of them. Including an assortment of fittings that I had no idea even existed - some of which look like they might turn out to be pretty useful in the construction of these burners
Burner #2 Ingredients...
The Process...
Here are the beta versions of my two burners. Obviously the stand on the pump burner is temporary, it's only a few bolts with a few nuts on each with some pieces of scrap wood to stand it up. If I used it like this, I'm almost sure to knock it over and that would be disastrous. I also included a teaser pic of my original burner's updated design. And finally, I included a pic of the glass jugs of waste oil as well as one empty jug with the original label on it still if anybody wanted to use these jugs themselves (the apple juice is fantastic too). The next picture/video update will be test firings. So please stay tuned.