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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
built myself a used oil burner, for heating my shop at home- why give away free heating fuel? kicking myself in the *** for not building one sooner- i have taken alot of used engine oil in for ''recycling'' aka the company that ''recycles'' the used oil around here, uses the oil to fire the burners on their steam trucks....and they DO NOT pay for the used oil-they just pick it up for free...

the design is rather simple, an old pressure tank cut open and bladder removed, legs welded on, and a 5inch hole on top, for the flue pipe. one small hole for the copper drip tube, and a larger hole for the forced induction....
Gas Cylinder Auto part Electrical supply Metal
Fluid Gas Cylinder Machine Metal
Fire Amber Wood Gas Flame

crappy picture, but you get the idea. first test run, was making over 500 *f !!!!

then to find its forever home in the shop...BUT its easily removed, if need be...
Fluid Gas Cylinder Liquid Machine

and it makes really good heat....
Cyclocomputer Automotive tire Bicycle accessory Watch Measuring instrument

for the Americans.....
Hand Cyclocomputer Automotive tire Measuring instrument Bicycle accessory

and one reading, for the Canadians....


this cobbled together heater is called Frankenstein- many random junkyard parts went into it.
i have a large rubbermaid water container, that the spout/ valve was broken ....removed the valve, installed a bulkhead barb fitting, pvc tubing to a ball valve, then to a gate valve so i can fine - tune the oil flow/ heat output.

vented the heater out a nearby window-that way i can completely remove the vent and close the window for summer.

the inside of the tank has added thermal mass- 2 extra rotors and drums, along with the burner drum that has a 5 inch steel milling ball in the center of the drum, and then a bunch of old timing gears from a detroit diesel , that line the insides- around the burner drum..

burner drum is from a geo metro, with the studs still installed. mades a nice burner pot.

air delivery comes from fans taken from powered- vent hot water tanks- but currently using one of the wife's extra hair dryers, hooked up to a variable a/c speed control...the hot water tank fans have too much cfm at low settings, plus they have capacitor starters on them, and dont like being used on the a/c speed controller.
but if used, i can feed that drum more oil, and make LOTS of heat.

fresh air is pulled thru a piped hole in the window where the exhaust passes thru- they are more than far enough apart to prevent co2 from entering...

i bought a bag of roxul insulation, to protect the air and electrical lines that are behind ''frank''
i have since put up tin foil on the insulation behind it, making it radiate heat better.

on ''low drip'' setting it kept the shop at a balmy 23*c and it was -14*c outside...

burns about 1liter of oil an hour. alot less than what my propane overhead forced air furnace uses!!
and the heat makes everything warm to the touch-nice.

i do all my own oil changes, and i can get free used oil from work.

burns almost smoke free- and i can make it ''roll coal'' as well...ha ha

there will be continuous upgrades and changes..
need to build a better sealing front door. got those plans in my brain....

one son wants to wrap and weld old chain to the outside, for more thermal mass...
the other son wants to modify a brake rotor from a f 650 and drop that on the top, around the flue pipe, and use it as a radiant heater/ thermal mass/ cook-top ...
i was thinking of welding 3 tubes thru it, and using a fan to blow thru the tubes, while the fire is making them hot on the inside- like a heat exchanger of sorts..
 

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I've been aware of waste oil heaters and know they are very popular outside of the US. I've been more interested lately as I'm in the middle of building my second barrel stove. I recently saw a video where an oil burner was made out of an ammo can and some gutter downspout. It put out similar temps and they were using just whatever commercially purchased oil at a price of $2.50 a gallon. The ammo can holds 1/2 gallon at a time and will burn 12 hours at a time on that amount. It slightly different than most waste oil burners, but I was very interested in building one for my GP Small military tent since the wood stove that comes with it only burns for about 3 hours before it needs refilled and everyone was waking up cold every morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
brand new oil wont burn very good- it needs the impurities from an internal combustion engine , to help make the oil burn...
used transmission oil doesnt burn as hot- no gasoline impurities, just old dirty atf-

i made a mark on the side of my bolt bin, i use that as reference for fuel flow vs temperature...

the mark made is basically ''idle''- provides just enough oil to keep it hot and burning, and warm enough overall to work in...
but turn it 1.5 notches towards open and crank up the air speed- and the temps rise quickly-

it kept my shop nicely warm , at ''idle'', (22*c) while working on the trooper, my son fixing the atv, and wifey sleeping on the couch.

but if need be, i increase oil flow and airflow and the temps rise rather quickly- i like it. i have 2 weeks off of work coming up, and i would rather enjoy a warm workshop, without having to empty my propane tank, to keep me warm...

not quite 1 liter per hour today.

next mod may be the cross-over tubes. but its getting cold and i rather enjoy the heat i get from it already....but more is better...
 

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Here is the video I was referring to, it's more of an oil lamp than a waste oil heater. I'm not trying to divert attention from what you've built, just posting for reference. I'm very interested in a waste oil heater for many reasons, and a couple different locations as well.


I hear you on the warm garage though. My last garage was partially heated, and never dropped below about 50 degrees. I was spoiled without really knowing it. Our new house has a big natural gas heater, and I just got it up and running tonight, and man, what a difference! This new garage has been about 36 F the last few days, and that's rough.
 

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We had them at a couple of the dealership shops when I worked for Toyota, they used it tp heat the whole building in the winter w a heat exchanger setup. Huge building and a 56 bay shop. They obviously used the oil from the oil changes, worked awesome and they never complained about notching up the thermostat a few degrees when it was cold out. I guess its based on the same principle of the fuel oil furnace my grandmother still has in her house. Shes 93 lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wood Gas Automotive exterior Auto part Metal

heat exchanger tubes- heavy wall 2 inch pipe
Automotive tire Gas Auto part Automotive wheel system Rim
a 3cyl suzuki manifold for input air
Automotive lighting Gas Astronomical object Magenta Space
got it hot
Automotive lighting Tints and shades Gas Sky Drinkware
nice and hot!


making a few changes here and there- the tubes with the hair dryer blowing thru them really increases heat output.

will try a different fan than the hair dryer- its loud. computer fans dont have enough cfm, tried those. will look for a 4, 5 or 6 inch inline duct fan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
depends how hot i run it- the hotter the fire, the cleaner the oil burns. i get a little black smoke from the chimney, like a small diesel engine leaving a stop light- mostly heat - the temps at the end of the stack are over 400*c

BUT I CAN MAKE IT ROLL COAL LIKE CRAZY, depending on the air input vs fuel volume...

in the shop it smells like- well, a shop. when first lighting the fire there is some puffs of black out the door, but when it gets up to temp and starts doing its thermal draft thru the exhaust, it pulls the fumes out rather easily.

smells like you started a smokey isuzu , then backed it out of the shop- the smell is almost non- existent.
or i have gone nose blind...

burning burnt atf from brendas dead transmission- now that had a different smell and burn rate. basically smelled like a transmission shop. not overpowering, but that smell is well known...

oil cut with diesel smells like- a diesel exhaust with undertones of oil burning ha ha

spicey fuel- oil cut with sour/ stale gas- now that burns hot.

will constantly keep upgrading and altering the heater- just like a trooper...
 
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