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Sophiedoc
03-20-2007, 09:30 AM
Haven't had any luck finding out on the backyard foundry sites etc. to tell me if I could use an old Lennox burner removed from a home in which the fellow changed to wood.I would just use fuel oil to avoid the preheat with used oil. Will this thing produce enough heat and if so does the igniter continue to fire after the burner starts and if not what shuts it off?I plan on directing the flame into an insulated furnace setup much as used with propane for forging etc.Thanks in advance for any help.

J. R. Williams
03-20-2007, 09:57 AM
Doc
The standard old fuel oil burner will have a "Stack control" that senses the heat from the burner and controls the ignition spark. It will shut down the burner and prevent the fire box from filling up with fuel oil if there is a flame out.

JRW

Tin Falcon
03-20-2007, 09:58 AM
To answer the first qustion yes you should be able to use an oil burner. This is covered some in The Metal casters Bible & The Complete Book of Sandcasting both by C.W. Amem published by TAB books.
To answer the second question I would research Oil furnace repair either in the library or on line.Also check the Lenox web site for a manual. Oil heaters have control systems with safetys built in. For instance flame sensors to prevent the chamer from being flooded with oil in the case of a flame out. Whether you decide to use or bypass these safteys IMHO you should learn how they work and what they do. Oil heat is a common appliance there should be lot of info out there. Hope this helps.
Regards
Jim

Optics Curmudgeon
03-20-2007, 10:08 AM
I had oil heat when I lived "back east", and being the kind of guy I am I investigated the function of the three burners I was exposed to. The following is based on those three and more modern ones may vary. The ignition transformers were wired in parallel with the motors, so the spark was on as long as the motor ran. The safety system, sometimes a stack temperature sensor (as mentioned by JRW) and sometimes a photocell observing the flame, would kill the burner if it either didn't fire or went out. The burner expects a specific size of firebox, to allow complete combustion. There is some adjustment, via oil nozzle size and air damper adjustment. One problem is that these can't be throttled, but run at one setting. The oil flow is set by the nozzle size, and the air volume is adjusted to the proper value. You get about 110,000 BTU per gallon of oil, and a typical home oil burner is about 110,000 BTU per hour, which is a lot of heat for a forge. Personally, I'd go with natural gas or propane.

joe

Evan
03-20-2007, 10:26 AM
I'd go with the propane. Forget natural gas unless you plan on running it a lot, it has one third the heat value of propane for the same volume. You will need a much larger burner with methane.

One thing I am going to look into for small amounts of aluminum is an electric induction furnace.

Swarf&Sparks
03-20-2007, 10:31 AM
"One thing I am going to look into for small amounts of aluminum is an electric induction furnace."

Interesting idea Evan.
Seems to be a proliferation of induction cooktops in recent years.
Should be able to find em in a skip soon :)

Evan
03-20-2007, 12:17 PM
Induction furni are very efficient and need no venting. Just right for small casting jobs in the garage. It's possible to do it with 60 cycle power and I have about 12 kilowatts available in the shop. I could make it 24 if I ran a bit more wire. Should throw a few out of phase windings around the power meter if I do that though. ;)

Swarf&Sparks
03-20-2007, 12:20 PM
A mere 10Kw available here :(
On a more realistic note ( for me) any ideas/links on a "bearing heater" induction setup?

Evan
03-20-2007, 12:32 PM
I haven't looked into it at all yet but I would think that a healthy transformer of the spot welding variety with a few coils of heavy copper tubing or bar stock around the work would be a start. I have a transformer just waiting for my attention...

http://vts.bc.ca/pics/xformer1.jpg

Swarf&Sparks
03-20-2007, 12:39 PM
If I had that much copper and iron lying around, I'd probably build a spot welder.

Seastar
03-20-2007, 01:04 PM
Unless you just want to play with an oil burner to see if you can make it work I would recomend a small coal forge as a starter.
You can buy one on e-bay for $225.

http://cgi.ebay.com/20-Blacksmith-Steel-Coal-Forge-Pan-NEW-Blower-N-R_W0QQitemZ250093091444QQcategoryZ13869QQssPageNam eZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I have a small propane forge and a coal forge and use the coal one most often.
You can use hardwood lump charcoal from the supermarket (the kind without clay binder) and produce welding or forging heat in minutes.
Bill

Sophiedoc
03-20-2007, 08:44 PM
I have a small blacksmith forge that I refurbished that I cranked as a child when my father did farrier work and have used blacksmith coal and charcoal with success but my cousin who was really into serious forging used a propane burner rather than the coal forge quite often.He recently crossed over to the hereafter but while he was here he had suggested the oil burner might do even better but looking at some of the limitations maybe not be so good an idea.Using an ursutz type setup for waste oil looks like a hassle.Thanks everyone for the help

Fasttrack
03-20-2007, 10:03 PM
Unless you just want to play with an oil burner to see if you can make it work I would recomend a small coal forge as a starter.
You can buy one on e-bay for $225.

http://cgi.ebay.com/20-Blacksmith-Steel-Coal-Forge-Pan-NEW-Blower-N-R_W0QQitemZ250093091444QQcategoryZ13869QQssPageNam eZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I have a small propane forge and a coal forge and use the coal one most often.
You can use hardwood lump charcoal from the supermarket (the kind without clay binder) and produce welding or forging heat in minutes.
Bill



For anyone else interested...
You can make a forge pretty easy. I wouldn't pay $225 for that little forge, i spent a whopping $15 on mine and its much deeper and flexible (in its uses i mean). It was a welded up out of 3/8" plate from the junkyard. ($12) with 3/4" pipe as legs and an old vacuum cleaner motor as a blower. The only other part i bought was a little light dimmer switch ($3) rated for 120v and 5a which was perfect since the vacuum motor was 4.5 amps. Works great burning wood - never tried coal.

hehe my first forge was an old charcoal grill with sand in the bottom to keep it from melting through.

GNO
03-20-2007, 10:09 PM
I built a forge using a wood box & 1 1/2 pipe fittings, filled the box with a mix of new clay cat litter,cement & grassclippings welded 3 bolts to a hex nut to fit into the t to make the grate that forge will melt steel

Jim2
03-21-2007, 12:30 PM
I made my forge out of an old sink that I bought at a flea market for $3. I made a cut-out on the side for long stock, filled the bottom with cat litter, and made a vent hood for it. I've got a tuyere (cast-iron grate), electric blower from http://www.centaurforge.com/, and a stack blower to help clear the smoke. I burn mostly coal and some wood chips to get things started. It doesn't take very long to get a good fire going with that blower running.

Here's a pic:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/jasch/Blacksmithing/Forge-1.jpg

Jim

Evan
03-21-2007, 01:41 PM
The fire insurance people here would have a heart attack if they saw that. His last act would be to cancel your insurance.

Jim2
03-21-2007, 03:08 PM
The fire insurance people here would have a heart attack if they saw that. His last act would be to cancel your insurance.

Well, what you probably can't tell from that picture is that my forge setup is in my 10' x 10' garden shed out in the back yard.

I do have some rudimentary fire protection in place. The flooring in the shed is covered with sheet metal. I've always got that stainless bucket filled with water when I've got the forge going, and I have a fire extinguisher mounted on the door that is opposite the forge. No accidental fires yet!

You may notice in the photo that the ceiling in the shed is darker and then the walls lighten as your eyes move down the wall. . . . This is only partially caused by the lighting conditions! This is about the third iteration of chimney/venting that I've tried.

One of my earlier attempts at venting consisted of the used hood that was over my kitchen stove. That vent fed a horizontal, round 6" duct that exited through the wall. It worked, but not particularly well. Then one day while I was heating something in an unusually vigorous manner, the vent stopped working altogther. Further investigation revealed that the blades of the fan had melted! Well, they were plastic after all.

On one occasion while I was still ducting out the side of the building, my neighbor saw the smoke pouring out and came running. They thought my little garden shed was on fire! I'm glad that they decided to tell me before they called the fire department. . . .

Nowadays, I only use the forge very seldomly. And, when I do I pick my days pretty carefully. I try to pick days when it's raining or cold enough that the neighbors won't have their windows open. Coal smoke is pretty nasty.

Jim

Evan
03-21-2007, 03:42 PM
I love the smell of coal burning. Reminds me of steam locos.

This is the one that used to run twice a day behind our property when I was a child.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics/steamsrbl.jpg

Fasttrack
03-21-2007, 04:41 PM
I love the smell of coal burning. Reminds me of steam locos.




Same here! Since i was little i thought it would be awsome to be a blacksmith; in fourth grade we had colonial days and i choose to be the blacksmith. As part of my project my parents took me to "Naper Settlement" which had a turn of the century blacksmith shop. I love the was burning coal smells. I'm sure its not good for you, what with mercury vapors and whatnot... but man it smells good. Every time i smell it, it reminds me of a dark little shop full of hammers, files, and other assorted tools.

ptjw7uk
03-21-2007, 04:56 PM
I would have thought that coke or charcoal would be better also little or no smoke to speak of and with the blower will get very hot.
Peter

Todd Tolhurst
03-21-2007, 07:45 PM
Blacksmiths do indeed use coke; that's what they turn the coal into.

Fasttrack
03-21-2007, 07:47 PM
And they used charcoal for many years... if memory serves correctly it was actually Queen Elizabeth who noted that England's hardwood forests were being depleted rather quickly and passed some edicts that encouraged the use of coal over hardwood charcoal.

Jim2
03-22-2007, 10:45 AM
I love the smell of coal burning.

I don't really mind it. If I did, I would have switched to gas a long time ago.

OTOH, I'd like to see you convince SWMBO how nice that smell is when she brings her air-dryed laundry in from the washline and she can smell the coal-smoke on her towels and bed linens, LOL!

Jim