Wednesday, 6 July 2016

I can make stuff hot again

So in my experiments with waste oil burning I have reached a new milestone. On Friday night I managed to make something hot using waste oil and compressed air alone.

I can also still break hammers. I think I trimmed too much off when I fitted the head on last time so it has just slid over the taper the wedges put in the wood. I have a few plans on how to fix this so it doesn't happen again. I'll be bringing you along for my experimentation there as well.

It took me a little while to get the fire going this good. To start with what I was trying was dripping the oil into a stream of air from my shop-vac on blow, atomizing(?) it then carrying it through into a fire that I'd already lit to get some heat into the fireplace. Unfortunately that didn't work.
I had some charcoal in the bottom of the fire to help get a decent bed of hot ashes to be spraying the oil onto. Unfortunately with any kind of draft, even from the hairdryer. The charcoal turned into embers which were getting picked up by the wind a little and heading towards the neighbors yards. Not so good.

The next thing I tried was to just jamb the nozzle from my previous test(here) through a gap in the bricks and backfill with dirt. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of that as well.

This was the result:
A nice big ball of flame, with relatively few sparks as there is much less air moving. I put a spring in the fire as this is something I have been toying with a bit recently and it did get hot.
It did take a fir while so there is plenty of room to improve but a good proof of concept. It will burn when feeding into a smallish, pre-heated chamber.

Here I was deliberately running rich to get the big fat flame to come out of the fireplace and shed some light on the surrounding area so I could see what I'm doing.

It's impressive the amount of control I have over this, for a pretty crude piece of engineering.

After I turned off the burner this is what it looked like inside the fireplace. I put some bricks on top as it was spitting a little and I was hoping to stop the bricks surrounding the fireplace from cooling too quick and cracking. The glow is what's left of the fire I was using to get everything started, scraps of wood and charcoal mainly.
This is what was left a few days later. The burner is over on the left and can't quite be seen.

I took a little video of this and I will share that as soon as I have it edited together. I am going to play with this fireplace as it is for a while and see if I can get a bit more heat out of it, then I have a small gas bottle that will probably become my new forge. I will probably be lining that with some kind of fireproof material to help stop the steel from burning out.