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  1. #1
    glumpy started this thread.
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    Waste oil powered furnace for Aluminium and copper seperation.

    I have a proclivity for building waste oil burners and recently decided to put that to use for scrapping some of the crap I have around the place. I don't know if anyone uses a furnace or melts aluminium and copper from steel but I have done a few fireups now and it seems to work great. I put one of the burners to work to build a furnace that would be good for melting the Aluminium and copper off different bits of scrap. It seems to me that a lot of the time seperating the steell from ally and copper is more time and effort than it's worth so I thought there had to be a better way using a bit of heat.

    When I say a bit of heat, this particular burner will do over 300KW output and probably over 400KW but my air blower maxes out so that's about the limit. It's still significant heat.
    As you can see in the vid, just enclosing this burner in an old metal drum allowed me to melt about 3Kg of ally in about 4 minutes and this was a rought and ready test.
    I can throw in what I want, catch the ally, scrape out the stell leftovers and go again. It also seems good for just reducing the size of things to a manageable and far more compact piece.


    I was pretty happy with the way this worked seeing the furnace had no insulation what so ever. The main idea though is to do something like Motors. My father has a wrecking yard and while the engines he gets are largely aluminium, the scrap yard will only pay on much lower steel prices. My idea is to melt the engines down to get the ally away from the steel which will be infinately quicker and easier than pulling the things apart.
    I figure an engine at steel prices is worth a max of $10 here but melted, they ally alone is worth $60-70 and maybe another $5 for the steel in the crank, rods etc.

    There are also a lot of things like alternators and starters which are full of copper but are also a pain in the butt to seperate. In the Vid I throew in an AC compressor and the copper melted right out of the windings on that. With some real heat coming from refractory, shouldn't be hard to get the sopper out easily, maybe in a smaller 2nd stage furnace.

    I'm going to give this thing another run with some bricks on the back wall to hopefully reflect the heat a bit better and I have also lined the sides about half way up with bricks as well.
    The last furnace I did out of house bricks was a bit too effective. I melted Aluminium, Copper and Steel much quicker than I wanted to. Have to go back to the drawing board with that one and use some refractory to stop melting everything.




    I thought these things may be of some help to you guys doing scrapping and may save a bit of work. It seems like it's going to be real viable for my needs and it's also a good way to get rid of waste oil for those of you who may get it out of different things. There is lots of info on my YT channel on how to build and run these burners so have a look. They are not hard to make and very effective.
    I hope to do an engine and gearbox melt soon so if anyone is interested drop back from time to time and have a look. I'm developing these things for different applications and guys in the metal casting game have found them interesting.



    EDIT: Seems I'm not allowed to post links yet but if you want to see the vids, have a look on my channel, Oil Burner on youtube. I'd be interested to get some feedback from people as to the viability and worth in me developing this some more for backyard scrappers.

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  3. #2
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    Even without watching the videos I can see the potential in building and using something like this. Us as scrappers could use this to purify our ingots or bars but then again, if we did that I'm not sure we'd sell to the scrap yard anymore(this would help reset the recycle market and turn the US into a giant recycling center). I know it's thinking outside the box but hey, it could happen. Only problem I'd see is containing the burn-off from the oil so it's not vented into the atmosphere.

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  5. #3
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    Is there a way to force air through one of your systems to create a forging flame?

    We have used a drip pan system to boil sap with.
    It melted fire brick and cast iron and actually (atomized the air?) air inside the firebox was all on fire it was nuts. it is an oil tank half buried with two pans on top with a drip system controlled with a shutoff valve. only issue is pre warming the oil as it's generally cold at start up.
    cool idea just remember your melting temps of different metals and what happens if you exceed them. especially when doing mixed batches of metal.
    I would ask your yard if this is something they would buy before melting down tranny's and engines. my .01
    There ain't nothing wrong with an honest days work. Anyone who says otherwise is a fool.- Old Man

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  7. #4
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    Just watched one of your video's and found it very interesting. Will be going back to watch how to build a hot water heater and many of your other ideas. Even if one is not into the separation of metals using your system, there are a number of applications. I am going to start by building a heater for the shop. Very valuable insight and greatly appreciated.

    After viewing more threads, it is assumed many questions will be presented. Thanks again.

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  9. #5
    glumpy started this thread.
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    This is kind of a cross over of my oil burners with teh metal casting guys and the scrappers.
    Many of the casting guys use scrap and melt it down and do purify or alloy it to different materials before casting it.

    What do you mean Contain the burn off from the oil?
    Are you talking about emissions from the oil burning itself or what is being melted?
    The burners I build when running properly run perfectly clean. I have one Vid where my first fire up of a burner with the only weak blower I had on hand was rather smokey. No matter how many times I explain this and link to other vids of it running clean, I still get idiots crapping on about emissions like it was an oil well burning. Normaly, as can be seen on my vids, the only thing coming out of the burners is hot air.

    As far as what the material being melted produces, that's not a big issue either. The burners will run with excess air quite happily. I melted down a computer the other day and saw very little smoke even though there was a fair bit of plastic in the thing. If you have air and turbulance, You will have little somke because smoke is just unburnt gasses and if you burn them with sufficent oxygen, they are totaly clean. I was thinking of a secondary air supply for the furnace for this reason. Introduce more air after the melt zone before the exhausts escapes and burn whatever smoke is left.
    A lot of the plastic etc actually adds to the heat which means the burner can be backed down giving more air to burn the material from the item being melted.

    If there was something else you were thinking of, could you please explain what it was?

  10. #6
    glumpy started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHscrapman View Post
    Is there a way to force air through one of your systems to create a forging flame?
    Could you explain what you mean by forging flame and forcing air through the system?

    If you are talking about oxidising or reducing flames, Yes, you can set the burner to whatever you want by varying the air and oil flow. Set the air you want then the fuel to get a rich flame or a lean one. These burners have very good ability to cope with varied air/ fuel mixture.

    I did ask the scrap yard about this and they were quite happy with taking ingots. Only thing was they said they would only pay normal aluminium prices if I melted wheels which they pay more for than regular ally. In the form of a wheel they can see what it is. aAs an ingot they have no idea. They aren't advanced enough to test things here, they tend to go on what the original Item was and make a guess from there. The yard I'll be going to knows the wrecking yard and are pretty chilled. I don't see any problems.

    If you can find the brick furnace vids on my channell You'll see where I melted everything as well, including the steel fire extinguisher bottle I was using for a crucible. Litreally didn't last 5 minutes.
    I think the best plan will be to do all the ally first on things like alternators and starters and then throw the leftover into a higher temp, small refractory lined furnace and get the copper from there. I think with effort I could do the steel but not much point in that. What I do want to try though is cast iron like in brake disks and calipers. That shouldn't be that hard to do at all having a similar melt temp to copper!

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  12. #7
    glumpy started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot76 View Post
    Just watched one of your video's and found it very interesting. Will be going back to watch how to build a hot water heater and many of your other ideas. Even if one is not into the separation of metals using your system, there are a number of applications. I am going to start by building a heater for the shop. Very valuable insight and greatly appreciated.

    After viewing more threads, it is assumed many questions will be presented. Thanks again.
    I'm truly glad you can see the potential in these burners. I get people asking me all the time, what can you do with them or what good are they? I explain they are like engines. You can generate power, grind corn, plough a field, propel a vehicle, Pump water or whatever you want with one. Burners are the same. Use them for space heating, Melting metal, heating water and in my last vid, cooking. I try to show the burners and let people use their own brains as to what you can do with them but clearly I give some a lot more credit than they deserve.

    Be happy to anwer any questions you have.

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  14. #8
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    I was referring to using one of these indoors like a basement or shed. If that part's been taken care of, I may weigh building one as I previously stated I saw the potential in these.

    EDIT: Just subscribed to your vids and yeah, defiantly looks like the outside operation type setup. Not bad, but something a bit more contained to fit my fancy of operating indoors.
    Last edited by logansryche; 12-31-2014 at 12:21 PM.

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    Spent most of the morning watching your video's and trying to get a handle on your system. Very intriguing and has me thinking about a whole new business plan. When the cold and snow hits a lot of time is spent sorting non ferrous in a shed with heat provided by propane heaters. This presents a whole new system where the shed could be heated and all aluminum is prepared as aluminum breakage. The price is not as good, but the density of loads might make it worthwhile.

    Based on the valuable information in your video's it is conceivable to create a hot water system for the house, one heat source for the house, shop, and shed, and possibly a smelting system for all nonferrous. I am not a chemist, but it makes sense that without smoke all by products are being burnt as fuel. I can't wait until someone asks about global warming.

    Questions:

    With that type of heat, how long do you expect the oil drum to last? If you can melt a fire extinguisher with this system, a better container will be needed. I saw you had a drip plate for the oil before it hit the drum, but expect the bottom to burn out very quickly.

    Have you thought of venting your flue to another drum to capture heat before venting to the outside?

    Great stuff. Thank you.

  16. #10
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    Thats a good idea you have there. I am very interested in your burner design, because I have an old propane powered sweat furnace that isn't cost effective to use anymore. In the old days when propane was .39 and aluminum ingots brought a premium price it was worth doing. Now days propane is a lot higher and aluminum ingots go for about the same price as cast aluminum.

    Couple words of caution when melting aluminum.
    VW motors and old lawnboy mower decks are magnesium not aluminum and they make big sparkly fire that doesn't go out until completely burnt up. I've heard of guys burning a hole through their furnaces. I got mine raked out in time. Lol
    Also always preheat your ingot trays, molten aluminum and moisture don't mix.

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  18. #11
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    Patriot
    I can't speak for Glumpy, but that is the concern that arose after the second run of our oil burner. Layers of steel were added to the interior of the fire box to help it from taking the full brunt of the heat. The bottom being half buried as it is, was filled with sand...that is kinda turning into glassy sand clumps.
    After doing this we needed to open an extra air intake hole to feed the monster enough air as reducing the internal capacity greatly affected the flame strength.

    Glumpy


    This is what I'm looking for out of a waste oil forge but have yet to get anywhere close
    Great videos and Ideas, and I see you have plenty of use for the material And would love too see someone casting Iron using a waste oil furnace HA! awesome!

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  20. #12
    glumpy started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by logansryche View Post
    I was referring to using one of these indoors like a basement or shed. If that part's been taken care of, I may weigh building one as I previously stated I saw the potential in these.

    EDIT: Just subscribed to your vids and yeah, defiantly looks like the outside operation type setup. Not bad, but something a bit more contained to fit my fancy of operating indoors.
    I have a couple of Vids where I enclosed the burners in a metal drum. My setup wasn't exactly airtight because I do different things all the time and re use the drum and burners but they could easily be sealed up for indoor operation.
    Some people have also retro fitted wood burners that were designed for indoor operation. Just a matter of boring a hole through the side of the things and that's it. Get the hile neat and tight and you could seal it airtight with refractory cement or something like muffler putty even. If the hole was accurate I douby you'd have to do that because not tlike there is going to be any pressure in the heater, it would be going up the chiminey.

    You could also put a burner in a large old propane tank and make a heater out of that. Cut a door in the thing and use some stove chord on the door fot a seal and duct a flue out.
    Few different ways you could use these indoors. More dependent on the enclosure setup, the burner wouldn't care a bit! :0)

  21. #13
    glumpy started this thread.
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    With that type of heat, how long do you expect the oil drum to last? If you can melt a fire extinguisher with this system, a better container will be needed. I saw you had a drip plate for the oil before it hit the drum, but expect the bottom to burn out very quickly.

    Have you thought of venting your flue to another drum to capture heat before venting to the outside?

    Great stuff. Thank you.[/QUOTE]


    Hope you found the Vids interesting.

    As to the longevity of the drums, hard to say. This much I have proven though, the hotter the fire the faster they burn out. I have taken the backaside of them out in one run with no problem what so ever. By the same token, I have used them with wood fires for literally years and they sat out in the rain and wether to boot.
    What I have done with the furnace drum now is line the back and the base of the thing with bricks. I am aiming to protect the steel from the direct flame and to allow the bricks to heat up and reflect the heat back instead of escaping straight through the steel.

    The metal casting guys have suggested different things to line the drum like blanket and kiln wash. There are a few different things that may work for the application, I'm going to see my local refractory supplier to see which one would be best. It may be that you have to put some mesh or the like in the drum to help support the refractory and give it something to adhere to but far as I can see, with that done and something like brick on the base where the wear and tear will be, a drum should last pretty much indefinately.

    If you could get a huge old propane tank, that would be even better. I put some serious hours on my burners made of extinguisher bottles and they last years and years after also being kept out in the weather. I Imagine the metal in a LPG tank would stand up to the heat very well and if lined, would basicaly never wear out.

    All that said, at this stage the scrapping furnace in a drum with a hole hacked in the side. From what I have done with it, they will last long enoough to warrant replacement whenever they wear out because it's a 5 minute job to cut another hole in one and replace the old drum. That can be then sent to the scrap yard and you can make another .5C out of the thing! :0)

    Yes, I have thought of putting other drums as heat exchangers for space heating. If I were doing one, that's exactly what I would do. The amount of heat you could get would be insane.
    The other thing I would do is locate the burner/ heater as FAR away from the outlet point of the flue as possible and run the piping inside the building. I for the life of me dont get why people punch a hole in a wall and duct the flue out in as short a length as they can. There is a lot of heat in that exhaust and if you ran a long length of it indoors, you could blow a small fan along the length and put a lot of heat into the building where you wanted it rather than trying to heat the world but sending it outside so quick.

    You could go a step further and put a drum along the length of the flue so it may heat another part of the building or even another room. For this I'd do a reverse flow if possible. Take the flue inlet to the farthest end of the drum and make the exhaust flow backwards in the drum to get out. Given you more surface are in flue which will give up more heat and creates greater turbulance in the which will stir the gasses bringing the hot gasses in contact with the surfaces you want to radiate the heat from.
    After recently trying the reverse flow idea on one of my heater setups, I'm 200% sold on the effectiveness of it. Any heater I did would have the inlet and the top and the ducting for the flue at the lowest point possible. Make the whole unit hot and slows down the exhaust exit allowing it to give up the maximum heat to the surface of the heater itself.

    For the water heater, an Idea I am going to put into practice is to have the Oil fired heater feeding into the supply of the regular, in my case, electric heater.
    Not having yet come up with an auto firing system, it would be a manual job. KNowing me and life, I may not want/ get a chance/ remember to fire the oil powered heater. If the electric is still in place, no owrrys, it opoerates as normal and I have how water. When the oil fired unit is heated up, it sends hot water to the electric heater and the thermostat senses it dosen't need to do anything and never kicks in the power. Every day I do fire the oil heater is a day I don't pay for electricity to heat water.

    I want to get the biggest gas heater possible because firstly they will take more heat and have a larger surface area for the burner to work on and will heat up more quickly per litre of water and I could get at least a couple of days out of the things without having to do a fire up every day. If I over heated the system say to 85oC, then the effective capacity is increased as well. That's a system being used here. Because homes are being built smaller and people don't have the space for them in units etc, what they are doing is heating the water to about 90oC or just under boiling and then using mixers to bring the delivery temp down. The effect is a greater capacity than what the unit actually has because you use less of hotter water.

    Anyway, thanks for the kid words with the vids. The comments I get give me ideas for other vids and I like the practical ideas and questions.

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  23. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by glumpy View Post
    I have a couple of Vids where I enclosed the burners in a metal drum. My setup wasn't exactly airtight because I do different things all the time and re use the drum and burners but they could easily be sealed up for indoor operation.
    Some people have also retro fitted wood burners that were designed for indoor operation. Just a matter of boring a hole through the side of the things and that's it. Get the hile neat and tight and you could seal it airtight with refractory cement or something like muffler putty even. If the hole was accurate I douby you'd have to do that because not tlike there is going to be any pressure in the heater, it would be going up the chiminey.

    You could also put a burner in a large old propane tank and make a heater out of that. Cut a door in the thing and use some stove chord on the door fot a seal and duct a flue out.
    Few different ways you could use these indoors. More dependent on the enclosure setup, the burner wouldn't care a bit! :0)
    Never even thought of that - good thing you're here ^.-

  24. #15
    glumpy started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHscrapman View Post

    Glumpy


    This is what I'm looking for out of a waste oil forge but have yet to get anywhere close
    Great videos and Ideas, and I see you have plenty of use for the material And would love too see someone casting Iron using a waste oil furnace HA! awesome!
    I have a Vid of a burner that produces that exact type of flame and in the downward fireing aspect. As you can see in the vid, I melted a copper 1" pipe with the thing in open air pretty quick and it wasn't even running that hard. If you look for the vid on my channel called "Waste Oil Burner Downwards firing for scrapping" You'll see it. Not sure If I can link vids yet or the spam filter still thinks I'm suspect.
    I preheat the thing on gas to get the internals warm and then just change over to oil. You can see by the flame size and colour when it's running on oil and the gas can be shut off. Dosne't take long to get it up to speed and it will run all day on whatever free oil you want to throw into it.

    This is a handy burner and I have been meaning to make another vid of it. I also have another higher output one in the works I want to build because I though it would be good to have a downward fireing one for the scrapping furnace.
    I thought about how to do this given the one in the vid was built at least 5 years ago and how my now considerably increased experience could improve the design. I didn't come up with anything. The design is spot on and really, is only a slight modification to my other burners that work so well to allow it to fire downwards instead of up or horozontally.

    Cool, Looks like I can link vids now. That's a help!




    Casting Iron is a goal. I have no doubt or worry I can do it easy. The thing I do have to work on is a furnace that can stand the heat I'll throw at it to do this. I can melt copper with ease and the melting temp of that is close to cast and heat output is something I think I have pretty well covered. The last real furnace I tried I melted the stainless I had lining the bottom of the thing and went through the proper insulation tiles I had like it was foam. Got all that in a vid as well.
    Once I get some proper refractory happening and a crucible, I'm looking forward to going to the holy grail of cast and give steel a crack as well.

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  26. #16
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    Have you tried Kanthall or Ni-chrome products from Thermal ceramics in Georgia, if their still in business. We built an 880 V kiln using 2800 fire brick of Kayolin with good success for a military contractor. The main problem we had was not the heat it self but how we got there i.e. ramp up and temp control.
    "anyone who thinks scrappin is easy money ain't doin it right!"

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    Thanks Glumpy!
    Done the drip pan and the copper coil system now for forced air.

    looks like the pipe is around 2" -2 1/4" with a short reducer, I am assuming the reducer is for flame control? have you messed with different lengths and sizes to see how it controlled the flame??

  28. #18
    glumpy started this thread.
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    No, My goal has so far been to make flame and heat. I have been kind of developing the engines, now i'm at setting them up and tuning them for a race car or a tractor, whatever the application requires.
    One thing I have found with some other designs was I had to go much bigger on the outlets to slow the gas speed. Even on my scrapping furnace Vid, you can see that even with a 3" pipe the thrust was enough to start spraying molten ally.
    There is no reducer on this burner, the pipe is only about 1 3/4 and runs right through.

    I'm also playing with eductors so I can run a rich mixture but have air drawn in with the venturi effect to cause an afterburn and get more power out of a given air input and burner size and also hopefully in some cases, slow down the gas speed and thrust.

    In the case of the downward firing burner, the outlet pipe starts near what is the top. It travels internally to give the oil a hot surface to help with vaporisation. Mainly the oil pools at the botton and because the flame is going out the pipe internally, it's hot which the oil vaporises on, is mixed with the incoming air and burns. Given the length of the internal run i'm not sure ajusting the pipe length would do much because the output will never see a direct angle out to the top to expand the flame wider. Of course I could be wrong, I have never played with it. The thing ran just fine for my purposes. :0)

    I want to do another larger one of these as I love stupid high outputs and I think it would be a good design for the scrapping furnace. Larger would also allow a given reduced output, say 200KW, at lower air speeds so things aren't blown around so much. I might look at 2.5" in and 3 to 4" out. I'm not aware of anyone doing the outputs I am and they undoubtedly could be reduced a lot if insulation was used but they run on free fuel so the brute force method works fine for me. Also with my ultimate goal of doing engines, there is a lot of thermal mass there that has to be brought up to temp before any melting can occour. I'm not aware of any of the casting guys doing 150 Kg/ 300lb melts and if I don't want to be hangining round all day, I'll need some heat to pump into the piece to warm it up in an efficent time.

    What sort of things are you looking to heat in your forge? Are there any particular flame charastics you need like reducing or oxidising flame, Kw output or other requirements or desires?


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