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Furnace running Diesel


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I gave up on LPG or propane about 10 years ago in favor of diesel. Diesel is cheaper and easier for me to store and doesn't suffer from 'freezing' issues . When I was a boy, I had to light diesel furnaces every morning. In exploring diesel as an alternative I hunted high and low for the burner design I had seen in use in industry. I finally tracked it down to a New Zealand patent from 1936. I scaled my rough drawings from the patent , producing this 'prototype' ( never stopped using it) and several larger burners for other furnaces. These burners require a little bit of skill to set up and run , so they aren't for beginners but , if you are running fires all day, they are worth the effort to learn. If anyone wants a set of drawings PM me and I'll sort something out for you.


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I have used a diesel forge before.  They get HOT.  I have a burner unit off a home oil furnace I plan to do this with one of these days, assuming the pump and blower still work.  Thanks for reminding me!

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Home oil heating isn't a common thing in this part of the world so salvaging burners isn't really an option. However, the idea of an enclosed, pump driven system sounds very appealing. I played around with 'blue flame' high pressure air /aspirator burners for a while but they were just too temperamental for my workshop and there was no way I was paying for a commercial product. This simple burner requires high pressure air to aspirate the diesel from the end of a long needle valve. I built a fan for it but continue to use the prototype vacuum cleaner with a bypass valve. Once the quarl gets hot  the radiant heat feeds back to the burner head and vapourizes the fuel. As a consequence, they only start to 'hit their straps' after about an hour ( depending on furnace design). This fire will teach you to weld 'on the climb' as it will burn steel.

The furnace shown has had many incarnations and was originally a two burner gas fire. Another of my furnaces ( small open hearth fire) was built purely for diesel and it has a squarer configuration with a long, shallow curved ceiling that is designed to radiate heat to the floor. Once hot, it will drop 5 kg of cast onto the hearth well in 8 - 12 minutes.

I would be very interested is seeing a home heating burner 're-purposed'.

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Hey Mac;  You might want to check out Torbjorn Ahman's U tube site he has a forge using a re-purposed heating oil burner and it looks to be one HOT mutha !!

His videos are very informative and he doesn't talk, he just does it, unlike the many know it all / know nothing blowhards.....

If ya can't be good don't git caught  !!                                        People who say stuff can't be done need to

                                                                                                        git the hell outta the way of people who do stuff   !!!

Show me a man who is called an expert by his peers         

And I will show you a good man to listen to ......

Show me a man who calls himself an expert

and I will show you an egotistical asshole...............!!



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Thanks, Mr. Brewer. That is very interesting. The commercial burner is much easier to start than my old girl and I like the use of an integral fuel pump. I have considered installing a 12 volt fuel pump on this burner instead of running a pressure tank or gravity system. I'm not sure how the commercial burner would handle long runs at high temp. I've also found that adjustments need to be made to the fuel/air mix as the furnace comes up in temp. This wasn't the case with the large burners of similar design I used in industry. They were pre-set and very easy to light. On a large furnace I run ( bigger burner too) , the 'pre-set' seems to work fine. I therefore put the 'tweaking' issues on this smaller fire to problems of scale, smaller fires tending to be more temperamental than big ones.

The simple burner design I'm running allows me to  adjust the fuel/air mix with a simple fuel valve and the end 'Air cap'. I can dial her back and hold forging temperatures rather than it running away and melting fire bricks ;-)

However , the commercial home furnace unit is certainly intriguing and, having not tried one, I would be loath to say it wouldn't perform admirably.

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