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Kiln Burner


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#1 MMB

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 11:53 PM

So Ive shifted lately away from a pottery focus to a metal focus. I do this only with the intent to incorporate it all in the end. So Ive set up a small foundry furnace to teach myself how to do certain techniques of metal casting. Using LP gas primarily with my Reil Burner (basically makeshift venturi) Ive reached a point where the LP is too pricy to smelt and cast copper, brass etc. Aluminum melts quick and is cheap. This has led me to building a Waste Oil burner. We used to have use our automotive shop as a business but now its just a nice place with a 4ton lift to fix family and friends cars. This leaves me with multiple car oil changes throughout the year and a great amount of waste oil to use.

All that leads me to ask....Could a waste oil burner be used to fire a kiln? Now the BTU output of Waste oil is like 130,000 vs LP's 90,000 if Im not mistaken. Also I might add that Waste Oil Burners need to be preheated with LP or another form of heat so its not like that direct heat is going to flood the kiln and destroy the pottery. Also concerned about the fume/impurity burn off from what might be in the oil. Does it matter if it gets hot enough?


Any dabblers like me ever get into testing this? Just thought id ask and drop a line.

#2 justanassembler

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 12:52 AM

So Ive shifted lately away from a pottery focus to a metal focus. I do this only with the intent to incorporate it all in the end. So Ive set up a small foundry furnace to teach myself how to do certain techniques of metal casting. Using LP gas primarily with my Reil Burner (basically makeshift venturi) Ive reached a point where the LP is too pricy to smelt and cast copper, brass etc. Aluminum melts quick and is cheap. This has led me to building a Waste Oil burner. We used to have use our automotive shop as a business but now its just a nice place with a 4ton lift to fix family and friends cars. This leaves me with multiple car oil changes throughout the year and a great amount of waste oil to use.

All that leads me to ask....Could a waste oil burner be used to fire a kiln? Now the BTU output of Waste oil is like 130,000 vs LP's 90,000 if Im not mistaken. Also I might add that Waste Oil Burners need to be preheated with LP or another form of heat so its not like that direct heat is going to flood the kiln and destroy the pottery. Also concerned about the fume/impurity burn off from what might be in the oil. Does it matter if it gets hot enough?


Any dabblers like me ever get into testing this? Just thought id ask and drop a line.


Waste oil can be used to fire a kiln. The two approaches I have seen used are either to get a kiln to red heat with LP, nat. gas, or wood and then use a stepped drip plate system like this
Or to use compressed air and an atomizing nozzle to allow the oil to combust immediately (like this). Each has their downsides, getting a kiln to red heat and then introducing a new fuel can be inconvenient, and the atomizing burners have little to no fine adjustment--either on full bore, or off making slow ramps in firing difficult or impossible... I have heard that burning waste motor oil can be a no-no in terms of heavy metals content, but you'd want to do some reading on that on your own as clearly, I am no expert. You certainly can fire bisqued pots on an atomizing burner setup, Jon in the link above does, and I know of other potters who do as well... I've built those atomizing burners, and they do work, but the hassle of it really wasn't worth it for me.

#3 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 07:16 AM

Yes and it has been used by Dennis Parks for decades. Axner reprinted his book on oil firing. Dennis and I were in the second Studio Potter issue on Alternative fuels.
I used Diesel in household burners modified with three nozzles of different orifice sizes. Dennis wrote about the recycled oil. 1973. ..OMG that is 40 years ago!
Bill Weaver in Bowling Green, KY used a coffee can of Charcoal brickets as a filter for his recycled oil. That was about 1972.
I have an old slide of that somewhere. It looked like a primitive IV system.


Marcia

#4 TJR

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 08:44 AM

MMB;
Jump onto youtube and check out waste vegetable oil burners or WVO.Lots of guys melting engine blocks and casting. There was a potter in Bermuda firing with WVO. Nice set up. With used oil you have to watch the PCB'S included in the oil. I would work outside if possible.
Sorry I don't have any links. Another site to look at is the Babington burner which drips WVO down a metal ball. Have fun!
TJR.

#5 justanassembler

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:24 PM

MMB;
Jump onto youtube and check out waste vegetable oil burners or WVO.Lots of guys melting engine blocks and casting. There was a potter in Bermuda firing with WVO. Nice set up. With used oil you have to watch the PCB'S included in the oil. I would work outside if possible.
Sorry I don't have any links. Another site to look at is the Babington burner which drips WVO down a metal ball. Have fun!
TJR.


That's Jon Faulkner, I linked to him above--his design uses an off the shelf nozzle used in commercial oil burners--its available at a lot of plumbing supply houses. He builds the body of the burner from black iron pipe, and the oil is fed under slight pressure from a holding tank. The babington burner is popular and relatively simple: Posted Image

#6 MMB

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 05:31 PM

Wow lots of nice replies. Ive seen some of the vege oil burners out there. I was really thinking of the risks of waste auto oil burn off and pottery. Im pretty sure functional kitchen ware is out the window on that one. No matter what I will be building a waste oil burner for melting and casting metals. Actually have a small empty helium tank I pan to use as the combustion chamber. I havent stumbled across that babington set up so far yet I really like the idea.

I really was thinking about the use of the waste oil burner, a larger one, and a arch kiln like that of a wood burning one. Just having a longer channel leading to the chamber for where the heat comes in rather than the burner flare being so direct. Im no where near as educated as some when it comes to these things but Im a dabbler that will get bored and try anything lol.

#7 TJR

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 09:31 PM

HAS ANYONE HERE USED THAT OIL DRIP/LADDER system. I like the idea of waste veg oil for kilns, but don't like all that noise from a couple of old vacuum cleaner blowers. Does the drip system get to temperature, and how long does it take?
TJR.




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