Home built burner

Hello all. I am in Thailand and shipping costs and customs duties on goods purchased from the U.S. are prohibitive. I am interested in building a
furnace and from research it appears that a burner similar to the REX type of burner are the easiest to build. Has anyone built a burner similar to the REX burners, and if so how well did it work? Ibid (k4556ATinetDOTcoDOTth)
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Not I.
I use two pieces of 1" gal pipe, one 9" long and the other 2" a brass elbow, a straight connector, a 2" piece of stainless pipe to fit the connector, a 0.8 mm mig tip and a piece of brass tube, and finally some brass connectors to fit to the gas tube.
It works for me.
Regards Charles
K4556 wrote:

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DO NOT USE GAVANIZED PIPE Use black pipe anywhere that will get hot so as not to poison yourself. Blacksmiths have been seriously hurt and killed by zinc poisoning in the couple of years since I started paying attention. You don't want to go there.
I've never built a Rex style burner but I bought one. As far as I'm concerned they are the best of the bunch. I can't say my experience is very broad but I've experimented with venturi burner designes and seen some home and commercially made forced air burners in action and I'd take the Rex hands down over them all. I did manage to make a decent venturi burner but it was just ok. Nowhere near the range of use I get out of the Rex. If you have the means to machine one then by all means do it. The smoothness of the bore is important as is being able to control the air intake.
If you build one from pipe and fittings then take the time to sand out the interior areas and weld or otherwise fill in any transitional areas. Have a good choke design that will give you a smooth full range of air intake from wide open to nil. You can buy welding wire feed tips in various sizes to use for your gas port. Try a few sizes to see what works best for your burner. Lots of folks want to talk about varying the pressure on the gas with a guage. That's fine but you can operate with just a needle valve and restrict the volume.
I had fun building burners. When it was all said and done, the one I bought was not much more expensive than buying parts to make your own. Something else I recently discovered was the ceramics suppliers may carry burners you can buy. I recently saw a commercially made venturi burner for kilns for 40 USD. Don't know how well it works but it might be a way to go. Anybody know anything about these?
GA

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On Sun, 18 Mar 2007 08:27:28 -0700, Kyle J. wrote:

So is there any truth the drinking lots of milk for an antedote to welding galvanized?
matthew ohio
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This certainly was a cure much touted by older welders when I was a apprentice however I never saw it applied in practice. Personally I always thought it prudent to grind the galvanizing off before I ran a bead.
On Sun, 18 Mar 2007 17:52:01 GMT, MatthewK

Ibid (k4556ATinetDOTcoDOTth)
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MatthewK wrote:

I have no reference for this, but the way I heard it, milk is a little congestive--creates flem in your lungs. I can see how this might protect you up front , but now how this would help after the fact.
Steve
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On Sun, 18 Mar 2007 20:42:28 -0400, Steve Smith wrote:

That makes sense I guess, just something my shop teacher told us years back. Did a quick google on it before posting, just repeated what I heard back then.
matthew ohio
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MatthewK wrote:

No, I think it's just something to make give you hope. A mild case will make you sick for about 48 hours, and you feel like you have flu, hence the name "Zinc Flu".
Regards Charles
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On Mon, 19 Mar 2007 12:02:08 +1100, Chilla wrote:

Thanks Charles :)
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Want to be your life on it? There's other options - like not burning zinc. I've got a buddy who sniffed some zinc while welding on a fence pole. He drank some milk and came out fine. Personally I think it was all the cigarrettes he smokes.
GA
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Gday all,
Be warned, this is what i did, I used saftey gear - glasses, gloves and a plastic apron. Do this outside as the gas released can be hydrogen and this is EXPLOSIVE. So DON'T SMOKE!!!! no naked flames sparks etc. This is a potentially dangerous process, YOU MAY BE INJURED and I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY IF YOU TRY THIS, it is off your own back, I supply this for your information only. CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED.
Best option 'IN MY OPINION' is to avoid the problem. When collecting the bits for my burner, I couldn't easily get black Iron fittings, so I used gal, but i etched the gal off first, which took most of it off. I used Phosphoric acid, as that what I had - its the stuff they use to eat rust away. I was told by a former galvanizer, that the best acid to use is Hydrochloric acid - also sold as pool acid. Be careful if you do this, acid is dangerous, always add acid to water not the other way round. Btw, I was also told that the liquid left after etching the gal with hydrochloric acid, makes a good flux for soldering.
I repeat: Be warned, this is what i did, I used saftey gear - glasses, gloves and a plastic apron. Do this outside as the gas released can be hydrogen and this is EXPLOSIVE. So DON'T SMOKE!!!! no naked flames sparks etc. This is a potentially dangerous process, YOU MAY BE INJURED and I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY IF YOU TRY THIS, it is off your own back, I supply this for your information only. CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED.
That Said, this is what Ron Reil said on the subject:
"There is absolutely no reason to burn off any galvanizing on a burner bell or even on the burner tube. It is better if they are galvanized to prevent rust degradation of the burner over time. Yes, there will be a tiny amount of zinc burned off the tube when you first fire up a new burner, but nothing of any concern. If you are concerned, go outside for a half hour when you first start up a new burner. If your burner bell ever gets hot enough to burn off the galvanizing, a bigger issue will be the fire in your shop or garage as it is burning down. Burner bells should remain at bare hand temperature always, except right after you shut down, and only then will they get a little warmer, but certainly not warm enough to vaporize zinc....again your shop is burning down if they do. The amount of misinformation out there about galvanizing zinc and burners is huge."
Ron is a very experienced smith and designer of burners. But I still decided to opt to remove the gal.
Regards Rusty_iron

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Many of you may or may not know me. I was one of the original group who started this list a number of years ago. I don't have time very often to read or post to newsgroup lists so I am probably not recognized by most of the new guys. However, many of you are probably familiar with my burner information web site and my Reil and EZ burner designs.
It is not necessary to remove the galvanizing from burner tubes. Black iron can rust and become rough inside, which reduces the gas flow and efficiency of your burner. There is little or no risk in using galvanized pipe for your burner tube, and it is actually to your advantage to leave it on the pipe. If you ever do get the end hot enough to gasify the Zink, which you shouldn't if it is mounted correctly, the tiny amount of fumes coming off will not have any impact on you. You should not be breathing the fumes from your forge anyway. Most of the gasses are not particularly dangerous, but they are not particularly good for you either. If you lightly file/sand the inside of the galvanized burner tube it will become very smooth and will remain that way, insuring maximum gas flow through the tube.
As to the thread about burners, the T-Rex burner is by far the finest naturally aspirated propane burner available in the world today. So much so that NASA is buying them from Rex, and NASA needed the hottest possible burner for the application they are using them for. NASA coined the phrase "high intensity burner" when discussing the T-Rex. One of the things that make the Rex burners so superior is their tuned design. They will operate smoothly from zero gage pressure, actually an ounce or two depending on the sensitivity of the gage, up to the flow limit of the jet, which is reached when the gas velocity through the jet reaches the velocity of sound, about 1100 feet per second....what I refer to as "the wall" on my web site.
Rex and I have been discussing designing a blown version of the Rex burner. With a blown T-Rex you would easily be able to melt steel, or any other metals you might wish to cast or alloy. On my web site I have a section about "How Hot Can These Burners Get," if I remember the title correctly, and there you can see one of my burner designs being used to melt and alloy metals that require 3,300 to liquefy. Please don't blame me for the total lack of safety exhibited there.
I noticed a lot of discussion further up the list about the "Combustion Handbook" and burner design. There is a lot more to burner design than you will find in that book, which is sitting here on my desk as I write this. Burners are all about fluid dynamics, and once you get the basic engineering design complete, then it is a matter of making iteration after iteration of your design to home in on one that works really well. The Rex burner required almost two years to perfect. There is as much art in burner design, as engineering, with a little bit of common sense and serendipity thrown in as well, and no, there isn't a good burner book available out there anywhere....just doesn't exist. You need to gather all the available information, and then draw from all of it to build a burner. It may take you a long while to come up with a good one, or you may never do so.
A closing comment and I will go tend to my horses. One of my horses, Glow, was horribly mauled by a cougar two months ago, and she has required my almost constant attention since then, which hasn't left much time for forge work. You can see Glow's injury at the bottom of my Home and Shop page linked below....but this isn't the comment. I wanted to warn you new guys about mounting your propane bottle below your forge on your forge cart. That is a very cute and neat way to go about it, but it also a very foolish arrangement. Propane bottles have safety blow-off valves that can malfunction, not to mention the hose and regulator you have on them. Do yourself and your loved ones a big favor and get a heavy commercial grade propane hose made, not a BBQ hose, that will allow you to position your tank at least 15' from your forge when you are using it. When you have the hose made, also have a flexible spring steel armor sheath put on it so if you drop a hot, or sharp, piece of steel on it sometime, it will be protected and eliminate the possibility of you being horribly burned, or worse.
I currently have a thousand gallon propane tank that feeds my shop, home, and emergency generator, and next week that will increase to 2000 gallons. I have a regulator on the tank, one on the line coming into the shop, and one on my forge. On my web pages I speak of double regulation, which I consider a minimum requirement, and as I have done here on my ranch, triple regulation is even better. Double regulation also provides you with a stable operating pressure even as your tank pressure changes, assuming the use of single stage regulators. Double stage regulators are very stable with just one, but you have greater safety with two.
Ron Reil
Golden Age Forge http://ronreil.abana.org/gallery.shtml http://ronreil.abana.org/newshop.html Garden Valley, Idaho Phone: (208) 462-4028
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wrote:
<snip really good stuff>
Ron, thanks for dropping in. I just wanted to say a lot of us have gained immeasurably by your work and web pages. I hope your horse gets over the cougar attack.
Regards,
Pete Keillor
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Ron Reil wrote:

Aw aren't you the guy on one of the casting Yahoo! lists ;-)

I agree Ron,
The burner tube shouldn't get hot at all, well my crude efforts haven't anyway. My pipes stay cold, only the flare gets hot.
I found that a stainless steel flare does the trick nicely, I can replace that as needed. Haven't needed to yet, as I used a stainless meant for high temperatures.

The T-Rex wasn't what I needed, as I was only melting bronze and this doesn't take much in the way of rocket science.
I haven't used forced air through my crude burner, maybe it will work for what I need to do, but if not a T-Rex with forced air sounds just about right :-)

Definitely a good safety tip, something I never really considered, all my fittings are industrial fittings, but are still rubber tubes :-(

Aw now you've made me jealous, my wife threatened to leave me if I got a tank like that :-(
Regards Charles
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On Sun, 18 Mar 2007 19:47:11 -0700, Kyle J. wrote:

Never tried, never will. :)
matthew ohio
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On Mon, 19 Mar 2007 20:32:18 GMT, MatthewK

Having once taken a welder with an acute case of zinc poisoning to the hospital I'd recommend not getting it, milk or no milk.
This chap had been brazing the corners of galvanized sheet metal "drip pans". About lunch time he began to experience severe abdominal cramps and about 20 minutes later we were driving him to the hospital. The original diagnosis was acute appendicitis and only the Boss's loud protestations convinced the doctors to have a look in the "poison book" before they started cutting.
Ibid (k4556ATinetDOTcoDOTth)
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I have been in the metal working business for a long time so fabrication and materials is not a problem. My main interest was in whether the REX type burner was really best or whether there was a certain amount of "hype" involved.
I have become very cynical about much of the information on the WEB since everyone, and their brother, is now posting what they purport to be the word of God and about some subject, or another, that they know nothing about.
Thanks for the information and if I am successful I'll post dimensions, materials and construction method.
Again, thanks to all for the info.
On Sun, 18 Mar 2007 08:27:28 -0700, "Kyle J."

Much snipped

Ibid (k4556ATinetDOTcoDOTth)
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Ya k4, The REX burners are as good as you can get with an aspirated type burner. They produce a flame that is stable across a broad range of pressures. There is a book out by a guy named Michael Porter. He shows you how to build burners that are very much like the REX product. The book is not all that well written but the basic data is very good and it's only $20.US. It helps if you have a lathe and milling machine but Porter shows you how to rough them with hand tools. The Rex burners use the same principles but have been tweaked up a notch and are finely constructed. However, the increase in performance is infintesimal! Both burners will fire a forge hotter than you are likely to ever need. If you have more time than money, like me, make them yourself. If you want a link to check out the book let me know.
Glen G. in Pittsburgh
Zinc can be nasty but it really isn't that toxic. What will really POISON you is Cadmium.
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K4556 wrote:

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GSG wrote:

You obviously aren't married to a viper, the sharp side of my wife's tongue can whither me to my core :-(
Regards Charles
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Had one of those. Traded her in on smoother model :-) Like the "good book" says "better a corner in an attic than a palace with a shrew".
GA
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