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Thread: another new guy needing advice

  1. #1

    another new guy needing advice

    howdy people

    so here i am yet another new guy who needs lots of advice . over the last couple years i have slowly been trying to build a small machine shop in my garage .
    and like so many others i find that one hobby soon snow balls into twelve hobbies and that is what brings me here .

    now that i sort of have a start to the machining hobby i have found that being of limited financial means has put a serious crimp in most of my project plans because i simply cant afford the materials . i soon realized that having the ability to do some simple casting with aluminum would open up a huge realm of possibilities .
    in my searching i soon found the back yard metal casting site and this forum . along with an overwhelming amount of information .

    so much information that my head is spinning and i am to overloaded to process it . but have gleaned enough to know where i want to start .

    first .. i know i need to start as low buck as humanly possible . and secondly i want to start with aluminum and be able to melt batches in the 10-15 lbs area .
    and i want to use waste motor oil as a fuel supply simply because i have an endless supply of free fuel .

    so lets start with the burner . i do not have an air compressor so i am kind of thinking that this means i'll need to use a drip style burner . i have seen lots of references to the "brute" burners and something called the quickie ? which i am assuming is the gingery style burner ? .
    i dont have the funds for either of the books so that leaves those out .

    so i would love to hear some suggestions on a simple and cheap burner .

    and next would be the furnace its self ,... as i am planning on using a waste oil burner with free fuel economy really wont be an issue so do i really need to get all that fancy with a furnace .
    would it be out of line to just build a simple furnace from fire brick and some insulation and deal with any heat loss simply by adding more heat ?

    thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Administrator Site Admin
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Huatulco, Mexico
    You will need a firebrick that can stand 3000 F. with an oil burner.

    Look at our forum owner's web site for plans for a drip oil burner. I use both a Brute and a Hot Shot, both of which he designed.

    I posted a thread with a video a while back that shows how I light a waste oil burner.
    When I die, Heaven can wait—I want to go to McMaster-Carr.

  3. #3
    not much help here ... must not like new guys .

  4. #4
    Administrator Site Admin
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Huatulco, Mexico
    I am not sure what you want. I steered you to some places that provide what you asked for. Also there is a search function here that leads to a wealth of information.

    Have you read Lionel's pages on his development of the Brute and the Hot Shot oil burners?

    Fire brick is fine for a furnace. With an oil burner, insulation is kind of a waste. Just pour in more heat with the free waste oil.

    When I die, Heaven can wait—I want to go to McMaster-Carr.

  5. #5
    It's Kwiky. Sorry pal, it requires an air compressor, It uses the compressed air to act on the venturi of sucking and spray the used motor oil through an orifice and into the chamber for burning. But don't sweat it, it doesnt use squat for cfm's. Just about any small $69 air compressor from harbor freight will drive one and should keep up with your requirements. Buying a compressor is all about how often do you want to hear it run. Welcome to the avenue, lots of great folks here willing to help out without the usual attitudes that is found on some forums.

    1. Start with buying the crucible that will melt the amount and kind of metal ya want.
    2. Decide how you want to fuel your furnace and get to work on the burner.
    3. Build your furnace to fit the crucible and fuel choice. Oil burners need more breathing space over propane fired setups.
    4. Build your support tools once you get your crucible. (lifting/pouring tools)
    5. Decide HOW and what you are going to cast. (Sand cast, lost foam, lost wax/ceramic shell)
    6. Ask questions and READ, then READ some more! Search youtube and I dont mean king of randombullshit either!

    We DO actually like new guys. We enjoy seeing with pictures your failures and your success! I am personally VERY busy and this is the first time I saw this thread.
    Please have a little patience with us, this hobby takes some of us YEARS to master. That's what makes it challenging and what keeps us going.
    Visit me:
    "Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war"
    -- Donald Trump --

  6. #6
    Moderator DavidF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Wilmington DE
    Welcome new guy "dunce".
    Your asking the same thing thats been discussed so many times in the past that quite honestly most of us are tired of answering. There is plenty of information throughout the forum on all types of burners and furnaces that can be found by a simple search. Dont be put off from the lack of immediate response to your questions either. Many on here only pop in once every couple of weeks or so.
    Anyway, welcome to the forum!
    We like new guys...
    New guys go well with garlic, especially if cooked extra crispy...
    A calm sea does not make a skilled sailor...

  7. #7
    Senior Member machinemaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Blog Entries
    Welcome! I saw you are in NE Ohio, I am just across the border in Meadville, Pa. I used to do a bit of casting, both aluminum and silicon bronze. Let me know if I can help.

    - - - Updated - - -

    you might want to look at the members map, there are several members in Ohio.
    There is beauty, power and excitement in simple old technology!

  8. #8
    what part of ohio are you from? Im from around bowerston, and can sit down and show you what kind of stuff I use. To say that I have a shoestring budget is saying that Im rich, so it sounds like it might be what your after, lol.

    Also yea, most people only pop in here once a day or every other day, so it might take a day or two for the replies to start pouring in.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Buffalo, NY
    Yeah, welcome aboard Dunce. I'm glad you piped up. I'm not sure how the "new posts" cycle on the site, but sometimes new posts seem to become old posts before anyone sees them. I don't have to speak for him, but Rasper is shooting straight. The Brute is by far the cheapest and simplest way to go. Firebricks will work fine too. The dense ones will stand up to oil fine. A loose stack won't do though. If you can get the bottom half of a hot water tank to use as a shell and put a double high stack of firebricks stacked on end and backfill with sand, you'll have a furnace. Saw-cut and mortared would be better. You get the idea. Thick steel or cast iron will work as a crucible for now. Camping propane cans and fire extinguishers will get destroyed by the oil burner in short order. Make use of the search here and post your results. Read lots. Jagboy had some great suggestions, particularly the reading part. Gingery's Charcoal Foundry can be had on Kindle for a few bucks. Even though your not going to be using charcoal and will need a more robust furnace lining than he demonstrates in that particular book, you will not find a more informative beginners guide to sand casting. It will answer questions you haven't thought of yet, and it's all on the cheap.
    Good luck. Post pics!


  10. #10
    Senior Member Zapins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    CT, Hamden
    I recently found 3000 f firebrick at Lowes for 2.56 a brick. I bought 22 and made a furnace last week using what was left over from my 40 gal water heater. You could use sand behind it like Pete said instead of blanket like I used. You can probably order the bricks online and pick them up at your local Lowes.

    Check out my build thread for some ideas.

    Also be sure to read up on the safety threads b/c you don't want to mess up with hot metal.

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