Drip Fed Oil Burning Heater / Wood Heater

Introduction: Drip Fed Oil Burning Heater / Wood Heater

About: about what?

this heater runs on wood or used motor oil

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Step 1: First Off Find an Old 40 Gal Hot Water Tank

using a grinder or tin snips cut the outer shell off and scrape off the expanded foam from the inner tank

Step 2: Cut Out a Door

once the door is cut out you need a backstop so when you close the door it stops flush with the tank. scrap pieces of steel welded on the inside of the doorway does the trick

Step 3: More Holes

cut a hole in the top for the chimney. depending on the size chimney you use depends on how big the hole is going to be.

Note: the smaller hole is the fresh air vent

Step 4: Instilation

install the chimney as well as the copper line that caries the used oil to the bottom pan under the fresh air tube

Step 5: Oil Tube

this is a look inside the fresh air tube with the copper oil line inside

Step 6: Bring It Outside and Give It a Test Burn So Any Leftover Foam Is Burnt Off and Don't Stink Up Your Shop

for the burn plate i just used a cast iron skillet that catches the oil and once hot it vaporizes the oil then instantly burns it. for the initial burn I ran it with the oil at full flow to see what it was capable of, even with a 3 inch air inlet it at full flow of oil it needed more air to burn clean so I used an old engine bay exhaust fan from a boat. (the white thing my dad is holding). as you can see I got it hot. the majority of the heater was red hot and I had about a 2 foot flame out of the chimney. now in no way do I ever need to do that again. I wanted to see its potential and it more than satisfied my curiosity..

Step 7: End Note

this wasn't a recent build. I have used the heater for 3 seasons so far. it was almost a free build but I needed the lengths of chimney and roof flashing.

NOTE: when burning used oil............. oil has a viscosity problem when it is cold. the problem I had with that was in order to get it to flow I had to fully open up the valve this works fine until the room heats up with it being open fully and the room heating up the oil heats up as well which starts filling the pan faster than it can burn it off I fixed the problem with a heating pad for your back. I just submerged it into the 5gal bucket of oil and I turn it on about 20 min before I light the heater essentially preheating the oil so it flows. now I don't have to fiddle with adjusting the flow valve or worrying that it will overflow.

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    2 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Looks like a great garage / shop heater! How clean is the smoke if you're running waste motor oil? I might make one of these but don't need the "man" showing up telling what I can't do because someone saw a cloud of black smoke & got their "tighty whities" in a wad... Great 'ible.


    Reply 5 years ago

    I found that when burning oil the heater likes air that's why I used a 12 v fan with a variable speed resister and switch from a junk car to force air into the burn chamber and be able to control the speed of the fan. it runs clean and smokes less than burning wood. almost to the point you don't see anything but heat waves coming out of the stack. it does get hot so if you build one make sure its away from walls. I ended up buying concrete bored for laying tile and put it behind the heater as a backstop more as a better safe than sorry situation. also when burning oil I wouldn't recommend leaving the area