I made this furnace with 2300 degree refractory
cast into a 10 gallon trash can. I used a 5 gallon plastic bucket to serve as
the inside form when the refractory mix was poured. I also built the natural
aspirated propane burner. Air is drawn into the rear of the burner by the high
speed flow of the propane blowing down the tube and by heat flowing out of the
top of the lid. It used a LOT of propane. It did ok with aluminum but had
insufficient heat to melt brass. I think that using forced air with the propane
would have improved the efficiency. I later switched to forced air and
pressurized waste oil for fuel. Much cheaper to operate and way hotter.
The propane burner shown below is a version of
Ron Reil's burner design. You should check out his site at http://ronreil.abana.org/design1.shtml#Reil
The small cross-pipe is held in place in the
bell reducer with allen set screws. There is a #58 hole drilled in the side of
the cross-pipe that is pointed straight down the burner tube toward the
furnace. The bell reducer at the other end acts as kind of a nozzle but is
really there to help fill the space where it enters the furnace.
This furnace was originally designed to be used with charcoal. That's why the burner blows directly into the center rather than tangentially which would force the flame to swirl around the inside. Here is a shot with the original air tube in place for use with charcoal. I was still using a hair dryer for the air source at that time.
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