Reil's "EZ-Burner" Modification
In order to do an 80 pound lead melt, I needed a free air burner to use in a brick pile melting furnace. I did not wish to spend the time making one of the burners, with its flared nozzle, that I outlined on my page, so I designed this modification. It has worked out far better than I expected. It will not be quite the powerhouse the flared burner is, but will function very well in most situations, and is much easier to build. For most purposes, and smiths, it will probably do the job as needed without the flare.
The EZ-Burner will only need two holes to be drilled and tapped, instead of the six or seven discussed in my "Reil Burner" document. As shown in the other design, using the Bordeaux modification, mount the jet tube as shown on the burner design image. For the flared nozzle, do not flare it, but use a 3" or 4" brass, or iron, nipple with one set of threads cut off. On the threaded end cut eight equally spaced hacksaw cuts vertically down the axis of the tube through the threads, ending the cut about 1/4" past the threads into the solid pipe. Each saw cut will be about 1" long. You can then use one of the threaded ends of a 1" pipe coupling, which you have cleaned up and finished, to screw on like a locking nut. The tapered pipe threads will compress the "fingers" on the brass 1" nipple on to the 3/4" burner pipe, securing the nozzle in place without any drilling or tapping. Be warned that, if you use brass, the "locking nut" tends to freeze up easily once you heat the burner during your first test run. It can be very difficult to loosen for adjustment after running the burner.
To tune the burner start with the locking nut loose, slide the nozzle out so that about 1" sticks out beyond the end of the 3/4" burner tube. Do this outside since there will be some escape of unburned propane. Light the burner carefully, with a medium to low pressure setting, and slide the 1" diameter nozzle tube in until the flame goes out. Mark the location of the 1" nozzle tube on the main burner tube. Now repeat this procedure, but this time slide it out until the flame goes out. Again mark the location. Make a mark half way between the two extremes and secure the nozzle tube in place in that location by tightening the locking nut. With this done you can now loosen the two set screws which secure the jet tube and adjust it until the flame is most intense, and aiming directly out the tube, not to one side or the other. You will know when the jet is aiming down the center of the burner tube by the increase in its roar. Lock down the set screws, and it should be ready to use.
Making the nozzle this way will not give you quite the free air pressure range the flared nozzle will, but it should allow you to achieve open air gas pressures up to 20-25 psi. With the nozzle in a forge it will then be stable at any pressure you may need. It is very easy to light.
Because the non flared nozzle does not generate quite the vacuum that the flared nozzle does, it will not draw in as much intake air. This will result in a slightly more gas rich flame. If it seems too rich, just go to a size smaller jet diameter, perhaps a #59 hole instead of a #58. This of course will result in a slightly lower temperature in a given forge chamber, since there will not be as much gas and oxygen being burned at a given pressure. It should not be of consequence however, and forge welding temperatures should still be easy to achieve.
I was rather amazed at how well the burner does function, and believe that many folks will find the ease in building it a pleasant relief over the drilling and tapping, and the flaring of the nozzle tube, required for the more sophisticated version. For most people the additional performance achieved with the flared burner nozzle will probably not justify the additional work required to build it. This should make getting that first forge running just that much easier to do.
I hope you find this new version of use. I would very much appreciate any feedback you could provide if you make one or more of these EZ-Burners. By the way, when I used the burner for the lead melt, it quickly had the surfaces of the brick pile furnace up to a bright yellow heat. It took almost no time to do the lead melt. :-)
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23 Nov 07
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