I am looking into trying to make a Turk burner to retrofit an old coal/wood furnace. I am hoping to have it look more or less like a professional install by the time I am finished. However, right now I am monkeying around with burner designs in CAD and jury-rigging testbeds for the research. I will post a jpeg of the design when I think it is good enough. So far I have made 4 major designs. MKI which was 2 pieces of 6 inch stovepipe with a bunch of holes banged in the bottom with a nail.

The natural draft was sufficient, but did not have enough holes and smoked like a freight train. MKII was the same with a lot more holes. Burned clean and smoke free. MKIII I removed one section of pipe and added a wick/generator to speed up start time. And then the MKIV. Ah.. the MKIV. I added a plenum around the stovepipe and injected air with a squirrel-cage fan. It got hot enough that it melted the fiberglass wick. I found when I was injecting enough air, the flames would stay inside the chimney, and burn with a yellowish-white flame. Smoke is definatly not an issue.

Then I finally broke down and tried more than one type of fuel. I had been using soybean oil exclusively, out of respect for mistakes. Tad easier on the local vegetation and ground water (I have a hand- dug well)than used petroleum products. Since then I have tried: ATF, used ATF, used hypoid gear oil. I will be changing my oil soon, and shall try used sump oil then.

Immediately I noticed the burner started easier on ATF than veggie oil. It was difficult to get the soy oil up to temperature. The ATF also seemed to burn hotter than the veggie. Then I did a night burn of used gear oil. This burned VERY hot and bright. The flames shot about 3 feet out of the chimney, and burnt with a beautiful white flame that showed as white on the camera. Usually they all showed as red. The color of the flames seem to tell me I have enough air. I want to re-burn in daylight to confirm lack of smoke.[/a]

Would this happen to be JMJ from the biodiesel site? If so, how’s it going, I’m also WV Eng. And yes, I’m still thinking on the tank heater. I have been thinking how to make these things smaller, but I think the heat output may be too high for the small stuff. May be able to do the cooking appliances no sweat. Ever since Mr. Dale said his scaled down one worked better, I have been running lots of ideas around on the hamster-wheel in my head. One I want to try is to use one of the short, fat, 1# propane bottles for the outer, and a cut down, tall, skinny 1# propane bottle for the chimney. My big stumbling block is that I don’t use those tiny propane bottles, and I don’t want to buy them just to play. Other than that, I am also looking into making a gas generator to vaporize the oil before running it to a coleman stove type nozzle. If I remember correctly, and you may have to check, the propane friges don’t use much more than a pilot light, and if you use an oil lamp type thing (provided you can get past the wick problem) it should do the trick.


There are several ways of getting fuel to vaporise or atomise to get it to mix with combustion air and burn cleanly. Some combine heat and pressure. Here are just a few methods. Pressure atomising – usually over 100psi – common for light liquid fuels. Heavy oil (such as furnace fuel oil) needs to be pre heated to about 200 deg F. Steam Atomising. Combines a steam supply with a pressure nozzle but can use lower pressures and a wide flow range.

  • Air Atomising. Uses low pressure fuel supply and a higher pressure air supply though a nozzle.
  • Vaporising. Uses low or medium fuel pressure to supply fuel to a heater tube or element for full vaporising before reaching multiple burner outlets, or a pressure nozzle. Stanley Steamers and Blowlamps are an example of each.
  • Wick Vaporisers. For low flash point fuels as used in some lamps.
  • Low Flash Fuel Vaporisers. Fuel can be ignited in a tray without pre heating. As used in some model steam toys.

There should be enough there to keep you busy with experiments.

Couple of questions; 1) How many times was it coiled around the chimney ? 2) Did you think to direct it so that the ‘gas jet’ was directed up the chimney from the bottom ? In this respect, you could still have the burner working, just in a slightly different manor – vaporizing the fuel before it gets to the burner, I would be willing to bet that this would make WVO/SVO more useable in the burner.

When I did the original line, it was coiled 3 times in the mouth of the chimney, and afterward 1.5 times around the mouth. I did think to point the line, but the oil flow was not enough to keep things going. The flame jet of gaseous WVO was small compared to the overall flame size. I am willing to bet with work it could be set up to burn this way. I am using 1/4″ copper tubing, and coresponding needle valve. The tank had a valve with a 1/4″ flared fitting already on it. I know the tubing will flow oil much faster, and I think the valves are limiting the flow. I will probably keep this tank for other uses, but the next tank will have the original valve cuyt off and a newer, larger one installed. It was interesting to watch droplets of different oils flow down the clear tubing, because I thought they would mix.