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Messages - MarkP

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General Outdoor Furnace Discussion / Re: Incomplete burn
« on: February 06, 2020, 08:30:30 AM »
OK... so I tried turning the temperature up to 165, and the creosote problem improved a little, but my wood consumption for some reason, increased greatly.......hmmmmm.  The ambient temperature hasn't been any different, so not sure what the reason was, but I turned it back to 155, and I'm pretty happy with the creosote at the time, but I've noticed with I turn the heat up in my garage, and the fire burns long, it burns the creosote off 100%.  Today, I'm going to change my differential from 10 degrees to maybe 13-15 degrees,, burn less often, but hotter when it does burn. 

I'm at a point that it's definitely improved, now it's just fine tuning it.  I appreciate all your input!!

General Outdoor Furnace Discussion / Re: Incomplete burn
« on: January 21, 2020, 11:53:37 AM »
The video makes a little more sense now, about the heat required to dissipate the moisture.  I tried turning the water temperature up to 155 degrees a few weeks ago, and saw a change in the creosote.  The damper was still sticking some... maybe about 20% as much as before, so today, I turned it up to 165 degrees.  I'll give it a few days  and see how it does.  As of today, I've burned 1 1/4 cord of wood since I fired it up Oct. 22nd.  That's .4 cord a month.  I'm on schedule to burn 2 more cord this year at most.  I'll give it a few weeks, and I'll get back with you all.  THANKS!! 

General Outdoor Furnace Discussion / Re: Incomplete burn
« on: January 04, 2020, 03:33:38 AM »
Yep.. pretty much what I thought the problem was.  I usually start off at a low temp, and increase as the ambient temp goes down, but we really haven't had much cold weather yet, but it's coming.  I'll turn it up a bit today, and see how it goes.  My door is 2 layers of steel, and insulated in between, and I thought that might increase the cresote on the door/flapper too. I'll be bringing an airplane home in the next couple weeks to put in the shop and paint.  Just making sure I get all the bugs worked out now. 

I'm heating only my shop (32' X 32' X 10' ceilings) for now, but I'll be hooking the house back up for next year.  I'm still seeing too much of the propane guy....err.... uh lady.  She's cute, but not that cute!

I'll keep ya posted, and I'll post some pics soon.  THANKS!!


General Outdoor Furnace Discussion / Incomplete burn
« on: January 01, 2020, 09:54:51 AM »
Hey Guys..... This will be my first full winter with my 3rd. homebuilt boiler.... 180 gallons.  My wife lit it Oct. 22nd, so it's been burning for about 10 weeks.  I've used about a cord of wood in that time.  My wood is cut about 16-18 inches long, and not over 4-5 inches in diameter, and has been cut and split for about a year, and inside a shed on pallets, for 4 months.  I had to have it cut smaller, since I had back surgery Oct. 14th., and I still have a 10 pound weight limit.  It's using about 5 pieces of wood a day.. 6 at the most. 

Two issues I'm having is cresote, and an incomplete burn.  I have the temperature on 130 degrees with a 10 degree differential, which heats my 1000 sq. ft. garage very well (70 degrees).  Thinking that both may be cured with a higher temperature, and a longer differential???  Also.. thinking a better rake to bring the chunks to the top of the ashes may help.  I'm using a short tine cultivator at the moment.  Great for pulling wood forward, but not good for bringing the chunks to the top. Thinking more like a pitch fork with close tines may be best.  What's your thoughts?  Only issue with cresote is the flapper on the draft fan sticking at times.  Not a real big deal on either, but I know I can save a little wood if I get this fine tuned. I appreciate any input and opinions.   


Home Made / Re: OWB #3
« on: March 05, 2019, 11:04:10 AM »
I was able to get the furnace finished and fired up this past weekend.  I'm still doing some fine tuning, but it got it's first test today, with temperatures in the single digits.  It's doing a good job, and in the first 24 hours, I only loaded it one time.  I've loaded it once today, and I'll put wood in it tonight before bed.  The wood I'm using right now was cut about 4 years ago, and wasn't covered, so it's starting to rot.  No real good wood in the shed yet.  I'm happy with how it's doing.  I'm using a Taco 007, and it seems to be a bit weak.  It will keep the heat exchanger warm for a while, and then seems to lose a little heat.  Head is only about 2 feet, so the pump should be plenty to carry the water.  I'll have another one soon to replace it with.  I stumbled with the latch for a while, but today, I made a latch that's spring loaded.  Easy open and close.  We'll see how the spring holds up for the long haul.   

I have several pictures on my phone, but my phone isn't really user friendly for posting here, but I'll be posting pics as soon as I can. 
Thanks for everybody's help.   Pics to come soon!!!

Home Made / Re: OWB #3
« on: February 05, 2019, 06:18:49 PM »
I've not been able to get  it finished yet, but hoping within the week or so.  I'll be posting pictures and dimensions on it..   I appreciate all your help.  I'm working on the door now, and trying to design a latch that works well and is simple.  Suggestions?

Home Made / Re: OWB #3
« on: January 06, 2019, 07:38:07 AM »
Thanks for the input.   My firebox to water capacity is 1:2.   Firebox is 90 gallons volume, and my total water is 180 gallon capacity.  Also, I run my pumps 24/7, so there is a radiant effect, which really makes a difference in the garage, as the heat exchanger and blower are exposed, and at floor level.  I have 2 small ceiling fans that are never turned off as well.

Welding has begun....  firebox is almost ready, and I have the base welded to the bottom of the water chamber, with the sides tacked on.  Top is cut and ready as are both the front and back.  Now to find the time to weld.... and weld.... and weld....lol   One thing I did on this one different, is add one inch of slope front to back, so any air in the water chamber goes straight to the vent tube, and will allow less air touching the top metal on the water chamber.  I know air will increase the chance of rust.

Anxious to get it fired up. My last two boilers were around 340 gallons each, and used 7-8 cord at the most, heating the house and garage.  I'm hoping this one will hit closer to 4 cord, with only heating half the area... garage only, instead of house and garage.  I'll keep you updated as it progresses.  THANKS

Home Made / Re: OWB #3
« on: December 28, 2018, 12:30:18 PM »
I had assumed the warmer temperatures in the top of the stove was because I had the supply line about 3" off the top of the firebox... the hottest area for water.  I had the supply line about 3' long, in from the back of the stove.  In the rare event I let the fire go out, I could build a fire, and have almost immediate heat on top of the firebox, before it had a chance to heat all the water to the same temperature.  At least that's how it worked in my mind....lol 

I just cut the steel today for the firebox and water box.  I'll be welding the next couple days, then I'll work on the plumbing.  I agree that front/back will create the best mix.  I appreciate all your input and thought. 

One question I have is a ratio between firebox and water box in cubic feet or gallons.  How many cubic feet of firebox, is best to heat a certain size (cubic feet) of water??  I like the idea of a larger reserve of water, resulting in less frequency of fires, but longer burn times, vs. firing often but for shorter times. 

Home Made / Re: OWB #3
« on: December 26, 2018, 04:29:34 AM »
Thanks for the reply.  The damper I made in the past was a bit too airtight.  It would put the fire out, until I made some adjustments to it.  My shop dimensions calculate to needing 52,000 BTU for the lower level.  I hope to heat the upper level next year, and it's only 50% of the space, so 75,000 BTU would be good.  I'm torn between a smaller amount of water and quicker recovery, or a larger reserve and longer, but less often burns.  I've been happy with the past 2 stoves, but I think it may have been overkill, especially with your calculations as gallons per BTUs.

I'm using a 75 cfm draft fan going in through the door, one Taco 007 pump, and the stack will be 6" out the top, with a baffle in the top of the firebox.  As for pump supply outlet, I had my last one off the bottom area, but changed it after a few months, and got a warmer supply, with no apparent changes to the stove, as it was drawing off the top of the firebox.  I would keep at least 12" of water over the top of the firebox, and have it set on enough slope, to have any air in the top of the stove, going straight to the vent pipe.  With the vent pipe I used, I would rarely have to add any water.  I'd keep a check on it, and keep the temperature low, and increase as the ambient temperature started to drop.  Keeping it running during the summer for heating my potable water, I'd keep the stove temperature @130 degrees.

I'll do some more calculations, and check back in.  THANKS!!

Home Made / OWB #3
« on: December 19, 2018, 01:49:55 PM »
Hello........   I haven't posted for many years, but I come back to the site anytime I have a question on a build.  I've built 2 OWBs in the past, one I used for 10 years, and one for 3 years.  Both were similar, 1/4" sheet steel, 340 gallons, and did very well for me, heating a 1680 sq. ft. house and a 1000 sq. ft. garage with a 10' ceiling.  Home and garage were built in 2004 and well insulated.  I used 7-8 cord of wood each year in WV.  I have some health issues, and decided to install a new high efficiency propane furnace/AC for my house and a propane space heater for the garage. It works great, but I miss my wood heat.

With the cost of propane, and the lack of comfortable heat, I've decided to build a stove for my garage only.  I'm thinking a 3' X 3' X 4' water box(270 gallons) with a 2' X 2' X 3' firebox(90 gallons).  By my calculations, I should end up with a 180 gallons of water capacity.  (Larger firebox is a thought as well)  All new sheet steel will be used.  3/16" steel for everything except the floor and end walls/door of the firebox. Those will get 1/4" steel.  One of my stoves got a 8" flue, and one got a 6" flue.  Otherwise, the designs were similar.  The larger flue stove was much a better burning stove, and more efficient. 

With a smaller stove this time, I plan on a 6" flue out the top as the prior stoves have been.  Water will be pulled off the top and returned towards the bottom.  I plan on a White Rogers digital temperature controller and a simple, inexpensive Taco 007 pump for the 15', level run to my garage.  With years of OWB use, I have a general idea of what I want, but I'd like to have opinions from you on a smaller stove.

1.   Is there a calculation or rule of thumb for "gallons of water per sq. ft of space to be heated" that works
2.   Can BTUs be estimated for this size of stove?

I appreciate your input, and plan the build in the next couple weeks.  I can have it complete and fired in a week pretty easily.   

Plumbing / Re: More water line discussion
« on: February 26, 2010, 07:41:26 AM »
Hey Guys,,, good input from everyone.  Kinda' gets me thinking.

As for what is filled around my drain pipe, I filled it with sand, then 2" of high density foamboard on top, then dirt.  No rocks to eat through the casing.  My wood consumption has been about the same this year, if not better than last year, and we have had more snow and colder weather DAILY here in WV.  Rough winter so far.  (My cousin just moved here from Alaska,,, she said she is ready to move back to Alaska, where the weather is nice,,,,lol.)  I have had consistent 12-14 hour burns all year.  I think last year, I was loading the stove too heavy each time.  Now, once the wood is gone, it can go another 2 - 4 hours before it needs wood, just heating on the 12" pile of coals.  I have noticed no difference in the performance of my stove, and if anything,, it is doing better this year than last.  Maybe a learning curve on my part.

One thing I did think about as far as difference from last year to this year.  I had a low spot along the ditch in my yard, and I decided to fill it in with loose dirt and let it settle before I seeded it.  It seems that afew other spots that I filled seem to melt off first as well.  Not sure the reason, unless like Willie's ditch filled with rock for drainage, maybe the air passage  through the porosity of the "new" dirt might be causing some of the melt.  It only does it when the weather is right at freezing or above.  Maybe I'm worrying over nothing.

I'm already making plans for a new stove for next season, just to make some changes that I think would make a better stove.  I will keep ya posted as it progresses.  Lots of information on here.  Need to take advantage of it.


Home Made / Re: welding process
« on: February 22, 2010, 04:14:57 AM »
If you are welding inside, gas shield is the way to go.  Clean weld, with less chance for porosity.  Flux wire is great if you are welding outside where the wind will blow the  gas away from the weld area.

Plumbing / Re: More water line discussion
« on: February 21, 2010, 03:37:39 PM »
I haven't checked temps to see if there is a drastic drop, but I am heating a 1680 sq. ft. house, and 1000 sq. ft. of my garage, and have seen no difference in performance.  I just don't remember seeing the snow melt over the lines last year as it has in the past week or so.  Everything still seems to be working great.  Snow is still laying on the roof of the woodburner just fine. 

Plumbing / Re: More water line discussion
« on: February 21, 2010, 01:26:17 PM »
I'm on my second winter with my homemade OWB and I insulated and installed my lines myself.  I was really happy with it until about a week ago. 

On installation, I used two lines of 1" oxygen barrier pex tubing, and slid lengths of unsplit, closed cell foam sleeves over each.  I taped each joint in the foam, and taped the two lengths of pex together.  Next, I put three wraps minimum of HVAC bubble wrap insulation over that.  None of this will absorb water.  Next I burried a 6 inch corrigated culvert from the stove to my house, with sand all around the pipe, and covered it with 2" high density foamboard insulation before I filled the ditch in with dirt.  The ditch was 38" at the stove, and to get under my house, I brought it up to 28" as I passed under the foundation.  I slid all my lines inside this pipe.  I really thougth I had this one whipped.

About a week ago, I noticed in all the cold and snow, that the line from the house to the woodburner had less snow on it.  As the days progressed, that part of the yard melted first.  I'm not sure what could have caused this.  I thought maybe one of my heater lines was leaking, but there is no obvious leak, and I HAVE ADDED NO WATER since I fired this thing up in October. (Thanks to everyone that helped out last year with my "steaming" issues.)  I checked the water today, and it isn't down even a quarter inch.  It is performing the best that is ever has.  I will never be without a OWB.

Any ideas on the snow melt??  I will be pulling the lines out this summer to take a look.  My guess is that maybe the corrigated drain pipe I ran my lines in has a leak, and the water has filled the pipe, and it will transfer heat, when the air space would not. 

Ideas anyone??

Electronics / Re: 2 wire digital thermostat
« on: January 15, 2010, 02:54:19 PM »
I'm starting to think the same.  My brother has the same thermostat I have.  It is in a garage, and it keeps a constant, accurate temp. 

I'm really interested in changing over to a digital, similiar to the ones I use in my home.  They are a 4 wire design, but I know I need a 24 volt transformer, and possibly a relay.  Can anyone give me an idea on what parts I need, and how to wire it?


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