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Well I finally found a round door handle from which to start my Babbington burner. For those unfamiliar with these, they use air to draw a film of oil from a spherical surface, rather than forcing oil through jet, which will eventually block. When running properly there is no smoke and all of the oil burned.

I snapped several #80 drill bits trying to drill the hole, so I started with a #60 and stopped before going all the way through. I then finished the hole with a #80.

I rigged it up using gravity fed oil and held everything in place using a retort stand and clamps (remember high school chemistry?). After playing with variables, such as the position of the oil drop on the ball, air pressure, the length of the extension tube and the number of air holes, we had it running nicely.

However, there are a few things to play with further and add. For example, the tin can will make way for a proper sump and the oil will be fed through a copper coil that wraps around the extension tube. This will heat the oil, which will make lighting easier. There will also be a gas pilot, to get her started.

The all important hole

Crappy pic but you are looking in through top of the housing and looking at the air/oil mixture entering the extension tubing

Adjusting the oil flow (you can see unburned oil spitting at the bottom of the flame)

Temp reading at the end of the extension tube (in Fahrenheit for the benefit of the Americans). That is about 405* C


Hi Mayhem Smiley-signs107

I have never seen that type of burner before ,, very interesting Big Grin

Is the air sullied from a compressor ?

(02-26-2012, 05:16 AM)RobWilson Wrote: [ -> ]Hi Mayhem Smiley-signs107

I have never seen that type of burner before ,, very interesting Big Grin

Is the air sullied from a compressor ?


Thanks Rob. Apparently an old design. There is lots of info and videos out there.

Air is via a compressor at 50 - 80psi. I am finding it better at 80psi at the moment but I may have to dial that back once I am using hot oil. It is all a bit of trial and error but rewarding that it fired up and produced heat from the start!


Thanks Mayhem Big Grin

I will look into that type of burner ,, i did have ago at oil firing but it was just a tad too smoky Slaphead

Can be if the flame goes out!



I have a oil burner, I like the idea of such heat with little time. I found that my furnace can be damaged by the sudden increase of heat. Recently I have started with a can of Kero in the bottom of the furnace to preheat the furnace. I am in the process of making a new way to supply the oil. A compressor works nice well, what if you use a late model fuel transfer pump? They deliver pressures above 60 psi at 12 volts DC. What if it you had a variable voltage up to say 24 volts? Well that is my thoughts. No more need to run extra lines and no noise from a compressor. I will let you know as it evolves.
Nelson Collar17428
Hi Nelson,

This has been on the back burner (pun intended) for a while now but I did a little work on it last weekend, as it was in the way!

Essentially, I made the oil tank/sump and mounted the body. I also removed the rear plate that was spot welded on, made a new one that bolts on. I also shortened the air inlet pipe (to a more manageable length) and mounted the pilot. I have a gear pump, which will pick up oil from the sump and deliver it to the top of the burner via a coil that will pre-heat it.

Next step is to decide upon the layout so that the burner tube is at a workable hight (no point having the furnace too high from the ground), mount the pump and motor and plumb it up. Oh and actually get around to making the refractory to line the furnace - but that is another post!

A couple of pics showing the gas pilot, which will run off of the disposable canisters. This is only used to get the burner started and the canisters are cheap. We use them as pilots on alcohol burning FX units.

Quick update - mounted the pump and plumbed everything up. Oil is picked up from the sump and pumped through the coil, which will heat the oil. From here it hits a T-junction, where the through path is to the burner (tap to control flow) and the T-path returns oil to the sump.

I need to find a motor now but I run it up with my cordless drill and everything works fine.

So is this thing going to heat your shop, or what is the purpose of the device? 17428

I think it is a furnace burner
For melting metal
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