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Old April 23rd, 2019, 10:51 AM
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Default Oil Tank Arch Build Best Practices and Plans?

Hi:
Have a bunch of oil tank arch build questions.
Brand new to this. This year I built a pseudo block arch to boil a small batch. Need to upgrade to something that will last more than a couple of years.
Have an heating oil tank and want to build myself an optimally designed unit.
Not finding much definitive info out there, just some pictures of builds with no following comments regarding lessons learned.
No drawings or firm recommendations on best practices can be found.
Anyone know of good sources or have expertise that will help?

Build plan is a 2x4 ish pan with some sort of riser end stacked auto drip preheater, probable ceramic blanket and firebrick lined, fire box grate, some sort of simple air injection, a barrel heater door, an ash clean out door, and maybe a 6" flue.

Am retired veteran, can weld ok, and want to keep it inexpensive, but efficient as possible. It will be for family use and to pass on to the kids.

Questions are:
1. Is 6" flue size enough and is a damper required?
2. Should I cut the tank exactly in half, leaving the standing flue end wide enough for the flue and sized so the firebox fits a 2x4 pan?
3. What is optimal fire box grate height from pan bottom for oak and ash?
4. Sand filled square bottom with firebrick over it, or leave oval shape for natural grate
support and easy removal? Leaning toward oval.
5. What is optimal fire box back wall shape? Sloped, with what angle, or square back?
Am seeing conflicting opinions.
6. How much space between brick and pan beyond firebox and back of pan before
entering flue space? 2-4" or ?
7. Space for some insulation between back of pan and flue? 1-2"
8. Is a sealing gasket required/recommended on top of angle iron under the pan?
9. How big of angle iron welded to top of cut off tank? Is 1" or 2" enough?
10. Are original screw on tank legs sufficient or should I weld on some new ones? The
gross full tank weight is nearly a ton.
11. Air injection recommendations? Sides, front, under fire? CFM? Even needed?

Thanks in advance for any help. It is greatly appreciated. Randy
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Old April 24th, 2019, 08:34 AM
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look at the pictures I posted in building an oil tank arch. Tried to attach them here but couldn't. I had my pan made at a welding shop that advertised stainless steel welding. Cost me $225. Half of what it would have cost from CDL or the like. Made the arch to fit it. I can boil a solid 12 gal/hr. now but have a pre-warmer also. Worked out the bugs. Fire bricks on sides and bottom of fire box and fire board on back and front. No forced air. Screw in pipe legs weren't sturdy enough. Gasket on angle iron pan rails. 6 in. flue works and no damper. Firebrick was most expensive piece of build after the pan of course. Might not be able to pass it on to my grandkids but the pan will hold its value. Built it in 2013 and kept under cover should last quite a while.
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Old April 24th, 2019, 08:44 AM
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Timmer... what issue did you run into trying to attach photos? Only two things that block attachments are if someone has not posted a message before ( to prevent spam ) or if the file size for each photo is HUGE. Did you get an error message or are you not quite sure on how to do it?
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Old April 24th, 2019, 01:13 PM
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Not a technical problem. Since posting original pictures I've got a new computer and my pictures aren't in my files. I tried moving the pictures from my original post but couldn't. Thanks Bryan
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Old April 28th, 2019, 08:18 PM
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Thanks Trimmer.
I see from your pics that you did a drop in pan style. Any problem with burning of and cleaning the pan sides? Did you brick up to the bottom of the pans so they covered or blocked fire from the pan sides?
Any design specs you wish to add that you did right of would change on the next on?
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Old April 29th, 2019, 05:47 PM
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I like the recessed pan. It stays warm and scorching isn't a problem as the pan sits on angle iron rails. I boil outside under a roof but no sides. I have a 10 ft 6 in smoke stack that works fine. There is about 2 in. of space between fire brick in back and pan. take the area of a 6in pipe and that should be the area leaving your fire box. I made the fire box 24 in deep with a straight back and I wish I had sloped it a little. Welded Channel iron rails in the fire box to hold up the firebrick. Where fire brick ended I used fire board and bolts and fender washers to hold it in. We spent more time scratching our head and measuring than welding. Then I added a lot of bolts knowing the welded angle iron would warp unevenly when super heated. The vogelzang barrel stove kit was perfect. The stack adaptor is the perfect fit to the angle of the tank. Every time I use this I think of how good it works and how reasonable the price compared to the 2 x 4s offered by the major manufactures.
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