Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ron Reil Burner

Almost 9 months ago I found instructions on how to build a propane powered forge. It consists of two main parts, the forge itself and the burner. The forge is built out of fire bricks which are commonly used for ceramics, they are similar to pumas in texture but are the size of regular building bricks. They are used because they can stand up to the intense heat generated by the burner. The burner that I am constructing is called the Ron Reil Burner, named for the man that designed it. The nice thing about it is that it can be built out of plumbing supplies found at Home Depot or Lowes.

Above are most of the parts used in building the burner, a few of them are already assembled in the picture because they required no modification.

The brass tube is what is actually attached to the propane line. The other end is capped off and the gas leaks out of the small hole that I drilled in the center.
Holes are then drilled into the black steel reduction bell and you fit the brass tube into the holes so the pilot hole points out the smaller end of the bell. The use of black steel is crucial because galvanized gives off toxic fumes when heated. Set screws are used to keep the pilot tube pointing in the correct direction.
When fully assembled the burner will look something like this. Mine is not yet finished so I was not able to fire it up and test it. The gas will collect in the bell and travel down the tube to come out the far end. That end needs to flared so that it will create a larger and hotter flame, this flaring I have not done yet. The back end is left open so that air can flow through it and help increase the heat that is generated.
Here is the burner with the propane hose and regulator attached to it. The entire assembly shown here coast around $40 to assemble, if you have an old propane bbq grill you can get the regulator off of it will reduce the coast to about $25. What is really nice about this design is how versatile it is. I am building it to use in the firebrick forge, but down the line I can also use it in constructing a smelting furnace so that I can do large castings in bronze or aluminum. I can also attach several of them together to create a longer forge that can be used for heating longer pieces of steel such as sword blades.

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