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T Burner Illustrated Directions


Frosty

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As Holmes said to Watson at dinner time: "Rats! Foiled again!"

Frosty, you were right about alignment but I think the pictures were a bit misleading. It's not so much that everything is on an angle to the tube (Well, maybe that too with the original MIG tip) but actually that the hole for the brass fitting about 1/8" or so to one side of the centre of the mix tube! ON BOTH TEES!!:angry:

Foolish me, way back when I drilled the Tees in the lathe, didn't think about the fact that as a cast part, the centres of the machined holes don't necessarily correspond to the centre of the outside of the casting :( 

Oh well, I'll have to order some more and get really impatient waiting for them to ship.

Still, thanks again everyone for the replies. I've still learned heaps that will get me started quickly when they arrive!

Cheers,

Jono.

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Regarding Gas-grade Teflon tape Vs. normal plumbing-grade Teflon tape:

The differences are in the manufacture. Plumbing-grade tape is mechanically stretched during production, so giving you a longer length of thinner tape for the same volume of Teflon. The stretching process causes thousands of micro-tears to open up in the Teflon, which isn't a problem for water-based use, as the H2O molecule is too big to get through these micro-tears, but gas molecules are smaller and CAN get through these micro-tears.

Gas-grade Teflon tape is un-stretched, so is much thicker and doesn't contain micro-tears. This extra thickness makes it much better at filling the threads of a gas-pipe fitting, and why, in the UK at least, it is specified that you only need 1 & 1/4 turns of Gas-grade tape on a tapered gas fitting to seal it correctly.

Sorry for the little essay, but I wanted to know the real difference between the two tape types so spent quite a while investigating it, but finally found manufacturing details as well as tests of the tapes, including micrographs showing the micro-tearing on the plumbing-grade tape.  Quite interesting (and sad) for a Tech Nerd like me! :)

Tink!

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That is a bummer hefty.  As you said though, you learned heaps.  Knowing more about your burners will make future troubleshooting easier.  

When I made some Frosty T's with the lathe, I threaded the tee onto the mix tube and centered the mix tube.  So long as the mix tube is concentric, the hole will be drilled In the tee, centered on the mix tube, no matter how far out the tee is.  Plus there is no measuring to determine where mix tube center happens to land on the tee.  

If I am remembering correctly, Frosty suggested it to me.  It almost takes the work out of it.

Nice dig Tink.  Interesting find.  Over thinking Teflon tape... we can be friends.

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Good info Tink, I've been under the impression it was a chemical problem, not mechanical. Thanks!

Chucking up a nipple and screwing on the T centers everything. I tried chucking the T itself one time and couldn't get it to run true. 

What was a real head slapper for me was when I was trying to come up with a way to keep the T centered on a drill press without an expensive drill vise and fussy set up. I was standing there lamenting not using my lathe and the ease of mounting it on a nipple to drill and tap.

I spent a lot of time trying to make an effective propane burner a person could make with minimal shop skills and tools. Otherwise I'd use the lathe.

Anyway, I'm standing there coming up with all sorts of ideas to jig the T on the drill table and look over at my shop forge with 4 T burners standing on floor flanges. Talk about a head slapping DUH moment! I jumped in the car, drove to the plumbing supply at the end of our road and was home with a 3/4" floor flange in under 15 minutes. 

That was the last real improvement to the T burner. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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14 hours ago, tinkertim said:

Sorry for the little essay, but I wanted to know the real difference between the two tape types so spent quite a while investigating it, but finally found manufacturing details as well as tests of the tapes, including micrographs showing the micro-tearing on the plumbing-grade tape.  Quite interesting (and sad) for a Tech Nerd like me! :)

Tink!

I thought is vas a great little essay :)

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Frosty, I'm reading through the burners 101 thread and I saw that early on you tried turning the threads out of the tees but the only practical advantage was the enlarged air intakes. Because I'm impatient and because our big box stores have equal tees but not reducing tees, I'm considering doing this to save shipping time and money on a reducing tee. But, before rush into it, I wanted to check if the centering of the two intakes is mission critical, knowing the issues I've already had with castings not being true.

I could thread one side onto a nipple to centre it but I would literally be turning the threads off that would hold the other side in order to do the same.

Another thought has also come to me but it may be too dodgy: Could I JB weld my off-centre holes shut and then re-drill and re-tap? It would end up with mostly metal in the new holes with a section of JB weld down one side.

Cheers,

Jono.

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The intake ports aren't critical, they don't have to be the same size or aligned, within reason that is. The really critical thing is the gas jet alignment. 

Don't you guys have down under have plumbing supply stores? We have big box stores and hardware stores not to far off but regular plumbing and HVAC supplies are more common. 

Not being critical, we live on opposite sides of the planet after all, I'm curious.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Yeah we do have them but they are less common. Well in my my area we are in a sub-tropical climate so it's more air con than heating. And yeah, we have plumbing supply stores but they can be a bit "hit and miss". Some sell to the general public but some only deal with tradies who have accounts with them. I haven't found any helpful ones close by yet. I guess I'll need to do a bit of a phone around and see what I can find. Otherwise I can order them online but the shipping is twice the price of the item itself and I'm pretty cheap :P

 Our main big box hardware store "Bunnings Warehouse" has stores in most suburbs. I've got one about 3 minutes from home and another bigger one 10 minutes past that. They have equal tees and reducing fittings but not reducing tees!

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I hear you, shipping something up usually doubles the price here, sometimes more and nobody wants to spend more than they have to. 1" x 3/4" Tees are really common here you can even find them in the big boxes sometimes.  

Using a bushing reducer in a 1" Tee doesn't work very well at all. 

We'll get what you can get working as well as possible.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Ok, so once I found time to phone around, I confirmed that even most plumbing supply places around here don't carry much in the way of iron pipe fittings and none of the ones I contacted had reducer tees. I got some 3/4" equal tees and turned out the threads on the air intakes. One turned out ok, the other one was bored so off centre from its casting that I broke through the section where I had to true up the outside to the same centre as the nipple I had it on so I could hold the second side in the lathe chuck!!

20210818_120021.thumb.jpg.6385a7ecabbf04dba3f2a52374adac03.jpg

I've had to cut off the broken section and the other side to match. Will this still work? It still has a little bit of iron with the right sized holes in the perpendicular alignment before the her and mix tube, but not much :(

20210818_120730.thumb.jpg.924d5c3aca56aa62156398728fb3e776.jpg

It funny/sad: I consider myself reasonably handy but, Frosty, you designed this to be fairly easy to construct and I'm still messing things up!

Actually, IF the shorter intakes on the tee end up working, in future I might just cut the thread section off without any further turning. They actually get bigger inside after the threads!

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Why are you turning the outside? If you use the live center to hold it in position while you tighten the chuck it'll turn true enough IF you take light cuts. Don't make it pretty! Just clean out the threads a couple thou. at a pass.

That's how I chuck them up and it works well enough. The air intake ports don't need to be close to precise, they don't have to be more than close to the same diameter. I cleaned the threads out to see if it improved performance but I don't think it did. Not enough to make it part of the build, even as a suggestion.

If you want to make a T burner using a 3/4" x 3/4" T use a smaller jet (mig tip) and be prepared to trim it farther back from the throat. My first working T was 1" x 1" T on 1" mixing tube. The first couple 3/4" were 3/4" x 3/4" Ts. They all work a treat. IIRC a 0.030 mig tip worked in the straight 3/4" T. Don't quote me though that was more than 20 years and a TBI ago.

I started using the reducing Ts because I was going for maximum effect. The limiting factor with home made burners is inducing enough air to make a neutral flame. The more air you can induce the more propane you can introduce to make the neutral flame.

The larger the intake air you can supply with propane the more combustible mixture goes into the forge per second so the forge gets hotter. The other side of that coin is the slower the combustible mix is moving so the longer it stays in the forge shedding energy to the liner. (Hang time)

I found the increase in intake vs. mixing tube ratio hits a point of diminishing returns at 1" x 3/4". It gets hard to get a greater ratio to perform and it doesn't perform enough better to be worth the hassle.

That's just me though, I prefer not to fix things that aren't broken. Unless they need to be broken that is. 

Keep at it, we'll get you a screaming HOT forge. 

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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Yeah, I had to use the conical outer section of a tail stock drill chuck to centre them because I didn't have a big enough live centre, and I only figured out I could do that after I messed up the first one.

I seem to keep finding helpful info just after it would be helpful. 

I had read some of your info on intake to mix tube diameter ratios for inducing more air but missed the fact that I could run 3/4" equal tees unmodified with a smaller mig tip. Oh well, I'll know for next time.

Anyways, I managed a reasonably stable flame on the tee I didn't have to cut down and I got a video. This is untuned with a full length mig tip. You can see it sputtering slightly at lower pressure at the start, then it settles into a stable flame when I bring the pressure up a bit but then I turned the pressure up too high at the end and it blew out off the nozzle. I'm very new to reading burner flames but I'm presuming from the second layer of blue and orange flame (and the fact that I haven't trimmed the mig tip yet) means that this is a fuel rich flame, yes?

First Tee Burner Flame - Untuned

Also, how do others light their burners? I don't mean that to sound like a dumb question but I'm using a little butane can torch to light the FAM as it exits the mix tube and I really have to play with the regulator carefully to get it to light without blowing the flame off the end of the mix tube. Is this something that will be less of a problem when it's mounted in, and tuned for, a forge?

Cheers,

Jono.

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Got access to a good metal lathe and the skills to use it?  Have you thought of making your own T from a block of say Aluminium?   There is not some magic with it being a plumbing fitting; it's just convenient for us folks without access and skills...

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Thomas you jumped this rabbit so if this is laughable it's your fault for planting thoughts in my head that get out of control.  What about 3/4x1x1 copper or pvc tee which are uniform so can be measured to perfectly center drill?   

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Jono: Still pics allow a person to study them without having to download large files and most guys tend to jerk the camera around so you can't see anything useful.

You shot a decent video, much better than average, that tells the story but still pics next time please. Okay?

Yes it's running rich but the flame is well formed it look like the jet is aligned properly. It's not far out of tune so trim it in tiny increments use a single cut file or sand paper and remember to clean the orifice with a torch tip file. Don't go crazy with the tip file or you'll distort and or enlarge the orifice.

I've thought about making my own intake from scratch in the past but plumbing Ts work well enough so . . . 

Copper Ts would work fine, no problem unless you use silly low melt solder say hot glue. :rolleyes: Remember, you'll have to solder a nut or something on the T to hold the jet. Maybe get away with shaping and soldering the brass fitting directly.

Plastic would work fine IF you can keep it from melting when you shut the burner down and the high volume of intake air stops cooling it. 

Centering the T to drill is silly easy if you use a lathe or floor flange and drill press. Put a drill bit in the drill press and eyeball it to center of the floor flange before clamping it down.

If you're not good at eyeballing to center, measure it, a pair of calipers or dividers makes it easy you don't have to read a scale. Just work around the ID of the flange till each touch is equal.

Or if you want precise you can use a hole saw to cut a round plug of wood put a long bolt through it and tighten it so it can's slide. (Don't make me tell you the wood needs to be larger than the hole in the floor flange!) Chuck the wood cylinder in the drill press and GENTLY file it while it's turning until it slips smoothly into the floor flange.

The wood plug and bolt is a jig. chuck it in the drill press and use it to position the floor flange when you clamp it down. Slowly raise and lower it to make sure the flange didn't shift while clamping.

Now you don't have to measure anything to drill & tap a hole dead center and aligned in the T. Screw the brass fitting jet mount in the T and you can chase and tap it also dead center and aligned. 

I don't take a T off the floor flange until it's ready to hook up and tune.

Frosty The Lucky.

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After that tutorial on using the floor flange I have to agree there's no reason for using anything other than iron pipe and fittings.  I have seen the flange mentioned for alighnment but never understood how.  I visualized the nipple connecting flange to tee both while alighning and drilling.  I must agree it's "silly easy" and therefore other fittings would be more trouble than they are worth.  "Well that xxxxxx Cuban cigar got me riled up" ,otherwise I would have grasped it first time around.

Edited by Mod30
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I'm having a xxxx of a time trying to get the hole for the brass fitting tapped straight...  I tried tapping 4 tees, on only one of them the fitting looks straight enough to try to put together, and even on that one, when I put it back on the nipple & flange to chase for tapping for the MIG tip, the centre of the brass fitting is off-centred from the drill bit.

I'm off tomorrow to pick up a new batch of tees to try again, and maybe a new flange & nipples (in case those were compounding the error)... My guess is that even though I am being really careful to lightly peck the drill bit to start it (after filing a flat on top of the tee), that it is still deflecting some amount that I can't see and drilling off-centre.

Both flange and nipple still seem to be very close to centre after removing the tee, certainly not off enough to get these results...

Just wanted to throw this out there before trying again in case anyone has any extra tips, or sees anything obvious with my setup.  

20210819_172453.jpg.c11a521388a8cfb387e75983c7557182.jpg

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20210819_183724.jpg.ad20b64c6aeb51015973a69315efd13b.jpg

 

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Is the table on you drill press perfectly square to the drill?
Is the threaded hole always off the same direction and amount? If it is, you may be able the shim you setup to fix the issue.

David

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Use a close nipple, as close as you can find. I use a 3/4" x 1" close nipple, the threads almost connect in the center. Clamp the flange directly to the table, wood warps with humidity changes. 

Nothing is going to pass far enough through the T to touch the table so you do not need clearance. Swing the table to one side so you can clamp the flange over the edge of the table. Check to see if the table is square to the spindle with a square. Chuck a longish drill bit in the chuck and check in different positions around it with the square. 

Keep everything as close as possible, short nipple, table as close to the chuck as leaves clearance to change drill bits and taps. 

When you put the T in the jig do NOT remove it until you are finished with the burner. PERIOD. You can drill and tap the fitting for the mig tip while it's screwed into the T, heck it's almost a MUST to align it without using instrumentation. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks Neil! I will take you up on that :)

For when I attempt another drill press T down the road, that is good advice on using a shorter nipple - that totally makes sense. And thanks Frosty for the head slapping realization that I could have swung the drill press to the side to clamp the flange directly. I must have forgot my coffee yesterday morning... 

The DP table and flange/nipple were square and centered every time I checked... I think maybe some flex/give in the plywood along with some deflection of the bit at the start and inconsistencies in the plumbing parts led to poor results. 

I had been starting the taps through the tees on the DP and removing the tees to finish tapping. In retrospect, it would reduce error to just complete it on the DP so the brass fitting could be chased and tapped for the MIG tip without rotating the tee, as Frosty suggested. 

Thanks for the tips everyone 

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Ok, I learned a lot yesterday afternoon/last night!

I'm still having trouble getting the burner lit initially. It is a really fine balance between huffing and lifting off the nozzle and I think it is only once my little butane can torch has heated the nozzle that it stay lit more reliably. The more I read about this the more I think that my jet alignment is still a little off. Even in the lathe, I think I'm having similar issues to Trees with drill bit deflection before tapping.

But, once I got it lit I took still shots of after my first tuning trim. I filed off about 1/32", or, just under a mm. 

At low pressure:

1907830305_41sttrimlowpressuresmall.jpg.424b7938bce11bb88cd01db5d8639689.jpg

At medium pressure:

917631220_51sttrimmedpressuresmall.jpg.b22ae800d80da9111bf24af2241305f4.jpg

At what I used to think was high pressure:249356483_61sttrimhighishpressuresmall.jpg.9d52b82f873510198b45f28b9969b8cb.jpg

And, now I know what you people mean by jet roar!:

1884884379_71sttrimjetroarsmall.jpg.760bc192ee4347cb39f93f5998880470.jpg

Based on these photos, can I ask: Is the next photo correct for identifying the different sections of the flame that I should be looking at?674020687_8Flamesections.jpg.1be689476f6af8eae102941f7c8c43af.jpg

If I am correct then I think I am still reducing at the lower pressure and more neutral at the "jet roar" stage.

This has also taught me two more things:

1. I really need a regulator so I can replicate conditions consistently

2. I think I'm going to need to look into putting this into a NARB or my neighbour might kill me!

Cheers,

Jono.

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