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Unique forge burner use, help


Sendit

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Hello and thank all of you members for the wealth of knowledge that is shared here.  I'm beyond amazed at the vast amount of information that can be  acquired.

I have a project on my hands thats slightly offbeat, but is related to the burner technology you folks have developed and tested so well. I would like to ask for some experienced guidance on which burner design would suit my needs the best.

I'm building myself a custom crawfish cooker, a fairly small and simple stand for a 120qt pot that I want to heat as effeciently as possible using one of the heavy duty burner designs I've seen on here.  The commercial jet burners that are sold today in my mind are just low end weed burners and don't seem to give me what I'm looking for in terms of quality, effectiveness, and longevity.  Plus, they lack the cool factor that my custom stand and burner would produce.

So with that said, would anyone advise me of the design they would suggest for this application?  For my pea brain, a likely choice would be Frostys T-Burner in 3/4" or 1". Open to any and all suggestions, thanks.

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A single burner could put too much heat in one spot and weaken the pot over time. Consider a variation of the NARB (Naturally Aspirated Ribbon Burner), also invented by Frosty.

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Ahhhh, adapted I'll accept. How about making a multiple outlet "Ring" burner? Same basic thing as NARB but a ring instead of a ribbon?

How are your fabrication skills? It'll take some fabricating to make the plenum, a disk with an open center and two rings, one inside one outside welded up to make a circular plenum. Casting the burner block would be a matter for linoleum and duct tape and don't forget the crayons. Getting an even flow all the way around might be a trick that required splitting the flow from the inducer but that's a fiddly bits detail. A little experimentation and you have a home made range burner. 

Okay, here's another thought how about making a large refractory "pot" the crab pot sits on? Aim one NA burner in tangentially so the flame spins around the chamber and heat a large diameter circle in the center of the crab pot?

Frosty The Lucky.

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He doesn't need forging temperatures.  I believe this could be accomplished by simply drilling small holes in pipes and feeding those with a T burner head.  I'm thinking the normal length mixing tube ending in a T with capped and drilled nipples perpendicular to the mixing tube. Of course getting the right number of holes in the pipes might take a bit of trial and error.

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Awhile back someone posted a round NARB picture. That would work well. Sounds like really high BTUs for a crawfish boil! It may come to a boil faster, but after that you’re just boiling off you water. Won’t really cook any faster (right?)

David

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Hey, thanks for the replies.  

Here's a little insight to the purpose in case any are unfamiliar: as ThomasP mentioned it's a very large pot that is sized to hold ~two 35-40# sacks of mud bugs and a couple of times each year it's used to cook more than just two sacks at one feast.  I first have to bring the pot to a slow boil to start cooking the "extras"  then load the basket and drop in the Crawfish(CF).  That always brings the temp down, and they need to come back to a boil for a mere minute or two before cutting the fire off and starting the "soak".  In my circles, the best flavor here is achieved by cooling the water down by different means and allowing them absorb all the goodness.  

 

THEN - it's time to repeat.  The water has been cooled from soak, so it needs to get back to a boil pronto or else I may expedite the risk of overhydrating myself with adult beverages during idle time.

So, I feel it's worth my effort to test out  a burner and see what could happen.  

My fab skills and resources are strong, but I don't want to over-exert myself on this one if I can avoid it...so I'm thinking my limit may be trying a large single T, or possibly doubling up two smaller T Burners.  I have a much smaller pot to experiment on in case it did cause the pot some kind of trouble.

 

I'm going to research the NARB tonight and get a better understanding.  Whatever the case, it would probably have to be square since that fits my abilities better and would still be sufficient.  

I've attached a picture of a commercial double-jet burner that showimg their layout.  As I said they basically use the weed burner design that loses its flame quality pretty quicky when trying to get more heat to output.  My stand would be taller and more robust so I would have some options to adjust a TBurners height etc.  

How sensitive would the forge style burners be to some wind??

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"My fab skills and resources are strong, but I don't want to over-exert myself on this one if I can avoid it...so I'm thinking my limit may be trying a large single T, or possibly doubling up two smaller T Burners"

May I suggest cutting a 50 gallon water heater down to about half origional height?  You will be ready to cook in a fraction of time and expense as would be required for building from ground up.  And don't overlook benifits of heated tube up center of pot.  Most heaters have electronic ignition but adding standing pilot is simple. If a propane model can't be found,nat gas can be converted.  If you want the challange of building from ground up, a center tube will save fuel,reduce time to boil and alow a temporary flue to take exhust gases overhead or outdoors.  A 20 bottle will bring it to boil a few times but will need a special regulator unless it sit's close to heat.:o Ahhhh yea,it don't get much better than sipping suds and sucking heads.

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Aren't there already plenty of commercial burners for cooking with propane? Forge burners seem like overkill and a good way to get food burned to the inside of the pot. Now an induction coil crawdad cooker would be something. :lol:

Pnut

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The center tube idea is a good thought, but would interfere with the straining basket that sits inside the pot.

Overkill??? Hah! That's my middle name. I always say it's only weird if it doesn't work. So yes there are plenty of commercial options, but they are flemsy and boring.  My compulsive and challenge driven nature has me determined to design something that screams precise flames and BTUs like a tesla rocket....at half throttle.  I'm just searching for the best fit to produce these flames.   

I studied the NARBs last night, and while the results of those burners seem right in line with what I'm looking for I don't think they will suit me for reliability and durability.

In essence, I'm looking for the best performing and strongest burner(s) to assemble in a manner similar to the photos I've attached where they are using an inferior burner design compared to you gents in the forging world.

Hypothetically, if 2 or more 3/4 TBurners were used side by side what's the minimum distance apart  they would need to not interfere with each other's flame etc?

 

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I like this design with the air intake on the one side if I can shorten up the gas imput with a 90 where the reducer coupling is to to help save on the overall height (I know, I know. I'm straying from the tried and true TB design). 

Two, three, maybe four of these arranged in an even pattern.

Could they work in proximity to each other?

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One thing to keep in mind with single port burners like the one you pictured is they are LOUD!  When they are running the roar is similar to standing near a jet engine.  Multi-port (ribbon) burners are much quieter.   If noise is an issue you may want to factor that into your decision.

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"One thing to keep in mind with single port burners like the one you pictured is they are LOUD!  When they are running the roar is similar to standing near a jet engine. "

"My compulsive and challenge driven nature has me determined to design something that screams precise flames and BTUs like a tesla rocket....at half throttle."

In that case you are on the right track so put the pedal to the metal and let her roar.   Read through these two  discussions under gas burners.  Burners 101 and  T burner illustrated instructions.

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It is, it is.....but is better experienced after the work is done lol.

Built my first burner this evening with parts I had at my shop (except a few brass fittings) and I am beyond impressed with the results of this thing across a wide range of gas pressures and flame sizes for the low amount of effort I've invested so far.  Going to play with the setup to get a better understanding of the variables.  I'm thinking I'll build two more and get them arranged in a triangle layout.  Going to give that a timed test run and see how it performs as well as test my bottles with the rig.

The last couple questions I had didn't receive any responses, and I understand since what I'm doing is not at the core of this forum. I'll carry on with more research and some trial and error but I think I'm in the pocket here. Thank you to all that have shared their thoughts, ideas, and advice on this forum as it has been enourmously helpful. Until next time,

~Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler~

-SendIt

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12 hours ago, Sendit said:

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler

With that and crawfish boils i have to assume that you are in Louisiana? I used to live in Livingston parish just outside of BR. 

Bon Temps, indeed. 

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Sendit, I'm not the best to analyze fames but that one looks really rich. Your gonna burn through a lot of propane with 3 of them. 

Looks like you made one of Larry's sidearm burners. Since you are making these for a large crawfish boiler I am also assuming you are in Louisiana. I live in central Louisiana and had some results with the sidearm burner. No matter what I tried it would always run rich. I said it must be something with the air volume or whatever around here lol. 

Anyway I would be more than happy to give you a hand if you are in the general area. 

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On 3/19/2021 at 7:29 AM, Sendit said:

I know. I'm straying from the tried and true TB design)

Actually, you strayed so far that you ended up in another pasture. That design is known as a modified side-arm burner. Larry Zoeller Forge has been selling parts for them for a whole lot of years, BUT none of his is that small. How much did the fittings cost you?

I'm referring to the first burner.

The second burner has the hotter flame; if you can fiddle with it more, and get control of it, you will be on to something good :)

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That second burner looks really hot. Nice work! I'd love to see what's on the end of that 1/8" pipe nipple if you get a chance.

Also, are those galvanized fittings? You may want to replace those for your lungs' sake. Zinc does not a fine seasoning make.

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The sidearm was just one I found in the web and wasn't built by me. I liked the design for my application only because after reading and research I was under the impression that I might have to tune the air intake port and that would have allowed me better access with these being positioned under a large pot. 

The second burner photo is the one I slapped together myself just to get a feel for what these burners we're all about.....and WOW. They're just all around badass.  It handles a wide range of flames from low to xxxx xxxx and has handled the wind blowing extremely well.  Couldn't be happier.

I had a 1" cross and plug, so I just milled the plug to fit a long 1/8" nipple with two set screws and a F x 1/4" flare fitting on the end to tap and hold the .035 mig tip.  I did it this way so I could play with the settings of the mig tip to see how sensitive it was and to my untrained eye I didn't see much of a difference to justify building more this way.  

In the end I've stuck with Frostys trusty design and it is hands down exactly what I was looking for on this project.  I go so far as to square the poorly cast fitting and nipple to my mill, then use my centerfinder on the ID of the nipple. I remove the nipple and drill from the inside out so that I'm drilling my hole based on true center of the nipple vs using any of the other external measuring points that may not be true to the center.  

I did a test run with the one burner on a very small and thin aluminum pot and it worked flawlessly.  Brought 20qt of 49°F water to boil in 16min with zero visible negative impacts to the pot.  So now I have three of them to mount in a stand and will hard pipe copper to a 4 way cross mounted to a bracket with a quick disconnect.  I also picked up the fittings to daisy chain three 30# bottles together to help with tank freeze.  If this works well this season then my plan is to go all out and build everything for the entire project (except maybe the mig tip, lol) from stainless.

As a side note..... With all the lights off at night here in the countryside, these double as arguably the coolest bug zapper on the planet.  June bugs look like shooting stars.

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