Waste oil in a wood stove

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by iblast, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. iblast

    iblast Member

    Nov 4, 2002
    We built a barrell type of stove for our shop. My helper said we could add a waste oil drip line to the unit and gain a lot of btus. My question. Has anyone here had experiance with this and are there any drawings to look at?
    I have done a google search and found no information for this project.
    A little more info on our stove. We made it from a junk 120 gallon propane tank. I added a steel jacket around the unit and have a duct system and a high cfm fan installed to push the heated air around the shop.
    Thanks in advance for any thoughts and ideas :cool:
  2. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

    Sep 22, 2004
    We have one out in the barn. We sat a metal 55 gallon drum on end. Run the stove pipe out the back at the top. Cut door in the other side to add wood. We then got another 55 gallon drum. Where the screw on lid is we drilled a hole and used copper tubing about four feet long. We mounted the 55 on its side about three feet above the burn barrel. Run the tube down to the top of the burn barrel. About a ft above the barrel top we put a petcock in the line to control flow. Drilled a hole in the top for putting the tube through. On the top of the oil barrel we cut out a small hole about as big as a tennis ball. Thats where we add oil to the drum. Throw in some wood and when it gets going just turn the petcock enough to get a really slow drip onto the wood.

    You dont have to use those fancy complicated burner plans that involve everything from cat iron skillets etc. Fr most this simple setup will work fine.

    I go down to the oil change shop in town and they will give me enough waste oil to fill it up for free. Of course I save my own as well. I have two tractors, a f100 a riding mower a push mower a one ton gmc flat bed two four wheelers and a harley v rod and a 1969 Dodge Charger RT so I usually have a pretty good stockpile myself lol

  3. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 18, 2002
    SE Washington
    I have an old oil heater in my shop. I started using used motor oil to heat it by dripping it in. I then switched to using a fertilizer injection pump to regulate it better. I run 1/4 inch copper tubing from the barrel wrap it around the stove pipe about 4 times and then into the stove. The reason for wrapping the pipe around the pipe is to preheat the oil which burns better.

  4. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2005
    Here is a version from Mother Earth News.


    You don't even got to get this fancy if you don't want to.

    I have burned it in a wood boiler just by getting a good fire going, putting in an old 12" cast iron skillet (make sure it is well bedded in about to the grates, level and solid, and then putting something smaller inside that to hold the oil. Just about anything works, even an old oil filter setting with the opening pointing up. I usually used a cast iron pot that held about a quart. Fill what ever it is about 1/2 to 3/4 full and just sit it in the skillet. Put a ember in to light it.

    The skillet gets very hot and acts as the preheater and burner for any oil that foams over out of the container. The oil does tend to bubble and foam a bit, will burn on the surface of the container but some spills over and burns in the skillet. The skillet acts as the safety backup device to catch any oil and has plenty of volume, sort of along the idea of spill rings / sumps around oil storage tanks. I never had any odor or plume problems with this method.

    I've used this method just to get rid of used motor oil. Used to have recycling centers but they have closed. Tough to find any legal way to dispose of it. People who sell oil are supposed to have to take the used back in the same container, but most give a hassle.

    You can burn off 6 - 8 quarts in a short period with the above method. Can give you a lot of heat, want to start with small volumes until you get the hang of it. Can even refill on the fly. Need a long necked metal funnel. Can make one with a piece of pipe and tin can.
  5. John Hill

    John Hill Grand Master

    May 12, 2002
    New Zealand
    If you are using the drip feed method I suggest dripping onto a fire brick. The brick is not a real good conductor of heat which means the spot where the drips fall and burn gets very hot and helps to get a good burn.