This project goes into the build of a homemade wood burning heater with a heat exchanger for your garage . This heater is build from a recycled old propane tank . The other materials you need to build this heater are 55 gallon drum, fan blower, quarter inch steel plates , eighteen 2 inch steel pipes for the heat exchanger, welding unit, plasma cutter.
Before cutting into the propane tank , make sure to clean the tank so that there is no residual gas left in it . Cut both ends of the tank using the plasma cutter. Now we cut a 30 inch length piece from the tank .This acts as a main body where the heat exchanger pipes are installed. The heat exchanger consists of 18 two inch pipes that run the length of the heater from front to back.
Two quarter inch steel plates are welded at the ends of the propane tank . Before doing that we make 18 holes at both the ends of the steel plate. This is done to install the heat exchanger pipes across the length of the tank.
With the help of an eighth inch hardboard, we make a template for cutting the 18 holes out of the steel end plates. The hardboard acts a guide for the plasma cutter to cut the holes.
The pipes for the heat exchanger are cut 31 and half inches long. Half inch sticks out at both the ends of the heater. They are welded to the steel end plates at both ends.
The opening for the door at the end of the heater for the wood intake has a dimension of 16 inch X 12 inch . A similar template is placed on the end plate and the opening is cut using the plasma cutter.
A frame around the door is made using a three quarter inch by three sixteenths inch flat stock .This is used for the door opening and to give the door something to close up against. Hinges are welded near the door opening for attaching the door.
The locking mechanism for the door to hold it shut is made using a flat stock and couple of bolts . The bolts are welded onto the flat stock and attached inside the heater just beside the door . The handle made of a 90 degree round stock is welded to couple of washers and the door is sandwiched in between.
The end plates along with the door is welded onto the body of the heater at both the ends and a hole is made at the top of the propane tank body for installing the flue exhaust pipe.
A small hole is cut near the door and a damper in the form of a simple sliding door is attached to the hole that will control the airflow into the heater.
A section from old 55 gallon steel barrel is cut and welded onto the backside of the heater .An inexpensive fan blower is attached to this 55 gallon drum . This is installed to concentrate the air that is going through the heat exchanger pipes.
The flue pipe is welded onto the top of the heater so that the harmful smoke and gases escape through the exhaust . A grate is placed into the heater through the door opening , wood pieces are introduced and the we start firing the heater. After few minutes , the fire will heat the heat exchanger pipes . The fan blower is turned on and the hot air is blown through the pipes into the garage .
- How to build a Homemade Super Efficient Portable Solar GeneratorThis project goes over the build of a Homemade medium sized and moderately priced portable solar power generator that is designed to be powered by 100W Polycrystalline Solar Panel. The case for this portable system is from Plano sportsman, quite sturdy and rugged that a typical container. Costs about $25 . It has a nice top with handles that latch it down. On the back of the system, we have two pin SAE port that allows the energy from the solar panel to come into the system. It directly goes into a 30A solar charge controller. The negative from the charge controller is connected to the negative of the batteries. The positive is connected via a switch to positive of the battery. The negatives and positives of the batteries are connected to each other. The negative of the inverter is connected to the negative of the battery. The positive is connected to a battery switch off circuit that is further connected to battery positive through a switch. The USB ports,12V DC outlet, DC meter all are connected to the respective terminals of the batteries. To connect to the AC outlet from the inverter, we take a 3 wire extension cord which can be bought from the local hardware store . The negative end of this wire is connected to the negative of the shallow box AC outlet and the positive is connected via an 15A inline fuse and a current transformer. The ammeter is connected to current transformer and the 110V outlet. On the front of the system, we have the accessory ports including a 12V power indicator , 2 USB ports with 5V one amp and 5V 2.1amp, 12V outlet, AC Voltmeter and ammeter. Amp meter tells how many amps we drawing out of the system using various appliances. This can help us understand how much solar power is being generated during the day versus solar power being utilized from the system. The whole system is turned on a 12V master key switch that activates inverter, case temperature sensor, cooling fans , AC power outlets. We install a key and power up the AC side of the system. There is two fans on the back that push air in and draw air out of the case to keep the AC DC inverter cool. Inside we have a deck tray made from backboard material available at Home Depot. We have installed a 400W pure sine wave inverter, a 30A MPPT solar charge controller and a 12V emergency LED light on them, also has four vents that allow air to circulate through the top portion of the case as well as through the bottom. The vents keep the batteries cool and allow any off-gas build up from the batteries to pass it through. Here the inverter has a built in automatic shutdown feature that ensures that the batteries are not discharged to a significant level. So it is safely connected to the batteries. Once the deck tray is taken apart, we have 2 55AH AGM sealed batteries that are wired in parallel to a 2 AWG cables to transfer the power back and forth between the batteries. These type of batteries require less maintenance. Also installed a wooden frame with exact dimension of inside of the case to keep the batteries in place and keep them from moving around. To protect all the components we have fuses ranging from ANL 50amp fuses between the inverter and the battery , inline 30amp fuse between the solar charge controller and the batteries. To attach jumper cables we have an option for external heavy duty battery terminals. To connect to an AC float charger we have added a SAE 2 pin port. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=offgcMwuTGw&list=PLE0oc91st1znXrnczHySumH34-UJP3N2S
- How to Dig a Shallow Well from Start to Finish for offgrid homesteadingThis project goes over how you can dig your own shallow well using simple tools that you can get from your local garden store. The materials you need to dig and install a well are as follows. A customized Seymour AUA2 Post Auger to dig the hole. A Shovel is used to move the pea gravel and dirt out of the way. A Four inch casing PVC pipe that is going into the hole that is dug and this is going to hold the water until you need it. One and one fourth inch threaded adapter. This connects the bottom of the casing pipe to the foot valve. The foot valve is one and one quarter inch. This valve allows the water to come in and not go out. This helps to keep the pump primed. A water well pump pipe which is basically a one and one quarter inch PVC pipe. This will pull the water from the bottom of the well bringing it to your pump. The length of this pipe is going to be determined by how deep your well is. It should be at least a foot shorter than the depth of your well. You don't want this pipe sitting on the bottom because it would just be sitting in sediment and it will be clogging things up. A pitcher pump that has a one and one quarter inch threaded water inlet at the bottom. A closet flange. It makes mounting the pump to the top of your well four inch casing pipe very easy and it also helps keep things clean. Basically you would just set this inside you your four inch pipe, drill a hole out of the middle of a board, screw that to the top of this flange then mount your pump to the board that you have fastened to this. A one and one quarter inch threaded adapter. This will screw into the bottom of your pitcher pump and in turn, it will connect to the pipe bringing water to your pump from the bottom of the well. Teflon tape, PVC glue. Pea gravel - This will go down around the casing pipe of the well. The amount of pea gravel you need is determined by the depth of the well and water height. Quikcrete or aerated concrete to cap the top of the well. This prevents groundwater contamination and keeps stuff from finding a way to easily get into your well. To find the spot for the well, we use couple of coat hangers as dowsing roads. We take a drinking straw ,cut it in half and slide it over the coat hangers. This helps us in not using our hands or fingers influence while dowsing. Also it is easy to rotate the rods within the straws. The rods are kept parallel to the ground . If the rods cross each other , then mark the spot on the ground directly down the cross . This is the ideal spot for the well. The auger used for digging the hole for the well is modified from the default Seymour Post hole auger. We use a custom 5 foot 11 gauge one and half inch square tubing as the extension for the auger . The handle of the auger is a three foot three quarter inch pipe welded to a four inch 11 gauge square tubing. We start digging into the the spot that we have found earlier using the dowsing rods. Pay attention to the changes in the color of sand , because that can give you clues as whether you are getting closer to water. We extend the auger using the square bar tube once the auger handle is near the ground. Once you have hit wet clay, there is going to be suction around. We twist and pull at the same time to get the auger out of the hole in this situation. Next, we put the 20 foot PVC casing pipe into the hole . We cut slots using a reciprocating saw on the pipe one foot from the bottom of the well to the top of the water level to allow the water to flow into the well. Pea gravel is poured around the sides of the pipe all the way up to the slots . The remaining hole area around the pipe is packed with sand and clay. We seal the well by packing it around the sides with quickrete cement. This helps the water not to be able to run down into your well but around it. We lower the one and one quarter inch well pump pipe with the foot valve at the end into the PVC casing pipe. A four inch drain flange is secured on top of the casing pipe . A pitcher pump is then attached to top of the pipe. To prevent the pump from moving, it is bolted to the board where the flange is installed. To prime the well, we pour some water down through the pitcher pump. Pump out the dirty water until it is clean. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rYPRMm8Arw
- DIY Video: How to build a Homemade Gravity fed ,Drip Waste Oil Heater for your Garage .Clean and EfficientThis project goes over the build of a simple gravity drip fed waste oil burner that can be used to heat your shop/garage efficiently.It heats up the garage to about 30 to 40 degrees. Hot air from the center pipe reaches up to 500 degree celsius. Once dialed in, the smoke clears and the burner is stable at 400'C. The materials needed for this project are grinder,MiG welder,plasma cutter, scrap propane tank,hammer,enclosed brake disc, steel cooking pan, 4 inch 10ft pipe, bolts and iron rod and temperature sensor to keep track of the heat. The footing and the chimney pipe is welded onto the propane tank.Add a pipe right through the middle and weld the retainers for the pan and the legs around the vessel. To improve the airflow , we cut bunch of holes around the legs. Also added some more spaces on the legs to keep the temperature away from the concrete floor. We also make a venting hole on both sides at the middle of the propane tank . To adjust the temperature, we add 2 7/16 primary holes right at the base above the heating pan. You control the burner by adjusting the input airflow into the burning chamber. Don't make the air holes for the draft on the burner too big but have plenty of holes so that with the increase the temperature and the increase in airspeed, the draft the fresh air can actually get to the burner, and you will get cleaner burn. These secondary holes allow for more oil splatter to leave the burner if any water content is present. The drip system is kept open which helps you to check how much oil flow is there and also as a safety precaution. If there is any kind of flashback, it will pop out of here and not go all the way through the the pipe back into the reservoir. This whole system is completely serviceable, completely mobile,not bolted down.You can unhook the chimney, the exhaust pipe, remove the drip system pipe and the rest. The drip system is made of heavy pipe and a small ball valve that is welded in place at the distance and at a specific height so as to dissipate the heat coming from the burner. Also you dont want the oil to reverse its direction and go back into the pipe. With the help of a fans, we increase the heat dispersion. With two fans,one blows hot air away from the wall and the other allows extra air for the burn.It pulls cold air from the floor and allows fresh air intake. Effective heating and keep the heat away from the wall. To start the system, we pour the waste oil onto the steel pan and place it under the burner. Make sure you dont have any trace of water in the pan or oil. The oil will splatter out of the secondary holes if there is water.The more you can bring in to the burning chamber,the more it will burn and more it will smoke. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAPOkkwXoxY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Yz0tjDfYL0