So I've been determined to get this "SHELL" Japanese heater going. Cleaned it all up and installed new mop string wicks. It' takes 20. But 2 off the tubes were damaged and had to be removed. So I thought I would just run it with 2 missing wicks.
I lit it and it ran fine for about 15 minutes or so. It was midnight so I shut it down for the night.
Next morning I went back out to the garage and fired it up again. When you light this, it smokes a lot like a Perfection heater but worse, until you close it up. The mica window is shot and I can't see in very well to see how the flame looks.
The burner/wick assembly looks very much like a Butterfly stove.
So I've read you have to let these burn in a long time. So I lit it, watched it awhile, then when in the house to make coffee. I kept poking my head out to look at it. All seemed fine.
So I went out 1/2 hour later and the garage was full of smoke and soot. Hmmm.
So I looked in the window and could see the flame was much bigger than before. I thought this was normal and I just needed to adjust it down. I turned it down and back up 2 times. Then I lowered it a third time and the thing BLEW UP!!. It didn't throw shrap metal or anything. But you think a 236 fireball is bad, you should have seen this. If the main body wasn't held on by a hing and latch, I'm sure it would have blew off. It burned the hair off my hand and arm. Made my whole arm and face numb from the percussion. I had my face down there looking in the window.
So I got damed lucky.
After I calmed down from my near death experience,,,lol, I had another look at it. I left the unit open this time and lit it again with just the catalytic converter in place. All seemed well at first. Then I could see the flame dance across the hole where the missing wick was. And every so often it would ignite, but just for a second. So I'm thinking that let fumes build up and finally ignited. It blew kerosene all over the heater. It was not leaking either.
Or there is another possibility. When I pulled the wick assembly out there was a piece of char in the kerosene tank. There's only 2 ways it could have got in there. It came off a wick next to the empty hole and fell into the kereo and ignited it. But that would have to be one in a million. Or it just fell in there when I pulled it apart.
What ever happened, I think it was from the missing wick and the fumes ignited. I honestly didn't think kero would do that.
So I'm Hell bent to get this to run right,,,lol. I'm now making replacement tubes for the wicks.
Tell me if you think this will work,,,lol.
The more I touch this thing, the more tubes fall apart. I bet I end up changing all of them,,,lol. Now an upper tube is damaged.
So I found some 3/16'' or 1/4'' (not sure what size) coiled stainless steel that will work for the lower tubes. I had a hell of a time getting it straight though. I then flared one end. I think I can put a dab of jb weld on it to hold it in place.
I could not find any stainless for the upper tube. So I used some 5/16'' coiled copper tubing that I can slide the other tubing into. I had the same hard time getting it straight enough.
So. The question is will the copper tubing take the heat of the flame. I know I've soldered copper pipes and got them too hot and they smelled funny. Do you think I will be ok, or should I try to locate some stainless for the upper tubes as well. Thanks.
Some call me "The Wrangler"
Copper upper tube.
This is where the flame will be on the copper flare that I made.
Lower tubes (3) made out of stainless.
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