Mini boiler install in the shop

Oct 17, 2013
1,204
1,404
113
36
Indianola, Iowa
I will preface this with, there is no wood stove or boiler thread on here... hint hint admin...

I figured we all like pics and build threads so a retro fit thread might be interesting, right? Anyway, I had the old double oil barrel stove in the shop till this last few weeks. They were getting thin, about to fall apart, and the top barrel was filled with creosote. So I needed new heat for the shop.

Found this on craigslist


From what I can ascertain, it's a wood add-on boiler that would be run in tandem with a propane/natural gas boiler for radiant house heaters. I can't find a boiler plate tag on it anywhere. There was barely enough of an OEM sticker around the wood knob on the front to tell it was a professionally made unit but still couldn't make out a name or brand or model at all. The fan dangling off the front is something someone put on it so that you could jet air in the unit quicker to heat it up or force draft it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 12 people
Oct 17, 2013
1,204
1,404
113
36
Indianola, Iowa
Sorry for the quality of the following pics but it was the best i could do with my cell phone...

Used my Ford 4000 tractor/loader to take it out of my truck. After I got it out it was a huge PITA to slid into place. Here it is in place with the pipe installed.



You can see a Taco 009 pump on the right side of the boiler. I'm using the rear bottom outlet to draw the water out and pump it up to my heater units and then drops back down into the pipe to the top left of the boiler. I have inlet and outlet temp gauges which seem to cruise at 110*-120*F last night on it's maiden voyage. The center down pipe is a blow off (just like water heater) in case of excessive pressure but it won't ever be used; I just left it on for now. The red pipe coming up the middle was a water fill tube I believe. I put 1/2" pex on it and ran it up to the roof line and over 10' to the middle of the shop roof. It basically vents the entire unit so it's not pressurized. It also is right above my floor drain should it ever get so hot that it blows off the glycol it will hit the floor drain. Also put copper pipe insulation tube on the lower cooper parts and unions to pex. Wanted to minimize where people might touch it and burn themselves.

Oh yea this is for my tin shack that I call a "shop." I work in it 3-4 nights a week or when I need to fix a saw or car or whatever.
Boiler placement is between man door and garage door right in front. Since I only work in here infrequently I charged the entire system with ethylene glycol (regular green antifreeze), about 25-30 gallons capacity. I tested the mix after circulating for a while and got a -5*F rating on one of the cheap plasitic antifreeze testers. I figure i'm good for now.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 11 people
Oct 17, 2013
1,204
1,404
113
36
Indianola, Iowa
The heaters I have came with my 2nd hand OWB. Pretty simple... Just have 2 of the below heaters hooked in a loop; one on either side of the shop.



Granted it was only a low of 50*F ish last night... I put in a large oak log last night and with 1 heater running and the damper on the front closed 3/4... well 1/2 the oak log was still there this morning and it was 85*F in the shop. I do have to say the heaters do move some serious air so it keeps a nice even heat in the shop.

The one problem I want to solve is the big heaters actually work too well making it very hot in the shop and they are very loud. I'm trying to figure out how to make the fans variable speed.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 7 people
Oct 17, 2013
1,204
1,404
113
36
Indianola, Iowa
I don't know how clear this is but you might be able to see the chain that goes from the wooden knob to the front air damper plate. The chain is actually hooked to a wound coil spring just a bigger version of the temp gauge that you would put on the stack. I think the idea is when it's hot the spring expands an closes the damper and when its cold it contracts and opens the damper. We'll see how good it actually works.




The whole thing cost me $800 to put together including pex clams, pex tools, connections, boiler, 1/2" red pex, and antifreeze. I had the green pex, taco pump, and heaters s sitting around from my OWB purchase. I was thinking about running pex from my OWB down, but it's not installed yet and it would have been $2600 in insulated pex (250'-300' run). I also like this little unit b/c it stores enough heat to keep the shop above freezing for 24hrs (estimation). It seems like burners and add on forced air units will have a hard time doing that.

Future plans will include putting a thermostatic air damper on the front for better temp/air control and fuel conservation.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 11 people

tbone75

New Member
Sep 28, 2013
22,974
47,870
0
Have to get JimDad to post his little boiler he made for his shop just a couple weeks ago , he just built it outta scrap stuff .

Looks like you have a nice set up there !
 
  • Like
Reactions: 5 people
Oct 17, 2013
1,204
1,404
113
36
Indianola, Iowa
Have to get JimDad to post his little boiler he made for his shop just a couple weeks ago , he just built it outta scrap stuff .

Looks like you have a nice set up there !
Thanks... I just got lucky finding it. The burn box is lined with 3-4" thick fire brick too. Aim was to have enough residule heat to keep shop above freezing for a day or two.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 people

tbone75

New Member
Sep 28, 2013
22,974
47,870
0
Told the wife I almost want to hunt another one down so I can hook it up in my garage at the house. less wood and accessory heat only when you want it.
That would be very nice ! Jim posted pix of his in the fight thread , could be hard to find in there ? May be something you could make ?
 
Oct 17, 2013
1,204
1,404
113
36
Indianola, Iowa
That would be very nice ! Jim posted pix of his in the fight thread , could be hard to find in there ? May be something you could make ?
Oh I could definitly make one of these but the time in fab probably isn't worth my time. This one cost me $400 and $40 in gas. It's all 1/4" or better plate steel too. I thought about making one but I already have a Central 6048 sitting in the driveway that needs insulating, few wires, pump rebuild and $1200 in pex and I can do whole house heat. 400gal it too big to do glycol though. As long as we don't have another large unexpected expense I should have enough $$ saved to get the supplies for the 6048 by Spring/Summer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 people

Typhke

Wallutch
Jan 6, 2014
586
2,272
93
Belgium
Nice job & thread! I could really use one in my shop, the cold is keeping me out of the shop these days.
 
Oct 17, 2013
1,204
1,404
113
36
Indianola, Iowa
Nice job & thread! I could really use one in my shop, the cold is keeping me out of the shop these days.
Yea we got an cold blast down here for a week or two and it bounced back up to 50*F this last weekend so I readjusted the stack and resealed it to the tin roof and installed this boiler. I use the shop too much not to have heat down there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 person
Oct 17, 2013
1,204
1,404
113
36
Indianola, Iowa
Not to be a pest but does it matter what kind?

Heat is heat, I have seen homemade stoves that have a oil line that drips oil in the fire at all times.
I would adapt but insurance company already threw a fit about me installing a wood boiler in my shop much less keeping mass oil storage any where near an ignition source. Plus my shop is in a valley on my property so I would rather not breathe the excess burnt oil emissions all day. Insurance and lawyers make life such a pain some times...
 
  • Like
Reactions: 5 people