Aladdin "Blue Frame" kero heater, project complete!

Discussion in 'Non-audio related DIY' started by soundmotor, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. soundmotor

    soundmotor super modified Subscriber

    Got this over the summer, 1950s and made in England. This is the nicest one I've had and I am keeping it. Like the others, it was inoperable from never being cleaned. The wick was solid w/ tar and red kero use so it would not even move. Further, tar had run down into the gallery and stuck it solidly in place. Torched it loose then lots of scraping & chipping to get out the tar. Ordered a new wick and mica window earlier and got them yesterday. After filling it w/ K-1 white kero and letting it sit for 30 minutes it fired right up which was gratifying. These are great machines and usable in doors, little odor when running right. I've never experimented w/ fuel mixes but apparently you can make them virtually odorless with some fuel mixes. This one is winter heat back-up when we lose power -

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  2. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    red kero is garbage. I remember for a while it was impossible to get the clear stuff, and I was replacing the wick in my shop heater annually because of it. I quit it and went to propane. Now that diesel is cheaper than kero you can get clear kero no problem.

    BTW, is it supposed to be Blue Flame, or Blue Frame? Cool looking unit either way.
     
  3. KingBubba

    KingBubba "Too Much Stuff" Subscriber

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    Nice blue flame, as it should be. Back when I had my kerosene heater, I could never find any white kerosene in Florida. I was using it in my wood framed, uninsulated house during the Winter freezes of '83 and '85 which killed the orange industry in Central Florida. I lived across the street from a huge Valencia grove. It was buckhorned back after the 83 freeze and was just getting back on its feet when the 85 freeze hit. It was a sad Spring without the smell of the orange blossoms in the air. We finally got central air/heat and I gave my heater to a neighbor who had no heat.
     
  4. squirrelnest

    squirrelnest Addicted Member

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    Can you run gasoline in that?:confused:
     
  5. soundmotor

    soundmotor super modified Subscriber

    I get mine in the paint department of a hardware store, HD, or Lowes. It's used as paint thinner. Red kero will wipe out the wick after a couple gallons. Going to try diesel next as per gallon it is ~25% the cost of K-1. You have to run additives though to reduce the smell. Supposedly cetane booster + 91% isopropyl will do it. Something like an ounce each per gallon. May also be internet gibberish but I'll try it as well as the biofuel (B20) home heating oil we use.
     
  6. soundmotor

    soundmotor super modified Subscriber

    No, absolutely not.
     
  7. soundmotor

    soundmotor super modified Subscriber

    K-1 white kero is used as paint thinner. In the northeast, every hardware store carries it in the paint department. Twenty years back we had a surprise blizzard and lost power for many days. I was stuck in the house trying to keep the pipes from freezing burning Duraflame logs. Swore I'd never be caught like that again and slowly worked through backup heating options if we lose power. A 20 lb. propane heater is first as I discovered the disposable propane cylinders all disappear during winter blackouts but everyone had the 20 lb. tanks. After that is K-1 heat as every hardware store has it and you can also run it in oil lamps which I also keep.

    I'll drone on, for cooking & hot water I have a propane stove but also have a couple alcohol ones. Those produce no CO and run hot. They are all over 100 years old. I've cooked whole meals on them not to mention hot coffee. If we can cook, eat hot food, and see during a snowstorm blackout during it's not too bad. I actually have as much fun restoring old oil lamps, heaters, & stoves as I do fooling with audio gear.
     
  8. motorstereo

    motorstereo the wonder of it all Subscriber

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    Wow that one is pretty old as I don't think I've seen an enameled one without a cage. Many years ago I heated my 3 bedroom apartment for a few winters with a 22,000 btu kerosene heater. Back then it was easy to get K1 kero as lots of people were using them. The additive helps a little bit with the smell but starting and turning it off outside helps a lot more. Burning the wick clean after 15-20 gallons also helped to keep it burning cleaner. The only bad thing about them is no matter what there's a yellow film on everything in the spring if you use them as a main heat source.
     
  9. soundmotor

    soundmotor super modified Subscriber

    Great tip, that makes sense. It is really smelly at first but when running not real noticeable except to my wife, she who can smell ant farts. Have to keep an eye on the film. My main goal for this one besides back-up heat is as my shop heater so we'll see how that works out. Definitely do not want to clean that warren out. The one below is not mine but I have a couple of them too. These smell but they look pretty when running. Mine gets used outside on the patio in cool weather -

    Perfection 750 kero heater -


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  10. motorstereo

    motorstereo the wonder of it all Subscriber

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    That's a cool looking old heater to. I remember the really old ones to that were black and they had an adjustable vent on the top. I wouldn't try diesel fuel or #2 fuel oil in them either. There's additives and colorants in the diesel nowadays that wouldn't agree with the wick. If you really want to go clean they also have odorless paint thinner but that's kinda pricey.
    Haha I learned the tip about starting and stopping the heater outside from my wife who also has a terrific sniffer. I got tired of hearing the smell complaints although I didn't really notice it. Definitely have it outside when burning the wick clean.
     
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  11. soundmotor

    soundmotor super modified Subscriber

    That was likely a Perfection heater also. They are essentially a big oil lamp and use the same burner type below. They made many styles and were in business for nearly 100 years. One comment I read recently on diesel is that the only thing available at the pump since the 2000s is the ultra low-sulfur mix. This is supposedly why the stuff is better now in heaters than a ~decade back. I don't know, so much rumor on youtube about what works & what doesn't that I need to just try it out and see.

    Paint thinner of the mineral spirits type in neat stuff but would not use it inside. It will go up just like gasoline whereas kero (generally) will let you mop it up and not catch when off the wick. Many threads on antique oil lamp forums about houses going up when mineral spirits used. It burns nice, bright, and clean but then the cat knocks over the lamp and the whole place burns down. When you knock over a lamp using lamp oil (super refined kero) it will usually just flood out. That's another thing I need to try as at Walmart the FloralSense brand is ~1/2 the cost per gallon of K-1.

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    Lawn mower on paint thinner -

     
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  12. motorstereo

    motorstereo the wonder of it all Subscriber

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    Hmmm that's interesting info about the paint thinner. I was led to believe it was glorified K1 and because of the name they were able to charge more for it.
     
    soundmotor likes this.
  13. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    For about $12 a gallon. I saw a jug of it at the hardware store just yesterday. Can't afford to run a heater on that stuff.

    I did once run a wick heater on diesel. It burns but REEKS, and it destroys the wick. I also had a 1940s vintage oil drip stove at one point. It loved kerosene or home heating oil, the red dye didn't bother it. Same year i couldn't get kero I tried diesel in that too. It also burned but the soot cookies inside the stove were a horrible mess. Had to clean all that out so it would burn right again after only 10 gallons of diesel. The inside of a drip stove is basically a metal barrel with a perforated liner inside of that. Plug up the holes in the perforated part and it doesn't vaporize correctly and the soot problem gets progressively worse.
     
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  14. mars_volta

    mars_volta Super Member

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    Interesting hobby. I use an old (late 60s iirc) Coleman stove for camping. Love it.
     
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  15. spartanmanor

    spartanmanor AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    That is a beauty!
     
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  16. markdi

    markdi Natural born thread killer Subscriber

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    now I want a kerosene heater
     
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  17. soundmotor

    soundmotor super modified Subscriber

    Don't overspend and buy it in the summer. I've not paid more than $10 for one and that's usually at a yard sale in July. Perfections are the most common & lot's of info.

    Next nut to crack is one of the Japanese Kero-Sun Moonlighter types. Many bells & whistles but super clean burning and lots of output -


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  18. soundmotor

    soundmotor super modified Subscriber


    I have one as below. It puts out good heat but lots of fumes. Simple to use though and with a full pot will run the entire day.


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  19. soundmotor

    soundmotor super modified Subscriber

    Someone offered me an antique kero stove if I'd just come get it. Mint condition and had a visible glass reservoir, very similar to the one below.

    I had a "What am I doing?" moment though and decided my alcohol stove fetish was enough. The first type I passed on, the second I indulge in -


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    1940s Punker (Sweden) alcohol boat stove, unpressurized, passive loop delivery -

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