How to Make a Waste Oil Burner

How to Make a Waste Oil Burner. The cost of oil and gasoline is a constant stress on the cost of living. While some people are concerned about the cost, others are concerned about the impact fossil fuels have on the environment. Thousands of restaurants in North America create used cooking oil. Millions of vehicles on the road create used motor oil. Both of these fuels can be used again as heating oil in a waste oil burner, which can provide enough heat for your workshop or garage.

Construct your own waste oil burner at home.

Things Needed

  • Flat sheet metal
  • Metal pipes
  • Metal ball valve
  • Metal plumbing fittings
  • Cardboard tube, 4 inches in diameter
  • Refractory cement
  • Hammer
  • Welding torch
  • Welding gloves
  • Welding face shield
  • Power drill
  • Permanent marker
  • Used oil

Step 1

Determine the source of fuel. The key component of a waste oil burner is used oil. You can't continually change the oil in your vehicle to get used motor oil. You must source out a steady supply of used fuel if you want to use the burner regularly.

Step 2

Construct the main body of the burner by hammering a flat piece of sheet metal into the shape of an oblong box, leaving one end of the box open. If you have a piece of sheet metal already in the shape of a box, you can skip this step.

Step 3

Place one end of a metal pipe on the bottom front of the box and trace the outline of the pipe. This will be the exhaust where the flames and heat exit the burner. Place one end of a metal pipe on the top rear of the box, and trace the outline of the pipe. This will be the manifold where the forced air and oil come into the burner.

Step 4

Cut the holes out of the box with a torch. Fit the metal pipes into the holes of the box. Place the cardboard tube into the center of the box, and trace the ends of the pipe where the pipe will fit into the cardboard. Remove the cardboard tube and cut out the holes with a box cutter. Place the tube back into the box and slide the metal pipes into the cardboard tube about 1 inch.

Step 5

Weld the two metal pipes to the box so that they are secure. Be very careful not to burn the cardboard tube.

Step 6

Drill a hole the size of the metal plumbing fitting into the side of the pipe that is the intake for air and oil. The hole should be located a few inches down from the top of the pipe. Weld the fitting into place, and secure a metal ball valve onto the fitting. This will control the flow of oil into the burner.

Step 7

Prepare the refractory cement according to the manufacturer's instructions. Pour the cement into the box surrounding the cardboard tube. Leave at least 1 inch of room at the top to accommodate the lid for the burner. Leave the cement to cure based on the label's directions.

Step 8

Construct the lid for the burner out of a piece of sheet metal, and bend the edges with a hammer. Make sure the edges of the lid come completely down over the body of the burner.

Step 9

Place the lid on a level surface with the underside of the lid exposed. Place a piece of cardboard tube in the center of the lid, that is slightly above the height of the lid. The diameter of this piece of tubing should be slightly smaller than the cardboard tube you used in the burner so that the lid fits snugly.

Step 10

Prepare the refractory cement according to the label's instructions and pour it into the lid surrounding the cardboard tube. Leave the cement to cure according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 11

Start a simple paper and wood fire in the burner, and place the lid on the burner. Attach a forced air instrument to the intake valve ,and begin the flow of oil to the oil intake pipe. The oil will ignite from the forced air, sending a steady flame and heat from the exhaust. Once the wood and cardboard tubes have burned away, the burner will be hot enough for the oil to sustain the burner.


  • Make sure you use refractory cement instead of ordinary cement. Refractory cement is made to withstand extreme heat and flame - the same kind of material used in furnances.
  • The key components of the waste oil burner can be found in scrap metal yards.


  • This is a complex project requiring patience and knowledge of steelwork and welding. If you are unsure about performing any of the tasks, consult an expert before continuing.
  • Only attempt welding if you are trained to do so, and always wear safety glasses and gloves.
  • Never use the waste oil burner in an enclosed space. Always point the exhaust outside.
  • Burning oil can be dangerous, so use extreme caution when using an oil burner.
  • Always wear safety glasses when operating power tools.


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