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He Made His Own Electric Heater
With kerosene prices at more than $4 per gallon last fall, Eugene Taylor of Topton, N.C., didn't want to rely entirely on a kerosene burning stove to heat his house. So he used the cabinet from a junked electric cook stove and the radiator from an old Toyota pickup to build his own low-cost electric heater.
  The heater measures 2 ft. wide, 3 ft. deep, and 2 ft. high and is open on front.
  "I use it to heat my 1,200 sq. ft. house. It doesn't take much electricity to operate and it puts out a lot of heat. This winter I was able to cut my kerosene heating bill by more than half," says Taylor, who notes that just about everything he used came from a salvage yard.
  He took the cook stove's cabinet apart, cutting up the metal and reworking it to get the size stove he wanted. He also installed 3/4-in. thick furnace insulation around the inside.
  He stopped up the radiator's two outlets with epoxy and then filled the radiator with hydraulic fluid. Then he laid the radiator on its side and installed a series of small copper pipes crosswise behind it.
  He installed the two radiant heat lights behind the radiator. Then he cut a hole in back of the cabinet and placed an electric window fan inside it. The fan is wired to a senser from a wood stove, so as the radiator heats up the sensor automatically starts the fan.
   "The fan blows intermittently 24 hours a day, running for 10 to 15 minutes before it kick off, which saves money compared to continuous operation," says Taylor. "Sometimes three or four days will go by before my kerosene-burning stove kicks on, depending on the outside temperature.
  "I used hydraulic fluid in the radiator because when hydraulic fluid gets hot it will hold heat for a long time. I made sure the radiator didn't leak before I brought it inside the house. I also painted the radiator black to do a better job of holding heat. The cabinet is so well insulated that if I lay my hand on it I feel very little heat.
  ""The copper pipes don't have any fluid in them, but they do provide a little extra heat from the radiant heat lights shining on them," says Taylor. "I didn't put any fluid in the pipes because I was afraid they might leak and make a mess in my house.
  "Most commercial electric heaters use a single 1,500-watt element. The radiant heat lights I use have 250-watt bulbs, so my stove doesn't use nearly as much power as a small electric heater."
  Taylor says he used radiant heat lights "because they put out a red glow that looks like fire". He also added shiny metal trim around the front side of the cabinet in order to dress it up.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Eugene Taylor, P.O. Box 85, Topton, N.C. 28781 (ph 828 321-4204).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #2