Custom D.S.Machine Stainless Steel Wood Boiler

Custom D.S.Machine Stainless Steel Wood Boiler

PostBy: DOUG On: Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:55 pm

Okay guys, I've been busy this past year reworking my central heating system. Last year I had Amos at D.S.Machine make me a custom 304 stainless steel wood boiler. It's basically the same as one of their current models, but slightly smaller.
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I know, why didn't I get a coal boiler? Well, I wanted to first get a dedicated indoor wood boiler so I can burn wood year round in order to knock off my gas hot water heater by way of a 85,000 BTU side arm heat exchanger. My hot water heater is on the floor above the boiler. Besides, anthracite coal is now $250.00 a ton bulk here in Pittsburgh, plus it would be hard to keep going year round if it isn't a stoker. Then if I'm going to burn anthracite for just heating domestic hot water, I may as well just burn natural gas, it now cost the same.

So, over the past year I've been researching this forum and studying boiler plumbing options. I ended up deciding to use all 1 1/4" copper pipe with a pressurized system. I installed a 95,000 BTU at 10 gallon per minute water to air heat exchanger in the natural gas plenum and a 85,000 BTU copper water to water side arm heat exchanger for the domestic hot water.

I'm using the 50 gallon hot water heater as my gravity dump zone through the use of a unique custom made Injector Tee. Here is a link to what a Rayburn Injector Tee is. Since I have two supply and two return taps on the boiler, I'm using the rear supply tap for the pumps and the center supply tap for gravity flow. One pump goes to the radiation and the other pumps to the hot water heater side arm for faster recovery. When I lose power, the gravity flow from the center tap is free to flow into the domestic hot water side arm heat exchanger. In normal pumped operation, the pump actually induces the flow from both taps to the side arm heat exchanger. The Injector Tee allows the incorporation of gravity and pumped operation without the use of swing gates or zone valves. When I first saw this Injector Tee, I knew I had to use it in my system. It really works well.

Another thing that I was wrestling with, is the fact that the D.S.Machine Wood Boiler water jacket doesn't enclose the rear of the stove. So, I decided to install a 304 stainless steel 55 gallon drum, built from a couple of barrel stove kits, in order to recover as much heat as possible before it goes up the chimney. This addition has proved to be a wise decision. The reason is that the wood boiler forms creosote inside, then the smoke is ignited by the secondary after burner in the top of the boiler, it then goes into a 6" 90 degree elbow toward the barrel clean out door, allowing the ash to fall out of suspension into the barrel, then rise to the rear flue exit before going into the chimney. The smoke is then pretty clean. The stovepipe has kept clean and the chimney now only puffs out white steam, with a cleaner liner.

I did allow for the future addition of an anthracite coal boiler and more radiation. So I'm still eventually going to put one in, just not yet. I need more time for more studying the best anthracite coal boiler solution and a lot more money to make it a reality. So, I'm willing to wait until I get the anthracite boiler I want. Until then, I'll keep reading this great forum in order to make the best informed decision regarding the purchase selection of my anthracite coal boiler. There are a few really good ones being made and it makes it a tough choice.

So, now I'm busy playing and experimenting with this new system to see what it is capable of doing. My wife says that she likes the more even steady heat supply verses the hot air wood/coal furnace. It is also burning about 1/3 less wood than my Clayton does to produce the same comfort. I may have to add one of my Clayton wood/coal furnaces back before the winter season for added security, but we'll see.
Stove/Furnace Model: CLAYTON 1600

Re: D.S.Machine Wood Boiler

PostBy: McGiever On: Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:31 pm

Holy Crap, Doug :!:

Was wondering why you weren't around here much...I see why. :)
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek

Re: D.S.Machine Wood Boiler

PostBy: whistlenut On: Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:55 am

Impressive.........this says a great deal about DS as a company and Amos as a manufacturer. While not for everyone, it surely meets your needs. Keep us posted if you can.
Creosote build-up? Just wondering how you addressed this chronic issue. :idea: :!:
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ & V-Wert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks,Itasca 415,Jensen, NYer 130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska, EFM, Keystoker, Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska, Keystoker-2,Leisure Line
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska, Gibraltar, Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Ford, Jensen, NYer, Van Wert,
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwoods
Coal Size/Type: Barley, Buck, Rice ,Nut, Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: D.S.Machine Wood Boiler

PostBy: DOUG On: Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:23 pm

Thanks all. I have nothing but the best to say about Amos and his crew at D.S.Machine. These guys are great and really do make a superior product for the price they charge and are very wonderful to deal with.

Now that I've had the opportunity to actually burn in one of their products, there isn't any doubt in my mind that a lot of wood and coal burning experience talent has helped design and manufacture their products.

So far I'm very pleased with the D.S.Machine's wood boiler performance. The past week, temperatures have dropped to 30 degrees and the radiant heat just from the boiler and the piping has kept my house a constant 71 degrees, without the fan coil used, plus the fact that I'm using at least 1/3 less wood than my Clayton furnace would have comsumed using the fan.

I'm still anxious to see what it's true capacity is going to be and the length of burn times I'll receive during higher heating loads. Right now, this is the only unknown factor. All the calculations I've run, still can't match real world performance sometimes. Time will tell.

So far the chimney is keeping very clean. It appears that the 55 gallon drum exchanger is taking care of the potential creosote. A good hot fire once a day has been keeping the system clean.

All that I know, is that the wife is much, much, happier with the boiler heating than she ever has been with the Clayton heating. She has never had such an unlimited supply of domestic hot water, the house is more comfortable, and hasn't needed to throw a few logs on the fire until I get home yet.

Thanks again guys for the replys.
Stove/Furnace Model: CLAYTON 1600

Re: D.S.Machine Wood Boiler

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:44 pm

Nice Doug, glad to see you put a boiler in. When I picked up my 1600 from DS last year I peeked at some of their boilers. They definitely make a high quality product.
I'm On Fire
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machines DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator

Re: D.S.Machine Wood Boiler

PostBy: lsayre On: Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:51 pm

That's one impressive looking boiler unit. Does it require a large heat storage tank?
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)

Re: D.S.Machine Wood Boiler

PostBy: DOUG On: Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:07 pm

It doesn't require a large storage tank. Although I'm sure one could be added, but the size of the tank would need to hold a lot of water to take advantage of any access heat and many days of constant high firing, due to it's smaller size for the heat load.

When I initally talked with Amos at D.S.Machine, I had explained my intened usage and desired capabilities of the wood boiler that I wanted. Amos helped define my perimeters and designed this boiler slightly smaller than his advertised one for the performance characteristics I set. This way I may use it year round since my domestic hot water is the dump zone.

So, I'm very interested to see how close the design works. So far it is on target.
Stove/Furnace Model: CLAYTON 1600

Re: D.S.Machine Wood Boiler

PostBy: Townsend On: Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:56 am

Great looking job Doug!
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Coal Size/Type: Pea / Buck