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GSW Hot Blast Heater
General Sheet Metal Works (GSW) of Hamilton,
Ontario, Canada sold the "GSW Hot Blast Heater" apparently in the
1960's. There were also electric hot water heaters and even
GSW brand Beacon cold-blast lanterns sold. GSW may not have actually
manufactured the GSW Hot Blast Heater but rather had them made for
them - the "shield" logo in the cut-out upper ventilation holes
and cheap spray-painted branding below the heater name was
definitely an identifying mark of GSW. GSW did
sell the heaters through large discount stores in Eastern Canada,
including Toronto. I have found no evidence the heater was
exported to the US.
In fact, I can see no evidence whatever that
GSW or anyone else ever lighted one of their Hot Blast Heaters
prior to selling them! The heaters absolutely would not work
properly as sold. Air could enter the metal "chimney"
section of the heater cabinet with the effect of reducing the flow
of oxygen to the wicks. No matter how one tried or the fuel
used, they burned incredibly sooty and smelly. The soft,
thick black house paint used on the top and bottom plates would
begin smelling as soon as it warmed up, the fumes being noxious
and voluminous. With the smell and soot produced, they were
quickly relegated to storage. A good friend of mine in
Toronto found two GSW Hot Blast Heaters in virtually new
condition, fuel from the original burn still in the tank...and
absolutely coated with a thick layer of black soot.
The design and construction of the GSW Hot Blast heater is
entirely wrong. It could never have worked as
designed. Whoever did the basic construction knew
absolutely nothing about heaters, the function of blaze
cones, how to get air to the wick for proper combustion, or
even how to paint a heater. It was a total
disaster that could not even have been tested once before
being sold. They are cute, but function must come
before form in a product being sold for a specific purpose.
Photo at right shows the heater as originally sold.
The most pressing fundamental problem with
the GSW Hot Blast Heater is the row of ventilation holes in
the base of the metal chimney section. Those holes
allow the entry of oxygen above the blaze cones. In
the photo at right you can see the row of ventilation holes
at the base of the brown metal "chimney" section.
Those holes must be covered from the inside to prevent any
air from entering at that location. I used 3M High
Temperature Flue Tape, Pn 2113NA, True Value Hardware Pn
387806. The tape is 1 1/2" wide but it need be only
3/4" wide, so I cut it in half lengthwise and applied the
tape on the inside.
The photo at right shows the completely
re-engineered draft system. Air is forced to enter
through the ventilation holes in the plate with the blaze
cones, the air having no choice but to pass on each side of
the wick, thus providing sufficient oxygen to allow at least
a reasonable chance to burn relatively cleanly.
If you expand the photo by clicking on it
you can see the silver aluminum Flue Tape showing through
the ventilation holes in the brown chimney section. On
the black lower portion you can see the reflection of flame
generated by the wicks beneath the blaze cones - where
oxygen is supposed to flow to ensure good combustion.
The proper thick, 4" wide wicks for the GSW Hot Blast Heater
At right is a photo of the GSW burners and
fuel tank. This is what is directly underneath the photo
above. The straight, 4" wide flat wicks and wick
raising gears are directly from 1880's technology as used in
sad iron stoves. When adopted for the GSW it had
already been obsolete for heater use for over 70 years!
As early as the late 1880's, Miller, Cleveland Stove, B&H,
and others were producing clean burning center draft heaters using
circular wicks adapted from Victorian Era "store lamps."
The photos at right show the two parts
which needed to be completely stripped of all original paint
residue. Two (2) applications of modern new OSHA, FDA and
EPA approved, non-threatening, non-toxic, liberal,
politically correct, environmentally friendly tree-hugging
paint remover did actually remove about 90% of the cruddy
black low temperature paint. Hand sanding removed the
At right are the component parts of the
GSW Hot Blast Heater after painting with high temperature
auto engine block paint. Only two bolts secure the top and
bottom plates to the metal chimney, and one bolt acts as a
hinge pin to secure the top assembly to the base with tank
and burners attached, so it is extremely easy to separate
the component parts for refinishing.
The refurbished GSW Hot Blast Heater will never
burn as clean as a modern kerosene heater - the basic design
concept of two 4" wide flat wick prohibits that. But the GSW
is still very useful as a greenhouse or shop heater where the mild
fumes produced do no more harm than annoy spiders and bugs.
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Heater Information below
Center Draft Wicks - Wicks
available only from this Wick Shop.
Flat lamp wicks
Aladdin Lamp Wicks
Center Draft Lamp
from "Tiny" Junior to Mammoth lamps.
Fabulous "Sans Rival"
borosilicate chimney for 14''' Kosmos lamps
Student Lamp Sans Rival Chimney with
1 7/8" fitter!!!
Standard glass lamp chimneys
Sonnenbrenner Lamp Chimneys
Information on lamps:
Center Draft Kerosene Lamps
(Photos, information and history, etc)
restored center draft lamps
Care, Feeding and Restoration of Center Draft
installation for many)
Lamp manufacturers and brand names
- Dimension of
nominal base diameter by make, model and "line".
Early American Metal Font & Specialty Lamps
Aladdin Lamp History
Aladdin Lamp Wicks & Chimneys,
Aladdin - Exploded burner views
Flame Spreaders and
- Vulcan, Imperial, Veritas,
Belgian, Hinks, Messenger's, Young's Court, etc.
Articles by Alex Marrack:
Site Index for all things Perfection
Kindler Wicking For Oil Stoves & Ranges
Alphabetical list of most kerosene heaters and the proper wick,
& cart checkout.
List by wick number and the heaters that fit them. (A
helpful guide for buying on eBay)
Measurements needed if you have an unlisted heater.
Care and Maintenance of Kerosene Heater Wicks
Installing Kerosene Heater Wicks - generic for unpinned
Owner's_Manuals & information for many kerosene heaters
Heaters - General types, how they work, recommendations
for some good ones - and those I would avoid.
Economic Benefits of
Troubleshooting kerosene heater common problems
In New Kerosene Appliances
Kerosene Heaters at Night
WATER IN KEROSENE causing "dwindling" and poor
Flame Spreader Heaters
and Lamps -
A Century of Excellence
Kerosene Heater Carts
why carry your heater around?
Kerosene Fuel Primer
Kerosene tank cradles
Building a Cradle
HEATERS MADE IN THE NETHERLANDS
Beatrice Boiling Stoves & Mini kerosene heaters
you can make
Sad Iron stoves; Wicks &
Wicking For Oil
Burning "WICKLESS" Stoves & Ranges
Kerosene Stoves, Lanterns and Ovens
Kerosene Stoves -
Recommendations on different models
Stove Maintenance and Storage
Butterfly A-822, 22 wick, all-aluminum
Butterfly #2487, 16 wick stove.
Butterfly #2412 Pressure
instructions for virtually any pressure stove.
Double Burner Stove;
good with any gravity flow stove.
Oven for Kerosene Stoves
Butterfly #2641, 10 Wick Stove
the least expensive emergency stove.
Butterfly #2698 Cook Stove -
THE Best Heavy Duty Cook Stove.
#828R Pressure Lantern;
same for most pressure lanterns.
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