I want to build my own on-wall radiator


Hi,
How hard can it be to build something like this:
http://www.radiatorshowroom.co.uk/altima-exclusive-radiator.html
as a DIY project!? (I'm not talking about achieving the look and feel.)
My plan is take 1/2 copper tubing (the smaller the diameter the better, I assume) and weave it back and forth with 90 degree elbows. Then I will buy a sheet of copper and attach (somehow) to my mesh of tubing.
Is this idea doomed from the beginning?
If NOT, I would like to get some ideas on:
1. What to make the overall frame out of? I presume it needs to be quite strong. Perhaps steel welded together?
2. How to attach tubing to the sheet of copper? I can think of copper brackets with copper bolts. But maybe there is a better way, like some kind of heat transfer plates and heat conducting glue.
That's good for starters...
Thanks,
Aaron
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Is this a hot water or steam system?
Yes, it is doable.
but your first assumption is (imo) incorrect and will send oyu in the wrong direction.
you need to know how much heat you need out of the unit..... undersize, it wont be able to deliver enough heat oversize, (you can always throttle the water flow) you waste money on materials & fabrication..
I wouldn't bolt it together...too clunky. I'd sweat (torch) the plate onto the pipes or have the assembly furnace brazed
do you want the flat plat look or is the ladder look ok? If the ladder look is ok...I'd do 1" or 3/4" uprights with 1/2" (5/8 od) or smaller "rungs".
since oyu're probably going to make a couple mods to your prototype before it works (I assume you cant do heat transfer calcs?)
...I suggest you keep it simple & build the easiest way for your skills & experience and build with the thought that you;re going to modify it.
Give a try & then modify as needed.
cheers Bob
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on 9/21/2009 1:54 PM (ET) Aaron Fude wrote the following:

someone may put their hand on it to steady their self.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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You are assuming facts not yet in evidence.
We don't know yet whether he intends to heat or cool with this radiator.
Granted, heating is more usual, but they are used both ways, and cold plates are becoming more common.
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Nice looking heaters.
I have a couple of thoughts. Copper is a good heat conductor. Take a look at some of the systems used for radiant floor heat. They are a serpentine of plastic tubing backed up by foam insulation. Take a look at the panels on this page http://www.crete-heat.com /
You run the tubing in the panels, then adhere the panel to the back of the copper sheet for good transfer and radiation. Pex requires a lower temperature than many hot water systems run, about 140 or so.
With a good backing, you don't need much of a frame to support the copper sheet as this will give it a lot of rigidity. Sort of like a moncoque construction. You do want to have a frame about 1/4" or more just to avoid sharp edges. You could also have a metal shop bend a return on the edges to make it appear thick and add rigidity also.
I saw a couple of negative posts. They are incorrect. The temperature of the panel will not reach high enough temperatures to burn anyone. The water may be 140 in the tube, but it is going to be distributed over a large surface, thus lowering the overall temperature. As for heating the ceiling, that would only occur if the panel was insulating and you had an updraft moving the heat. With this design, the heat is radiated outward horizontally, line of sight.
Once plumbed in place, it will be a rather good looking way to heat the area. I hope you post some photos of it once completed, and perhaps some of the progression of how it was done.
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Hanging on the wall that high will waste heat by over warming the ceiling.
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In article

Is cost an issue? Checking MSC I see a sheet of .125" x 24 x 48 copper is running right around $900.
-Frank
--
Here\'s some of my work:
http://www.franksknives.com /
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I'd suggest Wirsbo, or some other tubes in the floor design. That could be made, but a lot of work and bother.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
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Aaron Fude wrote:

I was thinking something involving the front six inches of a '32 Ford... the good news is that repro grille shells are available :)
nate
(there's probably a reason why there's a standing rule in my house about all design ideas having to go through final review before implementation...)
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
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Aaron Fude wrote:

I believe the ones on the web site are electric, probably with a thermostat to keep people from burning themselves on it.

If you get this far, I would make it all copper so it all has approximatly the same expansion rate.

Sweat them on with solder, that should conduct heat better than any glue and you can take it apart again if needed.

OK, if you say so! Good luck!
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Use soft copper tubing and get a bender, Each elbow causes friction in the line costing you more to pump.
You might consider a pair of aluminum plates to sandwitch the copper tubing between. Aluminum is a whole lot cheaper than copper and paint will change the color to what ever you want.
I would use some sort of stand offs to hold the assembly away from the wall an inch or two.
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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Roger Shoaf wrote:

So I really like your ideas. The one thing that I am not quite imagining is how to make the whole structure stiff? Seems like copper sandwiched between aluminum sheets is not very stiff.
Also, what kind of shop would carry sheets of aluminum and something that can act as stand offs? What should I look for, a metal shop?
Thanks again,
Aaron
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I'll bet the back of those is a second sheet of copper that is bent to form channels.
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Aaron Fude wrote:

So you are still planning on making a hot water version of an electric radiator, or are you using electric heating elements?
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What makes you think it is electric? Surely, not the fact that they give watts as a means of expressing power. Check out International System of Units.
Look at their other hydronic products http://www.radiatorshowroom.co.uk/new-clasico-radiator.html
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..
Jimmie
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Well I'lllll be! Guess I'm still alive cause I'm still learning.
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Check out in floor heating. There are metal panels built to be a snap fit to the pipe that are basically snap on radiators. These should be useful for fastening the pipe to the panels.
Jimmie
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