Author Topic: Homemade wood-burning stove?  (Read 26780 times)

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Offline 8x8x8

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Homemade wood-burning stove?
« on: December 24, 2008, 06:43:06 PM »
Does anyone know how one could make a homemade wood-burning stove?  I need something that will fit in my 8x8 shack.  There's a few real stoves on CraigsList, but they want $100 minimum.  I don't have money to toss around at this point.  I also do not have access to a welder, torch, etc. (even though I have done minimal of both).

How can I make a small/8x8-compatible wood-burning stove for almost nothing, using not-so-hard to find things?  Does anyone have any ideas?

Offline diyfrank

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2008, 07:18:13 PM »
I think if you can find one thats still usable for $100,thats a deal. You won't find any cheaper.

One thing about an 8x8, your gonna need very little heat.

If you can't find a tiny, tiny  stove, You can always  go with propane 

Build one without any tool to do it. I don't know.

I've thought about trying to build one out of scrape ductile iron pipe and use mechanical caps for the ends. Buy a door, weld it to one of the caps. then bolt legs on thought the bolt holes for the end caps.
You might be able to use a cap with a 4'' pipe taped hole and run a stack out of the back. It could be built cheap but would probably  have problems and it would be very "hill billy"
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Offline MountainDon

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2008, 07:49:20 PM »
What's the coldest outside temperature you'll run into?
How well is this cabin going to be insulated?
What will you cook on? Propane, electric...
Will you be connected to the power grid?

A space as small as 8x8x8 will have a very low BTU requirement given even modest insulation. There are very small stoves available, most are designed for marine use and are not cheap.

A small electric heater could be the best compromise in space use. They do have the advantage of being able to be turned off when the temperature is comfortable. With a wood burner in such a small space you would likely be overheating frequently and throwing the windows open. Add to that if the wood burner is small enough to fit nicely it will likely not be able to carry over a fire very long.

 ??? ???

As for making a safe one without good metal working tools being available, I believe that would be difficult. Maybe you could adapt/build a rocket stove. Do a forum search on Rocket Stove.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2008, 09:13:17 PM »
Good point, Don.  I made the Cat oven from Clay, Sand and straw.  A thimble can be made from clay if going through a wall.  Not code of course, so you are responsible for your own safety.

http://www.hedon.info/PortableClayStoveConstruction

Simple?  5 to 50 gallon bucket with a lid and chiseled - sawzall- drill - screws- bailing wire hinges for door  openings. 

Protect all combustible surfaces as needed for fire prevention and your safety.  Just ideas.

http://www.hedon.info/ReducingTheRisksOfPoisonousEmissionsFromStoves

http://www.hedon.info/BoilingPoint38-April1997
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2008, 09:40:07 PM »
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline NM_Shooter

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2008, 06:05:37 AM »
It will be a real challenge to find a way to heat 8X8 without blowing yourself out due to heat.  Any fire at all in that thing will almost immediately make it too warm. 

You won't be able to sustain any sort of flame in your wood burner so that you maintain a consistent temp overnight.  The only way that I could think of (for a person determined to do this) would be to have the stove outside the cabin, and run two vents.  One through the cabin, and one outside.  Control the heat in the cabin by adjusting the dampers for the stove.  Sounds hokey, I agree. 

Using electric heat is your best option.  You need a thermostat.  A very small space heater would heat that just fine.  I seem to recall that a human body puts out something like 200BTU. 

There are small stoves that people use for boats, but those are way outside your budget.

Be careful with CO.  Make sure you put in a CO detector. 
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Offline diyfrank

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2008, 07:08:23 AM »
A rocket stove looks easy to make.
It doesn't look like a good choice for inside use tho.

Electric or propane would due nicely.
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Offline MountainDon

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2008, 07:24:12 AM »
I specifically did not mention propane as in as small a heater as you would need it would be an unvented model. I do not think unvented propane heaters should be used anywhere people sleep. The reason; CO. Carbon Monoxide does kill with no odors, no warning.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2008, 07:31:44 AM »
I knew an old man who lived in a very small trailer when I was a kid.  His only heat in that trailer that I remember was the Coleman Lantern he used for light.  Maybe others know about ventilation issues or safety with these?  There are also small catalytic heaters - again - unvented.  CO detector as Frank mentioned would be good.

The rocket as shown was primarily outside but it has improved a bunch and chimneyed.  Andrew has a big one, but it would take up most of the 8x8.
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Offline MountainDon

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2008, 08:01:31 AM »
heat in that trailer that I remember was the Coleman Lantern he used for light. 

Any appliance that burns a fuel uses O2 to support combustion. As well they have the potential to produce CO. If the 8x8x8 was built tight enough to prevent drafts one could run into a situation where the O2 gets depleted enough to cause the burner to produce CO. That's why there's always a precaution on tent heaters and the like to provide air, leave a window or tent flap open. When you are after heat that seems to be not what you want to do.

I know I could find many reports of hunters and campers who die because of the use of a heater in their tent. I don't think it's worth the risk. On the other hand it could be a nice quiet way to exit life on earth if that was one's plan.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2008, 08:10:54 AM »
Yes - I remember old Louis always kept a window part way open - in the days before CO detectors.  Likely not too safe.
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Offline diyfrank

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2008, 08:15:53 AM »
I wasn't recommending someone produce carbon monoxide and die in their sleep.

That wouldn't be good.. :)

Heres what I use. It does require you crack a window.

Made for cabins & tents.


http://www.mrheater.com/productdetails_extended.asp?catid=41&id=24
 
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Offline Native_NM

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2008, 08:33:11 AM »
Check the dumpster of your local Harbor Freight.  A gold mine of stuff.  They sell vented propane wall heaters, as well as a small cast-iron wood stove.  I have found some good "broken" stuff out back.  If you are handy, should be no problem.

New Mexico.  Better than regular Mexico.

Offline Bill Houghton

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2008, 09:09:00 AM »
The smallest wood stoves I have seen were in ice shacks.  Here is a post to a new one:
http://goodoutdoors.theshoppe.com/wilderness_shanty_wood_stove.html

And a froum where they are talking about making one from an empty propane tank:
http://www.iceshanty.com/ice_fishing/index.php?topic=72050.msg709359;topicseen

Theres one on there made out of a beer keg too!

Google ice shack (shanty) wood stoves

Bill in the U.P.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Offline sawmilleng

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2008, 04:25:29 PM »
I built a stove from a metal 5 gallon pail when I was a kid--used rivets and plain door hinges for the tin door and draft, and used tin cans for the chimney--cut both ends out and nested them together--used about 30.  Put a single sheetmetal screw at each joint to hold them together.  Made a heck of a stove for a kids forthouse.  It lasted until we grew out of the fort stage.  It probably would have heated your 8x8 building just fine.

I came across a softcover book about 20 years ago--it described building wood stoves with absolutely minimal tools--hammer, cold chisel, and earmuffs ('cause beating tin is noisy).  It was written by a guy who was homesteading in Alaska and built stoves out of whatever was at hand--he made a lot of use of what he called "tundra berries" or some such name--old stashes of empty oil barrels left over from WW2.  He shows several different styles, all made with pretty much nothing for tools. 

I can't just put my finger on the book in my library but I can remember it was written by "Ole Wik".  Can't remember the title or publisher, but maybe you can find a copy by searching the used book stores on the 'net.

It sure isn't impossible with minimal tools--just a bit more tedious.  I'll take a closer look and see if I can find the book to post the pertininent information to make it easier to find a copy.

Jon.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2008, 05:15:09 PM »
w* to the forum Jon.  Thanks for that info.  I found reference to the books you described.

#  How to Build an Oil Barrel Stove
by Ole Wik
Softcover, Alaska Northwest Books, ISBN 0882400770 (0-88240-077-0)
#
Wood Stoves: How to Make and Use Them
by Ole Wik
Softcover, Alaska Northwest Books, ISBN 0882400835 (0-88240-083-5)

http://www.bookfinder.com/author/ole-wik/
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Offline firefox

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2008, 05:26:00 PM »
Ok, here is an idea that might circumvent the safety issue.
The idea comes from an english friend that heats bricks and then puts it in a protective bag. This is then put under the covers at the end of the bed.
Seems to last through the night with no central heating in the house turned on  at night.

So, Set up some kind of stove outside to heat up a container of oil.
Have it so you can push the container of oil into a hole in the side of the house and then close an insulated hatch over the hole.

Some ideas that come to mind is to put the container on a turntable.
When it is rotated outside it will be over the outside heater, then rotate it in  and if the hatch is mounted on the turntable it will automatically seal the heat in.

Obviously this is only a kernel of an idea, so you need to fill in the details
which means thinking about safety.

Good luck!
Bruce
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Offline Jens

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2008, 05:31:51 PM »
check this out.
http://backyardmetalcasting.com/bucketfurnace1.html
I built one of these furnaces.  Doesn't require much in the way of tools.  If I were in you shoes, I would take a 5 gallon steel pail, make and inner form that is about 1" smaller in diameter than the pail.  Bolt some legs made out of angle iron to the bucket so that it sets the opening forward.  Cut a hole in the bottom, up where the top will be, and screw in a 6" section of pipe to mount the stovepipe to.  Mix up some refractory cement, and pack it into the bucket.  Cut a hole in the lid of the bucket, and make a door out of a piece of metal, possibly the lid of a smaller can, with a lip on it for strength, or heavy steel plate.  use a steel hinge for the door.  The door is now the damper as well.  Open it to induce more air (a screen would be a good idea).  

With such a small place, you are really just after a few coals to keep it warm.  The stove should never have to get roaring, and the stovepipe will probably never even get very hot to the touch.  The insulation in the cement holds the heat very well, so if you do give it a flash burn, it should continue to radiate a good portion of the night.  I would be tempted even, to use more insulation, add some thermal mass, and use the stove like a masonry heater (this could all be built outside the cabin, with one wall of masonry).  

The windows should be at least cracked, and a CO detector is a good idea.  People have been heating their houses with fire for thousands of years.  With smart practices, and common sense, I don't see why it is any less safe than using a space heater, or gas heater. No system is foolproof, but the UL listings can make you think they are.  

Of course, a couple of menorahs may do the trick as well!

Just my thoughts, as I have thought about it a lot lately as we are cold, and broke, always at the same time!

If you want to be able to cook on top, thin down the refractory at the top, and bolt a piece of flat plate to the top side.  Countersink the bolts.
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Offline Jens

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #19 on: December 25, 2008, 05:52:43 PM »
Lazy susan for heated stones sounds pretty cool! 

Keep in mind too, that Anything you get on here is for novelty purposes only, and is in no way advice to be taken without serious caution.  Burn any fuel source at your own risk.  With that said, maybe this will work for you.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Antique-Cast-Iron-WOOD-COAL-Burning-STOVE-Sales-Sample_W0QQitemZ170289007297QQcmdZViewItemQQptZVintage_Toys?hash=item170289007297&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A0|293%3A3|294%3A50

Couldn't resist, seeing as how the place is so small :)
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #20 on: December 25, 2008, 06:02:05 PM »
That's cool, Jens.  I built a casting furnace like that and a bigger one I didn't use.

The little room shouldn't take much if insulated well.
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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #21 on: December 25, 2008, 07:07:41 PM »
Well insulated it probably wouldn't need more than a Candle heater or two

http://tinyhouseblog.com/heaters/kandle-heeter-candle-holder/

Offline diyfrank

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #22 on: December 25, 2008, 07:46:37 PM »
The smallest wood stoves I have seen were in ice shacks.  Here is a post to a new one:
http://goodoutdoors.theshoppe.com/wilderness_shanty_wood_stove.html



I like this little stove. For the money I may have to buy one to try.
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Offline MountainDon

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2008, 08:03:17 PM »
Just to add to the diversity of available small stoves, do a Google for pack stoves or outfitter stoves

Here's one place with a variety. Maybe some ideas someone can borrow as well.

http://www.walltentshop.com/CatStoves.html
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline FrankInWI

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Re: Homemade wood-burning stove?
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2008, 07:08:25 AM »
I'm just amazed at how resourceful many of you are in doing research.  What a fantasticaly interesting string of messages here.  This community is just outstanding...and a core group of you make it happen again and again.  Thank you SO much for doing these things. You're helping many people.....I'm of full maturity age....yet I learn so much here.   

Frank
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