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Thread: Making a barrel woodstove

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    Member Nukalpiaq's Avatar
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    Default Making a barrel woodstove

    Here is a photo of a woodstove I made out of a fuel drum. Just by looking at it you can see how it was made. The bottom of the drum was cut 3 inches above the rim, afterward I cut the remaining lower end off on the ridge. As you can see I cut the mid-section into a 3 legged stand, legs were equally spaced. The bottom section was then pushed up and hammered into the upper section. I then cut the opening out, then used the cut sections from the stand to make a door and latches. Lastly I cut the top and bent up the pieces for the 6 inch stove pipes. Found an old woodstove vent and mounted it on the door to let a little air in through some holes I drilled. Overall it works okay, would be a good stove for camping or to install in a small plywood cabin. Lots of people out here in the bush used to make them for their fishcamp cabins, some even had this type installed in their homes here in the village back in the earlier days. Guess the philosophy was why spend all that money on a new fancy woodstove when you could make one out of a old drum. Old timers I guess were pretty frugel with their money back then.
    Last edited by Nukalpiaq; 08-01-2009 at 23:46.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Brings back memories!

    Right after my wife and I were married, in order to get out of a very crowded fishing cabin full of in-laws, we built a tent frame and covered it with a 10x12 canvas wall tent. A kindly neighbor was cajoled by his wife to build us a stove just like that (for the nalumaq Kassaq <greenhorn whiteman>). It worked great! Subsequently I made many barrel stoves of my own as I learned a thing or two about bush life.
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    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    About how long will a stove like that last? in years? Thanks

    Ron

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    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    depending on the barrel, they usually only last a season or two of steady burning. they leak air and burn fast & hot, which isn't conducive to
    longevity.

    the size of your barrel will (to some extent)determine what can be used for fuel. if you get a smaller barrel you can eliminate the cutting except the door & chimney.

    i usually put sand in the bottom as it seems to help with burnout.

  5. #5

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    I cant find a barrel stove kit where the stovepipe fitting takes a 6" pipe on the inside of it. I've used the 1/3 barrel stove with good success but hard to regulate as it does leak a lot of air.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I worked for a guy that got over 10 years from his barrel stoves in the horizontal position. The first thing is to buy the heaviest gauge barrel you can find. The second is to seal up all the air intake vents on the front of the barrel stove kit. Using the pipe thread fitting in the end of the barrel you can use a valve on a pipe nipple to control the air to the stove controllably. He lined the bottom of his barrels with fire brick.
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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Junk barrels

    Barrels today are thin. I pump my own fuel oil, and all of the drums I have bought in the past several years are thin and begin to crack after about two rounds of pumping by hand. It used to be that barrels would last for years and years, especially the army ones with rounded rims. Today's barrels will probably give out after only a few years of contraction/expansion. I'm pretty sure they are from China now like everything else. Sad.
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    Member Nukalpiaq's Avatar
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    Default propane bottle woodstove

    I have noticed that too, barrels are thin. Old army drums sure lasted a lot longer than ones today. Folk out here in the bush preferred the army drums for making woodstoves for their steambaths. Getting harder to find a good ole army drum in the village these days.
    One of my friends started making woodstoves out of old propane bottles. First off he would remove the hardware, then wash them out really good before cutting them. Wish I had a picture of one, maybe in a few days I will ask him if I can take a pic of his propane bottle woodstove. The size is perfect for a small cabin.

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    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    Default propane bottle

    yes a 20 pounder would be perfect for a ice shanty woodstove.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Those barrel stoves are pretty darn nice.

    I heard the Polish make them out of wood barrels
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nukalpiaq View Post
    I One of my friends started making woodstoves out of old propane bottles. . The size is perfect for a small cabin.
    I'd love to see a pic of that if possible. I've got a couple old bottles and buddy whose a welder.. Might be a good option for a wall tent.

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    Member Nukalpiaq's Avatar
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    Default Propane bottle woodstove

    Here is a photo of my friend's homemade propane bottle woodstoves.
    Last edited by Nukalpiaq; 08-01-2009 at 23:46.

  13. #13

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    Great subject, I have made many pack stoves over the years both for myself and for friends. Still have several stoves in the shop stored. Right now I am using old water pressure tanks to make a stove for my 16x20 wall tent. Six inch steel well casing has an inside diameter of 6 inches and works great for the stove pipe hole, with a little welding. Great suggestion about putting sand or dirt in the bottom to keep it from rusting out. Every summer I go over my stoves and repaint them with stove black. They seem to last for ever. There is a good book I have that must be 30years old on wood stoves. Written by Ole Wik, excellent reference on wood stove design, especially camp stoves. I believe the book is still available on Amazon. Thanks for bringing this subject up. Roger

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    Default Barrel stove..

    I made a 32 gallon barrel stove for my wall tent from a KIMBAK stove kit I bought in Seattle in 1978.I have burned that stove every year since. It came with a seal around the door,so was pretty much air tight.I have replaced the seal, and always put sand 2" in the bottom,and it is still going strong.I might say I have always stored it indoors.GR

  15. #15

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    I've seen stoves made from discarded hot water heaters. Makes for a stove along the same lines of the propane bottle type, but a little bigger. Nice and thick also.

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    Default Barrel stove..

    I forgot to mention it has only been 10 days at a time(on my annual deer hunt), but since 1978...that is unreal.GR

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    Member Nukalpiaq's Avatar
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    Rovingarcher, do you know if Kimbak stove kits are sold up here in Alaska or can a person order one online? didnt know there were stove kits available for smaller sized drums. thanks

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    Default Smaller size drums...

    KImbak I believe has closed the doors to wood stove kits, but the one you van find on line...(Google barrel wood stove kit)think it's Volkgang(Begins with a V) has a 32 gallon kit.Not sure if they have a sealed door though.GR

  19. #19
    Member Nukalpiaq's Avatar
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    Default Shorty's Welding Shop Woodstove

    A Kimbak door was used on my homemade woodstove that I purchased from a welding shop in Bethel, Alaska. Stove was built by Shorty's Shop, so far it works good, kept my house warm during the -25 below weather that we just went through a few weeks ago. This one has firebricks in the bottom and is also reinforced on the inside with angle stock that runs the length of the stove, both on the inside top and sides. Also on the inside he welded a 10" x 17" 1/2 flat metal on the backwall, 4" down from the top where the smoke outlet is located, this is to keep the flame in the firebox and not going up the chimney. The plate sits on top of the angle stock used to reinforce the side walls.
    Only complaint I have with this stove is the inside diameter of the stovepipe, mount is 6 1/4 inches, a little oversized so I had to used two pipe expanders to make it work. The 6" to 7" expander was mounted on a 7" to 8" expander which I modified a little. This setup was mounted over the woodstove smoke outlet. So far it works good. Firebox measures 26" long x 18" wide x 18" deep, legs are 7" high made from angle stock with circular bases on each leg. On the front of the stove at the base he welded a lip which extends out 6", great for catching any ash that falls out. I like the Kimbak designed door because it has this smaller ash door, it is very convenient when I light the stove and will probably work good when cleaning out any wood ash. Here is a photo.
    Last edited by Nukalpiaq; 08-01-2009 at 23:45.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nukalpiaq View Post
    A Kimbak door was used on my homemade woodstove that I purchased from a welding shop in Bethel, Alaska. Stove was built by Shorty's Shop, so far it works good, kept my house warm during the -25 below weather that we just went through a few weeks ago. This one has firebricks in the bottom and is also reinforced on the inside with angle stock that runs the length of the stove, both on the inside top and sides. Also on the inside he welded a 10" x 17" 1/2 flat metal on the backwall, 4" down from the top where the smoke outlet is located, this is to keep the flame in the firebox and not going up the chimney. The plate sits on top of the angle stock used to reinforce the side walls.
    Only complaint I have with this stove is the inside diameter of the stovepipe, mount is 6 1/4 inches, a little oversized so I had to used two pipe expanders to make it work. The 6" to 7" expander was mounted on a 7" to 8" expander which I modified a little. This setup was mounted over the woodstove smoke outlet. So far it works good. Firebox measures 26" long x 18" wide x 18" deep, legs are 7" high made from angle stock with circular bases on each leg. On the front of the stove at the base he welded a lip which extends out 6", great for catching any ash that falls out. I like the Kimbak designed door because it has this smaller ash door, it is very convenient when I light the stove and will probably work good when cleaning out any wood ash. Here is a photo.
    Good looking stove. I think the 6-1/4" outlet is so you can slip a 6" double wall insolated pipe on it without a thin adapter in the mix at all.

    Andy

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