PDA

View Full Version : Wood-burning stove from 250-galon propane tank. Pics!!



winchman
02-06-2008, 05:31 PM
Well, the stove is off to a good start. Here's some in-progress pictures.

The flue adapter is welded to the top with one inch sticking into the tank to prevent stuff from running down the wall.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Stovefrom250-gallonpropanetank006.jpg

The inside of the tank.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Stovefrom250-gallonpropanetank008.jpg

The smokeshelf will be suspended from the two pieces of 1/4x2 flat bar to eliminate any obstructions inside the firebox and to eliminate the need to climb inside the tank to weld it in place. The bars are at an angle so the smokeshelf will slope toward the back of the stove.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Stovefrom250-gallonpropanetank005.jpg

One of the pieces of flat bar was left long enough to extend through the flue adapter, so I can easily pull it into position.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Stovefrom250-gallonpropanetank009.jpg

winchman
02-06-2008, 05:32 PM
The longer piece of flat bar will be trimmed before the smokeshelf is put into position.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Stovefrom250-gallonpropanetank010.jpg

The flat bars are pushed back far enough to make room for the flue before being welded in place.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Stovefrom250-gallonpropanetank011.jpg

Using a long bar clamp to get the setback even.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Stovefrom250-gallonpropanetank012.jpg

The calibrated nut provides the setback.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Stovefrom250-gallonpropanetank013.jpg

winchman
02-06-2008, 05:33 PM
Oh, well. That's why I made this the back of the stove.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Stovefrom250-gallonpropanetank014.jpg

I've still got the legs to add, and then the door and dampers. The bottom will be lined with firebrick, and firebricks will also be used as a grate.

Roger

spkrman15
02-06-2008, 07:23 PM
Nice welds. I am looking forward to seeing the finished stove. Keep the pics comming

Rob :)

Your Old Dog
02-06-2008, 09:27 PM
Damn nice looking job so far. Your friends gonna be pleased with it.

Are you going to do the door so you can put some of that fireplace rope/gasket material into it to make it air tight?

Mine had a square hole cut for the door. Then the guy took a 1" wide strip, put it inside the doorway frame and slid it over so that you could see about 1/2 - 5/8 inch of it and welded it up. He did that all around the door. Then he had that recessed tab to glue (fireplace cement) the rope gasket material. When the door was closed and locked down on the gasket material it was air tight. The only air that got in the stove was what I left in by opening up some sliding holes near the ash box. If you ain't got it worked out as to what you want to do let me know and I'll do a sketch of it and scan it in and send it to you.

winchman
02-07-2008, 12:42 AM
YOD, I'd appreciate that. I'm was planning to make the door 18" by 18" with a rim of 1/8x1 flat bar to lap the gap and form a seal (of sorts). We've done that on the smokers and grills we've made at the school. What you describe sounds like it might work better for this project.

I'd also appreciate some ideas for the dampers. I was thinking about cutting some 2" by 4" openings and weld a short piece of 1/2" pipe at either side. The movable part of the damper would be a 5" by 7" piece of the unused portion of the tank with two rods welded on to fit through the pipes. A piece of flat bar across the outer ends of the rods would serve as a handle and stop. The idea is for the overlap to prevent pieces from shooting out in a straight line if the wood pops as it burns.

The stove is going in a barn/workshop, so I don't think it needs to be absolutely airtight. I do want it tight enough to keep the fire under control, though.

Roger

Dawai
02-07-2008, 04:34 AM
Hi buddy..

We used to make dampers for home made stove from a round piece of pipe, a cross bar welded in with a "bolt" welded on.. the actual damper had a nut in the middle, you'd screw the damper in and out to adjust air.

I made a couple that looked like pigs, the damper was the nose.

The firebrick, the way you install it, it is soft and dropping the wood in wears it out quickly.
I saw a cast iron shaker grate somewhere on sale. Possibly Harbor Freight? I've made them from large rebar too.

Castable refractory, get it from a boiler repair place, or look up insulators.. It pours in just like concrete. I mix it kinda dry thou and tamp it. It'll crack if you mix it too wet.. even cracked it is better than firebrick. If you was closer, I have some bags of Perilite you could mix in. Enough to cast the stove, you can buy it from a place like budget foundry supply (or was it budget casting supply?) , pay $25 a bag and $35 shipping or locally for $15 a bag from the boiler rebuild place. You can also cast a cupola the same way as your stove. Make a loop inside from sheetmetal or a rubbermaid garbage can if you like.. I made them from Cardboard and let them burn out once. Pack it tight so it does not collapse. Three bags should be plenty. About a inch and half on the walls and you could cast aluminum out of it.

Only other thing possibly I'd add.. a propane burner.. I hate lighting stoves. if you added a propane jet, stack wood, light jet, jet lights stove, turn off jet. Weed burners are $18 at HF Also.

John R
02-07-2008, 05:05 AM
Nice looking job. I have a question.....what's a smokeshelf and what does it do?
Thanks,
John R

Your Old Dog
02-07-2008, 05:35 AM
John R, a smoke shelf is just a plate to retard the speed at which the smoke and heat exit the furnace through the chiminey. It confuses the heat, the heat hangs around a little longer and you get more heat saturation to the metal furnace. This all means the chimney could run a little cooler. It also could.....to a point.... insulate any hot dripping cresote from the chimney into the fire.

David, My stoves both had the heavy firebrick they sell at Tractor Service Supply. They take a real pounding with no problems but they wouldn't be as good to use if you wanted to build heat as in a smelter. (IMHO :D ) To light my fires I used to use a 1/8 metal 1" x5" trough I made up filled with keroseen. I carefully put two logs in, spaced them so that the walls were vertical and about 1" apart. I then capped off the top of those logs with a third log. This formed an oven of sorts. It worked absolutly every time. (keroseen lights very slowy, not at all like gas ) It burns about the same as charcol lighter fluid. In the house we use fire starter cubes and they work every time. One 16$ box last all winter. I also made a coal rake/fork of sorts so I can bring up the larger chunks out of the ash. These stay hot for nearly 24 hours after the fire goes out and will start a fresh fire for you day to day without need for fire starter cubes.

Roger, I'll try to work up a cross-sectional view and scan it in for you. We have a LOPI woodstove here in the house. It has a 1/16 metal jacket welded around the ourside and this makes it nearly a zero clearance installation. We have curtains about 16" away with no fear. The stove has a blower that blows the jacketed air out the front. If the shop this is going into is large you might want to consider doing the same. It allows you to move a huge amount of heat off the furnace in a hurry and also to direct it where you want it. The jacket on our furnace is about 1" from the main body.

My old shop furnace had a heavy duty grate so my air supply came in through the ash drawer. The face of the drawer had a row of 1/2" holes drilled in it and then I made up a 1/8 x 1 1/4 strip to slide back and forth and reveal or hide more air holes. On a round door it won't be possible but I sure like the sound of David's idea. You will likely put a chimney damper in also to keep the fire from running away. If it can't breath in or out you got total control, that's the simple point of having no leaks.

winchman
02-07-2008, 07:23 AM
Yeah, David's suggestion is a winner.

Any ideas on how much damper area I should have? We've got all sizes of pipe available. Maybe one 3" on each side several inches away from the door and 2" above the firebrick? The tank is 30" in diameter, and the stove is about 48" to the top of the tank.

The fellow has already bought the firebrick, so I'm going to go ahead with that.

Roger

Evan
02-07-2008, 07:31 AM
Looks good so far Roger. Spin on dampers are the easiest to make and work well. They don't get too hot to touch because there is always some cool air going in through them. A Couple of 4" iron pipe caps are perfect with a 1/2" coarse thread nut welded to a cross plate to fit a piece of all thread sticking out from a hole in the stove door.

Order of assembly matters. Weld nut to cross bar that will go inside cap. Thread in the end of the all thread and peen it so the damper cap won't spin off in use. Then weld the cross strap just inside the pipe cap. Then weld the other end of the all thread to the center support in the hole in the door making sure that when it is spun shut it is a close fit at the perimeter of the hole.

Here is pic from my upstairs fireplace insert. These have the problem of spinning off in use if you give them too much of a spin to open them. When you assemble them put some aluminum Nevr-seize on the threads and they will be good for many years.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics3/damp1.jpg

Your Old Dog
02-07-2008, 07:54 AM
Yeah, David's suggestion is a winner.

Any ideas on how much damper area I should have? We've got all sizes of pipe available. Maybe one 3" on each side several inches away from the door and 2" above the firebrick? The tank is 30" in diameter, and the stove is about 48" to the top of the tank.

The fellow has already bought the firebrick, so I'm going to go ahead with that.

Roger

It won't take a lot of air hole area to fuel the fire. I had maybe 10 1/2 inch holes and in normal operation had it closed off all but 3-4. I must say I much prefer David/Evan's setup better. I would just go with one input. This should cause the air to enter with some velocity which could only help the fire. If you make it too large you loose the rush of air advantage. (when I open the door on my LOPI in the house there is a tremendous rush of air as the seal cracks open)

Hope he aint going to firebrick the entire furnace as it ain't necessary. Just where the ashes will lay and draw dampness that would rust the unit. In other words, the floor and 1 course of bricks on the sides. If you do the entire stove you'd be makinga blast furnace and get little heat from it!!

Shoot me a PM with your email address and I'll email you the drawing I made. It's crude but might supply you with more options.

winchman
02-07-2008, 11:43 AM
Evan, thanks for the picture. That really helps.

YOD, your private message box appears to be full, and it won't take any more.

The firebrick will only be on the bottom.

I just finished using the plasma to cut out the door, and I put the legs on earlier this morning. Pics later. Moving right along.

Roger

winchman
02-07-2008, 12:35 PM
More pics from this morning.

Getting ready to put the legs on.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Stovefrom250-gallonpropanetank015.jpg

I used the plasma torch to cut out the door.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Stovefrom250-gallonpropanetank016.jpg

The legs are welded on.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Stovefrom250-gallonpropanetank017.jpg

Inside view showing the suspended smokeshelf.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Stovefrom250-gallonpropanetank018.jpg

Roger

winchman
02-07-2008, 03:49 PM
Here's the bodies for the dampers I made from 3" pipe and 1/2" bolts.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Stovefrom250-gallonpropanetank019.jpg

Roger

Weston Bye
02-07-2008, 04:52 PM
Your stove reminds me of one built to keep my grandad's excavating equipment shop warm back in the '50s. The building was a drafty corrugated steel building with no attempt at insulation. They used a 1000 gal. oil tank on end with a door cut in the side. Nothing remarkable and not as well built as yours. The big difference was that they fired it with trash wood, tar blocks from GM plant floor demolition, and old truck tires - rim and all.:eek: Once burning well, the stove glowed dull red. This was brute-force heating, with thick BLACK smoke from the chimney. Fortunately, nobody lived too close downwind.
As a kid, I got to hang around the garage, and once stood too near the stove and charred the back of my nice twill mackinaw jacket. Almost got my butt warmed for ruining the coat.:(

Your Old Dog
02-07-2008, 06:07 PM
If you haven't found it by now, the drawing has been emailed to you.

Your Old Dog
02-07-2008, 06:29 PM
just checked my email and the email I sent you was returned. You sure the address is correct? The file I tried to send was something like 433kb in size.

Tim S
02-07-2008, 09:38 PM
I'm close to building a wood stove and have a few questions.

Would it be worth while to weld cooling fins on the outside of the stove to get more heat out?

Would it be worth while to weld some nice thick square tubing that is long enough to go through the stove and above the flame? Maybe add a small blower to push air through?

Is it possible to cool the exhaust too much and have creosote build up problems or draft problems.

winchman
02-07-2008, 11:10 PM
YOD, the email address is correct. Just take out the JUNK, and don't leave a space.

Tim, there was an earlier thread that may answer some of your questions:
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=27365

I'm still thinking about putting one or two tubes through the tank halfway between the top of the door and the smokeshelf. I need to ask the fellow I'm building it for about that and using a fan.

I'm ready for some suggestions for the door hinges. Right now, I'm thinking about having short pieces of 1/2" pipe mounted vertically with a 1/4x1 flat bar standoff. The door part of the hinge would be a 1/2" round bar with a 90-degree bend in the end. A heavy washer on the vertical part will set the door height, and washers could be added to adjust it. I'd also be able to heat and bend the standoff to fine-tune the door alignment.

I'm thinking about putting the hinges 2-3" inches away from the door opening to allow the 1/2" bar to flex a little as the hinge side of the door touches and the latch pulls the door tight on the other side. Maybe that's just wishful thinking, though.

Roger

Dawai
02-07-2008, 11:18 PM
ON the door? are you going to make a reinforced edge? if not it will distort when it heats up..

The metal stretches and don't have anywhere to go so it travels toward the open hole.. THE door won't fit..

SInce you have done so good? blacksmithing a solid bar around the lips would work, but not be air tight..

How much bear grease do you reckon it will take to black this stove?

Your Old Dog
02-08-2008, 06:41 AM
I'm still thinking about putting one or two tubes through the tank halfway between the top of the door and the smokeshelf. I need to ask the fellow I'm building it for about that and using a fan.

I wouldn't were I you. The sheet metal jacket around the outside of the tank with a 1" air space will produce far more heat when a blower is fed to the one side of it. That's the way the most expensive woodstove for homes does it. It also keeps the side of the furnace cooler for storing things. (in my case, curtains, book cases and other furniture! We have curtains just 18" from ours with no fear.) The pipe manifold thing works okay for open pit fireplaces but the jacket on a walled furnace is much more efficiant IMHO.


I'm ready for some suggestions for the door hinges. Right now, I'm thinking about having short pieces of 1/2" pipe mounted vertically with a 1/4x1 flat bar standoff. The door part of the hinge would be a 1/2" round bar with a 90-degree bend in the end. A heavy washer on the vertical part will set the door height, and washers could be added to adjust it. I'd also be able to heat and bend the standoff to fine-tune the door alignment. I have an idea that might work pretty well for you. Keep in mind the thickness of the fibreglass fireplace rope. You may want to fit mount it before actually welding up your hinges. My rope stuck up about 1/8 to 1/4" above the surface of the furnace to meet the door as it closed.


I'm thinking about putting the hinges 2-3" inches away from the door opening to allow the 1/2" bar to flex a little as the hinge side of the door touches and the latch pulls the door tight on the other side. Maybe that's just wishful thinking, though.

Roger

Think that's a great idea too. Just mount the rope first. Try not to let the rope hang out past the lip in the drawing i sent you. If you do, when you remove stuff from the furnace and bump the rope it is fragile and pulls off if abused. I had to be careful with mine as it stuck up too far.

winchman
02-08-2008, 07:01 AM
I could make a doubler to go around the door opening by cutting a section out of the leftover section of tank. Would a 2" wide doubler be enough reinforcement? I could punch holes around the edge of the opening with the plasma torch, position the doubler inside, and secure it by filling the holes with weld. Maybe have a 3/4" plug weld every 6"? Would that work?

I'm going to finish the stove in rust, and the primer's already on. :D

Roger

Your Old Dog
02-08-2008, 10:50 AM
roger, if you put the doubler as you call it on the inside that's pretty much the lip I said you would need to cement the fiberglass rope to. I think you'r idea of welding thru a hole is better than what they did on mine.

winchman
02-11-2008, 07:31 PM
Well, the fellow I'm making the stove for didn't want to have a gasket, so I rimmed the door with 1/8"x1" flat bar. I rolled the top and bottom pieces to fit the curve of the tank. It fits up nicely after all the welding (TIG) was done.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Stovefrom250-gallonpropanetank022.jpg

The other part of the tank got promised to somebody else, so I didn't get a chance to make the door doubler I had planned. The instructor didn't want me to do it anyway. Oh, well. I was really looking forward to trying the plug weld idea.

I cut the openings for the dampers by hand with the plasma torch.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Stovefrom250-gallonpropanetank023.jpg

Then I welded them in place. You can see one of the hinge tubes on the standoff near the bottom of the door.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Stovefrom250-gallonpropanetank024.jpg

If all goes as well tomorrow as it did today, I'll probably have it finished.

Roger

Fasttrack
02-11-2008, 07:47 PM
Wow neat post - seems like you fairly well flew through this project. My first thought upon seeing the photos was really nice craftsmanship - a balance between style and utility. Nicely done!!! Was the whole thing done with TIG? The welds look nice but i would have guessed MIG, either way i reckon there was a good bit of wire-brushing involved?

winchman
02-11-2008, 08:23 PM
Most of the welding is MIG, but I used TIG on the parts I could get in the booth. I used an air-powered scaler (it has a bunch of reciprocating wires, and it makes a LOT of noise) to clean the areas where I needed to weld.

You're right, the project has moved right along. I've been working on the stove since last Monday, but I missed one whole day last week when I had to fabricate stands for a bunch of new lockers the school bought. It's been a great welding/fabrication project.

Roger

jdunmyer
02-11-2008, 08:59 PM
You do NOT need firebrick nor a grate. I used a barrel stove for about 20 years, no firebrick, no grate. You do need a rake to pull up the coals that would have fallen through a grate. The door must be as air-tight as you can make it, leakage will make it impossible to control. As someone else said, dry wood will light easily, with not much more than a couple of sheets of newspaper, if you build a "tunnel" as he described. It will never rust out if you take care of it: clean it out in the Spring, keep it inside, and paint the outside every year with stove paint. I'd spray the inside of mine with WD-40 after the Spring cleanout, and the drum looked like new after about 15 years of use. Don't maintain it, and it'll rust out.

You'll find that it'll be a bit hard to get going until you get a couple of inches of ash buildup, so have patience. Without a grate, you'll probably only have to shovel out the ashes once every week or 2, mostly depending on how much bark you have on the wood. Slab wood = lots of ashes, split wood, not nearly as much.

Your wood must be DRY. Split and stack it in a shed at least 6 months before you're planning on using it. Trying to burn wood that is either unseasoned, or left to sit uncovered is an exercise in futility.

See: http://www.oldengine.org/members/jdunmyer/personal/stove
for details on my stove. With the price of gas these days, I might yet reinstall it in the shop.

Good looking job on the fabrication!!

wierdscience
02-11-2008, 09:40 PM
Sharp lookin work there winchman!

winchman
02-13-2008, 01:59 AM
I got the door hinges and latch finished today.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Stovefrom250-gallonpropanetank026.jpg

The 1/2" round bar on the latch and hinges can be adjusted with a little heat and bending. Same goes for the standoffs on the tank-side of the hinges. Right now it closes tightly with a little tension on the handle side of the door.

Except for the damper covers, it's ready to go.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Stovefrom250-gallonpropanetank027.jpg

I'm going to miss it. I'm still trying to think of something to do with those MH axles in the background.

Roger

ptjw7uk
02-13-2008, 03:45 AM
Nice job Winchman, How are you going to finish it.
A nice black lead (misnomer graphie really) Finish!!

Peter

darryl
02-13-2008, 05:32 AM
The final touch- a piece of that clear aluminum mounted in a hole in the door. :)

winchman
02-13-2008, 08:38 AM
Thanks, darryl. I guess I do need to put in a viewing hole of some sort.

The finish is still going to be rust. I hope I didn't mess up the primer coat too much with all the welding. :D

Roger

Timewarp
02-13-2008, 11:25 AM
Winchman, first off, v. nice stove!
Why did you build it upright and not lying down on it's side? The stove in our shop is very deep, it makes it very easy to chuck the longer logs in, and they don't roll out the door when you open it.
Paul

winchman
02-13-2008, 12:25 PM
Thanks to you and everyone else for the positive comments and helpful suggestions.

The fellow I'm building it for wanted it upright. I'm not sure why. I was a little hesitant about doing it that way, but I warmed up to the idea once I got started.

I made the damper covers this morning out of 1/4" stainless steel with a nut welded in the center.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Stovefrom250-gallonpropanetank.jpg

I'm hoping I'll be able to post some feedback soon on how the stove works.

Roger