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  1. #1
    Air Chunk is offline Aluminum
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    Default Building a wood stove ?

    Well , I have been in the market for a wood stove for a while , and after much searching I can not find what I want . Most of the stuff I find out there has alot of brass and pretty stuff on it ($$$$$) , but what I want is just for heat .

    So I was thinking about building my own . Is there anything to be concerned about other than making sure the flu has a constant rise to it etc. I am realy concerned more about the construction of the stove itself .

    I was thinking of using 3/16" stell all the way around and lining the bottom with some of the thinner fire bricks . I think these are like 1"thick x 4 x 5 .

    Also I would make the door with the traditional seal . I do not know what it is called but it
    is like a fire proof cord .

    The dimensions I was thinking about building it to are
    26 tall
    32 wide
    32 deep



    Let me know your thoughts .

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    77ironhead is offline Titanium
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    I have a woodstove about the size you're describing... so here goes....
    1: consider a little smaller, as the size you're after will require an 8" chimney pipe as opposed to 6" (and once you get it thru a wall and have to use class 1 insulated, it costs about twice as much), unless you're going to tie into an existing chimney
    2: go with 1/4" plate, not 3/16.....better resistance to warpage
    3: use the regular thickness firebrick, even for the floor of the stove
    I see you're in Stafford Va....I believe not too far from where I am in Md.....drop me a pm if you might want to take a drive and scope my stove out (measure, copy, etc)

  3. #3
    james robert's Avatar
    james robert is offline Stainless
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    Air Chunk, If it were me building the stove the box would be made of the heaviest steel possible and I would stay away from the fire brick and use a cast iron grate above the ash pit.

    I just recently replaced a stove that had fire brick and went to a cast iron lined stove that will not come apart after wrestling big chunks of wood into it.

    Since you are building your own stove you have an opportunity to inprove over the standard issue store bought type. I would do a lot of research and talk to as many people with wood stoves as possible.

    There Is a fellow not far from me that builds custom stoves for a living and that is were I would start for ideas.

    Then I would be scanning the scrap yards for the heavy steel that could be used to build it.

    James

  4. #4
    wtrueman is offline Aluminum
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    Check to see if your insurance policy will allow you to still be covered. Cover your xxx. Wayne

  5. #5
    james robert's Avatar
    james robert is offline Stainless
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    Air Chunk, If you decide to go with the 8'' Pipe like 77ironhead recommended heres an idea that I use. CO2 canisters that are used for soda fountains are 8'' and stainless steel all you have to do is chop saw off the ends and use a hand crimper on one end so they will fit together.

    Then after they are in place use stainless pop rivets to keep them from coming apart.

    James

  6. #6
    77ironhead is offline Titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by james robert View Post
    Air Chunk, If you decide to go with the 8'' Pipe like 77ironhead recommended heres an idea that I use. CO2 canisters that are used for soda fountains are 8'' and stainless steel all you have to do is chop saw off the ends and use a hand crimper on one end so they will fit together.

    Then after they are in place use stainless pop rivets to keep them from coming apart.

    James
    not exactly what I meant.... class 1 chimney pipe is double wall insulated, and to meet fire code has to be used as soon as you penetrate your first bulkhead or overhead, and must be used for the rest of the run.

  7. #7
    Hitlist's Avatar
    Hitlist is offline Cast Iron
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    wow,in Canada the pop containers which I use for carbonating my beer are worth about 60 -70 bucks apiece.Very expensive flu pipe.If you have so many I sure could use them for beer.

  8. #8
    USMCPOP is offline Titanium
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    I have a steel wood stove I might let go pretty cheap, say $200. It's close to 3/16" thick, pretty plain looking. It looks sort of like a stop sign from the front, though the bottom is square. Has a gasketed door with a glass window and there's a fan underneath. I'll have to get a pic if you might be interested. 26" h x 28" w x 20" d. I'm about 75 miles south of Stafford.

  9. #9
    james robert's Avatar
    james robert is offline Stainless
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitlist View Post
    wow,in Canada the pop containers which I use for carbonating my beer are worth about 60 -70 bucks apiece.Very expensive flu pipe.If you have so many I sure could use them for beer.
    The ones I used came from a local scrap yard and were probably rejects from a supplier they were pretty cheep and the funny thing about it is after I finished making the pipe for my stove a few days later I found one laying alongside the road.

    I think that it may still be around some ware but I haven't seen it in a long time.

    James

  10. #10
    Mcgyver is offline Titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by 77ironhead View Post
    not exactly what I meant.... class 1 chimney pipe is double wall insulated, and to meet fire code has to be used as soon as you penetrate your first bulkhead or overhead, and must be used for the rest of the run.
    make absolutely sure you have the right stuff and that installation is to code and approved by all who need to approve. When i was a kid we almost lost the house (roof burnt, interior needed to be gutted from smoke and water) because some crank installer used the double insulated pipe and/or flanges rated for gas. To the uninitiated it looked the same. fortunately because we didn't install it ourselves, insurance covered it then sued the installer (who was also the retailed) They wouldn't have paid had we screwed up and installed the wrong pipe.

    there are definitely workhorse air tight stoves out there without bobbles, goggle around a bit. workshop guys, rural areas, people going semi off grid etc. got to be plans and ideas on the net for diy wood stove....here, I found this, it'll get you started http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/library.htm

    I agree with James, read up, do something neat with convection or a blower etc.

  11. #11
    jamscal is online now Hot Rolled
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    My parents have one they bought locally. made from 1/4 steel, has full sized firebricks, cast iron doors w/ vents, etc.

    I can't see building heavier than this. It will run you out of the house it gets so hot. It's over 20 years old. They take care of it but there are no signs of any deterioration. It's used all winter.

    Of course maybe the further north you go, you need something heavier, I don't know.

    I think the door rope might be made of what is called mineral wool. I'm not sure on that, though.

    -James

  12. #12
    RickWG is offline Cast Iron
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    Years ago I built a 26-sided stove out of 1/4plate that weighed close to 450lb, it was so efficient that once it got going you couldn't stay in the same room, in fact it blistered the finish on some cabinets that were 10ft from it....
    Even included a waterjacket in the back to heat water, had to hook a swimming pool pump up the inlet side to stop the banging caused by the water boiling inside it...

    & yes, I did say 26-sided, that wasn't a typo


    Maybe I should build another, smaller version....

  13. #13
    lwbates's Avatar
    lwbates is offline Cast Iron
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    Default Woodstove

    air chunk,
    I built a wood stove to my own design several years ago. It is on legs with a flat cooking top and a secondary combustion/radiating chamber above with a warming shelf on top of that. I heated my home for about 12 years with it, using less than 3 cords per year. Its an attractive looking stove and has gotten me thru a few power outages while being snowed in.
    When I moved to my present location there was already a wood stove in the house with a 6" chimney pipe instead of the 8" of my homebuilt. Since the flue wasn't set up for 8", I installed it in my shop where it now lives. It was built from all scrap iron and uses 1" firebrick in the primary combustion chamber. If the design sounds iteresting to you, send me a PM and I'll take some pictures and send them along. I wouldn't sell my stove till global warming makes it unnecessary, but seeing pictures, you could scale it down to a 6" flue sized stove fairly easy.

  14. #14
    77ironhead is offline Titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcgyver View Post
    make absolutely sure you have the right stuff and that installation is to code and approved by all who need to approve.
    no sweat on my end, @ $240 apiece for a 4' section of chimney pipe, I made DAMN sure it was the right kind, lol.
    r.e. codes, etc, I averaged 2x what code called out (code says 1" air gap between heat shielding and combustible surface, I have a 2.5" air gap, for instance) My insurance agent came by to look it over when they quoted me my home policy and was satisfied, so I am too. It probably didn't hurt that I am a fanatic about fire extinguishers, too, and they're scattered about the house enough that I don't have to take more than about 4 steps to get a hand on one.

  15. #15
    macona's Avatar
    macona is offline Diamond
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    Default

    My dad used to make inserts in the early eightys. Then they wanted cat converters in them and then they wanted UL listing so he got out of the business. Before that he used to work for a company called Alaska Kodiak until they burned down.

    Nothing too hard in building them. A lot of the pieces are available like the damper caps, hinges, etc.

    He made one so large that I could crawl inside of it, which I did while installing the firebrick. We ended up buying this insert back many years later from the person who my dad sold it to originally. They never had used it. The darn thing put out so much heat that the top plate would sometime glow! And this was 3/8" steel plate!

    My dad also made some other oddball stoves like ones for campers and even one designed to sit in a tank of water to heat a hot tub. (Made from aluminum)

  16. #16
    Air Chunk is offline Aluminum
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    Default

    Wow , alot to think about . I will check and see what size our flu is . Our house is 15 years old , and heating oil is really high , as you know .

    Keep the idea's comimg.

    Thanks !

  17. #17
    jabezkin is offline Stainless
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    at arboristsite.com there is a forum for wood stoves, boilers and such.

  18. #18
    Air Chunk is offline Aluminum
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    Ahhh , good link , I will check it out .

  19. #19
    Tims is offline Aluminum
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickWG View Post
    Years ago I built a 26-sided stove out of 1/4plate that weighed close to 450lb, it was so efficient that once it got going you couldn't stay in the same room, in fact it blistered the finish on some cabinets that were 10ft from it....
    Even included a waterjacket in the back to heat water, had to hook a swimming pool pump up the inlet side to stop the banging caused by the water boiling inside it...

    & yes, I did say 26-sided, that wasn't a typo


    Maybe I should build another, smaller version....
    I sure would like to see a picture of that 26 sided stove.

  20. #20
    anchorman's Avatar
    anchorman is offline Titanium
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    I got to thinking about this a little while back. There seems to be a certain amount of good design that makes a wood stove work well, although it seems it is pretty easy to make one that will work in a satisfactory manner.

    The best designs of the newer ones have some kind of baffles before the flue that allow more of the volatiles and particulates to be burned, saving on pollution, and also getting more heat in the house instead of up the chimney. at least that is what I read. all those baffle designs seem to be proprietary, so no one wants to show them on the internet, as I think they would be a piece of cake to copy for yourself.

    I got caught up in some other projects, but would be interested to see what others have welded up or had cast.

    -jon

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