You will have to do a bit of research ( try searching on Google ), but
AFAIK, you need a non-combustible hearth of approved type on which
to stand the thing, plus you probably need a class A flue, which I think
means a chimney more than 16 feet tall and at least 6" square, or something
like that anyway. You can get a woodburner at Machinemart, or at various
fire shops, you'll have to work that one out yourself ( lots of these shops
webpages for you to browse through ). Woodburners are throttleable in order
to adjust the burn rate so yes, you can avoid draughts by closing the damper
( check on the model you are considering buying ). You will have to fit the
flue to a non-combustible fireback, which needs sealing in the fireplace
aperture. It would be wise to check that your chimney does not leak before
install a fire, by placing a smokebomb-thingy in the fireplace ( get them
fire shop ), then dashing from room to room trying to see if any smoke is
issuing out of your walls!
I was trying to think of where I'd come across the Alaska Woodburner
or Cabin Stove. I wonder if it was a booklet I saw there years ago. It
consisted of 2 x 45 gallon drums, one atop the other.
The wet/poor quality fuel burned in the first tin then the tarry gas
and etc burned in the top one.
That Centre for Alternative Tech. is a great day out though. Highly
recommended. One day I shall live in a manner that embodies all those
ideals but at the moment, give me the simple life.
As for sources of fuel. The small stuff that comes out of the
"chipper" in a timber yard if there is one locally is a far better
fuel than the off-cut blocks they sell, easier to handle and probably
If you know anyone that is in the window replacement business they
might be willing to supply you. For me; I would get a sawdust burner.
This is how to make one:
Two drums one that fits inside the other say one at 10 and a 25 gallon
one. Spot weld or rivet a shelf for the inner tin to stand on that
gives room to cover the outer one and allow flame and smoke to exhaust
the top of the inner.
Cut a vent in the side of the outer (near the bottom and leave one
edge so that it acts as a door. (Unless you are really clever and make
a proper sliding grate.))
Cut a hole through the centre of the inner tin, about 3" dia. but this
size depends on how much you need to burn. (A smaller hole will do
just as well, then if you wish to enlarge it.....)
Above the stand, another vent in the outer will take a chimney pipe.
(4" cast iron guttering or whatever you can snaffle.)
The only air access is through the bottom vent and, with the top on,
the only egress is the one just above the shelf. Fit a 3" x 3" (or
whatever) in the centre of the inner tin and pack around it with
saw-dust. Remove the 3" x 3" and put a lid on the outer.
Light a piece of paper and stuff it in the bottom vent. (We never had
barbeque lighters in those days.) The flame should be drawn up through
the saw-dust igniting it in a slow burn that draws flame and smoke
between the two tins. Hopefully it will burn all the tar before it
solidifies in the pipe.
The workshop where this was used was a dismal little weather enclave
that gave me hours of fun first thing of a cold morning in winter.
However once going, it only needed restocking once or twice. This was
done over glowing dust embers we might have cooked potatoes on had the
shop next door not sold real bread and good, old fashioned ham.
You could use this thing outside as a barbeque if you wanted to try it
out. It will also burn logs. If you are using a dustbin for the outer
make sure the zinc is burned away before utilising the lid for
I wouldn't waste my time on oil drums. They're thin steel, wood burner
flue gas is corrosive, and they just don't last that long. If I'm
going to make a stove, I use propane cylinders.
I was impressed by this as a design.
A similar "two drum" idea, but double-walled and with the upper one as
I hope you realise what you are saying is verging on criminal. But
more to the point dangerous. (The cylinder has to be burned or
something to render it safe as gas can be absorbed into the steel or
what did I hear about that.....)
There is quite a difference in the cubic capacities too, isn't there?
So are most things. Taking a car and driving it away might be legal -
unless it's your car.
Indeed. Why not read my FAQ on how to reduce the hazards of doing
No, you'd prefer to post half-assed and downright dangerous "advice"
about "burning" the cylinder. Are you really advising people to do
So what ? I don't particularly want a 40 gallon stove anyway.
You can burn almost anything in a woodburner..but beware going over
temperature if you end up with a blast furnace that will melt its glass
and cast iron..
The flue specs are higher on wood burners than on coal fires..and soot
and ash is less if you use smokeless fuel or even coke.
Ive seen people use a mixture.
Wood starts easier, but good coal saves lugging so many logs around...
As I understand it any cast iron stove is at risk of cracking if
over-stoked. I have read it said many times that stoves made from welded
sheet steel, even though usually cheaper, are more robust.
Is their a makers mark on the stove?
I have a Stovex "Brunel"* and it happily burns coal and wood. I was told you
can tell a coal burner by the type of lining. Basically if it has no
firebrick lining on the back and sides it is for wood only.
Note: be careful, modern firebrick can be very soft almost as soft as
polystyrene. But is cheap & easy to replace.
Get advice on what type of coal though. I put in some power station freebee
stuff, left it unattended for a while and it got so hot it bubbled the
enamel. I normaly use Anthracite doubles and phurnacite mixed, plus wood.
"Sla#s" wrote in
If it has fire bricks as well as a grate it is safe to assume it is
multifuel as most woodburners are unlined. Phurnacite is a fuel that will
burn in most closed stoves
A generalisation but yes. I would be slightly concerned that this is
an inexpensive far-east import and might be a poorer quality casting.
The difference between wood and coal is that wood requires top air and
coal requires bottom. My Woodworm has a grate that can be moved to a
closed position or an open one respectively.
True, but modern clean burn stoves work by igniting the gases with hot air
from above. Apart from the exra air required to get it blazing all that is
required is this top air. So in that respect they burn better with air from
In article ,
This is how our Stovax works - you open up the vents at the bottom to
get it going then when it's nice and hot, you close them. There are air
vents along the back wall, near the top, and the internal ducting has
the incoming air passed over hot surfaces before it comes out the
holes. It keeps the front-glass nice and clean too.