Archive for September, 2010

Stove from 44 Gallon Drum #5

September 27, 2010

A long weekend and some more to report.

Doors are going on now. I had some trouble getting them to sit flush, so I may not need the vents I anticipated. Some tests will see.

doors on!

The latches worked well however!

I used bolts scored from a builder neighbor several years ago. I have hundreds of them, just had to buy a box of nuts to suit.

grate and ash pan supported in place

The grate sits on the reo bars which are supported through the drum wall with bolts. Similarly for the ash pan, although the supports here are flat sided square sections which will allow sliding of the tray.

reo cross supports for grate, ash pan supports run the other way

Happy to have made this much progress. Just some smaller finishing touches to go now.

doors still with some paint to be burnt off


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Stove from 44 Gallon Drum #4

September 21, 2010

Progress is good lately! More to report and another pic.

The fire worked to burn off or loosen the paint and I gave it a good wire brushing using a brush on the angle grinder. I even cleaned out the inside where the oven space will be.

This meant I could paint in  here as well as the outside with Pot Belly black spray paint. Heat resistant they claim.

painted and grate cut to size

I also found a cheap BBQ grill at Bunnings and only had to cut off a little at each corner to make it a perfect fit and a very pro looking fire grate! I’ll put a couple of reo bars through the drum for the grate to sit on and some sheet metal pieces to fill in the small spaces around it.

Doors will probably be next.


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Drum Stove from 44 gallon drum #3

September 20, 2010

Time to burn off the paint with a fire.

All seemed to go well, apart from the rather obvious problem. I’d already installed the floor for the oven space. So the fire only took off the lower 2 thirds of the paint!

opps! Obvious problem here.

Another fire in the top section, with the doors placed in there once the sides had burnt off solved the issue.

We burned some old garden rubbish which still hadn’t broken down after two years in the compost. The resultant ash will be used on the tomatoes and other compost piles. Our compensation for the paint fumes into the atmosphere!

Next, a tidy up and some paint. Then doors and other furniture.


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Wood Burning Stove from 44 Gallon Drum #2

September 12, 2010

Some more progress to report on this project.

The chimney flue has been largely completed. I found these copper canisters at the local scrap metal merchant, where I pay by the kilo for copper, brass etc… so the price was pretty good. They have close fitting caps which I made into a sleeve to join them and also the base for the chinamans hat top. Being copper, it means I can add to them with brass and solder the lot together. Heat shouldn’t be too intense at the chimney top so a soft solder was also possible there.

Chinamans hat top to flue

The base was then slid up inside the drum to form the oven floor. Bolts through the side hold it in position. As this was formally the base of the drum, it is an interference fit into the drum, hopefully meaning the oven will be smoke proof. We’ll see how it works in practice!

Oven base rests on bolts with flue thru

The chimney is fitted through the oven base and drum top. Some filler will be needed to seal these through joins. Not sure yet what that will be. Clearly it will need to be heat resistant at the lower point.

Beginning to look like a burner!

Things are starting to look a bit more like I intended now, which gives me some motivation to get the rest finished. Stay tuned.


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Wood burning stove from 44 gallon drum

September 6, 2010

Where did this project come from?
I’ve had an idea for a wood burner stove from a drum for some time now but never seemed to come across a suitable drum. Until, that is, the other week when I was visiting the local tip recycling shop.
I think I was looking for some other stuff, but saw this 44 drum and just had to get it.
Plans are now extending over three pages of sketches.

Sketch plans

More sketches

On taking it home i realised it used to contain Methanol. Which meant that cutting into it with the angle grinder was going to be a little more involved than I had anticipated.
It had a fixed lid and base, with only small caps. There was sure to be significant fumes in there, ready to go “pop” on contact with some grinding sparks! The internet proved to be a mine of information, and the advice of several tradesman type friends backed up the general approach. The official workplace safety guidelines say, simply, don’t! The common advice was, just be sensible and careful. Here’s my procedure for cutting off the base, while keeping it in tact to fit into the drum as a shelf to act as the top of the fire box, bottom of the oven space.

Base off, showing sand used to restrict water exit when cutting

Open the caps and vent the drum for a week. Wash out with detergent and water. Place several inches of sand in the bottom. Fill completely with water, shaking and wobbling to eliminate any stubborn fumes. Grind off the rolled bead at the base, by cutting through the side lip, but not into the drum internals. Siphon the water out. Tap out the base using a pole, through the filler cap hole. Presto, base cut out, but to be later pushed back into the drum, with an interference fit, and up to act as the top of the fire box, bottom of the oven.

Drum with base off

From here the drum was marked up and the doors cut out.

Marked up drum

First door cut out – this will be the ashpan. Upside down here!

More steps to come over the next few weeks. I might be finished by summer!
Meanwhile, the wood collection has begun. Gathering fallen timber from local urban forests and parks is now our weekend and afternoon activity. I long for a chainsaw!

Wood pile beginnings


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