Archive for the ‘General Entry’ Category

Daub & Stuff is moving!

July 6, 2011
Wordpress to dot com image

We're now @

To allow for future progress and expansion, we have moved!

Daub & Stuff is now a dedicated dot com site.

Keep up on our everyday, ordinary, quirky, odd and extraordinary activities @

All our old material is available on the new site, and new posts will only be posted to the new site.

Re-bookmark us if you like to come back regularly, or subscribe so you don’t miss a thing!

See you on the new site soon…


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Stove from 44 Gallon Drum #6

October 3, 2010

Small finishing tasks now left to do on the stove project.

grate in place and ashpan supports visible

The cross pieces are in place for the grate and ashpan, and the door latches have been installed with the doors.

door latches and handles

I turned up some wooden handles from an old pick handle and tapped them to receive a brass screw through the door latch.

door latch detail

Jobs left to do are to cut and paint side pieces for the grate, notch the flue to sit securely on the grate and seal the flue into place at the firebox roof/oven floor.

looking mostly finished from the outside now

I’ll then run a test fire to see how things work and to burn off any paint in heat sensitive areas before a final coat of pot belly black to make it all look nice!

More soon…


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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Training for the Fun Run

August 9, 2010


I’m training for this years Canberra Times Fun Run, on September 12.

You can help out the Heart Foundation by sponsoring me. Follow the link here.

Brian Miller’s Fundraising Page

You can also follow my training at the DailyRun site via the icon in the side bar, or Facebook or Twitter. I’ve only just started entering details, but it should grow over time.

All this of course raises the question – Is it possible to call a run, a “fun” run?

It’s certainly possible to be satisfied by the achievement. Or by the process taken to get to the achievement. I’m most interested in continuing to be active, fit and healthy. So actually running in the fun run isn’t necessary, but the process to get there is a good one.

I regularly ride my bicycle in the mornings, trying for 3 rides each week. (I’ll enter these on the training site too) I also try to get in 1 or 2 weights sessions each week. I find that it is the continued act of doing something which is most important and motivating.

However, sometimes I find that some additional motivation is good to help things along, or to step up the level of performance.

Several years ago I set myself the task of completing the Pedal Power “Fitz’s Challenge” A long distance ride, over the hills around Tidbinbilla and Namagi National Park. The training needed to complete this helped to keep me going over the cold winter and lifted my performance to a new level.

A few years on and I found myself looking for something to focus on again. It’s been a long time since I ran with any serious intent. In fact, a running injury is what got me into cycling in the first place. So I started out tentatively. This was over a year ago now! It has taken me this long to be able to get past calf and achilles troubles which stppped me from going more than a few kms or more than one run a week.

Last year I also managed to pull my hamstring while playing family backyard cricket, which didn’t help things! So I’m now quite happy to be able to run for more than an hour, and look forward to putting in a strong effort in the “fun run”.


One of my goals is to finish the run strongly and in a decent time. What is a decent time? When I was 18, and the fun run was only 9.6km instead of 10, I finished it in 36 minutes. I don’t intend to be anywhere near that time now! But under 45 mins would be pleasing, under 50 mins ok. We’ll have to wait and see.

More to come as my training proceeds.


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Esky test with Techni Ice sheets

March 17, 2010

I’m nearing the end of a multi day test of our camping esky, using the new “techni ice” sheets recently purchased from ebay.

Although I’ve left the lid sealed for the four days, there wasn’t any thermal mass in the esky in the form of cold food to start the process, so I feel it gives a good indication of how things may perform over a similar period whilst camping. It will certainly provide a benchmark for testing other methods, eskies, and ice types.

To begin a 5 litre solid ice block and 2 x 2litre solid ice bottles were placed in the esky. The 5 ltr block forms a space at one end which was lined with sheets of techni ice and a foam lid placed on top to form a “freezer” section. The other techi ice was placed on the base of the esky. All up, 6 sheets of techni ice.

The thermometer probe was placed in the freezer section and the lid shut.

Readings were taken of ambient (outside) and internal temperatures at different times, as convenient.

It took four days for the temperature to get above 10 degrees C. The esky was sometimes in the direct sun.

Esky test data March 2010 ambient and internal temps

The data was entered into excel and a chart created to show the results.

The horizontal scale isn’t, to scale that is! But it is close enough and you can see the daily cycles by the ambient temperature drops at night.

The temp only got much above 5C by the end of the third day. Quite good I think!

It will be interesting to see how things go in the real world of kids opening the esky all the time and food being taken out and put back in. The freezer idea will be a good one I think, with frozen food not being exposed to warmer food or open lids. I just need to perfect my lid making process. The last fibreglassing attempt was a distaster!

I hope to discuss esky management issues more in the future. Strange hobby, I know!


a journal of the adventures of the millers!

March 16, 2010

daub & stuff will chronicle in a random and undisciplined manner, the activities and projects of our family.

Follow us as we embark on adventures in suburbia.

We’ll write about ordinary things, interesting things, fun things and stuff you might like to try for yourself.

As the resource of material grows, we’ll make these resources available to readers as down-loadable PDF’s.

Keep coming back and keep in touch…