For a number of years prefabricated barrel stove kits have been available, predominantly in the northern states of America and Canada. They are designed to let the average household handyman convert an oil drum into an effective space heater for a workshop or garage space.
The barrel stove kits typically have some main parts included:
The barrel itself, stove pipe and stove pipe fittings and parts to ensure safe egress of the stove-pipe through the roof of the building would be bought or acquired locally.
I have one of these on order and will assemble and test it out over the next few months. Look out for detailed assembly instructions, videos etc... over the next few weeks.
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One of the attractions of this homemade wood stove is that they can be assembled in as little as half an hour and require little in the way of skills, experience or equipment to produce a functioning (if inefficient and smoky) wood stove.
The stove itself throws out a huge amount of heat - far more than you would ever want in the sitting room of your home - but suitable for heating a drafty workshop in the depths of winter. Once the fire is going large amounts of fuel can be loaded at once and the dampers turned down to restrict the burn.
These barrel stoves get phenomenally hot - when going flat out the metal surfaces can glow cherry red and the heat radiates in all directions - behind and beneath the stove as well as into the room. They present as serious fire hazard as anything flammable within meters of it will be exposed to extreme heat.
All wood stoves need to be installed on a fire proof (concrete/brick etc... ) pad, but these also need large clearances around them in all directions.
A layer of sand, or fire bricks, in the base of the drum will support the fire and go some way towards reducing the heat directed towards the floor.
These kits provide an affordable way to purchase and build a simple yet effective wood stove. The kits themselves come it at under $100 but you would probably need to allow another $150 for the parts needed locally (stove pipe especially can be expensive).
A few companies supply these kits in the US (they may ship over seas).
Vogelzang offer a two kits - a basic single barrel wood stove and an extension called a 'smoke chamber' that boosts efficiency and uses a second barrel.
If you have used one of these barrel stove kits and want to share your experience you can tell us all about it, even up load photos to go with it.
To see barrel kit stoves built by other readers; explore the links below.
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