Sotz Barrel Stove Kit
by Steve Hall
SOTZ Barrel stove with home made controller
Many years ago I built a double barrel stove using a kit manufactured by SOTZ. My understanding is they are no longer in business. This kit was not as pleasing to the eye as some of the current cast iron kits available today. It was made using stamped metal. They also offered a catalytic combustor(not converter).
This stove was very airtight and efficient, with the cat installed between the top and the bottom barrel. I had it in my basement on a concrete floor. Under the bottom barrel it was never that hot, as long you left a layer of ashes. The top would reach very high temps without ever having a flame in it. I insulated the rafters above with steel sheeting. There would not be any smoke coming from the chimney, only steam, as the cat would burn it. I had the stove for 9 years before I left the house.
As to the longevity of the barrels, if there is no excessive moisture in the air the barrels will last a long time. The secret is to start with good quality barrels. As with every wood stove you should inspect prior to every heating season. When I was a child we would burn our trash in 55 gallon barrels and they would last several years out in the weather.