Tag Archives: homemade wood stove

Yet Another Wood Stove

I “foraged” this popcorn can from someone’s recyclables. I knew I’d make something out of it, and decided on a wood stove. This isn’t as nice as my postal stove, but it wasn’t meant to be. It just shows what can be done with “trash” in a minimal amount of time.


I decided to build this upside down. Why? Because I have a bat fetish, that’s why! No I mean the can would be inverted, for 3 reasons: the top is wider, allowing for a greater heat base,  with the lid on the bottom it would allow for easier clean out, and if the lid was up top there would be the chance of smoke leaking out.


First part of the Sapporo can chimney installed. This was scavenged from the postal stove…I’ll make a better one for it once I fix it…and if I ever have the funds to finish my bicycle camper and mount the postal stove in it!


Inside view showing flaps in the flue that were cut and folded over to secure it.


More “trash”. I had this laying around. Unfortunately denatured alcohol is now sold in plastic containers =( This will be the stove door…and possibly a baffle.



Inner lines are what will be cut out of the body.


I always get caught up in the making and forget to take photos of the process! Why I’ll probably never make an instructables! The next thing I did was take the piano hinge off my heiny keg wood “stove” and mount the door. Then I made a latch and installed it. Then I took the scrap from the stove body and made the cover for the air inlets. I laid the cover on the door, traced it, then drilled the air inlets, then mounted the cover with a rivet.


Gratuitous shot of the latch. The whole door flexes, so I didn’t have to make the latch on a pivot point.



This isn’t airtight when closed, but it serves its purpose. Just showing what can be done in a pinch, after all!


Rudimentary chimney finished!


Looks like someone may have stolen the popcorn!


I’ll build a trap for those popcorn gnomes yet!


Just enough room for a hiking pot (filled with popcorn kernels…rotten gnomes, take the bait!).



FIRST FIRE OF 2013!!! You can see the sticker burning off the top.


Lights out!




Works with the door closed!

And because I can’t get enough fire:


Today it’s a candle heater!


This is a crayon and carbon felt tuna candle!


Gotta make sure it works with the door shut!


Wood Stove Medley

I made a propane tank rocket stove. For the chimney I used 4″ ducting with a 90* elbow. I couldn’t get my hands on vermiculite, apparently there’s some law against it in my area. We can never have enough laws. I propose a law against sarcasm toward laws.

Propane Tank Rocket Stove

It’s insulated with perlite. The size of the tank? Standard. That is, I know they come in all different sizes, but this is the only size I’ve seen here in western new york. I can tell you it took 2 and a half bags of perlite to fill it, at 8 quarts/bag.

I am frustrated with this rocket. I can not get it to burn. I started the feed tube long. No draft. I shortened it, then shortened is some more. I even pushed the fuel elevation shelf in and out. I experimented with how far to push the fuel in. From what I’ve gleaned online, only the tips of the sticks should burn. I tried a little fuel, then alot. I even went from twigs to sticks. All of this to no avail. I’m not giving up yet, it’s just that I learned when you’re angry about something walk away until you find a sledge hammer…I mean cool off and try again.

Heiny Keg Rocket Stove

What’s even more frustrating to me is that I haven’t been able to get this little guy to fire. It was phenomenal the first couple of times…and now apparently the propane tank rocket has been talking to it, corrupting it. For some reason they’re both plotting to drive me insane.

And so today I decided to work on something that I know works, and does so easily.

Fuel Shelf

This was an easy experiment to see if elevating the wood could create a more efficient burn. It did. When I get more sheet metal, I’ll make a better grate. The only problem with this was that it requires draft holes in the door to let air in under the wood. No problem. Except that the draft cover I’d made pivots down…allowing air into the wood but covering the sub-wood draft. Barbara Streisand!!!

Draft Sollution

To solve the draft door problem I drilled out the rivet and re-riveted the cover on top. The four holes on the bottom are for the sub-wood draft. The reason I originally had the draft cover pivoting down was so the cover wouldn’t be in my way when cooking. But this design will work because of the way I’ve decided to mount the stove in the bicycle camper. To save space it will sit parallel with the longest wall, so the fuel door won’t be in front of me, but to my left. The curved side will face forward.

I’m sure it’s just user error with the rocket stoves, perhaps for the propane tank I should use 5″ or 6″ tubing. Or maybe my fuel shelf is too high. I don’t know. Nor do I know why the heiny hates me. These are my first rocket stoves afterall. If there’re any rocket scientists out there who are reading this, advice would be greatly appreciated!

Mailbox Fixins

The TRUE test of any outdoor stove is not boiling water, as most of these alcohol stove afficianados proclaim. MY test has always been no less than: drum roll…STEAK!

Mailbox Carne


Steak, green onions and mushrooms…wood stove style!

Why pay $120-$250 for a tent stove? I made this for about $63 bucks, sure it’s not that cheap, but I made it. There’s something special about creating and using something you’ve crafted. There’s a satisfaction and pride that you just can’t buy. I believe this is something our forefathers experienced and fully understood. The old ways aren’t always disposable.

Wood Stove Update

Here’s what I did on the 27th:

Latch and flues

I kept trying to figure out what kind of hardware to use for the latch. Not enough room for a slider lock, and I didn’t want to put something right through the door like a knob. So I bent some of the metal leftover from the door and hotplate, and got a latch!

I believe the two circles are called flues, already had some confusion between a baffle and a damper, so I’m not sure. The top one has a diameter of 2 1/4″ and 1/2″ holes. The bottom one’s diameter is 1 1/8″ with 3/8″ holes.

Heres what I did on the 28th:

hotplate shows uneven heating

To help the cooking surface spread heat evenly, I added a piece of metal:

I was planning on using black high heat paint, but might not as I really like the color it changed after the first burn. I didn’t have the latch or flues for the first burn, and loaded the stove with too much wood, and it was an inferno! Flames were coming out the door, which was open, and shooting out the chimney elbow! The next test burn I’ll start the fire small, and once it’s healthy, I’ll close the door and play with the flues. Hopefully there won’t be any flames in the chimney elbow, if there is I’ll have to make a damper. That’s a circle that goes into the horizontal chimney that allows adjustments of how much air is escaping. Once I have the bicycle camper finished I’ll take the stove in it and determine the height I want it at. Then I’ll make the legs and that’s that.

(10/24/12 Hindsight)

I’ve been meaning to update this, sorry for the delay. The flue is the chimney. A damper is a bit of metal in the flue used to restrict airflow, which is adjustable. So far as I know the two circles I’d been calling flues are called air intakes. A baffle is a sheet of metal within the stove that is fixed in place from side to side and back to nearly front at the top of the stove. If there were no baffle the natural path of heat would go right to the flue. What a baffle does is force all heat to move toward the front and up under the cooking surface, then out the flue. The Heiny Keg wood stove and Mailbox wood stove do not have baffles, though were I to make the latter again it would.

While this stove was a fun project, and is unquestionably cool looking, you can NOT cook on it or boil water. You could heat a small space/tent with it, but you’d better wake up 3 or 4 times a night to add more wood.

If you want to be able to cook on a diy tent stove, use my mailbox wood stove. It cooks just fine, holds more and bigger pieces of wood, and all around requires much less fussing over. You’d only have to wake up once to feed it, unless you like to sleep more than 12 hours, lol.

Heiny Keg Wood Stove

I’ve made a fire pit and some candle heaters out of Heineken kegs before, and they all worked well in their own way. But I’ve always wanted to make a wood stove out of one. Here are some pics of my progress so far:

Mini Wood Stove

Chimney Elbow and Hot Plate


Grill to elevate the wood for better air flow


Ready For First FIRE!

There will be a few more blogs on this project, hope you enjoyed the eye candy!