View Full Version : Making a wood stove

2006-12-11, 02:03
Now that I've played with a wood-burning stove (I have a sheepherder's stove), Woods Walker's posts got me thinking...

How would one go about building such a stove?

What kind of metal would one use?
Where would you get the metal?
What specialized tools, if any, would it take to build one?
How would you join the parts? Weld? Rivet? Screws?

Any ideas?


SGT Rock
2006-12-11, 08:47
Well you could always build a small version with a bench vise for the bender and use a drill and pop rivets to hold it together. Lowe's sells regular old sheet metal.

If you wanted to make one with Ti you could also order that in sheet, but drilling should be done on a very low speed with lubrication for the drill bit - but it could be done. The hardest part to do IMO would be to make bends without fracturing the metal - Ti sheet is very easy to brake in my experience. The advantange with Ti would be the durability and how much lighter you could make it over using sheet steel.

2006-12-11, 10:46
Here are plans for a wall tent stove:


Maybe that will give you some ideas. Also, look at the lightweight stoves at Kifaru and Titanium Goat.

2006-12-11, 12:42
If you want to bend Ti, you'd do well to heat it with a torch first.

SGT Rock
2006-12-11, 13:47
That is a very good point Lanthar.

2006-12-11, 15:34

In addition to the other good suggestions that you have gotten here, I will make another suggestion. If you want to build a light weight forge style wood stove, you could experiment with aluminum can construction. What about a replacable burn chamber, that gets refitted each season (or less frequently - as needed).

I did a lot of experimentation before developing the prototype for the Torch-Lite. For instance, here's something you may want to try with using an 8 oz. tuna can and a can of spam for the stove body.

Trace a circle from the bottom of the tuna can onto one of the big flat the sides of a previously unopened can of spam (feed contents to cat). Use a Dremmel to cut the circle. Drill holes into it's sidewalls of the tuna can, and compression fit the tuna can into the spam can opening. Cut an opening in one of the sidewalls of the spam can to insert a fan shroud. The fan shroud can be made of a small aluninum container that has had the bottom cut off, some good ones are "Gunk-OFF", or depending on the fan size, lighter fluid refiller containers can work too. The fan gets inserted with a pressure fit into the cut-off bottom of the shroud. The spam sidewall opening should be carefully enlarged bit by bit, to accomodate other end of the shoud (opened top with rim intact). Aluminum stakes cut to 3" can form the pot stand. I made a couple of stoves like this at close to 7 ounces each, including 9v battery (attached with alligator clips to fan wires). Such a stove would eventually burn through the bottom, but tuna cans are cheap, maybe just replace that burn chamber each year. Plus make any additional modifications based on your experiences.

I now have a couple shelves full of stoves on the evolutiuonary ladder of usefulness and efficiency. But the one I mentioned above is especially promising for compactness, light weight and stability. Cheers,

2006-12-11, 23:02
I built a sheet metal stove tent stove once apon a time. No longer have it as I lost it to a forest fire (no relationship to the stove).
I mainly used it when I was ice fishing to keep my half tent area warm. (1/2 tent - kind of like a Baker tent - used the same way).

I built it out of some old metal gas station signs I picked up somewhere.
I also used some diamond grate material, an old pan from the kitchen for the ash pan (the size of this actually determined the size of my stove), a handful of screws, and a few parts and pieces I bought.

I built it by cutting the metal with tin snips and bending the metal with a hammer over a 2x4. I screwed it together.
It wasn't air tight, but it worked fine.

-Here's my basic design-

2006-12-28, 13:49
That is a nice looking stove. I have seen small bush stoves made out of stovepipe, but I can't seem to find them on the internet. I can't remember where I did see them. Public library maybe. I did find this on the internet:

Trapper's Stove

An engineer, a psychologist, and a theologian were hunting in the wilderness of northern Canada. Suddenly, the temperature dropped and a furious snowstorm was upon them. They came across an isolated cabin, far removed from any town. The hunters had heard that the locals in the area were quite hospitable, so they knocked on the door to ask permission to rest. No one answered their knocks, but they discovered the cabin was unlocked and they entered. It was a simple place ... 2 rooms with a minimum of furniture and household equipment. Nothing was unusual about the cabin except the stove. It was large, pot-bellied, and made of cast-iron. What was strange about it was its location ... it was suspended in midair by wires attached to the ceiling beams. "Fascinating," said the psychologist. "It is obvious that this lonely trapper, isolated from humanity, has elevated this stove so that he can curl up under it and vicariously experience a return to the womb." "Nonsense!" replied the engineer. "The man is practicing the laws of thermodynamics. By elevating his stove, he has discovered a way to distribute heat more evenly throughout the cabin." "With all due respect," interrupted the theologian, "I'm sure that hanging his stove from the ceiling has religious meaning. Fire LIFTED UP has been a religious symbol for centuries." The three debated the point for several hours without resolving the issue. When the trapper finally returned, they immediately asked him why he had hung his heavy pot-bellied stove from the ceiling. His answer was succinct. "Had plenty of wire, not much stove pipe."

Woods Walker
2007-01-17, 22:19
The dimensions of the stove and pipe diameter are key to good draft. Here are some posts from another MB that I visit.



Full of good info by people that use heated shelters. Read up on it. Woodstoves can be very heavy or more UL. I carry stoves from 2 lbs to 5 lbs. beyond that I take a sled. I know...5 lbs...But in winter I cover less ground and the weight of a stove and UL heated shelter is worth it. During the other 3 seasons it is my Hammock and alcohol or hobo stove.

2007-01-21, 12:34
My wood stove I take on the FT with me is just an ol' coffee can. Punch holes around the top and cut a door on the bottom about 2x2. Cook on the bottom. The constant heating in the presence of carbon make the thing hard as a, ehem, Rock after just 3-4 uses. Cools quick, usually by the time I'm done eating. I clip it with carbiner to the outside of my pack.
Turbocharge it with one of those sissy battery fans. Burns like a furnace.
( I only use my sissy fan for my stove, really. )

2007-01-23, 23:04
I went for a hike on the weekend and used a very small hobo stove, like 5oz can, with some help from beeswax. It worked but I'm starting to think a hobo stove really should be at least a 14oz can or better. I still want to try making one out of ceramic insulation though.

2007-01-24, 10:09
...Turbocharge it with one of those sissy battery fans. Burns like a furnace.

What type of fan are you using, and do you have an extension/tube/collar/thingy on it to keep it from burning?

Inquiring minds.....