Introduction: Gas Bottle Wood Burner

Picture of Gas Bottle Wood Burner

Gas bottle wood burners are very easy to make, efficient, and are perfect for late night parties. If you turn them right up, the middle can start to glow red, you can put a kettle on the top, or cut the top off and add a hot plate. These are really easy to make, and be changed however you want.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

You will need:

-Gas Bottle (The main image is a 13kg bottle)

-A length of 6 Inch Diameter Pipe For Chimney (I Used Lorry Exhaust)

-Something For a Handle (I used two bolts welded together and a scrap piece of metal for latch)

-A Section Of Heavy Duty Hinge, Average Door Hinge Wont Be Strong Enough

-Box Section For Air Vent (~3 inch square for medium bottles, double for large bottles)

-Length Of Rod For Air Regulator (Optional, for damping fire down)

Step 2: Drain

Make sure the cylinder is mostly empty before draining the last of the gas out!

Unscrew the gas valve in a ventilated open space, preferably outside, away from open flames and sparks.

Turn the bottle upside down, then wait for a lot more gas to come out.

Wait until gas stops coming out, then unscrew the valve from the bottle, which requires plenty of force, and probably a vice. A little more gas should come out.

Turn the right way up, then fill with water, using positive displacement to remove the last of the gas.

Leave the water in until you are ready to cut.

Step 3: Prep

Picture of Prep

First, you will need to empty out the water and cut the guard off of the top of the bottle.

Mark out where you want the door, about 6 inch from the bottom weld line for the fire base and big enough to put logs in.

Mark a hole for the chimney on the opposite side from the door, just below the top weld line and just smaller than your chimney diameter (~5 1/2 inches).

You could have the chimney coming out of the top, but it is more efficient with it coming out of the back of the burner, as it heats the top of the bottle instead of going straight out the chimney.

Mark out a section for the Air Vent, Making sure the bottom weld line of the bottle is just below the top of the vent, about 1 inch off the bottom of the actual bottle.

Step 4: Door

Picture of Door

Carefully cut out where you have marked the door using an angle grinder.

Once cut, remove the section you have cut out, and position in the opening where the door should go.

Offer up the hinge, and test how the door opens. Move it until the door opens well, and doesn't catch too much on the bottle.

Once you have found the correct place, clamp the hinge to the door and weld it in place. You may need to remove the door from the opening to do this, so mark where the hinge is going on the door so you don't lose it's position.

With the hinge on the door, place the door back in the opening, and weld the other side of the hinge to the bottle, making sure the door will open and close without catching too much.

There are loads of ways you can make a latch, you can see a couple of different ones above.

Step 5: Chimney

Picture of Chimney

Using an angle grinder, cut around the marked section for the chimney opening.

Clean off some of the powder coating around the opening and then weld the chimney to the opening.

The chimeny should long enough to keep smoke out of your face but not so long the weight causes the burner to be unstable.

Having the chimney come out the back of the burner makes it burner slower but also makes it a bit unstable.

Step 6: Air Vent

Picture of Air Vent

Use the box section to mark out the hole for the vent and then cut using an angle grinder.

Position the vent and weld in place. It should stick out about 4 inches.

For anl air regulator, find a section of metal just big enough to rotate inside the box section.
Drill a hole either side of the box section in the center.
Push a section of threaded rod through.
Weld the section onto the rod, so that it will rotate when the rod is turned.
Bend one end of the rod 90 degrees so that it can be adjusted.
Put a nut on the end of the rod so that the friction will hold the valve open.

Step 7: Finishing Off

Picture of Finishing Off

To keep heat in, fill the hole where the valve was with weld.

Fit some steel flat section to cover the gaps around the door.

Step 8: Lighting

Picture of Lighting

To light, use screwed up scrap paper just to the top of the air vent.

Close the air vent.

Light it, and use some small sticks to get the fire going.

Once the sticks have caught, put on small logs, and once they have started burning, place bigger logs on.

When the fire has a good base, open the air vent.


TimR118 made it! (author)2016-05-16

Optimus prime i made few weeks ago

btop (author)TimR1182016-05-17

That looks mint good work!

TimR118 made it! (author)2016-05-16


TimR118 (author)2016-05-16


Spacey4321 (author)2015-07-19

hi I just bought this smoke comes out the front. Not enjoyable to sit aroundany suggestions how to cut smoke down a bit. The pipe at top is about 1 1/2 wider than actual hole in the bottle. Or is door too big. Don't want to buy smokeless fuel. As I have large supply of wood.

tim_n (author)Spacey43212015-09-22

If there is smoke, it is because of an inefficient burn or wet/resin wood.

Smoke can be caused by either not enough airflow in, or not enough airflow out.

Smoke will come out of the door if there isn't enough draw through the chimney pipe. A proper chimney should be at least 4" in diameter. Sometimes a little smoke will come out when it first starts as the chimney needs to warm a little to provide some draw.

Otherwise, if there's not enough air coming in, it'll also get smokey. If the door is wide open, I would suggest you look at the diameter of the pipe or whether it has some sort of valve that has closed the chimney. Or a dead pigeon in the flue. Make sure it's brushed regularly. You don't want to burn anything down.

Spacey4321 (author)2015-07-19

is the door too big?, the actual hole of the bottle is 1 1/2 smaller than actual pipe on top ?. I can't sit near it too smokey

Spacey4321 (author)2015-07-19

dtrdave (author)2015-01-09

How much do you sell small ones for pls

I am in the shed! (author)2013-03-16

I used part of the top of another cylinder as a baffle, I first welded on 25mm lugs then marked the top where they touch the inside, at these points drill a 10mm hole then line up the lugs inside and weld the lugs from the outside through the holes. I also, I use a 1mm thick stainless steel cutting disc to minimise the gap around the door. Its easier than my explanation suggests but the diagram may help.

btop (author)I am in the shed!2014-09-29

That's a good looking way of adding a baffle, does it make much difference? Sorry for the belated reply, I've not logged on in nearly a year!

twopussez (author)2014-02-06

Like this very much but won't a metal opening handle be hot and burn you?? Also if you did make more of these I'd do some paint flames or other colourful graphics rather than plain black which is dull. Really like this and love the re-use irony.. and actually what about turning a long thin canister into a cannon or Exocet BBQ?

sparky9082 (author)2013-03-16

i have a gas bottle stove in my workshop that emits smoke from the door.should i put some kind of grate in or drill holes in bottom to create updraught as i burn coal and wood?thanks for any advice on this,mark.

bongodrummer (author)2013-01-20

Great stove, very nice. You might be interested in a slightly ;) more complicated design we're experimenting with for the Flowering Elbow workshop,

adamjgh (author)2009-09-03

Great post The small ones do work fine - I've been building them for years here in the UK out of the smaller 7 and 15 kg bottles for caravans and campervans. I find that a grill inside made up from reinforcing bar is useful to get air flow under the fire. I've got one in my camper made from a 7kg version, that I've welded a flat plate over the round 'handles' it had on the top as a stove plate - and added a door to the front of the same chamber to create a small potato oven. The chimney runs out of the rear of this area too.

tim_n (author)adamjgh2012-11-02

Got any pictures?

oskymike (author)2012-07-19

brill,i recently aquired a stick welder,then bought(yak( an angle grinder,gotta do this one,cheers.

littletownreds (author)2012-02-09

Grates etc are not needed with wood burners as the draught (draft) is best on top of the wood. Other fuels such as coal need bottom draught.

I find with a small stove that a 6" flue is too big and have used as small as 3" with a 1 ft cube stove. Nothing says the flue has to be round, either. If you can cut and weld sheet metal or even plate then just fold it square or butt-weld.

In the UK you can still get Zebo which you put on the stove cold with a brush and it looks like graphite and gets darker with use - this is the modern equivalent of black-leading. It lasts for years and makes the stove look good.



rroo (author)2011-09-24

just found your info... a bit l8 tho cos i cut the bottle up without useing water in it first... I'm still in one piece.. and cut a larger panel from another bottle to go over the one for the door making a seal all the way round.. looks tidier than all the extras welded on your door.. and thanx to everyone else for your comments n ideas.. will add images of stages of construction when its completed.. 13kg bottle

ravingking2008 (author)rroo2011-12-21

i cut the door larger and put metal strips inside so the door is flush when closed

chemistu (author)2011-09-27

A bit late but I just found this after looking at an empty gas cylinder in the garden and thinking "hmm, that would make a neat potbellied stove".

On a side note once you have filled the tank with water the propane is gone, the quantity of propane adsorbing into the steel tank wall will be miniscule. What you can smell is not propane (propane is odourles) but the ethanethiol used to make the gas smell so you can detect a leak, Ethanethiol will bind to the steel walls very well and can be smelt at concentrations below 1 part per billion in air.

Kelticpaddler (author)2011-05-17

Love it!! I would like to make one, angle it about 30 degrees, weld on some fins and add a circular temperature gauge to the front, so it looks like a WWII unexploded bomb. :OD

pdtnc (author)2010-08-08

Do you just load it up onto the base of the bottle and light it? Or is there a Fire Grate in there above the air inlet?

btop (author)pdtnc2010-11-02

i have tried both, both seem to work equally as well.

pdtnc (author)btop2010-11-02

ok, cheers

pdtnc (author)2010-08-08

With a bit of thinking out I bet one of these might make an Interesting greenhouse heater. (author)2010-06-21

Fantastic build this I'm currenly honing my welding skills working on one of these. Handy thing I found though was to cut the door on 2 or sides only then weld on the hinge and cut the remaining side. That way you shouldnt have to worry so much about holding the door inplace while your welding. Next step for me will be to visit the local scrap yard and find some pipe for the flue and chimney

zombiejeezus (author)2009-07-24

Is there a reason why you say not the small ones? Also is there a way to paint or enamel that will last for any length of time I could put on it?

LokiGnosis (author)zombiejeezus2009-07-25

Zombiejezus, no idea why "Not the Small Ones" but you could use Motorcycle Exhaust paint to get a good finish, the hotter it becomes the harder it gets. Loki.

btop (author)LokiGnosis2010-06-13

Hi, Well the chimney depends on what you want from the burner. If you want loads of heat (So much that the bottle glows red!) then you want the chimney out of the top, however if you want increased efficiency then the chimney should go out the back to prevent too much heat being lost.

btop (author)zombiejeezus2010-04-19

 I meant not the really small ones such as the diving gas bottle sizes, as they are a bit too small to put logs in.

Hamish121212 (author)2010-06-07

I notice in some pictures you have the flue coming out the back and in other pictures you have it coming out the middle of the top of the gas bottle. Which works best? Also - have you ever tried putting a choke valve in the flue like they have on wood burners - or would that cause smoke to come out the door? Im looking at installing this in my house so dont want smoke inside :) Another question - did you consider having a fire grate in the floor to keep the burning timber off the base of the gas bottle?

btop (author)Hamish1212122010-06-13

Hi, Well the chimney depends on what you want from the burner. If you want loads of heat (So much that the bottle glows red!) then you want the chimney out of the top, however if you want increased efficiency then the chimney should go out the back to prevent too much heat being lost.

Lochy (author)2009-02-06

Cracking LPG bottle wood burner. I fit wood burning stoves for a living and have seen a good few of these but this one has some lovely touches. Great door lock, really good vent and control. Controlling air into a stove and getting rid of smoke is critical. This design could only be improved by adding a throat plate/baffle about the height of the top of the door. This would cause the combustion gases to swirl, give a secondary burn, giving cleaner emissions and keep the hot air in the burner longer. The plate would need to be removable for soot clearing but if the unit burns good and hot, it'll not soot up much. Wood burns best with air from above (coal from below) so the air control could raise a little. The bottles tend to burn out if used regularly (workshop etc) but you can get around this if you fit a bottom plate and bed in some fire bricks, vertically around the burn area. Overall a lovely stove. Well done mate.

btop (author)Lochy2009-02-06

Thanks, I was going to put a baffle in, but decided not to. I was thinking on how to get it through the door.

LokiGnosis (author)btop2009-07-09

btop, two questions that might be on the "Stupid" side but here goes, why not have the Bottle up side down, so that the Flat base is now on the top? Cooking Plate as per a Pot Belly Oven? Failing that, if I were to have the Dome at the Top, couldn't the Pipe come straight out of the top, rather than the side? Thanks, Loki.

btop (author)LokiGnosis2010-04-19

 I've made a few with the pipe coming out of the top, they get very hot, but burn a lot faster, usually with flames out of the top of the chimney!

LokiGnosis (author)btop2010-04-25

Cheers btop, I've made a Gas Bottle Burner and am going to make a few alterations. I am going to cut a Sq out of the top and fit a flat plate for a coffee pot/cooking and use the piece that I cut out as a baffle that can be swung/pivoted, just to see if I can..........
Any advice on the thickness of the flat plate?

btop (author)LokiGnosis2010-04-25

 Like the idea of a hot plate, I might try one soon. As for the baffle, I don't know much about how it all works but Im sure someone else can help us out?

reheat (author)btop2009-04-10

Great stove, baffle plate could be made in two halves and fed in thru door apature. Also if a metal frame was welded around the door and the middle cut out then a piece of 4mm ceramic stove glass could be fitted to give a great view of the action.

phidauex (author)2009-02-11

Just a note to readers - this process may seem like a lot of effort, but "positive displacement" is the only safe way to cut into a gas bottle. I do actually know someone who was injured by cutting into a gas bottle that hadn't been properly displaced of propane!

btop (author)phidauex2010-04-19

 Safety First!

Spokehedz (author)phidauex2009-02-11

I also agree with the above statement. The $1 you spend on water will save you many hundreds of dollars in hospital and/or rebuilding your house bills.

mj11490 (author)2009-12-08

made my first burnner today works great warms up workshop well thanks for the information will be making a bigger better one soon

btop (author)mj114902010-04-19

 The heat output is great! Brilliant for sheds and garages.

spinafex (author)2010-02-12

I left the water in the cylinder (Just to be safe) and laid it down on the ground then using the grinder I cut out the marked areas. Once I had cut through one side of the marked area, I felt it was safe enough to drain a little water away and  finish the cut. Cheers Mick

btop (author)spinafex2010-04-19

Thanks for making Mick! thats sounds a very safe way of doing it, although pretty much all of the gas is displaces as you fill the bottle with water.

bart10655 (author)2009-04-07

I have a regular size propane tank like the ones for grills and stuff.. I wont to make a small stove out of it so i opened the valve to let the gas out and nothing came out so i started shaking the bottle and i could hear fluid in it what can i do to get the gas out? Is there some kind of safety device in the bottle that will only let it out if something is hooked up to it?

nortly (author)bart106552009-04-24

there is a shrader valve in the main valve you have to depress it like a tire valve stem

DrStoooopid (author)2009-02-04

***SAFETY WARNING*** Propane will permeate the metal throughout years of use. It is EXTREMELY important than when you take the valve off an old propane bottle you let it sit for several days in the sun, to allow the propane that is attached to the metal to release and vent into the atmosphere. (remember Propane is heavier than air, so let it sit UPSIDE DOWN.)...also before you cut with a torch, it would be wise to purge the cylinder with argon or CO2. A Propane explosion is a very real concern, and you do not want to get caught with your pants down. Safety is very important when dealing with Propane. or Propane accessories.

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