Introduction: German Incense Smoker - Tiled Stove

Picture of German Incense Smoker - Tiled Stove

First of all this is a so called "Räuchermännchen". It's used to burn incense and it is very typical for Christmas in Germany.

My wife is a big fan of incense smokers. She has a lot of them in different shapes and colors. I wanted to create a special gift for her this Christmas. I decided to build a miniature tiled stove, which can be used to burn incense.

At first I made a quick sketch. It should have a upright format with a small ledge on top, a oven door for the air ventilation, some logs near by, a stovepipe with a curve, tiles and a small cat sitting on it. The cat is not part of this tutorial...actually I bought it on a Christmas market :) But the rest can be done easily at home. Enjoy.

### Disclaimer ###

I got a nice hint by esamosfet

But hey, isn't incense smoke a source of pm10 and particulate? This should be used with parsimony.

Regards, Max.

You might want to use the smoker with deliberation.

Step 1: Blueprint

Picture of Blueprint

I use two different hard wood slabs. One with a thickness of 6mm for the oven body, the ground plate, and the oven door. The second slab has a thickness of 15mm and is used for the oven platform, the ledge and the inner platform for the incense cone (which also stabilize the oven body on the base).

Step 2: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools

What's needed?

  • Two hard wood slabs with different thicknesses. I use 15mm and 6mm, but you can use different size as well. The final appearance may differ, but that's the idea about DIY stuff, isn't it? :D
  • Small piece of log for the log pile. I use pieces, which still have bark on it for a better look
  • Copper pipe with a diameter of 15mm. You can adjust the size as well.
  • 90° curved copper pipe with the same diameter of your pipe
  • Measurement devices
  • Pencil
  • Saw
  • Copper pipe cutter
  • Wood drills
  • Electrical driller
  • Screw clamps
  • Clear lacquer
  • Brush
  • Wood glue
  • Cutting heads
  • A coin as a base for the incense cone
  • Grinding paper


  • Chop saw for cutting all pieces. You can use a hand saw or jigsaw as well, but the finish is better with the chop saw
  • Milling machine for finishing the edges of the ground plate, the ledge and the platform. You can use grinding paper as well. I use the milling machine to mill notches for joining the body parts together.
  • Heat gun to darken the oven door, but you can use color or simply leave it unchanged

Step 3: The Oven Body - Cutting

Picture of The Oven Body - Cutting

I use my chop saw to cut the four body parts out of the 6mm thick slab. The front and back panels have the same sizes as well as the side panels. It's important to know which kind of joint do you want to use. I'll use my milling machine to cut small notches in the front and back panels. The width of the notch is 6mm (same size as the thickness of the side panels) and the depth is 3mm (half the size of the thickness). That's why I cut the side panels 6mm shorter than the front/back panel. After glueing together the body will have a dimension of 60x60mm. You can use another type of joints, but adjust the sizes of the panels accordingly.

Step 4: The Oven Body - Cutting Out the Oven Door

Picture of The Oven Body - Cutting Out the Oven Door

I use a pencil to mark the cutout for the oven door. I drill a hole in each corner, which can be used to cut the middle piece out. I use grinding paper to finish the the edges.

Step 5: The Oven Body - Shaping the Tiles

Picture of The Oven Body - Shaping the Tiles

I mark the fugues of the tile with a pencil in 20mm spacing and use a even piece of wood as a guidance for my saw. I cut approximately 1mm deep notches int the wood. This will have the effect of fugues. I repeat this on all four body panels. Finally I cut the edges of the front and back panels.

Step 6: The Oven Body - Joining and Glueing

Picture of The Oven Body - Joining and Glueing

I cut notches with my milling machine to join the pieces together, but you can do this without notches. Just glue the edges together. Therefore I apply wood glue on the edges and press the parts together. I use two clamps to apply some pressure on the panels. The glue needs some time to dry.

Step 7: Cutting the Rest

Picture of Cutting the Rest

The body of the oven is almost finished. Now I can measure the exact inner dimension of the oven. They can differ deepening on fault tolerance during milling, cutting and glueing. The dimensions are important for the inner piece, because the oven body will be pulled on it.

I cut the ground plate, the base of the oven, the ledge of the oven and the inner platform.

Step 8: The Oven Door

Picture of The Oven Door

I measure the inner dimension of the cut out in the front panel. I mark the door with a pencil on a piece of the 6mm slab. Now I can drill small holes to achieve a wire frame look and cut the door out. Using a heat gun I change the color of the door. You can use color as well or simply leave it untouched.

Step 9: Finishing the Edges

Picture of Finishing the Edges

I use my milling machine to finish the edges of the ground plate, the base and the ledge of the oven. You can use different shapes or techniques to achieve a same or different finish.

Step 10: Drilling Holes for the Pipe and the Coin

Picture of Drilling Holes for the Pipe and the Coin

Now I need a hole in the ledge to insert the pipe. Therefore I use a 15mm drill at first (same diameter as the copper pipe). I drill into the ledge in the middle, but not right through. I stop some millimeters before breaching through. Now I can use a smaller drill (10mm) to finish the hole. This is important, that the pipe doesn't fall through the ledge.

The incense cone can get very hot, that's why I need a metal base for it. I drill a 1mm deep hole in the base. The coin can be glued right into it (I forgot to make a picture, that's why I've insert a photo of the finished base. Sorry).

Step 11: Glueing and Small Details

Picture of Glueing and Small Details

All pieces are cut out and can be glued together. I glue the base on the ground plate. On top of them I glue the inner platform. Finally the ledge can be glued on the body of the oven.

We have a chimney and I use a small piece of log to cut miniature version of it. You can use all kind of wood for this. I like to have barks on it to improve the illusion.

A small piece of wood can be used as a handle for the oven door. Just glue it on the door.

Step 12: Finishing

Picture of Finishing

Finally all parts are ready and can be lacquered. I use two layers on all parts. The door and the logs are lacquered separately and glued afterwards.

I use the pipe cutter to cut a piece off the copper pipe for the stovepipe and stick the curved pipe on it. The stovepipe is placed in the hole of the ledge.

I glue the coin to the hole in the inner platform.

I bought a small cat figure on the Christmas Market. It is made of wood. I glue it on top of the oven. You can just drop this step or build something else on your own. Make it you own project and customize it the way you want it. My wife likes cats, so a cat it is :)

Step 13: Done

Picture of Done

Finally my oven is finished and can be tested :D

It's difficult to catch the smoke on camera, but let me tell you, that this is working pretty good. It has a very good draught and exhales the scent to the whole room. I hope my wife will like it.

I hope you will enjoy building this. Please let me know your experiences and improvements. Please put photos in the comments :)


Obrterry made it! (author)2017-03-12

I modified the drawing to make do with the scrap material that I had laying around. It works great! I've started on designing and building a cabover semi truck with dual exhaust, which I think will look pretty cool!

Stish (author)Obrterry2017-03-16

Wow, looks great. What kind of finish do you have on the oven walls?

I'd love to see your designs on the truck and the final product. Please keep me posted.


Obrterry (author)Stish2017-03-16

Thanks Stish! For the walls I used a Rust-oleum Textured spray paint. I should have used a lighter color but, again, I just used what paints that I happened to have on-hand.
Regarding the semi-truck, the design is in flux. I live in Mnnesota, so I'm waiting for warmer spring weather when I can get out in my garage and start working on the build. I'll be modifying the build plan as necessary as I go. I'll update when I complete the build.

Stish (author)Obrterry2017-03-18

Thanks, I'm really looking forward to it. Spring is coming :)

TerryO17 made it! (author)Stish2017-04-18

Spring has arrived in Minnesota!
I've finally gotten out to my garage and finished making the Cabover truck w/dual exhaust. It's not exactly a work of art and it was a lot of monkey business.
I've added two pics and the drawing that I created as I went along. I got a little carried away, so it contains a lot of precise dimensions.
It was fun to make and works great!

Stish (author)TerryO172017-04-20

I love it. It looks really great. You should write an Instructable about this. I bet a lot of people would enjoy it and it would honor your work. Well done. Thanks for sharing. My father in law is a kind of truck driver, maybe I'll build one for him for Christmas :D

TerryO17 (author)Stish2017-04-26


I neglected to include ventilation holes around the heatsink for the incense in the drawing. I had drilled four 1/4" holes for ventilation and discovered that the incense was going out after about five minutes. After blaming it on poor incense cones, I discovered that the 1/4" holes were not providing enough air so I enlarged to holes to 1/2

" and now the incense burns completely and the truck's dual exhaust works great.

KevinH283 made it! (author)2017-03-18

Found the pictures. I used the brick type spatter paint, and a Dremel for the brick lines

Stish (author)KevinH2832017-03-21

Wow very nice. I really like it. Nice idea with the log stand and nice cat figures. I got a Dremel as a birthday gift from my parents. Next time I would use it as well for the brick lines. Thx for sharing your pictures with me. I've already made a new kind of smoker house, but I haven't finished the instructable yet. I hope I can complete it this week. Here is small picture of it. Cheers.

KevinH283 (author)Stish2017-03-21

Very nice!

KevinH283 (author)2017-03-18

I made this a couple of months ago, with a couple of minor changes. Absolutely LOVE IT!!!

Thanks for the idea

paulroy735 (author)2017-03-17

Wow, looks great. My girl friend and I, we are moving every four years to a different country.

Stish (author)paulroy7352017-03-18

Thx! Looks like we have the same kind of job ;)

Dawsie (author)2017-01-04

I love it it looks like it could even be used in a doll house setting ? Will have to add to my fav for later tryout ? Thanks for sharing your gift to your wife I am sure she loved it ?

Stish (author)Dawsie2017-01-05

I think it could work for a doll setting, you might have to adjust the size. Please send me pictures when you are done with yours. My wife loves it. We use it everyday for burning incense cones.

Dawsie (author)Stish2017-01-05

glad she loves it ?

I will I have saved your instructable to my collection of things to make ? At the moment we have to finish working on my Workshop ? We have the floor and walls done in the shed we build now we have to fix the ceiling and exchange the roller doors for large windows once that's done I can get back to working on all my hobbies ?? well still have to build the wall units and work benchs ?? first then I can start using my workshop ???

Stish (author)Dawsie2017-01-06

Good luck with your renovation. I have the same problem. We are currently living at two places and I don't have a dedicated workshop yet. Due to renovation I have tools and equipment at both places and every time there is one tool, which is not there when I need it.

Cheers :)

Dawsie (author)Stish2017-01-10

lol that's how my workshop came into being I use to live in the city and had to come home every 6 weeks to help Dad for 6 weeks after 4 years of that kind of living the shed was built my things placed in there and I moved back home full time ?? that was 5 years ago and it's take us this long to merge the two homes into one ? and converting the shed into a workshop working around all the boxes yet to be unpacked ??? I have forgotten half of what's in the boxes after all this time ???

Stish (author)Dawsie2017-01-10

Yeah I know exactly how this works. My wife and I, we are moving every four years to a different country. We still have a house in our home country, so I have one moving workspace and a located one :) It's not easy.

Dawsie (author)Stish2017-01-10

sounds like you have your hands full that's for sure and to find time for other things during all of this is great ? I sure don't miss those days of always being on the move this home is my final stop ? Hence the workshop the ultimate dream of any crafter ?

I hope your moves will one day lead you back home ?

Stish (author)Dawsie2017-01-11

There will be definitely an end to this in the future. I'm really looking forward to it. I could finally finish my workshop at home. But there is a lot of work to do.

I'm glad that you have arrived at your final stop.

Dawsie (author)Stish2017-01-12

that's good to know travling is fun but after a while well it's nice to be in that one place that you can say yep finally home ? I hope you get to finish your main base workshop one day ?

Thanks it's great to have a perminat home now ? Done with all that moving around from place to place I sat and worked it out on the average time span of all of my moves that I have done over the past 50 years lol and the avage worked out to be 6 years at each place ?? so yep glad it's all over now ??

Stish (author)Dawsie2017-01-18

We have still 30 years to go and move around the world. But we can handle it :)

Dawsie (author)Stish2017-01-18

????oh boy that's a long time to be moving around lol but I can say much there I did it for 40 years first of with my parents army brat that's me ??? and I was not able to settle down for a long time only the past 6 years have I been in one place ???

Good luck with the travling and moving enjoy it while you can at least once your back home and settled in again you will have lots of memories ??

Stish (author)Dawsie2017-01-19

I'm glad that you've finally settled. I'm looking forward to this day. But don't get me wrong, I enjoy being out in the world, but sometimes I wish to be back home and settled. I'll get there :D

mpadgitt (author)2017-01-09

Very nice! I would love to reprint this article in Wood-Fired Magazine. Please contact me at

Stish (author)mpadgitt2017-01-09

Thank you. Please see my message within your mails.


JoeLKY (author)2016-12-23

Nice work on the project. It looks like you took your time and it paid off.

Sorry that someone always has to find negativity in everything. I think people have more to worry about than the particulate matter of incense. I have never heard of anyone that died from incense

Stish (author)JoeLKY2016-12-26

Thanks, it took much more time as I thought. But it was totally worth it. The hint was well-intentioned :)


Captain Jim (author)2016-12-24

Love it, nice present and saving it in my favourites

Stish (author)Captain Jim2016-12-26

Thanks :)

AndreasO1 made it! (author)2016-12-24

I have done it more for fun, and as a gimmick for a free place in the house.

Danke und Gruss aus Schortens nach Berlin :)

Stish (author)AndreasO12016-12-26

Very nice. I love it.

Grüße zurück :D

esamosfet (author)2016-12-22

Very nice idea. Well executed. Beautiful object.

But hey, isn't incense smoke a source of pm10 and particulate? This should be used with parsimony.

Regards, Max.

Stish (author)esamosfet2016-12-23

Thanks for the remark. I will add this warning to the instructable. We only use incense cone smokers around Christmas and only once a day, maybe a couple more on weekends.

Merry Christmas.

Mark 42 (author)2016-12-22

Does anyone know a good source for those incense cones (or blocks/bricks)?
I haven't looked locally, but IIRC, all I have seen is incense sticks.

Stish (author)Mark 422016-12-22
Mark 42 (author)Stish2016-12-22

That gave me what I needed to find them on Amazon & eBay (I'm in the USA, so shipping probably would have been significant - I'll chack it again to be sure, but I saw prices in Euros, so I assume it'd be overseas shipping)

Stish (author)Mark 422016-12-23

I found an online shop in the US, which is a branch of the German shop. They have the cones as well. For example:

...but also in other "tastes". I cannot figure out the shipping prices, but maybe you could try checking out with your address. At one point they should add a fee.

I've checked the prices for overseas shipping from the German shop and it's 40 Euros, which are currently 42$. I think you will get a better price with the US shop.

Merry Christmas :)

Mark 42 (author)Mark 422016-12-22

I did find some on Amazon... this one looks interesting (traditional?)

Stish (author)Mark 422016-12-22

Hehe these are from Germany. I have them as well :D But actually I don't have clue where you can by them. Amazon seem to be a good choice, but the price is really high. Maybe you can find another source. One box costs around 2 Euros which would be 2-3$.

Stish (author)2016-12-22

I had some time before Christmas to make some smokers for the rest my family. This time in the shape of a small house. I'll write an instructable about it after the holidays and after the family stress :D

bethmwl (author)2016-12-21

That's the cutest thing. You do good work.

Stish (author)bethmwl2016-12-22

Thank you very much :)

Mark 42 (author)2016-12-22

I'm thinking a tin can inside would make a good liner for it.

I may even make a Pot Bellied stove with just a tin can and some tubing.

I grew up in a German household, and this was not something my parents did - but there were many other traditions I knew & loved. I really like burning incense, and recently found a few sticks of incense laying on the ground. I made a mess burning them - I am going to build something like this and adopt this tradition.

I have several wooden "Glockenspiels" powered by candles, and am looking for a metal one like my parents had (a real glockenspiel, when you look at the name).

And then there was the Adventskranz, the Advent Calendar, Stolen, etc.

I wish my parents had done the incense burning - maybe it just wasn't something they grew up with.

Stish (author)Mark 422016-12-22

The tin can is a great idea. The metal finish would look good with copper pipes. I hope you will find incense cones.

Not everybody here in Germany does the incense burning, because they don't like the smell. But you will find at least one "Räuchermännchen" in every household, although it's never used.

As I was writing this, a great site came into my mind. Check out

They are very famous and have a worldwide shipping. They have a great selection of smokers as well. I've also find some incense cones:

They have "Glockenspiele" as well :D

I like that you keep up with the traditions.

IanC113 (author)2016-12-22

Great Job. I was thinking put some magnets on the base so the stack stays on better. Also I was wondering how you kept the pipe stack in the hole on top. You have no pictures of that.

Stish made it! (author)IanC1132016-12-22

Magnets are good idea. The weight of the body keeps it pretty good on the base.

The gift is already wrapped, so I cannot take any pictures right now (after Christmas I can ;)). The hole is 1cm deep and there is almost no play between the pipe and the internal wall of the hole. I need some force to insert it. The pipe stacks pretty good without any fastening. But you can glue it with superglue if you have problems.

RoguePirin (author)2016-12-22

Very nice! You got my vote.

Stish (author)RoguePirin2016-12-22

Thanks :)

About This Instructable




Bio: Born in Berlin in 1985, engineer, contrarian, 'The Big Bang Theory' fan, my blog:
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