I recently saw a frontier stove online and thought how awesome it'd be for camping.

I also thought the cost was silly and that I could make one just as good for next to nothing.

Materials Needed:
- an EMPTY 15kg gas bottle - Free from a co worker
- 3mm or thicker sheet steel - Quite rusty but free from a friend
- 15mm box section - Again, a bit rusty but free from another friend
- 60mm steel pipe (5x 500mm lengths) for the chimney
- 30mm steel pipe (about 2m)  for legs
- Some scrap bits of plate to make the leg brackets
- metal hinges - had laying around the garage
- Heat resistant stove paint - eBay
- A carrying handle with screws - eBay
- A smaller handle for the front hatch - eBay
- 6mm steel rod - for leg pivots
- 4mm split pins (cotter pins) x 3
- m6 nuts
- m6 threaded rod or 60mm m6 bolts
- 3 right angled brackets
- metal mesh (for the spark arrestor)

Tools needed:
 - Angle grinder with both cutting discs and flap discs.
 - A welder (I used a MIG but an arc welder would work just as well)
 - A paint pen or marker.
 - Drill with 6mm bit, 10mm bit and also a wire brush attachment for removing rust.
 - Jigsaw with metal cutting blade
 - Sandpaper. I used wet & dry sanding sponges.
 - Screwdrivers. Normally used for levering.
 - A wire brush. Handy for cleaning up welds.

Step 1: Drain the gas bottle

I can't stress how important it is to do this stage safely. The gas bottle must be completely devoid of combustible gas.
If you don't do this stage properly... well... gas + air + angle grinder = hospital/morgue

Even if the bottle is empty, it'll still have residual gas inside which must be purged.

There are various methods for emptying bottles and removing the valve. Have a look on the net, you'll find methods involving using spanners and scaffolding poles to unscrew the valve. Lump hammers to smash it off. Or, as I did, make a hole and fill it with water.

Lots of suggestions here.


For mine, the bottle was empty to start with. Nevertheless, I first used a screwdriver to wedge the valve open. I left it in the garden for a few hours to be sure.

I then very slowly drilled a hole through the brass valve on the top of the bottle. 

The bottle was then filled with water. I drilled a bigger hole in the top. Emptied the bottle and then left it upside down to completely drain. 

I then forgot about the project of a couple of months.
Built like a tank! I enjoyed reading the whole build and noting your engineering and skills to accomplish the project.
Very nice stove, Job well done. To get it to burn better, try putting a grate in the bottom of stove to get some air under the fire . This will help a lot plus I would put in a larger flue at lest 75-80mm diameter to help draw in air. Hope this helps. JIM
This is a truely fantastic instructable. I enjoyed de reading as well as the end product. Well Done!
Great looking stove, thanks for posting
Really nice stove!!!!
I like it a lot, nice reuse! <br>
next time, round hatch on top, can put cookpots directly on the open hole without heat blasting from the corners.
I opened an LP tank here to make a forge, and it was already rusted inside...
Very nice <br> <br>air intake to feed the flames? just open the door?
nice futurama reference
Don't make me clamp you! ;)
Hey dont be so hard on yourself, I recently drained and opened one for a woodburner and it rusted in less than 48 hours.
About how much does it weigh?
Quite a lot. Not sure of an actual weight. But I wouldn't want to carry it far. <br>About 20-25kg I guess.
Thumbs up! Such stright cuts with a hand held grinder , Fantastic work, fantastic finish and instructable. <br>It remainds me more a Matilda than a Chieftain tank <br>Doesen't the whole stuff melt does it ? Oops I forgot the chimney damper funsction..
Thanks for the compliment :) <br>I expect the wood will be burning at about 700C... Steel melts at 1500C+... So I think it'll be ok. <br>And yes, it does look like Matilda!
This is really cool! Nice work. Do you use coals or wood in your stove?
I plan on using wood.
I've been trying to work out the best way to make a portable, wood fired cooking range, I think a couple of these would do rather nicely. Cheers for the 'ible! What is the heat output like? (Does it get really hot?) <br> <br>Strange to read of someone so close to my current part of the world (Portchester.) That's not your Def in the background is it?
Not fired it up yet (too cold to be standing round in the garden... even with a fire!). But yes, small world :) <br>The pic at the top isn't my stove but the one that inspired it. So the Defender isn't mine... My defender is parked out the front of my house :D
Great 'ible and a gorgeous finished product. I'll add this to my short list of &quot;reasons I should learn to weld&quot;.
Thanks for the comment :) <br>Depending on where you are in the world, your local community college may offer evening classes in welding. I was fortunate that Southampton City College offered a 10 week course for about &pound;200. This is extremely reasonable in England... it works out to about &pound;6 an hour. I really do recommend welding classes though. Was a lot of fun and they supplied all the equipment and materials.
This was awesome! I really enjoyed reading every step and seeing how it progressed. The finished product looks fantastic! Please post up something showing how it functions for you after your first camping trip with it. Super awesome!
I'm planning a camping trip in March, but if I get chance before then I'll fire it up in the garden. Either way, I'll get some footage of it boiling some water or something :)
The finished project is nice :-) I also look forward to your testing this spring. <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br>On a safety note... For purging the tank, your procedure is MOSTLY safe. <br>the odds of an explosion after following those steps is small. SMALL, not none. <br>The reason being that while containing the fuel, some of the petrochemicals can actually enter the pores of the steel. and sit in there pretty much indefinitely. <br>Once you start cutting, the steel can heat up, and release the remainder, giving you a fresh new explosion hazard. <br> <br>THE ONE AND ONLY truly safe method of doing this sort of work on an old fuel tank is an active purge DURING cutting. Nitrogen or argon(along with the safety precautions needed for using THEM in large volumes, such as adequate ventilation, non-enclosed work space, etc.) purge while cutting will keep an oxygen free environment. No oxygen, no fire, no explosion. <br>CO2 as a purging gas is a no-go, since the O2 in CO2 stands for oxygen. <br>I mention this since Beenay25 PROBABLY already HAS a bottle of the needed gas(or can easily get one) due to already owning welding equipment. <br> <br>For anyone else trying to reuse FUEL GAS cylinders...and wanting to minimize their risk, but unable to acquire or borrow, or use a proper purge gas... I'd guess the next best thing would be to put in a water hose adapter, fill the tank, and keep the water flooding in, while cutting. Note, do NOT do this with electrical cutting methods please? :-) <br> <br> <br>Look in the phonebook, or the internet for your local welding gas supplier. <br>Get to know him/her. <br>Chat them up. buy your supplies and safety gear from them. <br>They routinely dispose of out of code empty INERT gas tanks. <br>If they know you, and what you want to do... often they'll GIVE you one or two to play with. or at least only charge you a couple bucks, and drill a hole in it for you(to prevent &quot;reuse&quot; as a normal tank... liability factors and such) <br>If all else fails, stop by the local grocery store, or party supplies, or even hallmark store, and ask if they have any empty helium tanks you can have. <br>again, inert gas = pretty much safe.
Very good point. Especially the bit about getting hold of helium (way easier to get hold of around here than argon). Thanks for the in depth safety note :)
Oh, the Irony! <br>I love it when a plan falls together :-) <br> <br>I guess helium WOULD be the easiest, and probably cheapest purge gas! <br>And here I was merely extolling the virtues of using a spent helium TANK. <br>since it is around the same size(but thinner walled) as a propane tank.
&quot;I then forgot about the project of a couple of months&quot; <br> <br>Truly we are brothers in spirit! <br> <br>Awesome build... Thanks for both the details and the humor....
I do have a shocking habit of not getting round to finishing projects. My garage is littered with the carcases of things that were never to be. :) Thanks for the comment.

About This Instructable


699 favorites


More by Beenay25: Skittle Vodka Camping Storage Heater from Bricks, Sand and an Ammo Tin. Raspberry Pi wearable computer.
Add instructable to: