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Picture of Piglet shaped wood burner from an old bottle.
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A gas bottle wood burner, since this instructable I was destined to make one myself. More than a year I'm thinking of this to be a project for me. I got myself the promise of a gas bottle as soon as it was empty. The promised gas bottle however, doesn't want to be emptied, it hasn't been used for years and probably won't be used for months. Then, all of a sudden I found a gas tank from something, a car, a forklift or something like that. The owner wanted to make a new barbecue out of it because his old barrel barbecue was broken. So before I could start I made him the barbecue. Why me?, this way I could get hold of both ends of the bottle instead off two half ends. That is how my adventure started.

So now I got myself two bottle-ends and one half tube which fitted in between. I welded most of it together to become one bottle again, ready to be made into a wood burner. Since my 'research' was already a long time before, I did some new research to know exactly what I wanted to make. That was when I found a picture of a gas bottle wood burner on its side. Some mindspinning seconds later I wanted to make my own special wood burner. Not a simple standing or lying gas bottle wood burner, not an overly complex but most awesome Bender sculpture. No, my wood burner would be my little piggy friend.

Welcome to the creation of my version of the gas bottle wood burner. I hope you all enjoy it and that I have given some of you good idea's to make an original version yourself. In this instructable I won't give a full description on how to weld properly to get the best results. I will just explain what choices I made to get to this result, together with pictures for visualization. Since I didn't make many pictures during the build most of the pictures will be of the (unpainted) finished burner.
 
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Step 1: Materials

Materials:
  • Gas bottle of some sort.
  • Bolts/nuts, used for door/ventilation hinges, nose.
  • Scrap metal, used for legs, door-parts, chimney-parts, face, grill, hinge, lock, etc.
  • Chimney, mine was constructed of an old ventilation shaft.
  • Heat resisting paint.
  • A bit of imagination, without it no cool stove.

Tools:
  • MIG welder.
  • Angle grinder.
  • Radio, to be able to listen to music to sing along with.

Step 2: Door

Picture of Door
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Door panel:
The door panel was part of the bottle. Since it was cut out of the bottle, it fitted in there perfectly with some tolerance. To close those space an edge was added. I welded it on the outside because I like the rough look on the outside. It even became more rough than initially intended due to the welder. The steel was too thin to weld properly with the welder I had at my disposal.

Hinge:
The hinge is made of a pipe, bolts and nuts. Nothing fancy, but it looks good. Be carefull when welding the pipe, you don't want the weld to sink into the pipe. When that happens the bolt doesn't fit properly anymore without drilling it open again.

Lock:
The lock was made of a steel plate which is reinforced on the inside. The handlebar is made of a motorcycle chain. A hole was drilled in the door and a bolt was inserted and welded to the door from the inside. Using a spring ring between the handle and the door, it always locks the door correct without any tolerance in between.
In the end it turned out that it didn't really matter how hot the wood burner became, the handlebar stayed cool at all time, which is a great advantage.

Step 3: Grill

Picture of Grill
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Midsection:
The midsection is made from pieces of angle bar, with the angle facing upwards. This way the ash is able to fall down without staying on the grill and thereby blocking the air flow. The grill is made such that it can enter and leave the wood burner so it can be cleaned (get rid of the ash). 

Sidesections (not made yet):
Because the midsection doesn't cover the entire width of the wood burner I will make two sidesection (one on each side) such that the entire bottom is covered. These sidesections will probably be attached with a small hing such that the grill is one piece.

Grill mounting:
On the inside of the wood burner small pieces of angle bar are welded on which the grill can rest.

Step 4: Ventilation

Picture of Ventilation
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Door side inlet:
Under the door the ventilation holes are made with a small door with the same kind of hinge as the large door. The small door has no lock since it stays closed on its own. Maybe in the future I will make a sliding door with holes so I will be able to change the size of the air inlet.

The air inlet is made of a square tube cut to the correct shape with an angle grinder. The door panel is made from the same square tube. The handle is made from a bicycle chain, also staying cold during the test fire.

Mouth inlet:
Initially I thought of making the mouth of the pig the air inlet. This should also improve the airflow through the wood burner. However, i don't think it would have looked as nice as this.

Step 5: Pigs face

Picture of Pigs face
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Nose:
The nose is made from an old tube cut in half. Two small pieces of plate are welded in between and a steel plate was used to close the top. The nostrils are made from a big nut, cut in two halves and welded to the piece. In the bottom of the nose a small hole is drilled just to be sure it wont crack from the heat.

Eyes:
The eyes are made by cold working a round piece of steel plate. Using an angle grinder the plate was cut in half and welded to the bottle.

Ears:
The ears are made by cutting 2 pieces of sheet metal to my desired shape and then hamered to its final shape.

Step 6: Chimney tail

Picture of Chimney tail
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The part I'm not pleased with is the tail. I didn't have the proper materials to make a nice curving sort of tube to attach to the bottle. In the future this part will definedly be replaced.

With the last pieces of (thin) sheet metal I could find I fabricated two small tubes with large diameter. These two pieces are welded together with some other pieces which didn't really fitted and where also to thin to properly weld with my welder. Three holes are drilled to mount the ventilation shaft. On the inside three nuts are welded so the chimney can be mounted from the outside by three bolts.

Step 7: Result and future improvements.

Picture of Result and future improvements.
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The result is great. The entire piece is functioning well, The smoke only comes out of the chimney, no leaks due to my welding skills. The looks are awesome in my opinion (and everyone I spoke with). I still need to paint it with heat resisting paint, but that is not part of this instructable. And I can't use it at this point since I don't have the space.

The problem not being able to use the wood burner will probably be solved in a matter of weeks. I will make a table top for it so it can be used as an outside table on my balcony. Pics will follow.

Future improvements:
Although the wood burner is looking good and functioning properly there are still some improvements I probably will make in the future as soon as I am able to use is.
  • New chimney: I'm not sure the ventilation shaft will do its work for a long time, since it's very thin.
  • Paint it: It's not painted yet.
  • Larger grill: As explained in the grill section the grill needs to be wider to cover the entire bottle.
  • Glas door: I like to see fire, so I like to make a piece of glass in the door.
  • Air inlet: As explained in the ventilation section I'm thinking about making the air inlet controllable by replacing the door by a sliding door.
  • Lower door: When I fired the pig, I noticed some flames came out the door when the door wasn't closed. Making a lower door should prevent this.
  • Chicken: I still need two wood stove tools. I'm thinking of making a scrap metal chicken which can hold these tools.
  • Stove: I'm thinking on putting a flat plate on top so I'm able to cook on it.
M2Field1 year ago

Everyone should have a pig wood burning heater. Everybody!

An idea came to me: Weld a plate to the top so you can make warm beverages to enjoy while you work in your warm shop.

Very cool. So is it a smoker or grill? Or just a way to burn some wood???

RuudvandeLooij (author)  EcoExpatMike1 year ago

It's a heater, once I got myself a workshop I will use this heater there, but there still is a change I will make something so I can put cook on top of it as well.

Perhaps a shallowish metal pan (like a "Razorback") to hold some water? For the humidifying effect? Maybe a "designated coffee pot & cup warmer "

John Sphar1 year ago

Nice instructable. I noticed that you were burning particle board. Really bad stuff, glues, resins, etc. in particle board. Not a good thing to burn.

RuudvandeLooij (author)  John Sphar1 year ago

I had a little bit of it left so I put it in the burner to get rid of it. Normally I only use old pallets, logs and garden waste like branches and so on.

dawp1 year ago

I have an old "empty" 40 g horizontal bottle/tank that would be good for such a project. The big thing that concerns me is the danger of residual gas in the bottle exploding if I attempted to cut it.

RuudvandeLooij (author)  dawp1 year ago

Hi, there are a lot of instructables out here on how to make these things. Some of them explain how to empty a gas bottle properly so the change of cathing fire and so on is minimized. I didn't do it myself due to the state of my tank but here is a small description of how it could be done:

  • Open valve so the last gas can escape, maybe even up side down.
  • Remove valve, so even more gas can escape.
  • Fill the bottle with water and empty it a couple of times, this should remove the last gas.
  • Cut your tank.

Still make sure its save what you do, because I'm no expert and have no experience in this.

relbatto1 year ago

wonderful design, great use of materials... how do you cut the tankopen without blowing yourself up?

RuudvandeLooij (author)  relbatto1 year ago

This tank wasn't pressurized, when I found it, it had several measure gauges and stuff, but most of them were already out. So there was no real change of explosion.

Aloha Omigos I LOVE IT!!!
Mielameri1 year ago
This is awesome! Nice build
rimar20001 year ago

Very nice design!

diy_bloke1 year ago

de jouwe is mooier dan die van Bender