Introduction: Pot Belly Stove / Outdoor Wood Heater

Picture of Pot Belly Stove / Outdoor Wood Heater

Hi Guys

My First Instructable..

Here is my version of a typical "outdoor wood heater" built over the holiday break ready for winter in Australia.
This was a great little project where i could spent 4 days welding things together!

My build makes use of 3 old truck brake drums, scrap steel and water pipe offcuts for the ash tray legs and flue / Chimney.

Total cost of project  under AUS $80

High Temp Paint $20
Gate Hinges $12
2x 6mm Steel Plate $30
Flue cowling $15

I hope you all find some inspiration and enjoy my photos!


CharlieD33 (author)2016-05-11

Are the drums cast iron? If so how did you go welding them? And what sort of welding did you use. Very nice project that I am thinking of making for my major school project

kylieandturtle.goldsmith made it! (author)2014-09-29

I'm part way through making one (a bit late...for next winter!). this is a indoor one for a fishing hut.

I just went to about 6 different truck repair shops and asked for brake drums, all were very helpful but only 2 had drums...ended up with 16 all up.

Here's some pics of the base, made from a front brake drum as its a bit smaller.

Notice the hole I cut for the ash drawer is cut straight in, not at 90 degrees from the side (hope that makes sense) with 1" angle iron welded in for the drawer to slide on. The air vent/regulator is 3" pipe with a rod and flap through the centre.

I've welded the 2 larger ones together and they are HEAVY! it's going to be megga heavy when all 3 are joined together.

more pics later...

Looking good, Mines going to get another run this summer "news year eve" - Heavy is an understatement - i struggle to move mine around by myself! - it lives outside i'm sure it will outlast me!

Grunty (author)qakaos2015-06-26

I made a smaller one with 4x4 brake drums & an old truck "brake air tank"

takes a three legged pot or a frying pan at the top & can convert to take a sieve for braai'ing ......... I do my own machining so cut off all the heavy lugs & machined the drums smaller, makes it so much lighter.......

Steelmaker (author)2015-06-03

So I want to make this, I wonder if you have a complete list of items used, and the measurements of all the pieces?

revs64 (author)2014-07-16

hi what a ripper do you have plans that can be used to make something similar.looking around for something like that.

qakaos (author)revs642014-11-19

Sorry dont have an plans as such, I made it up as i went along..

Moscow_Wolf (author)2013-11-07

That is as good if not better than anything you could buy off the shelf from a manufacturer. Anyone have an idea how much would be the scrap value cost for such large brake hubs at today's prices? I want to source a couple for a home-made Blacksmith's furnace. How long did it take to do the cutting with the angle grinder? Many thanks for posting your project.

qakaos (author)Moscow_Wolf2014-11-19

not sure how much they would be for scrap, mine were all free - most places are happy to part with "junk" once they understand it's going to a good cause / project.. I'll post some pics of my forge soon - built from one of the spare drums

astral_mage (author)Moscow_Wolf2013-12-17

abut 7 - 15 cents a pound

BlackDog74 (author)2014-06-23

Where did you score the truck break drums???

sterlworth (author)2012-10-02

Awesome job mate, i have been thinking about this for a while now, and now that i have seen yours, its a definate

PaleoDan (author)2012-04-23

Great build, really like the design.

Lectric Wizard (author)2012-04-21

Very nice! Best looking diy stove I've seen. Cheers!!!

ozifred (author)2012-04-15

Great job mate. I want one and will pass the idea onto my husband. Thank you for your contribution.

Quick-tune (author)2012-04-13

A superb job, I'm glad to see someone else who isn't scared to weld cast steel. I bet that monster will hold some heat when it gets going!
I built mine from a 7.5 kilo butane cylinder and that kicks out an impressive amount... careful you don't melt ;)

qakaos (author)Quick-tune2012-04-13

Thank you for the kind feedback Quick-tune,

After it's "first burn" it took 24 hours to completely cool down,
My friends have all put in orders for one!

I would love to build a small more compact camping version from a LPG Cylinder, did you fill yours with water before cutting open?

Quick-tune (author)qakaos2012-04-14

Credit where credit is due my friend!, Yes I was taught to purge a tank by filling with soapy water making sure there are no air pockets, and leaving it to stand for a couple of hours before cutting/welding... It works for me as I still have my hair and eyebrows ;-)
How about using car brake drums next time?

qakaos (author)2012-04-13

Thank you for your positive feedback and encouraging notes guys, it's wonderful to see like minded people out there all tinkering with metal.

knife141 (author)2012-04-12

Excellent work, and that's some seriously thick steel to cut and weld! Nice job!!

rimar2000 (author)2012-04-12

Congratulations, you are a good designer, good recycler, and good workman.

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