Stay Warm With the Heiny Heater!





Introduction: Stay Warm With the Heiny Heater!

Here's another use for your empty mini-keg. Recycle it into a patio heater you can use for camping, tailgating, etc. I've seen lamps and wastebaskets made from mini-kegs. I used this little stove at a tailgate party to stay warm and cook hot dogs. It worked great!

Step 1: Materials

Materials List:

Heineken Keg 5 cent deposit
48 oz juice can recycle
Large soup can recycle
Pizza Pan $1.00 at the Dollar store
Ducting $1.00 at the Habitat for Humanity Re-use store
Rivets, screws on hand

The juice can needs to have the top on it, can opener holes ok.

Step 2: Prepare the Keg

First, empty all the beer from the keg. This is the best part of the process.
Make sure to bleed off any remaining pressure before proceeding.
Next, pry off the green plastic retaining ring on the top of the keg.
Pry off the plastic tap fitting in the middle of the top of the keg.
Use a screwdriver to pry up the lip around the metal tap insert. Use pliers to squeeze the pried-up lip together until it is narrow enough to push into the keg. Leave it inside until the next step.

Step 3: Cutting the Keg

Now you're ready to cut an opening in the side of the keg. Size and shape is up to you. Caution! Cut edges are sharp! Use gloves while working with these edges. I used an electric saber saw with a metal blade but you could punch a hole in the side to get started and use tin snips as well. There are some parts inside that you can now remove and toss.
Sanding or filing the edges to remove jagged burrs after cutting helps.
Next, cut about 8 slits in the top radially outward to first ring in the top of the keg - about 1 inch. Bend these tabs up vertically for the chimney collar (soup can) to fit over.

Step 4: Chimney Collar

Don't cut out the entire bottom of the soup can. Instead, cut a hole in center of the soup can's bottom leaving about 3/8 inch (1 cm) band of metal around the perimeter. I used tin snips. Slide the soup can over keg top tabs then bend the tabs back over soup can bottom perimeter band. I used a piece of dowel to bend the tabs back. You could use a hammer handle. For a more secure mount, drill through the tabs and soup can and install 2-3 sheet metal screws connecting together the tabs, can and keg.

Step 5: Put Your Stove on a Pedestal

Rivet the pizza pan to the bottom of the juice can. You could use sheet metal screws here too. I found out too late that the rim of the pizza pan should be up or else the stove is a bit bouncy. Paint the assembly if desired. Fill juice can with sand through the can opener holes to give it weight for stability.

Step 6: I Love It When a Plan Comes Together!

Drill or punch 3-4 holes in the bottom of the keg in a radius slightly smaller than the diameter of the juice can. Make matching holes in the juice can. I duct taped the can to the keg and hammered a small nail through the keg holes into the juice can. Use sheet metal screws to attach the keg to the pedestal.
Insert the stovepipe into the soup can chimney collar. You may need to make sheet metal shims to ensure a snug chimney fit. Use the part cut from the side of the keg or old can lids.

Step 7: Fire in the Hole!

Obviously, the Heiney Heater is purely an outside appliance. Make sure your first test firing is in a wide-open area, preferably with a breeze as paint and other can coatings will burn off.
Now kick back, tap another mini-keg and keep warm.

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Nice little stove, this would be great for keeping warm on cold days while tailgating!

this has always been my favorite instructable, going to make one this weekend since i finally have the ingredients. this looks like those little tent woodstoves that are sold in army/navy catalogs.

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Personally found this project very interesting and enterprising, albeit, it was posted some 6 years ago and I wonder if anyone has made any modifications since then? I am always nervous of the amount of heat these 'contraptions' can generate and never know whether the thin sheet metal will melt under too much fuel/air? I would suggest more stability by putting holes in the Pizza pan base for pegs or other anchors? Perhaps it might be possible to mount the chimney stack at the top BACK with a 90 deg. bend? This would allow a frying pan or pot to be placed on the top. Perhaps a few air holes in the base and a simple grill/mesh base to keep your fuel from blocking those air holes? Perhaps the discarded cut out from the keg could be used as a hinged door? Perhaps a discarded tin lid could be built into the rising chimney to control draw? I guess everything is possible, but nevertheless, great Instructable. Thank you.

Does it need such a long chimney? I'd have thought it would work fine with just the juice can, or maybe not even that. And I'd think the shorter the chimney, the better the fire could breathe. Of course I suppose the long chimney is pretty effective at keeping the smoke out of your eyes. Also, I wonder if the joints could be soldered after they're crimped. Soldering joints like these is very easy with a propane torch and some plumbing solder. Of course the heat of the fire may cause some of the solder to reflow during operation but I wonder how much of a problem that would really be. Great instructable overall though, and I love wood as a fuel whenever it can be used. It's generally the cheapest source of energy and always much more environmentally friendly than petrochemicals.

4 replies

Air goes in the front, and takes the smoke out the top. As the smoke goes through the chimney, the heat is transferred from the smoke to the chimney, and is then radiated out to your patio.

So the long chimney has two purposes: take the smoke away, and stop the smoke from taking its heat with it.

chimneys suck
that is the point, to get air blasted into the combustion chamber so it gets really hot.

why create extra steps that are not needed. there would be no reson to solder the joints. i think that you're right, the joints would come undone with heat. solder melts at a very low temp. simple is the point here.

My maple syrup evaporator calls for 2x the length of stove pipe as the length of the evaporator for the purpose of a better draft and efficient burning of the wood.


this is a great project, built one and put it on my patio. :)

how much for the boat? :D

I love this, great job :)

What a great project! I love this resourceful, easy and fun little stove. Thanks for the idea!

my mother's first impression was that it was a bong! haha

This is a great instructable, thanks for the details. One question, do you think a fluke can be placed between the can and the exhaust pipe to control the air flow? Would that allow a longer burn?
Just a question, I'm planning to build on.

Thank you

 thats freaking awesome man. I LOVE IT!! i make mini wood stoves to(but not as small as this one) but great idea. have you used it 

I'm just a little puzzled as to how you cook things on this.  I can see roasting or toasting things on a stick, but how would you put a pan to cook eggs or pancakes on it?

Nomadic Mongolians use something similar to burn dung patties in the winter to heat up their yurts, but the chimneys they use don't go straight up but bend so as to improve fuel efficiency. Dya reckon one could incorporate a length of flexible air-con duct in a coil as an improved chimney?


Thanx for the ideas! I have a few of those mini kegs and wondered what was a good way to re purpose them. I've also been a little skittish about popping one open. I would have liked to see more detail on how you opened the top.