Introduction: Wood Stove Made From Scrap

Picture of Wood Stove Made From Scrap

My plan was to make a better furnace for melting aluminium but debating this with my wife she made a good point of how many time I would use the furnace Vs how many time we will sit out on a cold afternoon in the garden with a worm wooden stove.
So the wooden stove was the winner.

In this instructable I will show you how I made it all from recycled scraps at minimum cost. The total I think was 20 bucks. The only spend was on grinder discs, welding electrods and a special stove paint although you can save on that to if you don't wish to paint it.

Yesterday we used the stove first time and we sat beside it for over 3 hours and it kept us warm. The only thing I will have to change is to a bigger flue pipe but other then that its a super success.

Safety disclaimer : When using electric tools: welding, cutting, grinding always use ears and eye protection. Keep body parts away from sharp blades and always use full body protection gear.

If you don't know what you are doing take it to a professional. Misuse of pressured gas cylinders can cause injury and even fatalities.
This is not an instruction or a guide how to do it, I am sharing with you how I used a gas cylinder based on my own experience and knowledge.
Anyone who attempts this he/she will do it on their own risk,  I will not be liable for any injuries in anyway.
                                                                          WORK SAFE!

Step 1: Gas Cylinder From the Sea

Picture of Gas Cylinder From the Sea

I was walking on the beach and was suprised to find a gas cylinder washed ashore wedged between the wave breaker boulders, it was strange as I was just thinking that day that it would be cool to use a cylinder for a new furnace and there it was.
I was suprised even more when I found another one not much further away in the sand.
 Then I was thinking what sort of people litter the ocean like that. I will just holdon to my naive tought that it accidently fell from a fishing boat ..yeah right. Then again yesterday while I was cycling I saw another 2 gas cylinders thrown in the woods and 3 more thrown at the port. I really dont get this.

Anyway back to our instructable. After emptying the gas cylinder for a few days (It was empty when I found it) but just to be on the safe side.
After releasing the gas cylinder pressure I drilled a hole and filled it with water and another small hole for letting air out when emptying the water. I left it for a few weeks changing the water every few days.
While cutting the stove future door I placed the gas cylinder on its side full with water and I hosed it every few minutes between the cuttings too cool it down.
After cutting the door out I cut the cylinder nozzle and the handle off (free handle for another project).  A bit of grinding and we are ready to start.

I found this is video on You Tube and it is shocking too see the stupidity of some pepole and how they risk their lives.
Look at these lads doing everything wrong, first it looks like the gas bottle is not fully emptyed and they're not wearing any protective gear.
The cutter guy is holding the gas cylinder under his feet rolling it while cutting.
The best part: look at the arrogance at the end of the clip when the main charactrer need to warm his cold hands.

This video clip shows how NOT to do it:

Step 2: Making the Stove Door

Picture of Making the Stove Door

I got the straps of metal from un-used metal head board.
I cut the straps with a hack saw to fit the stove door size and since I don't have a bending machine I used the door as my template and my muscles to bend it over into it shape.

Next sanding all that rust off, I wonder  how long it was driffting in the sea and where it came from??
I found my welding magnets handy for holding the metal parts in place.
For welding I used my Grip Locking Pliers starting from the top welding from the door inside part.
Unfortunately I dont have a TIG Welder so I was using my primative but reliable ARC welder and My limited welding skills.
I started with a few tack welds and placed the door in its place to check the fitting.
Weld the top thenthe bottom and last the sides.
After all frame straps are tacked, welded, check the fitting again and if you are satisfied give it some more extra welding.

Step 3: Door Handle and Hinges.

Picture of Door Handle and Hinges.

I made the door handle from a big nut rounding it on the grinder. Welded another small nut to it so it could be screwed onto the threaded rod. Another small nut over the threaded rod is to secure the handle into any angle desired.
You can drill a hole into the big nut witha  press drill but its not really necessary with the small nut welded to it.
Drill a hole in the door no more then the threaded rod size. Weld the nut into the inner side of the door and screw the threaded rod into it.

I used scrap metal bits from the same head board frame, cutting the straps witha  hack saw 45 degrees at the edges then I drilled holes using the drill press for the hinge bolt.
After drilling I cleaned them stripping all paint with my small grinder.
Connect all hinges together, tighten the nuts and release them after welding is finished, use magnet to hold hingein  the right place for welding.
Make a final check that the door and hinges are in good location then tack weld open the door to check that everything is as it should be. Close the door and add more welding to the hinges.

Step 4: Door Lock

Picture of Door Lock

For the doors inner lock I used a bit of scrap metal from a garden metal box.
Cut to size with angle grinder and place between the two nuts tightening them with 2 spanners after adjusting the door handle in the right location.

Step 5: Stove Vent Holes

Picture of Stove Vent Holes

I drilled Vent holes at the bottom of the stove.
I cut off the base support of the gas cylinder with a grinder  that way I could attach something more decorative and get rid of the gas cylinder look.
I used my old cast iron BBQ that was more of a decorative item in my garden for flower pots. After taking it apart it will serve as the new stove base.

Next cleaning the rust using my grinder with a metal brush disc. I did this in the open with a respirator because of all the rust coming off.....not healthy!!!!!!!

Lastly a bit of cosmetic welding: close the water and air holes I drilled and grinding them smooth.

Step 6: Stove Hot Plate

Picture of Stove Hot Plate

I really wanted a stove that will be functional in a few ways. One of them is a hot plate on the top of the stove to boil water for coffee / tea.
I didn't have a metal plate so one day I went for another walk down the beach with my baby and there it was in front of me in the sand. I pulled it out and got all excited it was the perfect size - about 5mm thick steel plate.
With all the rust on it I wondered how long it was in the sea. Maybe it was part of a ship hull that was cut off.
I started with a hammer taking the big chunks of rust off first and then brought the "heavy machinery" into action.
After finishing grinding the rust I marked the shape for the stove hot plate and cut it.
Mark plate center point and weld a bolt to it.
Attach washer and nut,  fasten plate to place and check if the fitting is good.

Step 7: Vent Door.

Picture of Vent Door.

I used an old work bench metal part for the vent door. I hammerd it flat and got rid of the small angle on it. Then I cut it into 2 parts and tack welded them to each other to acheive a thicker door. Check vent door fitting.

Then I made another small hinge the same as the one for the main stove door.
I used the same method, securing the hinge to the right place and then welded it.

The door handle I made from more scrap I had,  cut it to size and grind a lock shape.
I attached a threaded rod as a handle and secured it with another nut.

Step 8: Securing Base and Painting.

Picture of Securing Base and Painting.

To secure the base I drilled a hole into the stove base and used a long bolt connected to the metal strap pulling both parts together when tightening  the nut.
The strap metal is made from an extra grinder key I had - drill a hole in the center of it .

After the base is attached cover all parts that  you dont want to paint and spray it with a special stove paint. This will be the first coat of paint.
Do it in a well ventilated place and wear a respirator. 

I felt that something was missing and I had that space on the front stove door so I attached my old house no' ,  I think it looks cool :-)

Step 9: Stove Flue Pipe

Picture of Stove Flue Pipe

This step shows how I made the flue pipe but It will have to be replaced by a bigger diamater flue to handle all the smoke.

I used a box iron from the metal head board frame.
Drill holes in the gas cylindr or use a grinder for flue pipe whatever is easier.
Cut small part in 45 degreed and weld the longer part to it.

Step 10: Inner Grill (optional Step)

Picture of Inner Grill (optional Step)

This step is optional.

The grill could be used to place timber on it and the ashes will fall down and you will have good air circulation or your second option you can light charcoals under the grill and place a pot on top for cooking.

I used masking tape to get the right locations for drilling the holes all around at the same height.
Drill a few holes around and attach long bolts to support the inner stove grill.
I had only a small grill so I added another layer with garden wire.

Step 11: Making Coffee and Aluminium Ingots.

Picture of Making Coffee and Aluminium Ingots.

The stove was great when we used it the other day in the garden, the only thing again is replacing the flue pipe to a bigger one.
I placed the stove on tiles just incase it will get too hot and burn our new deck.

I checked the temperature of the hot plate and inside the stove with a multimeter and I was amazed how hot it can get. The hot plate was hot enough to boil a pot of water and inside the stove was hot enough to melt aluminium.
So I got three in one -  a furnace, a garden heater and a cooker stove...... :-)

One more thing I recommend:  use stove gloves to avoid getting burned and to make some stove tools such as a fire poker, small shovel and clamps.

Why aluminium you ask , you are welcomed to check my Charcoal Furnace instrucable:

Hope you enjoyed my instructable :-)
Here are 2 short clips of the stove in action:

First clip Boiling water for coffee...

Second clip of a fresh aluminium ingot:

Step 12: Finally Found a Chimney

Picture of Finally Found a Chimney

This step is 10 months later. I finally found a chimney pipe in a scrap pile.  I removed the heating plate and attached the chimeny pipe to the top of the stove. It is PERFECT now.


rimar2000 (author)2011-04-07

Very nice, but it seems me known. Is this an old instructable, renewed?

NutandBolt (author)rimar20002011-04-07

I only wanted to add one more step as for the chimeny part in addition. Not realy renewed ible ;-)

Coolvibes (author)NutandBolt2016-10-17

Just awesome I post a YouTube link to my effort next weekend good job bruv

maxpower49 (author)2010-06-23

would a old propane tank work?

sturmey (author)maxpower492010-06-24

A propane tank would probably work. Propane tanks can be dangerous even if you think they are empty. If you don't know what you're doing, you can get the valve removed at a propane tank service center. You are responsible for not blowing yourself up.

If you are going to cut or weld the tank make sure you have removed the valve, and removed any trace of propane and or oil that might be in the tank.

REMEMBER: Better Safe than Dead!

maxpower49 (author)sturmey2010-06-24

yeah i planed on being safe the valve has been removed for years my dad was planning on useing it in a project and had the valve remove when he worked at a place that filed tanks and he never got around to it so it has sat beside our house for like 5 years without a valve and i still plan on filling it with water for the postive displacment just to be absuteletly positive

Here in the Philippines, welders usually have exhaust gases from a vehicle into the tank so that it will be filled with the gases from combustion and will have no oxygen. We do that when we have to do welding on gas tanks and we do not have equipment to get the tank cleaned up and have to do the job in a hurry. Just be sure to do it for at least 15 to 20 minutes minimum..

JohnH69 (author)Atsinokangakaya2015-06-29

I would not recommend using vehicle exhaust to displace the air or contaminants in the cylinder. Carbon Monoxide has a lower explosive limit of 12.5% and an upper limit of 74.5%. Add to this the presence of unburned fuel, other oxidizers, remaining vapors, etc. that are present in exhaust and you may end up with an explosive environment. CO could also affect you if you are building this inside a structure. It does seem like a good choice on the face of it, but it would only take a small influx of air to cause a problem. The suggestion of small amounts of dry ice, below, and most importantly, a truly adequate ventilation/evaporation period would be the safest route.

Excellent ingenuity!

dtrdave (author)2015-01-09

I have a very small back yard and grow all my veg, fruit and flowers in boxes i make so i will be able to keep warm and have a waste from a waste that i can use to benefit my plants. Thank you for sharing.

TeddyBear1970 (author)2014-11-23

Dose the bigger chimney make the stove get any hotter?

rwallace01 (author)2014-11-13

Fantastic!! I now have an excuse to buy a welder!!! Thanks for all the pics!


Symsonia KY

rschuster1 (author)2014-10-17

works great

jrosario6 (author)2014-06-14

Nice stove!! Great instructable thanks!!
P. S... I just ran to check if any of the multimeters I have take temperature!!! Not one I was bummed!!

JKPieGuy (author)2014-03-25

Woah, you Multimeter can check temperature? I've never seen that honestly. Very cool, just as cool, or should I say as "hot" as the stove! (Haha bad pun.)

halftroll (author)2013-10-30

Looks great and I've seen a few by now shall we say. Had exactly the same issue as you on my first build, chimney to small - I never consider less than 4" tube for a chimney and much prefer 5". I also love the way your hinge stands out from the body so the door opens out and away much more, might have to borrow that idea Tbh. I did a slightly different thing with my hotplate as can be seen at Keep up the great work. Halftroll :)

Melia Esperas (author)2013-10-10

I'll stick with your original design, I need the cooking surface, and the smaller pipe was so much cuter.

Melia Esperas (author)2013-10-10

I love your door, it's very close to the look I want for my stove, reminds me of small the cast iron stove in my grandmothers house.

FletchINKy (author)2013-09-13

Absolutely brilliant. I can't wait to get some welding equipment and do something like this!

It's on the list now!

zachary doucet (author)2012-12-01

you have to keep te litlow cheminey beaucause smoke is like wood you keeping smoke and burn it

RuudvandeLooij (author)2012-07-01

Damn. Seeing this I wish I wasn't a student anymore and had the room for such a wood stove. Definitely making one as soon as I have the space for using it.

spylock (author)2012-04-07

Good job,this is now in my top 50 favorites on here,I think Ill try this one,I made a smoker from a clay pot that I saw on here last year and it turned out well,I hope this one does as well,thanks.

colectron (author)2012-04-05

re; working on propane tank...saw very nice stove i n a dome house made from
around ball shaped tank. his secret for safety....DRY ICE broken into small enough pieces to fit into tank valve. he used about 2-3 pounds..the ice creates a
positive pressure in the tank forcing out the fumes and oxygen and displacing it
with low pressure co2. ihave not tried this yet as i havent found pretty tank yet.
very good instruct....thanks

Pfarmkid (author)2012-03-31

you could have used the handle that you cut off of it in the first place

MPierce94 (author)2011-11-28

I was looking around for welding projects and this is one of the neatest ive seen! I have a few questions about some of the materials you used: First, can you tell me what capacity the gas cylinder you used was (lbs.). Second, what kind of barbecue did you get the base from? Any information you give me would be greatly appreciated.

SIRJAMES09 (author)2011-07-04

CAN WE SAY STUPID?? I think we can....
not you, but the guy using a power saw to cut that tank without protective gear.
that was an accident looking for a place to happen.

Getting back to the instructable.
I like how you stress safety, & how you went above & beyond what most people would do to make sure you work safe. Nice. Very nice. 8=D

Hycro (author)2010-12-31

I was thinking "exhaust pipe from 1/2 ton truck" for the flue...

groovy (author)2010-12-09

just wondering if you get enough air flow with the small inlet holes?
by the way nice build...

NutandBolt (author)groovy2010-12-10

Thank you, I don't realy have a use for the inlet holes because I leave the stove door semi-open. In retrospect I would do the inlet holes bigger or perhaps just one large hole.

steppapajon (author)2010-10-02

Excellent instructable. Very well thought out. Great details. It was a very enjoyable read. Thank you for taking the time to record and post your information.

NutandBolt (author)steppapajon2010-10-09

Thank you for your comment, I am happy you liked it ;-)

pdtnc (author)2010-08-08

Nice, did you have ti tickle a bit off your welds to get it to shut tight?

NutandBolt (author)pdtnc2010-08-08

Thanks, Very light grinding over the welds, the angle grinder cutting leavs a few MM gap (blade thickness) so the welds fits nicley .

flamerider (author)2010-06-24

Since you still have some square tubing, add two more flue pipes on each side of the current one. The three would look pretty cool, provide enough draft,and look something like a smokeing pipe organ!

NutandBolt (author)flamerider2010-06-24

I was thinking the exact same thing too, adding a few more square tubing in some interesting formation, the only thing Is I am not sure It will be big enough to suck all the smoke out. I am still searching for some decent size scrap metal for flue pipe, just something that will be in wider diameter. Smoking pipe organ, I like that is a cool idea :-)

mattbomb (author)NutandBolt2010-07-28

ease dropping.

Soulis (author)2010-07-05

hey Thanks for good idea. After i looked this i started to call around of finland to find cotainers and only few calls later i did get realy good deal 5 cylinders for 25€. We have recycling policy in here so can't find cylinders on sea or woods (it is actually good thing) bu now i can try to make few of my own so thans again and be warm on your garden :)

NutandBolt (author)Soulis2010-07-09

That sounds great I love bargains too, if you do make them please post a few images. Thanks :-)

NutandBolt (author)2010-07-09

Thank you very much for this info, I always wanted to know a bit more about cast iron welding when I did a few jobs working with cast iron. I noticed that cast iron reacts different where it was welded over the long term. The tips you gave are very good thank you again :-)

hsahrc (author)2010-06-30

Now THIS is a project that makes PERFECT sense!! If need be one could even use this when you go camping. A coil around the exhaust, coupled to some water reservoir - hot (or maybe at least WARM) water on the go? Thanks - well thought out and even better done!

NutandBolt (author)hsahrc2010-06-30

Thank you for your positive comment :-)

Mig Welder (author)2010-06-24

I suggest using a, for lack of a better word, "coil" type handle. It diffuses the heat very efficiently and could be easy to to make from an old spring. An example is a slag shipping hammer like the one from here:

NutandBolt (author)Mig Welder2010-06-24

That's a great idea for a handle, I learned here something new regarding the coil diffusing the heat. Thank you :-)

Mig Welder (author)2010-06-24

Be careful if welding steel to cast iron. It makes for a poor  joint. However, if the joint won't be under excessive mechanical stress, it should be fine.

Anyway, I really like your instructable. Well thought out, very well explained etc. I love the concept of taking something old and discarded and making it into something new and useful. I also love it when the new and useful object is aesthetically pleasing too. 

Keep it up!

NutandBolt (author)Mig Welder2010-06-24

Thank you for your positve comment, I agree with you a few month ago I welded my drill press vice bolt connection ( made of cast iron) and it did last a few months but then is saw small crack because it was under stress from the drill pressing against it. This time I changed the connection and gave it one STRONG weld and that did the job, that was the first reason why I didn't weld the cast iron BBQ base part to the gas cylinder. Second reason, I preferred to use a long screw and connectors just in case I will want to take it apart or make and modifications to the stove. Thank you again :-)

pokey5 (author)2010-06-24

I must say this is the coolest gas bottle stove i've seen. I made one myself but it isn't half as pretty. Really nice work, and i love the idea of using magnets to hold parts in place when welding, i never thought of that, will give it a go next time a get the stick welder out.

NutandBolt (author)pokey52010-06-24

Thank you very much for your positive comment, ill be honest with you, it doesn't matter how the stove looks, If the stove is doing its job keeping you warm and a pot of hot water for coffee.... that's the most important, I think :-)

coppeis (author)2010-06-24

Great job but what is the point of steps 5 and 7?

NutandBolt (author)coppeis2010-06-24

Thank you for your positive comment , step 5 and 7 I am showing one of many options how to make the stove vent. The purpose of the vent holes is when the stove door is closed air (oxygen) is sucked in from the vemt holes If you cover the holes you don't get the proper air circulation and the flames will be extinguished creating a lot of smoke. when stoves main door is open the vent door can be closed.

romoshka (author)2010-06-24

WOW! Very cool indeed. I am in the planning stages of building a stove and wanted to build something that was unique and stumbled across the heater here ( and was planning to emulate that design and now have your very well detailed build instructions for the basic stove. I just love this site! Thanks for taking the time to document your build.

About This Instructable




Bio: Couple of years ago I created my metal casting blog and over the years I uploaded many projects, my main goal is to increase the ... More »
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