DIY Barrel Stove Outdoor Furnace




Introduction: DIY Barrel Stove Outdoor Furnace


I have added several more videos and blog posts that describe the various system components in more detail, check them out using the links below, thanks! This thing is keeping my house warm in this SUPER COLD east coast weather! Stay warm!


Welcome to my DIY Barrel Stove Outdoor Furnace documentation! Using this site I will show you some high-level information about my appliance. If you want to learn more about this project, please visit the following URLs, thanks!




About: I have built and I am currently improving an outdoor wood-fired appliance that is used to help heat my home using wood that I get for free. This system is built using one of those readily available barrel-stove kits and is integrated into my existing home hydronic heating system. Check out what I have posted here and if you are interested, please check out my YouTube channel for much more detailed information, diagrams, presentations, etc.

Step 1: Existing Heating System

I have a hydronic heating system in my home. My existing system uses electricity to generate heat. While the system is really nice, clean, and easy to use, it does get quite costly when used during the extreme cold weather months. This project is intended to drastically reduce this cost by using freely-available fuel: WOOD! This is a diagram of my existing home heating system. If you want to see much more info, please watch the following video presentation of this diagram:

Step 2: Systems Integration

My home heating system is integrated with the outdoor furnace. I had to make several enhancements to my existing system so that it can be gracefully integrated with the outdoor furnace. The enhancements were designed in a user-friendly, plug-and-play manner. I want to be able to easily switch from "existing heating system mode" to "outdoor wood furnace" mode. All though it would be nice to have engineered a fancy "big red lever switch" to choose between the modes, unfortunately, I just made some changes by creating separate outlet receptacles for the existing heating system and for the wood furnace. Switching modes is as simple as moving a power cable from one outlet to another and also moving some valves. For the complete presentation of this diagram, please refer to the following video:

Step 3: System Operation

Using the system is as simple as:

  • Switching the existing heating system over to "wood burning mode"
  • Starting a fire in the wood furnace
  • Keep feeding wood until you reach the desired temperature
  • If I need to cook something, I simply load up a large pot with various ingredients (think of slow-cooker set to HIGH) and throw it on the hot-plate that I installed. Wonderful meal ready in a few hours.

I have made many videos through out this project, please check them out here:

Step 4: Upgrades

As this is my first time engineering and building such an appliance, as with any engineering project, you will identify and prioritize areas for improvement. Recent as well as near-future improvements are:

  • Top-down batch feed system
  • Forced-air induction
  • Wood and kindling storage
  • Existing home heating system tie-in enhancements
  • Auto-alarm for when the wood fire dies out; you hear the alarm so you run out and add more wood

My overall goals are to keep this project's cost as low as possible, use existing or recycled materials, maximize the usability and effectiveness of this appliance AND MOST IMPORTANT: ensure absolute safety in the operation of this appliance.

Step 5: Components List

Here is a list of most of the components I used in this project - for your convenience. To truly understand the use and implementation of each component in this project, make sure you go to my YouTube channel and review the videos. Thanks!


Relay Contactor

On/Off switching of up to 60 Amps of electrical current


Taco 007-F5 Cast Iron Circulator, 1/25 HP

Pump for wood stove liquid loop


PEX Manifold

In-home heating system water distribution manifolds (2)


3-Way 304 Stainless Steel Ball Valve T-Type 3/4"

Diverter valve – used to divert water to the wood stove whenever using wood stove as heat source


Power Failure Alarm

Alarm used to alert you whenever wood stove has run out of fuel – when alarm sounds, go out there and reload wood.


Swing Check Valve

Used through out the system to maintain flow direction

Backflow Preventer

Required when connecting the wood stove liquid loop to domestic water supply


Pressure Reducer

Required to reduce wood boiler water pressure


*My Wish!* 3/4 inch Copper Coil, 100 feet!

Copper coil installed inside wood stove to pick up heat – get as much as you are willing to spend. This particular one is what I would LOVE TO GET, but I didnt! I got the 1/2 inch copper coil, 20 feet instead.



These latches secure the top-feed can components.


Rutland Furnace Cement

Use this cement to seal all barrel stove components such as the door, the flue, and any other areas that you dont want leaking


Vogelzang Barrel Stove Kit Basic


Vogelzang Barrel Stove Kit Deluxe


US Stove Barrel Stove Kit Basic

This is what I have


Vogelzang Barrel Kit Hot Plate

Used for cooking – works great!


Line-Voltage Thermostat

Thermostat that controls my home heating system’s pump and electric hot water heater


Snap Switch

Automatically engages / disengages wood stove circulator pump – You simply start the fire and the pump engages. The pump shuts off when the wood flame dies out and temperatures fall.


Plate Heat Exchanger

Allows for the separation of two liquid loops – required in freeze zones.


Circulator Pump Isolation Flanges

Elegant method of mounting your circulator pump

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    6 years ago

    Hi, Thanks for posting your instructable! I wanted to share an idea I have that could improve your project. I used to work in the fireplace industry and learned a lot about heat exchange with fireplace efficiency. The most effective thing you could do to improve the efficiency (less wood and more heat) would be to insulate the entire appliance. Wood burners operate most efficiently when the entire assembly, chimney included, reach a stable temperature. Exposed insulated chimney pipe, though more expensive, will also improve efficiency. My suggestion is to take what you have and enclose it, keeping it out of the elements, and replace any exposed chimney with double wall insulated pipe.


    Reply 6 years ago

    Hey thanks man! U know, I am all ready to take this to the next step! I have some scrap sheet metal and I am going to create an enclosure around the unit. I am then going to use Roxul high-temp compatible insulation to thoroughly insulate and wrap the barrel. U are correct, the current design loses LOTS of heat and I burn through LOTS of wood and in cold weather, I cannot reach viable temps to warm the water! Hopefully I have time to do this soon! Thanks!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hey everyone, for those that are also interested in SOLAR AIR HEATING for your home, please check out my blog post on my specific implementation of a DIY Window Mount Solar Air Heater:


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hey friends, I just finished an upgrade on how this unit gets tied into my home heating system. Here is the video presentation. Enjoy!