Frontier Stove From Gas Bottle





Introduction: Frontier Stove From Gas Bottle

These frontier stoves give a great authentic outdoor feeling while camping and they aren't really that hard to make. Your welding skills don't have to be brilliant as it can be covered with black stove paint at the end. Another contributor Beenay25 has posted a great guide to another frontier stove here on and his/her stove is much more detailed and finished.

Parts required

Gas bottle/propane tank or similar. - usually available free from waste disposal centers

Plate steel, hinge for top and front

Chimney/ flue and steel flue collar sourced cheaply on ebay.

Narrow box steel for legs


Angle grinder


Stove paint.

Step 1: Preparing the Bottle.

Cutting a gas cylinder can be dangerous - don't do it just because someone else on the internet has done it. Think safety at all times. Butane and propane gas can soak into the small pores in steel and remain flammable even in an empty cylinder. The cylinder I used was old and empty but I still connected it to an open regulator outside for a few days. I opened the brass valve using a large wrench and plenty of force and then filled the tank with water, changing the water every few days for a few weeks (I was in no rush). I cut the cylinder with the angle grinder while it was still filled with water to reduce the chance of ignition.

Step 2: Top and Front.

I cut a rectangular piece of 4mm steel for the stove top and a semicircular section for the front. I cut a small opening for a door and welded some small flat pieces of steel to the rear as a door stop and attached the door by a steel hinge.

Step 3: Grate and Legs.

To make a removable grate I cut some lengths of reinforced steel bar and placed them in slots cut from 2 lengths of flat steel. The plan is that these will keep logs raised allowing air to flow underneath. The bars can easily be removed through the small front opening.
3 legs are better than 4 for stability so I went for a folding leg design using some square or box steel lengths.

Step 4: Chimney Collar

The section of steel pipe I had was slightly too wide for the flue pipe so I cut away a section and used a ratchet and strap to narrow the pipe and welded the seam. The now narrower pipe section was welded over a hole on the flat steel plate that was to become the stove top.

Step 5: Finished Stove.

During the final stages it was basically a matter of welding the top and front to the main body of the gas bottle. Black heat resistant spray was great to camouflage the dodgy welding and I added some holes below the door on the front for ventilation. Maybe I'll add a sliding panel in front of this to close it if needed. I added a simple latch to the door to keep it closed.
When in use I didn't end up using the removable grate bars at all as I found the logs burned quiet well on their own ash bed.
Nice amount of heat from stove when sitting close to it but I'm sure 90% of the heat is flying up the chimney. Maybe I might cut the top off and weld on some sort of baffle below the flue collar.

Has anyone else made one of these? It would be great to see photos of different finished projects.

Step 6: Update

I finally got around, a year later, to adding a baffle to direct the flames forward and not straight up the chimney. It seems to make a great difference to how quickly the top plate heats up.



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    20 Discussions

    Ha I know, have to photoshop that pic

    Thanks for this, will make one of these this summer.. Although as a welder myself I did have a chuckle at the fantastic welding on the door.. Brilliant

    love it im going to get a friend help me make one lol ;)

    Nice work Mike. This is a project that I have to do. About the baffle, as I was reading the instruction I thought a baffle would be a benefit as well as a chimney grill to inhibit amber and ashes escaping from the chimney. The baffle will keep the chimney cooler and the stove hotter. Thank you for sharing this project.

    Thanks for the careful hints on cylinder cutting- I have used a powerful jigsaw in the past, and got accurate results...

    Nice creation. What kind of rod are you using? 6011 or 6013 is good for ac welding, so if you're using something else buy some rod made for ac welding. Also practice, practice, practice and you'll get better, and it saves on grinding. Learn all you can and pass it on.

    4 replies

    You can run 7018 on ac not recommended in data sheet but there is a 7018AC rod. I would stay away from 60 series rods for something like this although the tensile strength rating is high i have found they are a very brittle weld in comparison and with all the expansion and contraction i would stick to 7018 they run nice too.

    I think that its awesome but you need to add a damper to the stove pipe to keep all the heat from leaving the stove. If you would add one i'm sure that it would keep it nice and warm....


    1 year ago

    Please be SAFE! Please fill the tank with water prior to making your first cut. These tanks can explode even though they are empty and have their valves off. After the end is cut off you should be able to empty the water out and complete the project safely.

    I love this instructable... AAA+

    I have been trying to find an old #100 propane tank to make something just like this. I bought a wire welder and want to teach myself how to use it. Do you think that a wire welder would be good enough to weld something as thick and sturdy as this?



    6 replies

    amperage of the welder will determine the thickness of steel you can weld. even a small hobby wire welder like a 100amps should get the job done on a old propane tank if your welds are good, practice, practice and prep and clean your steel, it will go a long way.

    I bought what I could afford as my first (so far) welder. I haven't used it yet but will soon. I have watched a ton of YouTube Videos about welding and most of the longer ones always talk about the prep work and cleanliness of the surfaces to be welded. I think it'll be a lot of fun trying to make this and learning at the same time.

    auburn01 is giving you the straight scoop, clean and prepping the metal will make a huge difference in both appearance and strength of the welds, and do practice on some scrap first. An auto darkening shield is also a big help when learning to weld.

    Yes a MIG welder will work just fine. Just as with any welding machine, making sure the settings are correct is what matters. I do not have any experience with the flux core wires but if you are using a MIG welder using shielding gas, make sure you are welding where nothing is blowing the gas away from the weld. My welder will operate on 110v or 220v, however I really prefer using 220v. Do not have your settings too high, do not move too fast, and watch the puddle and keep it a consistent size.

    Depends on the welder. Buy something decent, and you will get better welds.

    I bought what I could afford as my first (so far) welder. I haven't used it yet but will soon. I have watched a ton of YouTube Videos about welding and most of the longer ones always talk about the prep work and cleanliness of the surfaces to be welded. I think it'll be a lot of fun trying to make this and learning at the same time.

    Awesome. I want one.

    First, I should own something. Like land. Or a house.

    Great job!