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 instructables.com and his/her stove is much more detailed and finished.
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
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.