Wood Burner

About: Touring lighting bloke, when I'm home I'm in the workshop, the need to make stuff is strong.

Hello fellow makers, I thought I'd start sharing my adventures in my shed with you, and so here is my Instructable on this weeks project, which is a burner for my woodshop.....

I started with an old expansion vessel ( one of two I pulled out of a skip a few years ago), A huge cast Iron pan, given to me a while ago by a friend, (apparently they were made for the navy, who then didn't want them because they took two people to lift!), and a piece of ceramic stove glass from another woodstove (I'd had it cut the wrong size, and just got around to replacing it).

That was it, no plans, no drawings, I just knew I wanted to make it from stuff I had lying around.

Step 1: Opening Up the Tank

I knew from a previous project with one of these tanks that they have a rubber diaphragm inside, I also knew, having found out the hard way, that you can drill the welds out all the way around on the rings that hold the diaphragm in place, and then cut it out. So I drilled all the welds, then sliced the top of the tank off with an angle grinder, cut the diaphragm out, and removed the steel retaining rings. This left me with the body for my Burner.

Step 2: Glassdoor

Next I made a frame up to fit the glass, as this would determine the size of the door and the hole. I just used some scrap angle iron salvaged from a friends trailer I rebuilt. The glass is fitted using some left over fire rope I had and some tabs bolted in.

Step 3: Building the Door

I found some pieces of 3mm steel plate left over from another project, and using the top cut of off my other tank, I marked the curve for the top and bottom of the door box, I then cut this out with my trusty old Makita jigsaw, (Getting harder to get blades for this old model), Welded another couple of 3mm plate offcuts to the sides to make a box, and voila, one door.

I then laid this on the tank, and marked around the inside to make the hole.

Step 4: End of Day 1

Once I had cut the hole out, again with my angle grinder and 1mm cutting disk, I placed the box back on and welded it in place.

That done, I lit a big fire in it, to burn off all the nasty paint, and called it a night.

Step 5: Day 2

I had a lot of thoughts about how to cut a circle out of the bottom of this old pan, (Which is 12mm cast iron!) , I knew the jigsaw wouldn't do, and I haven't stretched to a plasma cutter yet. I toyed with making a jig for the angle grinder to cut circles until I finally realised I didn't need to cut out a circle, I just needed to cut the rim off, (DOH!), so I stuck a new 1.6mm disc in the angle grinder and slowly cut around the rim from the outside, trying to keep as close to the base as possible. It was a filthy, noisy job, (the snow turned a lovely black colour around where I was working), but it was pretty succesful, I only needed to do a bit of grinding to tidy it up.

Step 6: Chimney

Next I had to cut a 5" circular hole for the chimney, (thought I'd got away with no circles). This was a real pain, but I managed it with the angle grinder, freehand, and then I rammed a short piece of old Flue in there and filled any little gaps with fire cement.

Step 7: Spanner Grate

I recently purchased a job lot, (something like 500), 1945, ministry of defence, 13/16 whitworth Spanners. (I know, impulse buy). I've got a lot of projects for these, but the first is the grate for my burner. These are perfect, as they're all the same size, and I just had to weld a bit of scrap steel to either end to join them all together.

Makes for a Great Grate.

Step 8: In She Goes

I was struggling with a nice way to make the air control, when I found a disc that had been plasma cut out of something, so I drilled a couple of holes in it, drilled matching holes in the top of the door box, and welded a bit of old 10mm bar to it as a lever. Bolted it on to the door box, and now you pull the handle one way to close the holes, and push it the other to open them, Simples.

Below, you can see the bottom air feed, a simple piece of old box section, with a flap inside.

I ran a piece of fire rope around the top of the tank and sat the pan base on this, and then bolted it down to some lugs I welded to the inside of the tank.

The door is attached with some nice weldable lift off hinges that I had lying about, and the closure is another piece of old trailer that hooks onto a bolt welded to the side, I'll change this at some point, but it'll do for now.

Fired it up to test all the joints, and it all seems fine, no smoke escaping anywhere it's not supposed to. I'll give it a spray of stove paint tonight, and put up some finished pictures later.

Not a bad little project, kept me out of trouble for a few days, taught me a bit about my new welder, and will keep me warm in my woodshop. I think I'll probably adapt this a bit as time goes on, but for the minute, I'm more than happy.



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    7 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    excellent job well done. I've had mine like this for a couple of years and just fitted a temperature controlled air blower to circulate the air in my shop.

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    Nice wood stove duder! I have one concern though... it could just be lighting or somethung but in that last pic it seems as though the forward most leg is red hot haha.

    1 reply

    Leftover Military Red Paint.

    The burnoff of paint worked well for everything above the fire line, but those legs never got hot enough in step 4. Bonus because it means the legs have minimal thermal transfer to the "floor" they rest on.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Your wood burner turned out really nice! Thank you for sharing this!