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  #1  
Old 11/17/09, 04:03 PM
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Barrel Stove?

I was thinking making up a Barrel Stove and lining it with Firebrick.I've used these in Shops and Barns and love them as far as the amount of wood you can load in them and the heat they put out.

But would you trust one in a House?

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  #2  
Old 11/17/09, 05:23 PM
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I've used the same Sotz barrel stove kit since the early 80s. But its AIRTIGHT! All the import kits I've ever seen are NOT airtight. In other words you would have to babysit them and control heat output by amount wood you feed them. You cant just fill em up and let em go.

I also dont use firebrick, but as per Sotz's instructions just leave 2 or 3 inch ash in bottom.

Now if my kit ever fails, I would construct my own airtight stove rather than buy any kit.

Should be aware barrel kits wont meet any insurance standard, no matter how good the stove. Not a problem for me as my house isnt worth insuring and I could cobble together another cheaper than even few years insurance.

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Last edited by HermitJohn; 11/17/09 at 05:26 PM.
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  #3  
Old 11/17/09, 09:38 PM
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I grew up with barrel stoves in the house, and I don't think they were airtight, either (not back then -- late fifties and early sixties). I have seen them get white-hot, though, so make sure it's safely installed.

A better choice, if you can fit it in, would be a rocket stove. Doesn't cost much more than a barrel stove, but it's a lot safer and uses a LOT less firewood. Also, more comfortable heat, IMO, as it's a masonry stove. Barrel stoves can be way too hot for comfort or safety; masonry stoves you can sit on.

Kathleen

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  #4  
Old 11/17/09, 10:01 PM
 
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I have used a 35 gallon barrel stove in a cabin and it really produced heat.

These stoves are prone to burn out the bottom and I don't know how fire brick may effect that. They recommend leaving a thick layer of ash and that is what I did.

The Vogelzang cast iron stoves are pretty inexpensive and thats what I use now:

http://www.simplesolarhomesteading.c...edproducts.htm

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  #5  
Old 11/18/09, 05:38 AM
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I have a Cast Iron Stove I can get it just needs cleaning and Stove Black.I used it for 3 years and it did well I'd just have to go get it back from my Son.

big rockpile

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  #6  
Old 11/18/09, 08:23 AM
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We have a double-barrel woodstove in our house.

It works fine

I lined the bottom barrel with fire-clay [refractory cement], and I wrapped the upper barrel with 50' of copper tubing to heat water for our radiant floors.

I posted pictures here when I was building it.

Folks said that it would burn through, that was in 2006 [I think]. It has not burned through yet.

I did some research on secondary combustion chambers, and I later did some re-designing to made the upper barrel like that. But I was never able to get it to work.

Either way it throws out a lot of heat.

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  #7  
Old 11/18/09, 08:29 AM
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Actually the weakness of barrel stoves is first overfiring non-airtight ones. You DON'T want to make them glow red, let alone white. You control the burn either by making the stove air tight so air intake can be limited. Or you control amount fuel available to the fire at any particular time, otherwise known as babysitting the stove. why anybody would want a non-airtight stove is beyond my comprehension, but if you spend your winters in a rocker next to the stove and enjoy throwing a piece or two of wood on ever so often, more power to you.

Second if you use an actual barrel rather than a thicker walled tank to make the stove, its relatively thin metal. If you dont clean and oil the metal after the heating season, then rust will have its way during the off season and it will do it quickly due to thin metal. You can either care for the barrel or check and replace it every couple or three years. You NEED TO CHECK THE BARREL ANNUALLY!

My Sotz kit has seen about 3 barrels over its life, only one rusted out cause I didnt clean it one year prior to offseason and water mixed with ash is corrosive, other changes were made to meet size needs. I only need about 10 to 15 gallon barrel in my current house. And currently I am using an old water pressure tank which is heavier and I like better than true barrels. It got hard to find an actual 15 gallon barrel free or cheap. Even 30 gallon barrels not super common and 55 gal barrel way too big for my needs.

Also if you are burning really good seasoned wood, adding second barrel and forcing smoke through it does add lot more heat radiating area and takes more heat out of smoke. Course if wood is not well seasoned, this means you also get more creosote.

Also its amazing how much insulation value couple inches of ash in bottom of stove creates. I have couple cats that like to basically live under my wood stove in winter. I wondered that they hadnt got too hot, so one day when stove going good and you could cook on top of it if you wanted, I put my hand underneath. Wasnt too hot so touched bottom of stove and it was just warm, not overly hot at all.

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  #8  
Old 11/18/09, 08:30 AM
 
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Insurance is an issue, and most barrel stoves are way too powerful for a house. However, when I was in Vermont, and the insurance requirements weren't so stringent, I made one that was about as safe as they get. Yes, I used firebrick. What surprised me was that even with the firebrick and ash, the bottom of the stove radiated significant heat and required the floor to have a heat shield of stones and metal.

http://web.archive.org/web/200702170...ove/stove.html

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Old 11/18/09, 08:33 AM
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http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/sho....php?p=3299030

It is my understanding that you need to be cleaning every woodstove every year.
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  #10  
Old 11/18/09, 09:04 AM
 
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Clean builders sand will also work in the bottom of a stove. Just don't shovel it out when you remove the ashes. I used sand in my wood stove, before I orderd a grate to keep the fire off the bottom of the stove.

Lee

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  #11  
Old 11/18/09, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by NCLee View Post
Clean builders sand will also work in the bottom of a stove. Just don't shovel it out when you remove the ashes. I used sand in my wood stove, before I orderd a grate to keep the fire off the bottom of the stove.

Lee
I agree.

But the sides of a 55-gallon barrel are thin. As I was advised when I was first building my stove, the barrel may burn through quickly if there is nothing to protect those sides.

Covering the sides with a thin layer of refractory cement does this.

Sand will not stick to the sides or top of a barrel.

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Old 09/10/13, 05:15 PM
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It is my understanding that barrel stoves will 'burn-out' quickly. So when I installed ours, I got a dozen spare barrels as replacements.

This summer, we cleaned, inspected and repainted our stove. So far there is no sign of rust or burning-out.

Which leaves me thinking that maybe the 'quick' is in terms of 20-years? 30-years?

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  #13  
Old 09/10/13, 05:38 PM
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I made a modified barrel stove that was outside in a dry stack block surround after five years it still looked good. Modified as in had a heat exchanger built on top that piped hot air (heat) into the house.

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  #14  
Old 09/10/13, 08:58 PM
 
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We have had our very heavy duty barrel stove now for probably 20 years..no kidding !! and use it each winter. The first time we did use it we put sand on the bottom but now just keep a good amount of ashes on the bottom. If I only had one stove it would be a barrel stove. Ours is in the cellar and warms the floors and first floor of this old farm house very very well with not additonal fans or air vents in the floor. So yes..I don't think you would be disappointed but...you must keep small children away from it..it does get hot..use a screen or something for safety. We also clean our chimney during the winter a couple times too just to be safe. Good Luck !!

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Old 09/11/13, 03:08 AM
 
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Dang,and I was hoping Big Rockpile was back in town..

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Old 09/11/13, 07:01 AM
 
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I, too, was thrilled to see our old friend back-- Drats, hope's dashed!

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  #17  
Old 09/11/13, 09:52 AM
 
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Whaddia ya mean. I never saw where he split again. just where he had to get a cast stove from his boy??

Ive got an old Jumbo Brand tin sided stove. It was OLD when I bought it. That was 32yrs ago. It has tin sides. I 2yrs ago rewrapped the sides with one sheet of tin and fastened it with 3 strands of bailing wire. The cast bottom was cracked and has a pyiramid of ask from floor mat to bottom of stove. I put a sheet of 1/8th metal on the floor. Seems to have done the trick. one of the legs mountings broke off, so its held up by a can. The lid cracked so I replaced it with 1/8th sheet meta. It bows up so I have the white or grey cording glued around the lid where it touches the top of the stove. Its pretty near shot, BUT at 66 I don't know if I want to buy another wood stove when I know I aint going to be able to keep cutting and hauling wood.

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  #18  
Old 09/11/13, 10:17 AM
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This is a four year old thread,
bill if you got a air tight stove you might not have to cut as much wood....

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  #19  
Old 09/30/13, 10:13 AM
 
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I just built one using a kit. Do I need to put firebricks on the inside or can I use ash?. Also where can I get ash at? Thanks

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Old 09/30/13, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeKan View Post
I just built one using a kit. Do I need to put firebricks on the inside or can I use ash?. Also where can I get ash at? Thanks
I started by lining the bottom barrel with refractory cement.

You can use anything.

Ash comes from your fire.
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Old 09/30/13, 11:55 AM
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The EPA Takes an Ax to Self-Sufficiency: Most Woodburning Stoves Will Soon Be Illegal
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When you think of that little dream homestead in the woods, what does it include? Probably a well and septic system, a little stream bubbling nearby, a chicken coop, a sunroom for winter growing, and a cozy fire to curl up next to.

When my daughter and I spent a year living in a cabin in the Northwoods of Canada, our woodstove was our lifeline. It was the only source of heat in a place that reached -42 degrees. It was the only way we could cook when our power went out during snow and ice storms (as it did frequently). It was the cozy center of our home, and we survived for an entire frigid winter for less than$800. After that experience I vowed never to live in a home without a woodstove.

If the EPA has its way, however, heating your home self-sufficiently with wood could soon become illegal – or at the very least, insanely expensive.
http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/the-...legal-09282013
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  #22  
Old 09/30/13, 08:34 PM
 
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I started by lining the bottom barrel with refractory cement.

You can use anything.

Ash comes from your fire.
Thanks, I knew that.
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  #23  
Old 10/01/13, 08:33 AM
 
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Two things come to mind from me. 1 you don't need it lined, actually if it gets water inside, it would rust faster since the ash and water makes lye and eats it up, you need to be able to clean it out completely. The bottom can be insulated with 2 inches of ashes and be fine. I have seen drums 10 years old with a paint strip still on the bottom since the heat goes up. 2 Any heater that is homemade will not be covered by insurance. That could be a big deal, it is in the fine print on policies. We have had many drums last 7,8,9 even 10 years in our outdoor heaters. Stay warm, I figure Missouri is in for a winter this year...we haven't had much here in SW Missouri last few years. Scott

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Old 10/01/13, 07:17 PM
 
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Long one here

Back in 1984 my wood fired furnace suddenly died and the only thing I had was a small two barrel stove that my father-in-law had built. He had used it one year and it wasn't much good.
It was two 15 gallon grease drums.
I hooked it up for the 84-85 season because that was all I had.
It was not enough to heat my house well.

When my FIL built it he did not buy a kit. He hand made all the parts.
For the pipe between the two barrels he used the steel centers from two terminal spools from a factory.
When he welded them together they were 1/8 inch apart and he welded around them by welding an inch and skipping an inch. Then to seal it up he packed furnace cement around it.

All that Winter I had to build fires that were not too large because the lower barrel would glow red and I did not want to burn it out.
We started saving money to buy a new stove for the next year and then the 1985-86 season started extra early.

I was short a couple hundred bucks so first really cold spell I went down and started a small fire in the barrel stove.
It was then that I noticed how dusty that stove was so I grabbed a shop brush and started sweeping it off.
oops, I barely bumped that connecting pipe and the collar of furnace cement fell off.

What a blessing that it worked that way. If I had seen the dust before lighting the fire and the furnace cement had fallen off then for sure I would have "fixed" it before lighting the first fire.

What happened was as air entered those slots all around the pipe there was a ball of fire going into that top barrel.
From then on the fire burned in the bottom barrel and the gasses burned in the top barrel.
What I had to do was build VERY small fires or the top barrel would get too red. The bottom barrel never got red again. I used half as much wood and got more heat than we really needed.
Seven warm winters I used that stove until it was too burned out to use safely.

Right then I was working on a house and there were two stoves on the front porch.
A piece of crap Franklin and a larger All-Nighter that looked like only one fire had been burned in it.
I paid $100 for the All-Nighter and it came with the original manual and a large cast iron teapot.
That is exactly the $1100 stove I was wanting to buy eight years earlier.
We are still using that old air-tight stove and I am now looking for a piece of 20 to 22 inch well pipe to make an upper "barrel" from and guess what I will do between the two. I will put a door with a window on the top chamber and a shelf inside so the burning gasses have to go around it before leaving the stove.
I will also line that top "barrel" with a 3000 F rated castable refractory. I am getting ready to build a foundry that will melt cast iron and I have more than twice as much of that refractory than I will need.

This experience absolutely has proved to me that secondary combustion really is way more efficient.
I just do not have the money to upgrade and I do know how to get twice the heat from this old air-tight stove.
Right now it does a pretty good job but my goal is to use less wood and have cleaner exhaust.

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Old 10/01/13, 08:44 PM
 
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Dang,and I was hoping Big Rockpile was back in town..
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I, too, was thrilled to see our old friend back-- Drats, hope's dashed!
Gosh, what a dissappointment! I too, was getting a thrill that old rock was back. He is one guy I miss and miss all his game pictures. Wished he would come back!
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  #26  
Old 10/01/13, 09:12 PM
 
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You folks have been around here much longer than I have . All you need to do is click on his name then click on Find All Post by Big Rock Pile.
He is still here just posting in other areas.

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Old 10/01/13, 09:13 PM
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You folks have been around here much longer than I have . All you need to do is click on his name then click on Find All Post by Big Rock Pile.
He is still here just posting in other areas.
Nope, his last activity was 1/21/13
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