Barrel Stove?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by big rockpile, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    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?

    big rockpile
     
  2. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2009
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  3. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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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
     
  4. survivalpro

    survivalpro Active Member

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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.com/reccomendedproducts.htm
     
  5. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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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
     
  6. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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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.
     
  7. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  8. Harry Chickpea

    Harry Chickpea Well-Known Member Supporter

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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/20070217075908/www.electricrailroad.com/stove/stove.html
     
  9. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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  10. NCLee

    NCLee Well-Known Member

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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
     
  11. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    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.

    :)
     
  12. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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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?
     
  13. biggkidd

    biggkidd Well-Known Member

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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.

    Larry
    A World Away
     
  14. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

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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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  15. EDDIE BUCK

    EDDIE BUCK Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dang,and I was hoping Big Rockpile was back in town..:awh:
     
  16. ceresone

    ceresone Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I, too, was thrilled to see our old friend back-- Drats, hope's dashed!
     
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  17. FarmboyBill

    FarmboyBill Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     
  18. coolrunnin

    coolrunnin Well-Known Member

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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....
     
  19. JoeKan

    JoeKan Well-Known Member

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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
     
  20. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    I started by lining the bottom barrel with refractory cement.

    You can use anything.

    Ash comes from your fire.