Home made wood burning stoves from a gas bottle

I had one in my camper van, worked really well, didn't even realise it was a gas bottle till someone pointed out how clever it was
Just had a thought if you had a decent sized van like mines you could fit a small radiator get a stove with a back boiler (seen them on youtube) 12vot water pump and viola small central heating system


SIL made one for himself from gas bottle. He then made other SIL one for his birthday. If I ply him with beer I might be next. :)
Built a couple. Dead easy to build with minimal welding skills, all you really need is an angle grinder, a drill and a mig welder. The one I use just now ( made from a 47kg gas bottle) heats a 10 x7m shed without problem. One piece of advice though, after removing the valve fill with water to the very top and leave for a few days. It displaces any residual gas and also does much to remove the gas smell that sticks to the inside of the cylinder.
I've done a couple of work related courses on woodburners and biomass heating. two comments;

Wood is about 80% volatiles (gas and tars) and 20% charcoal. The volatile components are mostly wasted unless you have a gasifier stove; gasifiers also have a huge increase in both efficiency and cleanliness in comparison a conventional '3 rock' open fire. There are a lot of plans on the internet for small gasifier stoves since woodfires are the main source of heat and cooking in the third world. There's a lot of 'tin-can' camping stove plans as well, e.g.; Wings -The Home Made Stove Archives - Index of Contents .

The other point is that solid fuel stoves can generate huge volumes of carbon monoxide; I can't recall the numbers off-hand but 4000ppm comes to mind. That could kill you, very easily. In fact there was a fatality fairly recently due to one of the cast-iron stoves (see link posted above) which had been installed in a cabin in accordance with the instructions provided. The instructions made no mention of fixed ventilation. I wouldn't put one of those gas bottle efforts inside an occupied building.
These wood burners are no different to other solid fuel fires. They are easy to build and pretty good for heating. The carbon monoxide issue is true of all boilers/ burners. Common sense when installing them will ensure that you have no problems.
These wood burners are no different to other solid fuel fires. They are easy to build and pretty good for heating. The carbon monoxide issue is true of all boilers/ burners. Common sense when installing them will ensure that you have no problems.
Not quite true, but the difference is important. Oil and gas burners will normally only emit carbon monoxide (CO) if starved of oxygen. The products of combustion should normally be carbon dioxide and water vapour, with minor traces of CO. A solid fuel burner (wood or coal) generates CO in huge concentrations ( and other gases and vapours) as a part of the combustion process by heating the fuel. The CO and other gases are then burned in a gasifier boiler, but not necessarily in a conventional burner. In effect, it is a CO generator.

Some of the horror stories recounted were quite appalling. CO can't be smelt and will incapacitate within a minute or so, the casualty leaving a trail of body fluids in a desperate effort to reach clean air.
I never had any trouble with mine gas wise, it was in the back of a converted BFA camper, kicked out so much heat I always slept with the windows open no matter what the weather, I did add a heavy duty flue/chimney top to it though which seriously sucked air up

One tap thats all a bit overdramatic innit?
One tap thats all a bit overdramatic innit?
No, not at all, just the simple facts about how solid fuel fires work.

I've worked in building services for decades and knew a fair bit about conventional gas and oil boilers. The solid fuel courses were fairly recent and gave me an appropriate respect for, or fear of, solid fuel burners. They will work fine under most conditions. However getting Mr. Average DIYer to weld up something from old gas bottles and then sharing your sleeping accomodation with it is fcuking scarey.

The gas produced by heating solid fuel is largely CO plus allsorts of tars and vapours. This is burnt in gasifier boilers or in those WW2 contraptions that powered the buses. In a conventional fire the air flow is by convection, upwards, so the toxic gas produced by heating the unburnt fuel is carried away from the hot fire bed and does not get burned.
I built a chimnea a couple of years ago from a 14Kg calor gas bottle and a 5' length of 5" pipe. It was pants to be honest as the wood piled in and the fire was against the back wall so you got some heat but the fire was pretty ineffectual.

This summer I sawed it up and tried it with the bottle horizontal and it was much, much better. The fire bed is much wider and probably about twice the area of the vertical one. I made three legs from 40mm angle iron and it seems to be stable enough.

Can't say I like the idea of having it indoors though.


I have an Ozpig and it does well outdoors, I call it boris and it works for me.
my mate the blacksmith in Wisbech made one... burn anything, but when really hot it glows red ! kicks the heat out though. I think they are close on 3mm steel, but they might be zinc coated which will need to be cleaned off, cos when hot it burns off as a yellow powder... which is not ideal. also you dont want to weld it galvanized the fumes are nasty.
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