Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha

frugal heat

I am not one to just sit around twiddling thumbs, even while awaiting performance from some other action (last post)
Nope, I have to do things, not sit and bitch.
Well, one of my other projects I had in mind finally started to come together. I found an old Propane bottle at the scrap yard for a song. I had found an old boiler plate (1/4″ steel, high carbon, Tough stuff let me tell you) in a creek after the loggers went through the area. and I needed to upgrade my woodstove so that I could get all night burns out of it (not getting up every 4 hours to feed the stove will be a big hit with me come winter. )
And I even took PICS for y’all!

Here I am draining the water and soap mix I put in the tank and let sit overnight. (whooo, exciting! Snark)


First cut, not to bad for eyeballin’ it.

Hole in back for the outlet pipe, and stubs for the legs

Little piggy grew legs!

I know that hole isn’t square. No excuses, that is what grinders are for and that hole will be made right before the door is finished

And the burn in.(or in this case burn out) The odorizer they use for propane embeds itself into the steel. I dealt with that smell all day and ended up getting a headache from it. Time to burn it out so that I can move forward without the headache. That rod is holding the plate that will become the door. Lots more cutting and welding to do, but its getting there. Encouraging performance too! I put in only three logs and that fire burned for 7 hours. I used the heat to also clean off all that old paint, and attempted to blacken the shell. Old vegetable oil was my agent and it worked quite well. Just like seasoning a cast iron skillet.

Tank: Scrap yard, $3
Boiler plate: Recovered from creek locally, cut to size and cleaned up.$0
Square tube: Left overs from Bowpress project $0
Damper Plate: Stainless ‘valve’ from abandoned well. $0
Hinges: parts made a long time ago and will be modded to work for this
Pipe: From small kindling woodstove. Recycle recycle recycle! (Later, I may upgrade to 3” pipe, will see how this runs in the longterm first.)
Door Gasket: $10 including HighTemp epoxy (I splurged)
Cut off wheels: remaining discs from chop saw. Free since I used the hell out of the blades when they were full sized.
Welder: just part of the preps and something I wouldn’t want to do without (I have options though: 2 is 1, and 1 is none.)


And my favorite line from a T-shirt I have “It ain’t Rocket Surgery!”. And that is how I look at this world, if a big corporation can make it, chances are, so can I: I may have to be willing to substitute parts, but I can make it, and I can make it WORK. And I can do it on a dime if given time to find the scrap

9 responses

  1. wonderdawg

    Cool, hope not!!!, I’s be needing me a heater for my place and, guess what…Got a same size propane tank that floated up during last hurricane…. was planning on either buying a Ben Franklin for $500 or a sheet of 1/4′ plate and fabricating one….but after seeing your pics think a round will do just fine….thanks for the inspiration, AGAIN!!!

    July 15, 2013 at 10:34 am

  2. Wildflower

    nice wood reactor there

    July 15, 2013 at 11:40 am

  3. Nice work.

    July 15, 2013 at 12:29 pm

  4. Spud

    The pipe size seems a touch small to me, might not burn hot enuff. Easy enuff to upgrade to larger tho. Only suggestion I might make is a baffle plate up inside the stove to direct the flame to the sides before exiting the back. For the inlet air I usually use a 2 inch pipe cap with a nut weled to the center and weld a stud on the door inlet making a good controlable spinner cap.
    Good show old man of the mountain !

    July 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm

  5. See Sea

    Good show. I like to see stuff like that. You are certainly talented in this regard Dio.

    July 15, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    • I do not understand you Craig! I may not have all of the info but I view a lot and this is surprising.

      “Truth can be painful. Jamie, you don’t know the whole story. Bill is a good man, true to his word. You couldn’t find a more honest man if you tried. He is just warning you not to trust certain individuals. Bill and I have good reason not to trust some people, that we gave our trust to, and had that trust broken.”

      Are ya agin im or aint ya? Really a box of ammo or even cash? Friends cannot be as easily replaced as those items my friend. I have given you and others in the community much more than that.

      July 18, 2013 at 5:32 pm

  6. Soffitrat

    Oink ought to keep ya warm.

    July 15, 2013 at 11:04 pm

  7. dio, I’m getting a small wood stove intstalled this year. This week I’m having 7 cords of mill ends delivered for a start of my wood suppply ($200.00) I hope to add the floor and wall protection before the end of the month and August I will buy the pipe and through the roof kit . I’m buying the stove last which might seem kind of backwards but I know the wood can be used no matter what, a stove without wood is just a big paper weight.
    I found a little wood stove at Amazon that looks like the one you use in your RV that’s only $70.00 and this will be my Shop/Camping or Oh Shit! option if things fall apart before I get the new wood stove installed.

    July 16, 2013 at 2:06 pm

  8. Dannyboy53

    “if a big corporation can make it, chances are, so can I”

    You’re a” thinking” man like the early Pioneers! Corporations came about because of thinking men.

    GREAT JOB, Dio! We have a wood burning stove (actually two of them), a critical element I believe, provides heat for warmth and cooking.

    Just a thought I had that you might consider, welding a flat plate on the top of the body just large enough to hold a pot, frying pan, coffee pot, etc.

    July 16, 2013 at 2:23 pm

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