Friday, February 10, 2012

DIY - Building a tentstove out od scrapmetal

January 16, 2012
Well, as a newcomer to wintertrekking/camping I am in need of a tentstove, too. Since my budget is very limited AND I like tinkering/making things/coming up with solutions, I thought it might be nice to show you how I make a tentstove out of scrapmetal.
I did not use an ammuntionbox, since everyone seems to be doing that. I always like a new approach...
I have virtually no experience with metalworking, grinding, welding, so there will be a lot to learn for me in the process!
Strolling through my father-in-law's workshop I came across a lot of scrap metal. I told him about my idea and he said I could take whatever I thought I might need. I wanted a stove that would heat my tent and where I could cook on. Preferably made of a thicker metal in order to retain the heat more and radiate it slower, but longer. It has to be small enough to fit inside my tent (which I'll be making next), which will basically be 2 military canvas shelterhalves, but higher.
So here's my catch;
The large cilinder is a remnant of an old chimney, the yellow tubes are from an old frame (barbecue, I think) and the shown sheetmetal are leftovers from an old woodfed househeatingsystem.
I had to buy a chimney; 3 sections on connectable exhaustpipe. These will be made to fit inside the cilinder for transport, as will the legs.

Here's the cilinder with front and back closed up with more excess sheetmetal. To the right is the black cookingplatform with a piece of chimnet fitted, to the left the rest of the chimney.

The general idea;

Cookingplatform fixed and all sides attached. It sits a bit over the cilinder, creating a hotairchamber. This way I hope the heat will be distributed more evenly, which makes cooking easier. There will be a door in the front later on;

The welding proved to be a lot harder than I had anticipated! The cilinderwalls are thinner than the cookingplatform and welding that one in place turned out to be troublesome;

Bad things come in pairs and a minute later the whole contraption fell of the benchvise and landed right on top of the chimneybase.... off course!

These are the attachmentpoints for the legs. My FIL made those from scraps, too and the legs fit perfectly over them;

The basic idea was to have 2 legs in front and 1 in the back, all in a 60 degree angle. This way the legs would not stick out to much. By mistake we ended up the wrong way around. The angle of the legs changed to 45 degrees, because on the welding. We forgot to grind an angle to the base and welded them flat on.
In hind sight I think this is better, because the weight of the chimney is now supported better and the whole thing is very stable.

The maiden burn;

Januari 27, 2012
I've been tinkering with it some more and I noticed that I have been unclear about somethings, so I will try to straighten that out too.
What I did so far was to first turn the pipes up side down and add a damper into on of the pipe-ends and goofed up with that one. I added the damper into the final endpipe, while it should have been in one of the others!!
This meant I would have to add a colar to the used end or start all over again. With a lot of help, patience and prayer we got a colar on and for good measure I taped it to make sure it is sealed.

I also cleaned up the whole contraption, so I can paint it.
Here are some detailshot of the front and door. I had to add a few more airholes to make it draft better.

A shot of the interior. Here you can see that the airchamber is not closed, but is open by using the existing round opening to let the hot air in. The air gets trapped against the topplate and it gets pretty hot, too. The opening in the back is the "exhaustpipe".

I'll post some more detailshots, when this baby is painted and fired up again. I did use a grid inside of it, to ensure there was a good airflow along the bottom of the fire, but wasn't too happy with the results. Maybe I should lower that a little more.   

January 31, 2012
My stove is finished!
I painted it with heat resistant paint yesterday and today I have fired it up, again, in order to harden the paint.

You can see the place where I chopped the firewood and despite it being -7 C, I was not cold. It did take long however for the water in the pot to boil. There's a full canteen in it, 0.75L, and it took more than 15 minutes to come to a rolling boil. Now I know why; the pot has an elevated rim at the bottom, trapping air between the cookingplate and the pot's bottom..... and we all know trapped air is a good insulator.
I did add snow into the fryingpan, though and that immediately melted.

Plenty of room to make coffee and fry some bacon&eggs;

Detailshot of the front/door;
All the fittings have been made out of obsolete bookshelfsupports (those that go with a metal rails on the wall). I added 2 extra airholes and now the draftproblem is solved.

An nice flat rear;

the damper;

And this bay likes to get hot!! I dropped some snow on top of the cookingplate and that immediately boiled and evaporated...


  1. Awesome stove, Ron. Very well done!


  2. Ron

    very very good for you. It seems like you know what you are doing and you are positive about it. I like that. I was wondering if you can help me find the lower door for a double oven cooker. The one I have has got both glass broken and I will like to replace it. Someplace that have scrap stoves or something

  3. You can replace the broken glass with new pieces of glass or use sheetmetal to replace the broken pieces. Asd long as the thickness is the same, there should be no problems. I did so with our livinfroom stove and it still works as it should.
    So no need to replace the entire door, just the broken parts.