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  • Big Red Mark

Staying Warm

Sometimes you have to stop and evaluate your shop efficiency. Now that winter is here I spent some time thinking about heating my shop. Currently I have a Kerosene torpedo heater and a small woodstove. The torpedo heater is for initial warm up and for heating on the weekdays where I only spend a few hours in the shop. The woodstove is primarily used on the weekend where I can spend a half of a day in the shop or more. The wood stove I had is about 10 years old. It is in good shape but it doesn’t put out as much heat as I would like it to. I started looking into different designs and talking to different people. I ended up deciding on building a double barrel wood stove. A local dairy in the area I found out provides 55 gallon drums to people for free. I asked for two barrels and I got them in about 2 weeks. In the meantime I bought the barrel kit off the internet which contains the mounting legs, the door, and the stovepipe port connections. My wife asked me why two barrels? The upper barrel is used to absorb more of the heat before it before it goes up and out of the chimney. The issue I saw with this barrel stove design is distributing the heat from the stove. I decided to use a shell and tube type design for the upper barrel. This would let me use a fan in the back to distribute the heat through the tubes. As I looked into this further I did not realize how much pipe costs. I ended up buying (11) 4 foot sections of 2.25” exhaust. I had one of the drafters at work layout the 13 pipes within the the diameter of the end of the barrel. I then made a cardboard template so both barrel end would be the same. I then laid out all of the rest of the pieces (door, ports, legs) I then used my plasma cutter to make all the cuts. I mig welded the exhaust pipes to the Barrel and the mounts for the box fan. I lined the lower barrel with firebricks. It was a pretty simple project that I have less than $300 in. I have been using the stove for about 3 weeks now and it is a heck of a lot better than the boxwood stove. I am glad I spent the time and money to upgrade the heat in the shop. I think it will pay dividends in the future.

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