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Old 10-04-2007, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,630 posts, read 49,281,484 times
Reputation: 19009

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I hang out at other forums a bit, and one of them recently asked me to provide a longer 'background' story explaingin our home heating system.

I wrote this and it occured to me that folks here on this forum might possibly enjoy reading it as well.

A do-it-yourself cheap home heating system made from a two-barrel stove.










We just got a new digital camera and I got to playing with the camera, alas our house right now is a mess, which shows up double in the pictures

Anyway we have a local sponge-cake factory [LaBrees] and they are a continuous supply of 55-gallon drums. They buy lard and pineapple filling in big oil drums. So I get them for free.

The kits to assemble two drums into a stove can be bought from 'Northern' [but other folks have them as well].

Vogelzang Barrel Stove Kit, Model# BK100E | Stoves | Northern Tool + Equipment

$40 is a kit that makes a one barrel stove, another $30 gets you the stacking hardware to make it into a two-barrel stove.

These stoves are rated at 200,000btu.

I lined the bottom barrel with one inch of refractory cement [fire clay] in the hopes that it will never burn out. [okay fine, I do have a row of spare barrels outside so even if it does burn out in five years, I do have ready replacements]

The upper barrel has two preheated air intakes of my own design. Two pieces of black-pipe two and a half foot long, mounted on the front and suspended inside, with caps on the outside. When the stove is hot and drafting good, removing the caps will introduce preheated fresh air into the upper barrel making it into a secondary combustion chamber. I have gotten the secondary combustion chamber glowing orange. This year I have included a temperature gauge so I can see how hot it gets.

Directly above the stove we have an industrial ceiling fan, blowing right down on it. This works well to move air a lot, and to push the heat down and out across the room. We are in a 40' X 60' [2400sq ft] structure, with one room. So the ceiling fans are capable of keeping the heated air stirred up and distributed through-out.

We have under-floor radiant heat. PEX tubing underneath the floors and on the living room seating keeps the floors and the living-room couches warm.





Also between our swimming pool and our jacuzzi is a large heated towel rack, that this hot water also flows through.





So our wet towels are quickly dried, and they are always warm and ready for our use. The towel rack is also large enough that all of our wet clothing and coats can fit on it to dry.

We have a propane water heater and an electric water-heater. Both set at incremental levels so they only kick in when all else should fail.

From the big stove the hot water flows into a thermal bank of 300 gallons. It consists of six 55-gallon drums [did I mention that I have a ready supply of free drums?]

Hot water from the stove is circulated through the thermal bank. Hot water is also circulated from the thermal bank, through the propane and electric water-heaters, through the circ pumps, through the towel rack, through the floor loop, then finally returning to the thermal bank.

Both circ pumps are the cheap Toro 120VAC units. Fed from an inverter, connected to a marine deep-cycle battery, on a charger. If we loose power we should still have heat flow for four days.

We did play with the 12VDC circ pumps, but they were very expensive, and they did not last through the entire season.

Our stove, has two very heavy iron grates in it. Which I bought from:

Replacement Wood Stove, Coal Stove, Gas Stove, and Pellet Stove Parts, Stove Parts

Our local hardware stove, allows me to buy the parts from them, they call the order in to woodmans, and I do not pay for shipping.

We burn green wood, cardboard, paper, peat, and coal.

I have found that it would appear [to my non-chemist eye] that since the smoke stack is straight anything that condenses in the pipe appears to fall down into the secondary combustion chamber. Where it is burnt yet again.

This summer when I dis-assembled the entire system for cleaning [yes, I am retired military, I disassemble things for planned maintenance] It was surprisingly clean, I found very little creosote build-up.

We harvest local wood from my woodlot [I own 40 acres of woodlot and I manage another 105 acres of woodlot]. We harvest peat from one of the many local peat bogs. I even have sphagnum moss growing here on my land, so as I cultivate it, in six years I hope to begin harvesting peat from our own bog.

Our grates are flat, not conical. So they are truly not the proper shape for burning coal. I can get a nice coal bed going, but it is just as likely to go out, since the grate is not the proper shape. However it appears that by mixing wood, peat, and coal, it does all get burnt. It provides a lot of heat. I tend it hourly through the evening, and in the morning a little stir and some fresh wood, and it roars back to life.

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Old 10-04-2007, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Maine
7,728 posts, read 11,019,150 times
Reputation: 8316
Ingenious,.. now that's a really smaht thing forest. You'll get there with the house, seems like I'll be unpacking forever. Still have lots of things I'm hoping to do before I'm happy with our place, but I'm not colmplaining. It just means I'll have to take a trip to town in a couple of weeks for fabric Anyone have any fabric hanging around, hmmmm? lol
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Old 10-04-2007, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,676 posts, read 6,747,989 times
Reputation: 10232
I saw that double barrel design many, many years ago, but not with those two upper air intakes.

I'd want to replace those caps with something like the rotating air vent from an old Glenwood "Oak" parlor stove.
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Old 10-04-2007, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,630 posts, read 49,281,484 times
Reputation: 19009
Quote:
Originally Posted by msina View Post
Ingenious,.. now that's a really smaht thing forest. You'll get there with the house, seems like I'll be unpacking forever. Still have lots of things I'm hoping to do before I'm happy with our place, but I'm not colmplaining. It just means I'll have to take a trip to town in a couple of weeks for fabric Anyone have any fabric hanging around, hmmmm? lol
Thanks, I have no extra fabric though.

Still waiting for DW to make the seat covers in the livingroom.
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Old 10-04-2007, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,630 posts, read 49,281,484 times
Reputation: 19009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymer View Post
I saw that double barrel design many, many years ago, but not with those two upper air intakes.

I'd want to replace those caps with something like the rotating air vent from an old Glenwood "Oak" parlor stove.
I have never seen any other of this type of stove with a secondary combustion chamber either.

The caps are currently blackpipe and they do get hot. Perhaps something else would be better to allow use without putting on gloves.
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Old 10-04-2007, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Corinth, ME
2,712 posts, read 5,006,645 times
Reputation: 1863
Thank you for that educational essay! I had seen plans for similar type stoves long ago but have never known anyone who built one.

Now I know who to hit up for advise, if I need to go that route.
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Old 10-05-2007, 05:13 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,630 posts, read 49,281,484 times
Reputation: 19009
Quote:
Originally Posted by starwalker View Post
Thank you for that educational essay! I had seen plans for similar type stoves long ago but have never known anyone who built one.

Now I know who to hit up for advise, if I need to go that route.
You are welcome my deah

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Old 10-05-2007, 05:28 AM
 
Location: Bangor Maine
3,442 posts, read 5,594,998 times
Reputation: 3980
You absolutely have to send all this information and pictures to Tom Goese and Professor Dick Hill that are on the radio in Maine every Saturday morning from 8 to 10 am on WVOM. They would LOVE it.
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Old 10-05-2007, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,630 posts, read 49,281,484 times
Reputation: 19009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newdaawn View Post
You absolutely have to send all this information and pictures to Tom Goese and Professor Dick Hill that are on the radio in Maine every Saturday morning from 8 to 10 am on WVOM. They would LOVE it.
Yes those guys are great!

I enjoy listening to them.

Unfortunately this summer I have been at market every Saturday, during their radio show.

I do get to listen to the first hour as I am packing and driving to the market though
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Old 12-30-2008, 01:40 PM
 
502 posts, read 796,827 times
Reputation: 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
I hang out at other forums a bit, and one of them recently asked me to provide a longer 'background' story explaingin our home heating system.

I wrote this and it occured to me that folks here on this forum might possibly enjoy reading it as well.

A do-it-yourself cheap home heating system made from a two-barrel stove.










We just got a new digital camera and I got to playing with the camera, alas our house right now is a mess, which shows up double in the pictures

Anyway we have a local sponge-cake factory [LaBrees] and they are a continuous supply of 55-gallon drums. They buy lard and pineapple filling in big oil drums. So I get them for free.

The kits to assemble two drums into a stove can be bought from 'Northern' [but other folks have them as well].

Vogelzang Barrel Stove Kit, Model# BK100E | Stoves | Northern Tool + Equipment

$40 is a kit that makes a one barrel stove, another $30 gets you the stacking hardware to make it into a two-barrel stove.

These stoves are rated at 200,000btu.

I lined the bottom barrel with one inch of refractory cement [fire clay] in the hopes that it will never burn out. [okay fine, I do have a row of spare barrels outside so even if it does burn out in five years, I do have ready replacements]

The upper barrel has two preheated air intakes of my own design. Two pieces of black-pipe two and a half foot long, mounted on the front and suspended inside, with caps on the outside. When the stove is hot and drafting good, removing the caps will introduce preheated fresh air into the upper barrel making it into a secondary combustion chamber. I have gotten the secondary combustion chamber glowing orange. This year I have included a temperature gauge so I can see how hot it gets.

Directly above the stove we have an industrial ceiling fan, blowing right down on it. This works well to move air a lot, and to push the heat down and out across the room. We are in a 40' X 60' [2400sq ft] structure, with one room. So the ceiling fans are capable of keeping the heated air stirred up and distributed through-out.

We have under-floor radiant heat. PEX tubing underneath the floors and on the living room seating keeps the floors and the living-room couches warm.





Also between our swimming pool and our jacuzzi is a large heated towel rack, that this hot water also flows through.





So our wet towels are quickly dried, and they are always warm and ready for our use. The towel rack is also large enough that all of our wet clothing and coats can fit on it to dry.

We have a propane water heater and an electric water-heater. Both set at incremental levels so they only kick in when all else should fail.

From the big stove the hot water flows into a thermal bank of 300 gallons. It consists of six 55-gallon drums [did I mention that I have a ready supply of free drums?]

Hot water from the stove is circulated through the thermal bank. Hot water is also circulated from the thermal bank, through the propane and electric water-heaters, through the circ pumps, through the towel rack, through the floor loop, then finally returning to the thermal bank.

Both circ pumps are the cheap Toro 120VAC units. Fed from an inverter, connected to a marine deep-cycle battery, on a charger. If we loose power we should still have heat flow for four days.

We did play with the 12VDC circ pumps, but they were very expensive, and they did not last through the entire season.

Our stove, has two very heavy iron grates in it. Which I bought from:

Replacement Wood Stove, Coal Stove, Gas Stove, and Pellet Stove Parts, Stove Parts

Our local hardware stove, allows me to buy the parts from them, they call the order in to woodmans, and I do not pay for shipping.

We burn green wood, cardboard, paper, peat, and coal.

I have found that it would appear [to my non-chemist eye] that since the smoke stack is straight anything that condenses in the pipe appears to fall down into the secondary combustion chamber. Where it is burnt yet again.

This summer when I dis-assembled the entire system for cleaning [yes, I am retired military, I disassemble things for planned maintenance] It was surprisingly clean, I found very little creosote build-up.

We harvest local wood from my woodlot [I own 40 acres of woodlot and I manage another 105 acres of woodlot]. We harvest peat from one of the many local peat bogs. I even have sphagnum moss growing here on my land, so as I cultivate it, in six years I hope to begin harvesting peat from our own bog.

Our grates are flat, not conical. So they are truly not the proper shape for burning coal. I can get a nice coal bed going, but it is just as likely to go out, since the grate is not the proper shape. However it appears that by mixing wood, peat, and coal, it does all get burnt. It provides a lot of heat. I tend it hourly through the evening, and in the morning a little stir and some fresh wood, and it roars back to life.

genius simply genius

Thanks for the economical wood stove idea and the links for the parts.
That is cool! I mean HOT.
I also like the self supporting roof, that way if you want walls you can put them any where!
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