Potbelly stove in the garage: how to do it yourself

Potbelly stove in the garage: how to do it yourself

Winter in Russia is more than winter. It’s no secret that at this time of the year it is uncomfortable to be outside a room with heating, but what if there is such a need? For example, you need to visit the garage and spend some time there. And the love of a strong half of humanity for gatherings with friends in the company of their iron horse is known to everyone.

Of course, gatherings with even a small “minus” outside rarely bring joy if the garage is not heated around the clock. There is a way out if you can install a homemade stove in the garage.

Features: pros and cons

The pluses of a home-made stove made from a barrel usually include:

  • rapid heating with the consumption of a minimum amount of fuel;
  • simplicity and availability;
  • the ability to make it with your own hands from a variety of materials, even improvised ones;
  • unpretentiousness in the choice of fuel (firewood, mining, diesel fuel, coal, peat, etc.);
  • sometimes, for better heating and heat transfer, a kind of “labyrinth” of metal sheets is installed on the furnace.

The statement that there are probably more disadvantages of a stove made from a barrel than advantages will be quite true:

  • large heat losses and, as a result, significant fuel consumption during long-term use;
  • if a potbelly stove is made from an ordinary barrel, then one must be prepared for the fact that it will last relatively shortly because of the insignificant wall thickness – they will quickly burn out;
  • poor ability to adjust the temperature;
  • if the potbelly stove is made in a horizontal version, it will take up a rather large space in the limited space of the box;
  • the vertical orientation of the stove will give a gain in the use of space, but the walls will burn out faster than that of a horizontally placed potbelly stove;
  • due to the burning of the walls, the stove can be fire hazardous and will require more attention when heating;
  • such a stove needs a high chimney with a height of more than 4 m, which will have to be cleaned regularly.

Most of these shortcomings can be eliminated by making the body of a potbelly stove from a gas cylinder. It has thick, heat-absorbing steel walls that weld well.

Preparing an old cylinder for welding is very important due to the possible presence of explosive gas residues inside, even if the neck is removed..

There are several preparation options: you can simply fill the cylinder with water and leave it for a long time, or add alkaline substances to the water to neutralize the gas. However, this method is considered the most reliable:

  • the cylinder in an upright position must be reliably dug in to cut a hole with a grinder;
  • completely fill it with water, wait a few hours;
  • outline the cutting line;
  • cut with a grinder until a through hole appears – water begins to flow out;
  • complete the cut and drain the water – the risk of fire is guaranteed to be eliminated.

Principle of operation

Let’s take a closer look at the scheme of work of a home-made potbelly stove:

  • combustion air is supplied to the furnace through the blower;
  • in the process of combustion, heat is released, which heats the bricks and walls of the furnace;
  • smoke, soot and combustion products are drawn out through the chimney;
  • combustion regulation with obtaining the necessary heat transfer is carried out by increasing / decreasing the open gap of the blower door;
  • a potbelly stove is heated using various types of both liquid and solid fuels (firewood, mining, diesel fuel, coal, peat).

Potbelly stove on working off

The potbelly stove, which is fueled not by wood, but by waste oil, has its own characteristics. It can be both a small stove for an ordinary garage, and a device designed to heat large areas.. In any case, all models work according to the same principle and have similar designs and principle of operation..

  • The potbelly stove has 2 parts. Used oil is charged in the lower part, where it is ignited and brought to a boil.
  • Vapors are drawn through a perforated pipe for oxygen access, where their initial afterburning takes place.
  • The vapors are completely oxidized and burned in the upper part connected to the chimney.
  • The temperature in the lower tank is relatively low, the upper chamber heats up to the maximum, heating the room. Its walls can even glow from the heat. Accordingly, this affects the choice of material for the manufacture of cameras..

Drawing-diagram of a potbelly stove for mining with conditional dimensions and proportions.

Consider the merits of the burzhuykas for mining.

  • Unpretentiousness and “independence”. It is not necessary to constantly add firewood or perform any actions, the main requirement is the correct adjustment of the gap of the filler neck (10-15 mm).
  • Effective heat dissipation.
  • No soot from the chimney, the stove does not smoke.
  • Relative fire safety, since the spent fuel is hardly flammable, and only oil vapors burn.


  • noisiness;
  • a characteristic odor (sometimes they get rid of it by installing a water circuit or an air heat exchanger with a blower fan, which directs part of the air from the chimney to another room for heating);
  • the combustion chamber (connecting pipe with perforation) and the chimney have to be cleaned quite often;
  • the coke layer of burnt oil in the lower chamber is also quite problematic to remove.

When using a stove-stove with waste fuel, it is necessary to adhere to the mandatory rules.

  • The use of oil processing with gasoline or other combustible impurities is not allowed..
  • Filtration of waste from solid particles is mandatory.
  • Do not allow water to enter the mining.
  • Strong drafts are not allowed.
  • Compliance with all fire safety rules when installing the stove in the room.
  • Compulsory availability of reliable ventilation.

  • It is strictly forbidden to leave the stove unattended, to sleep when the stove is working.
  • Do not use water for extinguishing!
  • Horizontal chimney exhaust sections are prohibited. Allowable angle of inclination of the chimney – 45 °.
  • The chimney must have a length of 4 to 7 m.
  • It is recommended to pour mining into the furnace at a height of less than? lower chamber volume.
  • It is necessary to have a dry powder fire extinguisher and / or sand in the immediate vicinity of such a furnace..

DIY making

Drawings and dimensions

The potbelly stove will give out the maximum efficiency, subject to compliance with the calculations.

Consider the design of the chimney.

  • Vertical part (up to 2 m), covered with non-combustible thermal insulation.
  • The pipe is inclined or parallel to the floor (2.5-4.5 m), the distance from the ceiling in the absence of heat-resistant protection is 1.5 m, from the floor – 2.2 m;
  • The diameter of the chimney must be calculated with great accuracy so that its speed of operation is less than the speed of fuel combustion, and it would not throw out all the heated air together with the combustion products outward immediately, but let it heat the walls, which is the main feature of this type of stove. The calculated permeability of the pipe should be 2.7 times the volume of the furnace. That is, with a firebox with a volume of 40 liters, the chimney must have a diameter of 106 mm.
  • If there are grates in the stove, the height of the firebox is calculated from the top of the grate.
  • Complete combustion of the fuel can be ensured by creating a high temperature, which can be achieved by using a metal or brick three-sided screen around the stove. Install it with a gap of about 70 mm from it. Reflection of heat also has a fire-fighting function..

  • Litter or non-combustible surface for the oven is strictly required, because:
  • heat radiation from the oven radiates in all directions, including downward;
  • the floor can become very hot, and this can lead to a fire.

Sheet metal is used as a bedding, the area is larger than the vertical projection of the stove on the floor by 350-400 mm (preferably 700 mm). You can use sheets made of other non-combustible materials with a thickness of more than 1 cm.

Chimneys are installed in different rooms in different ways.

  • Part of the pipe is led out through the wall of the garage, this is the most common type.
  • The chimney is completely left inside the garage box and exits through the roof. Thus, the garage is heated better, but the installation process itself is much more laborious..

Required materials and tools

For self-production of a potbelly stove in the garage, you will need the following materials and tools:

  • sheet metal for the manufacture of an ash pan and a hob, if the stove is located horizontally;
  • metal for the chimney pipe (preferably with two elbows);
  • materials for fixing grates and supports;
  • oven doors;

  • cast iron discs;
  • welding machine;
  • grinder;
  • welding wire / electrodes;

  • hammer;
  • tape measure / centimeter tape;
  • chisel;
  • pliers;
  • drill;
  • metal cleaning brush;
  • chalk pencil.

Consider the manufacturing process step by step.

  • As already mentioned, the oven can be manufactured horizontally and vertically..
  • The dimensions of the stove are selected based on the dimensions of the garage box, taking into account all fire safety measures.
  • The walls must be welded from sheet metal with a thickness of more than 4 mm.
  • The grate is welded to the inside of the firebox or placed on fasteners welded to the walls of the firebox from the inside (removable version). It can be purchased in retail chains or made with your own hands from a sheet of steel by drilling holes no more than 20 mm in diameter, or from thick wire.
  • Weld on the bottom.

  • A convenient hole is cut out for the fuel supply and 5-7 cm lower for the ash pan.
  • Doors can be made from sheet steel yourself, or you can purchase a ready-made cast iron block.
  • The stove is installed in a selected place in the garage.
  • At this stage, the chimney is attached. The longer its section inside the room, the warmer it is in the garage, since it also heats the air around it.
  • At the last stage of the work, you need to put the stove on its legs. They are made from pieces of a profile, connected by welding or screwed to the body. You can also use a metal box without a front wall (used as a woodshed), bricks or forged elements can also be materials for the base.

Where to place?

Compliance with fire safety rules for garage use and operation of the stove is vital. Here we are talking about the safety of the car, and about the preservation of the life of the person himself. The location of the stove is one of the important tasks. Most often, the corner of the garage box, formed by two walls, is chosen, which is located opposite the gate. Direct contact between the stove and the car is strictly prohibited..

The distance must necessarily exceed one and a half meters. Similar conditions must be observed for the distance from flammable substances and objects..

The surface of the walls near the stove must be covered with refractory material. They can be additionally overlaid with bricks. If the garage is wooden, then the distance from the surface of the stove to the nearest wall should exceed 1 m.

Recommendations for use

If a potbelly stove is used for heating or cooking, it is very important to comply with the rules for its operation.. Their implementation, in addition to fire safety, will help to increase its service life..

  • Before the first kindling of the stove, it is imperative to check and make sure that all connections and assemblies are tight, immediately correct all imperfections in order to avoid the penetration of combustion products and carbon monoxide into the garage.
  • For certain reasons, the chimney must be brought out. The part of it, which is inside the garage space, must be sealed..
  • It is strictly forbidden to discharge the chimney into the ventilation system. Even if the stove is installed in the basement, it must have a separate chimney.
  • Wall passages or overlaps of the chimney must be insulated with refractory, non-flammable materials.

  • A box of sand and a fire extinguisher must be in the garage, in accordance with fire safety rules.
  • A stove-stove is also used as a stove and for boiling water. To do this, a hob with burners is installed on it (usually it is made of a cast-iron stove) or a tank for heating water.
  • The stove-stove heats up quickly, but also cools down quickly. Such a disadvantage can be partially compensated for by a brick screen that accumulates heat and returns it to the room as it cools down after the potbelly stove goes out.

Direct contact between the screen and the stove is prohibited. The gap between them is left at least 10 cm.

  • Typically, a brick screen is heavy, so it will most likely need its own foundation. Consider the stages of its manufacture.
    1. Dig a hole about 50 cm deep.
    2. The bottom of the pit is covered with a layer of sand (average consumption of sand 3-4 buckets), tamped.
    3. The next layer is 10-15 cm of crushed stone, which is also tamped.
    4. The laid layers are leveled, then poured with a layer of cement mortar.
    5. A complete hardening of the cement layer is expected. The longer the hardening time, the better (usually the period of time is more than a day or longer, this will give the foundation additional strength).
    6. Then several layers of roofing material are laid.
    7. The screen itself is laid out in half a brick, the initial two rows are made with continuous masonry on roofing material. In the 3-4 row, it is necessary to make ventilation gaps, then continue to lay the brick again in a continuous layer.

    The correct methods of cleaning a stove stove mainly boil down to removing dirt inside the chimney, which is relatively rare. Mostly they use a brush. It is quite possible to make it with your own hands from a cylinder-shaped brush, tying it to a rope.

    It is best to use brushes with plastic or iron wire bristles. The diameter of the brush is selected in such a way that there is no significant resistance when passing through the chimney.

    Cleaning is used in order to increase the passage of the smoke flow through the pipe, to improve heat transfer. The sequence of the cleaning process:

    • plug the furnace hole with a rag;
    • make 2-3 careful movements with a brush so as not to break the tightness of the chimney (make stops if the brush moves freely);
    • repeat step 2 the required number of times;
    • remove coals, ash and soot from the ash pan.

    For information on how to install a potbelly stove in a garage, see the next video.

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