Woodstoves again

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I am considering making woodstoves out of 55gal drums, for friends, family and who knows if there is a demand. I went to buy one today and the distributor wanted $58 for each one. The only opinions I have heard so far, are that they may last 2 seasons.(No one actually has one). I'm trying to decide if this (drum, accessories, labor) is cost effective, or would buying a new or used one be wiser. I'm also considering this as sort of a community service so I'm not ready to give up yet. So my question is; do they last? The ones I looked at were .016 gauge (side) and .020 (top and bottom)

-- Arthur Rambo (buriedtreasure@webtv.net), January 11, 1999


Drum stoves do have a limited life expectancy. With used woodstoves so cheap right now -- Jotuls are going for $150 to $200 in my local Swap and Shop classified ad book, and others are lots cheaper -- you might be better off buying a few used stoves rather than going to the time, expense, and trouble of the drum stove route.

-- Cash (cash@andcarry.com), January 11, 1999.

55 gal drums are relatively thin-walled - they will rust through fairly easily after heating/cooling/reheating many times in direct contact with the wood/ash/coal fire.

If you can, try to use something a little heavier walled. It will be more expensive though.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), January 11, 1999.

I know people who have had these for 5-6 years without problems. All of them have put 2-3 inches of sand in the bottom. The sand seems to take care of the bottom-burn-through problem. If you were to put a row of fire brick along the outer edges, stacked as high as it can go without falling down (curve of barrel), it will definitely do the job. I have seen this done too and it works quite well. Other considerations would be if you had too hot a fire too often and the top was cherried and you thermally stressed the metal...well, that wouldn't be good. :-) Bobbi http://www.buzzbyte.com/

-- Bobbi (bobbia@slic.com), January 11, 1999.

Both my daughters decided to buy the small wood burning stoves, the kind that can be used for cooking and heating. They sell for about $100. at Rural Kind and True Value. Trouble was, they were sold out. The salesman at True Value told my daughter they are selling fast. My daughter asked if it was because of Y2k and the salesman laughed but would not answer. Rural King was sold out also. Went to Wally World today and all 3 shelves that normally are full of kerosene lamps was completely empty. Nada. Just a few wicks and I bought those. I think part of the problem is the weather but I do not think it is the full reason these items are out.

-- Linda A. (adahi@muhlon.com), January 11, 1999.

Yikes yikes yikes...where should I look for good steel 55-gals, just in case?

-- Shimrod (shimrod@lycosmail.com), January 11, 1999.

I asked around at industrial parks, and junk yards. The place I found in Wash, D.C., Warring and Sons, in N.E., has thousands.

-- Arthur Rambo (buriedtreasure@webtv.net), January 12, 1999.

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