DIY Video: How to build a really efficient Portable Multi Purpose Ammo Box Wood Stove

    This project goes into the build of an efficient portable ammo can wood stove that can warm your space, act as a cooking stove, baking oven and an alternative for ground fires at camp sites. This ammo stove is compact and doesn’t take up additional storage . All the basic components used in this stove are modular and can be stored inside the stove when not in use. These components are easily available in your local hardware store.

    The basic components needed to build this stove are as follows. The ammo box called the “fat 50 “is purchased from an army surplus store for $30 , the titanium stove pipe for $100 , the metal for the control dial and the door is salvaged from old barbecues. Rest of the basic tools needed are grinder, blow torch, hack saw ,rivet gun and a drill press.

    Not only you can use wood logs, paper, twigs but it also runs on wood pellets. The system has a gravity fed hopper that feeds the pellets intermittently for consistent heat over a longer period of time. For maximizing the burn, a divided combustion chamber is used. This forces the burn to go around a sealed baffle before it exits out the stove pipe providing less smoke and retaining more heat.

    A thick steel plate is used as a cook top which is rescued from an old barbeque . This plate absorbs the heat for cooking and is removable thereby protecting the stove top. Additional feature is a baking oven underneath the stove.

    The first step to build is simply removing the lid of the ammo can stove which just slides of the hinges. Remove the rubber gasket on the back side of the lid using a plier .

    This rubber gasket is replaced using 3/8th inch stove rope. This provides heat resistant seal from smoke.

    Remove the handle by drilling along the spot welds on the sides of the handle just enough to weaken them and pull it using a screwdriver .

    Two holes of three inches are drilled at the top surface of the stove . These are done to fit in the titanium stove pipe and for the gravity fed hopper system. We use a three inch propane fuel cylinder tube to make a pipe collar as a guide to trace out the holes. These pipe collars acts as hopper support for gravity fed pellet mechanism and for securing the stove pipe. The hole for the first pipe is about five and half inches away from the door hinge and the second one , one and half inches away. The holes are then cut using a jigsaw.

    The flanges in the stove pipe collars are made by securing them against a wooden fixture and bent them using a hammer. The edges are heated with a torch to anneal the metal for hardening.

    Before inserting the stove collars into the lid, the metal sheet inside the lid was removed. Using fiber glass cloth, a smoke seal is made around the collars. The collars are then inserted and the metal sheet is reinstated with help of some stainless steel rivets.

    A adjustable damper is installed inside one of the collars .These damper provide control to both burning speed and fire intensity. Also the damper in a closed state also acts a base for a steamer or a boiler. The damper is made using a thin steel cut out of a disc , the size of the inside pipe diameter. The shaft from a barbeque skewer is inserted along slots drilled in the disc holding them underneath the collar.

    Inside the combustion chamber ,we have two dividers installed. One divides the combustion chamber and the bottom one separates the oven from the stove . The top divider acts as an inner wall . The combustion has to travel around the corner and then go outside through the stove pipe at the end. This collects more heat and has less smoke build up inside.

    The side door openings are four inches high and three and three eighth inches wide. The door is made out of thick steel plate which was salvaged from an old barbeque. The door has three holes for the air intake and it is supported by a regular door hinge. A small circle metal piece at the front regulates the amount of flow that goes into the stove.

    A secondary burn system is introduced inside the stove so that the air coming into the upper part of the combustion chamber where all the smokes ascends gets reignited . This drastically improves the efficiency of the stove. Here we use couple of half inch black iron pipe that is connected with 2 90 degree elbow and an end cap. Holes are drilled on the pipe so that the fresh air is introduced into the chamber. A hole at the side of the stove is made the air intake. The pipe is inserted into the chamber and secured in place using a coupling and a spacer.

    A 3 X 4 inch duct adapter is used as a funnel for the gravity fed hopper system. To make this efficient , we add a small cage made of door basket inside the chamber so that all the pellets wont drop suddenly to the bottom. The cage is made from the metal rods from the basket. The rods are spaced 8mm apart and put straps across both sides and secured it using rivets. To prevent the overflow of pellets inside the cage, a two and half inch tailpipe is placed at a specific distance below the hopper. This helps the pellet build up in the cage but not overflow. Now there is a sustained release of pellets at all time for a consistent burn.

    Stainless steel tent stakes are placed at the bottom of the stove riveted to a metal plate. This prevents the bottom from burning out and also improves air flow. Also acts as ash collector.

    To use this stove as a light source, we make a small window out of half mm natural mica glass. We use a fiberglass cloth to form a seal around window. It is held by green painters tape. After positioning the glass, spacers are added around the edge . These metal strips allow for the mica to expand and contract. Another metal frame is used to hold all these in place.

    The portable stove pipe is made out of titanium rolls. The titanium prevents corrosion and also distributes the heat efficiently. To make a long cylinder without denting the foil, unroll the film across the ground, roll it small enough to get the clips on ,spacing them evenly along the length of the pipe.

    • DIY Video:How to build a Simple Battery Backup Power Station for Emergency Power
      This project goes over the setup of a simple battery bank for your offgrid applications. We use three AGM batteries, and they're about 245 amp hours each.Marine or deep cycle batteries also work. Dont get a car battery.Make sure that the batteries are about same age or they start bringing each other down. The wires are connected through the positive ports and negative ports of each batteries. The positive from the inverter is connected to the positive of the first battery .Negative from the inverter is connected to the negative of the 3rd battery. The battery chargers are from Pros Series DSR.It ramps up the optimum charging voltage.
    • How to convert an Old Ceiling Fan Motor into a 70W Efficient Single Phase Alternator Generator
      This project goes over the conversion of an old ceiling fan motor into an single phase alternator .You can't take your standard AC electric motor and spin it and get an electrical current out of it unless you modify it. The ceiling fan motor used here will produce about 70 volts at one amp which is roughly 70 watts. Through a bridge rectifier we can get about 70 watts of power out of it. We start by pulling the cover of the fan. Inside we have a squirrel cage rotor in the middle and 6 coil windings around it. The coil windings are placed in clockwise and anti-clock wise directions inside the stator. Next we remove the circular rotor from the threaded shaft which is attached to it with help of a vice. We attach the shaft with the rotor through it within a vice. With the help of an extra piece of pipe to give leverage, we press them against the rotor and push it away from the rod and pop it off. We are replacing the rotor that we have detached from the shaft with a two inch hex steel bar . It has six sides that matches with the six coils from the stator. With the help of one eighth inch drill bit we cut a hole in the center of our hex bar. We put the hex bar through the shaft and fit them snugly around the threaded area. We take six one half inch neodymium or rare earth magnets and place them along the the 6 sides of the hex bar. We place them in such a manner that the poles of the magnets are opposing each other. For permanent usage, wrap this with a little bit of tape or glue so that they are held in place securely. We place our modified rotor in the middle of the stator and align them such that they fit in tightly. The outer screen is bolted back onto the motor. We can also add second set of magnets to increase the magnetic field of the rotor .This will also bring it closer to the coils on the outside and increase the overall voltage. To convert the alternating current generated by our ceiling fan alternator to direct current, we use a bridge rectifier. It has 4 poles, 2 for connecting our alternating current, the other plus and negative for DC power.
    • How to heat your Garage by using an Outdoor Wood Burning Boiler and an old car radiator
      This project goes into the build of an outdoor wood boiler for heating your garage using an old barrel and a car radiator. The first step is to make a wood burning stove out of an old barrel . Here we are converting the barrel into a stove using a vogelzang stove kit. We start by cutting a hole for the door using the the door accessory from the kit as a guide. Place the door on the side of the barrel and mark the four corners. Start cutting the hole using a grinder, reciprocating saw or a plasma torch. Align the door with the hole and drill holes for the screws. The door is now secured in place . Next step is to install the legs that came with the kit. Place the barrel on the the legs and align them so that everything is level. The spots are marked , holes drilled and the legs are bolted in place. To control the air flow and how hot the stove burns, we install the flange and the damper within the chimney area. Center the flange that comes with the kit near the edge and make a circle for cutting the hole. Also mark holes for the bolts using the flange as a guide. The flange along with the damper is then screwed down securely. The next step is to convert this barrel stove into a hot water heater. Begin by drilling two holes across both sides of the barrel and inserting couple of three eighth inch threaded rod across the sides. This creates a base where a 30ft coiled copper tubes are placed to circulate the warm water. A 30ft half inch copper coil with the input and output straight end is placed inside the barrel on top of the two threaded 3/8th rod base which we have installed previously. Two holes are drilled at the back of the barrel so that the input and the output ends of the copper coil can be connected to a pipe or flexible hose. The input end of copper coil coming out at the back of the barrel is further connected to another loop of copper coil outside the barrel . The coil is wound across the barrel so that incoming water is preheated using the outside coil before it goes into the barrel and gets further heated by the coils inside . The ends of the coils are connected to two pipes, the outgoing and the return . These pipes are then insulated using half inch pipe insulation foam to prevent any leak. A small trench is dug and the insulated pipe is extended to the garage. The water circulatory pipes are now connected to an old car radiator inside the garage. The incoming hot water pipe is connected at the top of the radiator and the return is connected at the bottom. To circulate the water ,we use a cheap submersible pump. The pump is submerged in a bucket . The pump will pump cold water out through the heater, the hot water circulates through the radiator , cools down and collected at the bucket and it is again recirculated. Two holes are drilled on the top of the bucket . One for the pipe coming out from the pump and another for the pipe coming back from the radiator. The inch and quarter radiator hose is adjusted to connect to the pex hose piping with the help of a PVC poly tube with a threaded end The other side of the polytube with the threaded end is attached to a PVC adapter and a slip fitting with a bushing. This helps us to connect the pex pipe to the radiator . To prevent the water from boiling , an antifreeze solution is mixed . A window fan is used as a back fan for the radiator. Placed right behind the radiator, this blows the hot air through it and into the garage.