This project goes into the build of a homemade wood-burning heater with a heat exchanger for your garage. This heater is built from a recycled old propane tank. The other materials you need to build this heater are 55-gallon drum, fan blower, quarter-inch steel plates, eighteen 2-inch steel pipes for the heat exchanger, welding unit, and plasma cutter.
STEP 1 : PREPARING THE BODY OF THE STOVE HEATER
Before cutting into the propane tank, make sure to clean the tank so that there is no residual gas left in it. Cut both ends of the tank using the plasma cutter. Now we cut a 30-inch length piece from the tank . This acts as the main body where the heat exchanger pipes are installed.
STEP 2 : INSTALLING THE HEAT EXCHANGER
The heat exchanger consists of 18 two-inch pipes that run the length of the heater from front to back. Two quarter-inch steel plates are welded at the ends of the propane tank. Before doing that we make 18 holes at both the ends of the steel plate. This is done to install the heat exchanger pipes across the length of the tank.
With the help of an eighth-inch hardboard, we make a template for cutting the 18 holes out of the steel endplates. The hardboard acts as a guide for the plasma cutter to cut the holes.
The pipes for the heat exchanger are cut 31 and a half inches long. Half an inch sticks out at both the ends of the heater. They are welded to the steel end plates at both ends.
STEP 3 : MAKING THE DOOR FOR THE INTAKE
The opening for the door at the end of the heater for the wood intake has a dimension of 16 inches X 12 inch. A similar template is placed on the endplate and the opening is cut using the plasma cutter.
A frame around the door is made using a three-quarter inch by three-sixteenths inch flat stock. This is used for the door opening and to give the door something to close up against. Hinges are welded near the door opening for attaching the door.
The locking mechanism for the door to hold it shut is made using a flat stock and a couple of bolts . The bolts are welded onto the flat stock and attached inside the heater just beside the door. The handle made of a 90-degree round stock is welded to a couple of washers and the door is sandwiched in between.
STEP 4 : INSTALLING THE EXHAUST PIPE AND DAMPER
The endplates along with the door are welded onto the body of the heater at both the ends and a hole is made at the top of the propane tank body for installing the flue exhaust pipe. The flue pipe is welded onto the top of the heater so that the harmful smoke and gases escape through the exhaust. A grate is placed into the heater through the door opening, wood pieces are introduced and we start firing the heater. After few minutes, the fire will heat the heat exchanger pipes
A small hole is cut near the door and a damper in the form of a simple sliding door is attached to the hole that will control the airflow into the heater.
STEP 5 : ADDING THE FAN BLOWER
A section from an old 55-gallon steel barrel is cut and welded onto the backside of the heater.An inexpensive fan blower is attached to this 55-gallon drum . This is installed to concentrate the air that is going through the heat exchanger pipes.
The fan blower is turned on and the hot air is blown through the pipes into the garage.
Image Credits : Ron Strom