Following on from several comments on blogs recently about (purchased) wood burning stoves, and a wish to try some more bushcraft skills, I thought I’d have a go at making a basic woodburner. This is a simple ‘chuck wood in and let it burn to produce heat’ model, not a fancy schmancy gasification thingie.
As advised by several bloggers, I started with a basic stainless steel cutlery drainer – in this case bought from Tesco for £3.50. I roped in a helpful chappie – eldest son, to drill extra holes close to the bottom to encourage air flow. (Many of the designs I studied used an IKEA cutlery drainer which comes with more holes.)
He drilled wee holes and went on to a larger bit to get the desired size.
Next I drew on a wee opening in one side of the stove for where I will add fuel, ie small sticks and pine cones. Most other hobo stove designers suggest using a Dremel tool (whatever that is ) to cut the opening, but since we don’t have one, son used a jigsaw. Eldest son then drilled 4 holes about 3cm from the top of the stove to fit 2 steel tent pegs to act as a pot support.
While he filed all the edges, I set about creating the billy can. I used a stainless steel canister (again from Tesco) which is about 1cm smaller diameter than the cutlery drainer and fits neatly inside it for storage and carrying. I scrounged a used bike spoke from middle son and with the addition of two holes near the top of the canister, created a handle.
To test the stove I stood it on a couple of blocks of wood, but in future will use stones! I used cotton wool, pine cones and birch shaving (collected earlier in the week, when trimming sticks to make a fire plough) to light a fire in the stove and added small twigs.
It only took a small handful of sticks to bring half a pot of water to the boil – probably a couple of mugs. I used another tent peg to raise the handle and lift the pot off the stove and the pan handle from my MSR pan set to pour it.
I think I’ll add a lid from the pan set or a paint pot lid for a pot lid. The canister came with a lid with a clear acrylic insert, so although it good to store everything away is no use on the stove!
All the equipment for the stove (tent peg pot supports, pot handle, cotton wool, flint and steel, wood shaving, matches) fits inside the pot, which fits in the stove. Then I simply slipped the whole lot in a canvas bag.
I’m really chuffed this first attempt (albeit following tried and tested examples) worked well.