Small Wood Stove for under 50$

A guy named Ricky who lived at the Res dock in Campbell River showed me how to make this tiny wood stove out of a stock pot. It was the handiest thing. It cost less than 50$ and ended up being the main source of heat I had for the first winter on my ferro cement sail boat.

During the first winter I lived on Cheng Shi, there was a terrible hurricane force storm in early November, that tipped over the float with the fuel dock on it.
Unfortunately I was heating with my diesel stove that winter… Suddenly there was no diesel available. The dock however, was being replanked and there were dry wood scraps all over the place. The stock pot stove proved itself to be more than capable of heating a 34 foot cement hull boat. If the right fuel was carefully chosen, the fire could be coaxed into burning all night.

Here are some important things to consider when building the stock pot stove:

You use the lid for the bottom. You need to fill it up with 2 inches of gravel and sand, scooped from a beach or wherever. This stops the fire from burning into your table or shelf where you install it.

You need to bolt it down with U bolts through the stock pot handles. The thin stainless steel can get red hot and pop and shudder. This will be dangerous unless the stove is bolted down.

It is best to mount it on metal or cement board for added protection, though Ricky just had his set up on a table in the galley.

You need a bigger piece of sheet metal for the door. It needs to overlap the hole. You make the handle and notches out of the piece you cut out for the door, cut in half. This is essentially your damper which controls the air to your fire.

If you use 3 “ drier vent for the stove pipe, you must burn it outdoors first, because the galvinized coating is poisonous, but it burns off in one or two hot fires.

You need to get a 3” fitting with an all around flange and fasten it over the hole with stove cement. You may need to get this made for you by someone who welds. This needs to be sealed completely or the stove may smoke. You can use high temp silicone or stove cement, even muffler tape to accomplish this.

You need to tape over the edges with silver, metal tape. Everything will be deathly sharp. You also need to tape over any places where the pipes join.

The stainless steel will heat up quickly and heat your space quickly, however it will not hold the heat. It will go cold the second the fire is out. A good idea is to surround the stove with bricks, rocks, cast iron, whatever you can that will hold the heat.

Although the surface area is tiny, this is a good wood stove to cook on due to its ability to heat up fast.

A stovetop fan will improve its heating ability greatly by circulating the hot air.

woodstove made from stainless steel stock pot

woodstove made from stainless steel stock pot