How to Build One?

An Outdoor Wood Furnace is capable to work with most of the existing heating systems to provide with warm water, even heat at home, barn, garage, pool, hot tub and/or greenhouse.

What you need:

-Mild steel for firebox and water jacket

-1/4 steel plates for doors

-Insulated water pipes

-Welding tools and safety glasses

-Door Hinges and Sealer

-Steel Wire (used for support)

-Chimney Pipe

-Chimney Sleeve

-Chimney Cap

Is an oil, gas or electric heater burning up your cash? Heating your home every year can be really costly using these methods. And if the health of your heating source has really gone south, buying a new one is just adding even more unwanted fuel to the fire and putting a major dent in your savings. If you are looking for a better and cheaper way to heat your home, one of the best choices is a wood-burning furnace. It is more affordable than fossil fuel based heaters or electricity and you will no longer be at the mercy of fluctuating oil prices. But if you are replacing one or do not have one to begin with, how can that be cheaper? Getting a new one means spending more money. Sure the long term value will make up for it eventually but not all of us have the ability to spend a large sum of money for something that will pay off in 5-10 years. There is a solution and believe it or not, it is not as daunting at it sounds. Just build one.

Before you begin, you need to find level ground to put your wood furnace. Whether you are placing it inside or outside, safety is always the most important thing to consider. Once you have found the appropriate spot, make sure it is positioned adequately to heat your home. If it is outside, you will want to make sure it is placed at a maximum of 100 feet from your home. Basically, it needs to be able to hook into your central heating system.

To start you will need mild steel, steel plates and a cutting torch and welding equipment. If you do not have these tools, try to save some money and borrow them from a friend. If you do not feel comfortable cutting and welding the pieces together, you can always have some of the basic pieces put together by people with more experience. It will be hard to find a handy man or company who have the tools and the skill to do the heavy-duty work for you. Of course, how you put these pieces together is up to you. You can also pick up many parts you will need in a furnace kit, I recommend for a great place to find anything you need. Regardless of who is putting the basic frame together, you will have to pay for the sheet metal and steel. The bad new is that you will need a lot of it. The good news is that it is not very expensive at all. Compared with the price of a new wood furnace, you will gladly throw down a few 20s. A good starting point is 75 lbs of mild steel but it is not out of the question that you will be heading back to the store at some point, even it is for something other than metal.

REMEMBER, before you begin using the cutting torch and welder, you should have your safety glasses and gloves on. You can get these at any local hardware store or online. Once you have your metal working tools, your safety gear and of course, your metal, it is time to get started.

First you want to use the steel to make a box or water jacket, approximately 35-50 cubic feet. Make sure you leave one side open because you are going to add a door there. Using hinges and a high temperature door sealer, attach the door. For a furnace to work most efficiently, it needs to be airtight. You will want the door to be big enough to get your firebox in. On the bottom of the water jacket, cut the holes for your insulated water pipes. These will carry the water to your home.

The firebox is next. This is where your wood will burn. This is one area where if you do not have any experience, you may want to either use an existing firebox from an old furnace. If you are constructing one, you can weld mild steel plates together to do so but it is recommended that you double weld. Make sure the box will fit in your water jacket and like the water jacket you want to leave one side open for a door. If you are unsure about the safety of your firebox, you might want a professional to construct one for you. Please note that is extremely important that the firebox, remains dry and no water is able to pass through the door. Attach the door.

Next up, use your cutting torch you need a round hole at the top. This is where the chimney flu will go. The hole should not be very big, as you will want the flu to be nice and snug, so no air can get through. The chimney flu will draw out the gases and ash from the fire, pushing them up into the air and venting safely outside. It also allows fresh oxygen to come in which of course is essential to keeping a fire going.

Place the firebox inside the water jacket and secure it. You can use steel wire or create a metal base to do this. Now you want to match up the hole of the firebox to the top of the water jacket and cut a hole there for the flu.

To make your chimney flu, all you need is a steel pipe. If you cut your holes to match the flu, it should fit perfectly. To secure it use a chimney sleeve and add a single flu chimney cap to the top of the pipe for a finishing touch.

Next you will have to use plumbing fittings to attach insulated water pipes from your furnace to either your current heating system or the water pipes. If your furnace is outside, the pipes need to be a several feet under the ground.

Finally, fill the water jacket, light the fire to heat the water and watch your heating bills go down.

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