Do-it-yourself effective potbelly stove for a garage

Here you will learn:

A potbelly stove is a home-made or factory-made stove designed to heat residential and non-residential premises. The stove is distinguished by its simple design and omnivorous nature – it works on almost any type of solid fuel. Having bought or assembled this heating unit, it is necessary to ensure its correct installation. This review will tell you how to install a potbelly stove in the garage and how to properly connect it to the chimney.

Pros and cons of bourgeoisie

Heating garages with the help of bourgeois stoves is fully justified. Electric heating leads to high energy costs, given the large amount of heat loss. The same applies to heating with diesel fuel and liquefied gas. It remains to heat the garage with the help of a potbelly stove. This stove, simple in design, can run on wood, coal, fuel briquettes and other types of fuel . It is omnivorous and does not require permission to install and operate.

Consider the positive qualities of bourgeois women:

The potbelly stove has a very reasonable efficiency indicator – it varies between 70-80%, which depends on its design and the type of fuel used.

  • Suitable for heating garages and any other technical premises;
  • They give a large amount of heat, which depends on the type of fuel used – using firewood with a high calorific value, you will achieve a good heat;
  • Quick warm-up – we remove the ash remaining from the last kindling, load fresh firewood, wait 15-20 minutes. After this time, the garage will become noticeably warmer. After 30-40 minutes, the temperature will reach a comfortable limit (do not raise it above + 23-24 degrees);
  • Easy installation – you need to mount it on a non-combustible base and connect the chimney;
  • Possibility of modernization – the potbelly stove can be easily converted to liquid and gas burners. There are also certain methods for increasing efficiency – we will touch on these points in the review.
  • Not the most presentable appearance, but in a garage and other technical room it does not matter in the slightest;
  • An improperly assembled potbelly stove may turn out to be too voracious and inefficient – 40-50% of the heat will fly out;
  • It is necessary to install a high chimney – proper draft is ensured by installing a chimney up to 4-5 meters in height.

In addition, potbelly stoves need regular cleaning. It is one thing to remove the accumulated coals and ash, and another thing to remove the resin from the pipe . The problem with resins is solved by installing a chimney from a pipe with a diameter of at least 100 mm (and preferably 120 mm).

Potbelly stove assembly

Installation of a potbelly stove begins with its purchase or self-assembly. When choosing a purchase option, pay attention to the Soviet-style cast-iron model.

They began to be produced in 1955 and are still stored in army warehouses. We will not delve into where they came from on sale. But let’s say that these are excellent stoves. Judge for yourself:

The cast-iron potbelly stove has a very impressive appearance and, due to its thickness, can last for more than a dozen years.

  • Thermal power – about 4-5 kW, which is enough to heat a garage up to 40 square meters. m;
  • Reliable cast iron – its thickness is 10 mm;
  • Soviet assembly – no comments here, then they knew how to make quality things;
  • Omnivorous – works on coal, wood, sawdust;
  • Suitable for installing a cauldron instead of a top lid.

The cost of the unit is in the range of 4-5 thousand rubles. The thing is really cool, but hellishly heavy, its weight is about 60 kg.

You can also assemble a potbelly stove for the garage yourself. For example, according to this scheme:

The assembly scheme of one of the simplest and yet quite effective and reliable potbelly stoves.

It is assembled from sheet steel. The recommended thickness is 4-5 mm. This is enough to keep the steel from burning through in the next few years. The statement is most relevant when using coal, which burns at a higher temperature. For assembly, it is necessary to cut the metal on the machine or with the help of a powerful grinder. Legs can be made, or you can not do it – in this case, the potbelly stove is installed on a stone base.

To assemble the furnace, additional materials will be needed – this is a metal pipe, doors and fittings for assembling the grate. The pipe is necessary to create a chimney pipe – a chimney is connected to it. You need two doors – one large, the second small. A large one is welded in front of the combustion chamber (furnace), a small one – between the bottom and the grate . If you are making legs for floor installation, take strong metal corners or fittings with a thickness of at least 15 mm.

The diameter of the chimney according to this scheme is 100 mm – this is quite enough (for this drawing). A potbelly stove is assembled using a welding machine. Welds are given special attention to withstand the heat and keep smoke out of the garage itself. When assembling the body, do not forget to install the grate and smoke ducts.

Installation of a potbelly stove in a regular place

We have assembled the potbelly stove, now let’s install it. For this, the foundation is being prepared. The stove cannot be installed on earthen floors – it will gradually push through them. It is necessary to pour a concrete screed on which the furnace itself will stand. If concrete floors are prefabricated, there will be one less problem in the installation procedure. In the case of installing a potbelly stove on wooden floors, it is necessary to lay a sheet of metal 1-2 mm thick on them. The same sheet should be placed in front of the firebox – this will prevent fire in case of accidental loss of coals.

It is recommended to install a protective jacket made of bricks. It will prevent burns and ensure uniform heat transfer.

To install the potbelly stove in the garage as correctly as possible, use the following recommendation – step back from the nearest walls 50-60 cm. Thus, you will avoid overheating and reduce heat loss. The recommendation is valid for brick, concrete and wooden walls. In the case of wood, it becomes mandatory (the distance to the wooden wall should be 1 meter, brick lining or asbestos lining is recommended). You can also sheathe the walls with metal to reflect heat. The distance to vehicles is at least 1.5 meters (preferably 2 meters).

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Heating a garage with a potbelly stove will be more efficient if it is located not at the garage door, but at the opposite wall. We pay special attention to the vent – make sure that the garage has an opening for outside air to enter. Otherwise, the oxygen level in the room will be too low.

Construction of a chimney for a potbelly stove

Making a pipe for a potbelly stove in the garage is not difficult. We have already left the pipe for installing the chimney, it remains to punch a hole in the wall or ceiling. We remind you that the height of the pipe should be 4-5 meters. A lower chimney for a potbelly stove can lead to a loss of draft or blowing air in the opposite direction.

A pipe for a potbelly stove in a garage can be straight or curved in an L-shape – it all depends on the characteristics of the garage room. For example, if there are some rooms above the garage, the pipe is led out of the wall, then it bends and goes up. It is desirable that it be higher than the roof of the entire building. The upper part of the chimney is closed with a tin or metal cone to prevent water and snow from getting inside.

Installing a chimney through a window is quite possible, but unsafe. A wooden window frame can catch fire from contact with an overheated pipe. Therefore, it must be insulated – for example, with mineral wool running between the metal and the frame. When the chimney is led through the roof, it is necessary to isolate it from the roofing and seal all cracks.

The first start of the potbelly stove

The slide gate allows you to control the draft in the potbelly stove, thereby affecting fuel consumption and temperature.

Installation completed – you can perform the first run. To do this, we put a small amount of wood chips and paper inside, kindle a fire. Next, we lay a small amount of firewood and wait until the potbelly stove warms up. Firewood must be dry (no more than 15-20% moisture), otherwise the soot from them will quickly pollute the entire stove and chimney. We make sure that the smoke goes into the chimney properly, throw in more firewood, close the firebox door and open the ash pan door (it works like a blower).

After 20-30 minutes, the temperature will rise to a comfortable level. To save fuel, close the blower – the flame will die out. This achieves temperature control. It is also possible to retrofit the chimney with a slide damper.

Potbelly stove modernization

Installing a potbelly stove in the garage will give warmth and comfort. But the efficiency of this furnace can be increased by 10-15%. Here is a list of technical solutions:

  • Installing a brick shirt from the back and sides – we have already talked about this. The thickness is half a brick;
  • Installing a chimney with a long horizontal section – it will save some of the heat flying into the chimney. We put the stove in one corner, stretch the chimney to the other, and then bring it upstairs;
  • We sheathe the walls with steel sheets – they will reflect infrared radiation back into the room;
  • Installing a steel jacket around the stove – we surround the potbelly stove with steel sheets located at a distance of 40-50 mm from its walls. This solution forms a convector that circulates air around the garage.

This is quite enough to “squeeze” the maximum thermal energy out of the stove. When installing a garage heating stove, do not forget to take care of buying a fire extinguisher.

In order to perform some work in the garage or in the country during the cold season, you need to organize the simplest heating. Knowing how much electricity costs today, most garage craftsmen prefer to use factory and home-made heaters that work on wood or oil mining. The purpose of our article is to provide drawings and describe in detail how to make a potbelly stove with your own hands for use in a garage or a small country house.

We select the design of the stove

Since there are enough drawings of ordinary potbelly stoves on the Internet, we will offer a choice of 4 original designs, one of which will certainly suit your conditions:

  1. Two-way wood and charcoal stove, welded from sheet metal.
  2. Vertical heater from a gas cylinder with an air or water circuit.
  3. Long-burning pyrolysis stove from a cylinder or pipe installed horizontally.
  4. Dropper for the development of automotive and other oils.

Unit with two chimneys

Note. The heating furnace can also be built from ceramic bricks, which is described in this topic. Such a heat source will fit well into the interior of the cottage, but is inconvenient for a garage due to the size of the brick building, long warm-up and lack of mobility.

Wood burning heater with air chamber at the top

Now we will give a number of recommendations for choosing the design of a home-made potbelly stove:

  1. If you spend a little time in the garage (1-3 hours a day), then you will need a quick heating of the room, and it will be provided by a vertical wood-burning stove with an air heat exchanger (option No. 2), shown in the photo. Thanks to the fan that drives air through the upper chamber, it acts like a heat gun.
  2. The same second option will work for large boxes (standard garage dimensions are 6 x 3 m). Then the air chamber turns into a water circuit connected to the heating registers.
  3. For permanent heating of a standard garage, option No. 1 is suitable – an efficient two-way wood-burning stove, or No. 3 – a long-burning unit. The choice depends on the material you have: the first is made from a propane tank, the second is made from 4 mm thick sheet iron.
  4. For those who plan to burn used oils for heating, it is recommended to weld a drip-type stove from a round pipe (option No. 4). If you wish and skill, you can upgrade it – convert it into a boiler by making a water jacket.

Double chamber pyrolysis oven

Reference. Of the popular garage homemade products, it is worth mentioning 2 more designs: the famous stove – Bubafonya upper burning potbelly stove and a small heater made of rims. The manufacture of the first is described in detail in another instruction, the second is shown in the video:

Assembling an efficient potbelly stove

It is well known that conventional iron stoves are characterized by low efficiency (about 45%), since a significant part of the heat goes into the chimney along with the flue gases. Our design implements a modern technical solution used in solid fuel boilers – the installation of two partitions on the path of combustion products. Going around them, the gases transfer thermal energy to the walls, which makes the efficiency higher (55-60%), and the potbelly stove is more economical. The principle of operation of the unit reflects the drawing – diagram:

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For manufacturing, you will need a sheet of low-carbon steel 4 mm thick, a piece of pipe Ø100 mm and rolled metal for the legs and grate. Now about how to make an economical potbelly stove:

  1. Cut metal blanks according to the drawing and make openings for the doors of the firebox and ash pan.
  2. Weld a grate from corners or fittings.
  3. From the cut parts, make doors with locks.
  4. Assemble the unit on tacks, and then weld the seams solid. Install the flue pipe and legs.

Advice. The lower partition, strongly heated by the flame, is best made of thicker iron – 5 or 6 mm.

For better heat transfer, craftsmen practice welding additional outer ribs to the body, as is done in the photo.

How to weld a vertical furnace from a cylinder

This stove-potbelly stove differs from similar units in the presence of an air chamber arranged in the upper part and completely isolated from the firebox by a steel partition. Inside it, heat exchange fins are installed through which the heated air is blown by a fan. For supplying cold and ejecting hot streams, branch pipes with a diameter of 40-50 mm are built into the cover, which is shown in the drawing.

Note. The organization of the air heating chamber in the upper zone of the firebox allows you to take the heat of the combustion products passing by it into the chimney. Since the flame covers the entire portion of firewood in a vertical oven, the air flow in a separate compartment is intensely heated, due to which the temperature in the garage rises quickly.

The first operation is the correct disassembly of a 50-liter propane tank. To displace the remaining liquefied gas, it is necessary to unscrew the valve and fill the tank to the top with water. After the grinder, you need to cut off the cover (the cut line is the factory seam) and proceed in this order:

  1. In the side wall of the cylinder, make rectangular openings for the ash and loading doors and frame them with a 3 mm thick steel strip, as shown in the drawing. Cut a hole Ø100 mm for the chimney.
  2. Make removable grates and install them inside the body on the welded corners.
  3. Make the doors of the ash and fuel chambers, attach handles and hinges to them, and then install them in the framed openings.
  4. Cut out a circle Ø30 cm from metal 4 mm thick – this will be the bottom of the chamber. Weld ribs from rolled metal waste to one of its surfaces, and then hermetically dock it with the firebox for welding.
  5. Make 2 holes in the cut cover and weld the pipes for connecting the air ducts. When ready, install the cover in its original place (but now – above the heat exchanger) and carefully go through the joint by welding.

A vertical potbelly stove in a garage is capable of burning wood of various qualities and moisture content, including sawdust, as well as supplying heated air to any point in the room, which is important for greenhouses. In addition, it can provide heat to radiators and registers if they are connected to the nozzles in the upper chamber cover and the system is filled with coolant.

Attention! To avoid boiling water and breaking pipes, you need to create its constant forced circulation from the pump and install an open-type expansion tank. Use antifreeze as a coolant, because the garage is not heated around the clock.

Production of a horizontal heater

If you lay a standard propane cylinder horizontally and arrange a door at the end, you will get a fairly roomy firebox, which will include meter-long logs. For better heat transfer and afterburning of the resulting pyrolysis gases, it is necessary to make a secondary chamber with partitions, as shown in the drawing.

The afterburning of combustible gases in this potbelly stove is combined with the removal of heat from the products of combustion, enveloping hemispherical partitions (cut out from the cylinder body). Well, an indispensable attribute of intense heat transfer – external ribs made of steel strips – are required. Practice shows that such a stove heats a garage up to 50 m² in medium burning mode, as described in the next video:

In manufacturing, the heating unit is simple: doors are installed in the front part, and a hole is cut in the back, where the secondary chamber is welded from a pipe or a second cylinder. In order not to take away the useful volume of the firebox, the ash pan is made hinged. If necessary, a hob is arranged on top of the horizontal part.

We make a potbelly stove at work

Diesel fuel and used engine oil are very high-calorie fuels. If you get it inexpensively, then it makes no sense to mess with firewood and coal, it’s easier to make a reliable furnace – a dropper. Its principle of operation is to burn mining, dripping into a red-hot bowl. Moreover, along the way, liquid fuel has time to warm up, as it passes through the oil pipeline built into the pipe – the afterburner. The drip-type potbelly stove device is shown in detail in the drawing.

For efficient combustion of oil, air is pumped into the stove using a fan, and mining flows naturally from a tank suspended from the wall next to the heater. Another option is the forced supply of fuel by pressurizing the fuel tank (for example, with a hand pump).

Both a pipe Ø219 mm and a propane cylinder with a diameter of 30 cm can act as a furnace body. Making an oil potbelly stove with your own hands is a simple task, the main thing is to make holes and slots in the afterburner correctly and lay the fuel pipe to the bowl installed at the bottom. A complete assembly guide is provided in our other article. You can get a closer look at the operation of the heater from the video:


It must be understood that the designs of wood-burning and oil stoves for the garage shown above can be changed and refined by you during operation. That’s the beauty of homemade stoves – they are improved according to your desire. Example: garage craftsmen often make an external water circuit based on a samovar heat exchanger built into a vertical section of a chimney. This makes it possible to use water heating without interfering with the design and altering the furnace itself.

I greet the owners of garages who have thought about how to equip a compact solid fuel stove with minimal cost and without putting extra effort. Such stoves are usually made of metal, have a cylindrical or rectangular shape, and can be used both for heating a garage, and for heating food or boiling a kettle.

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Choose a project

If you do not have the opportunity to use a welding machine, the easiest way is to use some container made of steel as the furnace body – in our case it will be an old milk flask – a can made of tinned steel.

Even when making a potbelly stove of the simplest design, you should first prepare a design diagram, or use a ready-made drawing of an effective model, for example:

Tools and materials

Making a small metal stove does not require the use of complex and expensive tools. It is enough to have:

  • an old milk flask with a volume of 38 – 40 liters;
  • a steel pipe or a finished chimney with a diameter of about 100 mm;
  • metal rod of circular cross section, 0.6 mm in diameter;
  • chisel, hammer and straight and round files;
  • marking marker and tape measure;
  • roofing steel sheet, felt sheet;
  • asbestos cord or refractory sealant and asbestos sheet.

Preparatory work

The milk flask should be thoroughly washed, cleaned of dirt and carefully inspected. It should be intact, without holes and signs of rust. The lid on the neck of the flask will serve as the firebox door.

Our stove is made from a can placed horizontally. It is best to take care of the frame in advance, on which you can stably install the potbelly stove. In particular, it can be laid out of brick, providing protrusions on the long sides that protect the metal cylinder from displacement.

The brick base at the same time will serve as a heat accumulator, slightly increase the efficiency of the stove and allow you to better warm up the room from one fuel tab. In the garage, the potbelly stove is installed at a small distance from the walls and, as far as possible from flammable mixtures.

Instructions for creating a stove body – potbelly stove

Step 1: Cut out the blower. Like any stove, the “potbelly stove” must have a blower, a hole that is located below the door for laying fuel. The blower provides an influx of oxygen necessary for combustion, and makes it possible to easily remove ash.

Using a marker, draw a rectangle on the beveled part of the flask. Then cut a hole along the contour with a chisel and a hammer. The edges of the blower should be processed with a flat file.

Tip: if you don’t want to “steam” with a blower cutout, then you can simply drill a few blower holes in the bottom of the lid.

Step 2: Hole for the chimney. Next, we need to make a hole for the chimney pipe. Set the flask on its side strictly horizontally, while the blower should be at the bottom and be parallel to the ground. At the top of the bottom of the flask, mark the place for the chimney with a marker. The diameter of the drawn circle should be slightly smaller than the outer diameter of the pipe.

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Using a chisel along the contour, we cut out a circle, process the edges of the resulting hole with a round file. It is important to take your time, and to ensure that the chimney fits exactly to the base, regularly try on the pipe to the hole. The horizontal section of the chimney should enter it as tightly as possible, without gaps.

Step 3: The grate. To equip the grate, we need a metal rod – bent by a snake. The dimensions of the snake must be estimated on the spot, they depend on the size of the flask. The finished structure will need to be carefully bent so that it passes into the furnace hole of the potbelly stove and straighten it in place and fix it correctly. So – it is also desirable to fix a sheet of metal forming a smoke circulation above the lid.

Chimney and pre-furnace sheet

To protect the floor near the firebox of a potbelly stove, lay a pre-furnace sheet on it. To do this, a workpiece is cut out of sheet metal roofing and painted on both sides with oil paint to protect against corrosion. A suitable-sized felt sheet must be moistened with a solution of clay, which will increase its heat resistance, laid on a metal sheet and allowed to dry. The finished structure is laid in front of the potbelly stove with the metal side up.

To be able to regulate the intensity of fuel combustion, a door can be made from a piece of sheet metal on the blower of the stove.

The chimney can be used ready-made, consisting of a short horizontal part and a long vertical pipe, or you can make it yourself. If there is no welding machine, you will have to securely fasten the knees cut at an angle of 45 degrees to each other using soft tin.

I recommend that the vertical part of the chimney be made of two pipes with a detachable connection. The lower part will burn out over time and will have to be replaced. It is better if the upper part passing through the roof of the garage is separate and permanently fixed, using non-combustible material for thermal insulation. All pipe joints are treated with refractory sealant. The optimal dimensions of the chimney are as follows:

Functionality and efficiency of the furnace

If there is a welding machine, according to the above scheme, you can make a wood-burning potbelly stove from a large-diameter pipe or tank, installing them vertically and attaching the bottom, or make a rectangular furnace case from sheet metal. The upper horizontal surfaces in this case can be used as a slab. The drawing of such a stove will be as follows:

A metal potbelly stove heats the room while the fuel burns out. In this case, the main part of the heat literally flies into the pipe. In order for the air in the garage to warm up faster and more evenly, it is required to increase heat transfer.

For this purpose, steel strips or metal pipes can be welded to the body of the stove in increments of several centimeters. The “finning” will increase the contact area of ​​the heated metal with air.

Another option to increase heat transfer is a potbelly stove with airflow. An electric fan located behind the body of the stove will drive heated air faster, evenly warming up the garage.

Pay attention to the ventilation of the garage – it must function properly so that carbon monoxide does not accumulate.

Video on the topic “do-it-yourself potbelly stove for a garage”:

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