Sometimes sustainability is about making do with what you have. This is the wood burner that I use for my personal workshop. In my area, it is mandated by law that we have to clear brush on a yearly basis. I live on a pretty large lot so we have plenty of brush to be cleared every year. Add to that the occasional tree that falls down and all of the scraps from my shop and you have all the wood that you need to heat a shop like mine. With the exception of the work that I put into gathering firewood, my heat is free and is carbon neutral. This is somewhat of a double hack because as you have probably noticed, the wood burner is sitting outside of my workshop. My workshop is fairly large but I have it so packed full of tools that I just didn’t have room inside so I came up with this solution.
More details after the break.
Because I didn’t have room inside of my workshop, the only solution was to heat it from outside somehow. What I came up with was to take two barrels of different sizes and fit them together like Russian dolls. The inner barrel is the burn chamber and the outer barrel allows air to flow between the two barrels. On the inside of my workshop I have a blower fan that pushes air into the wood burner allowing it to circulate around and pick up heat before it exits through another pipe which goes back into the workshop. At first I just had the barrels by themselves but I found that the air wasn’t as hot as I expected so I pulled it apart again and welded on a bunch of small steel tabs that give the burn chamber a greater surface area. Once I did that, heat transfer was greatly improved.
Here you can see the original setup without the inner barrel attached.
The whole thing is held together by the original band clamp from the larger barrel. The burn chamber door and the feet were ordered as a kit for about $50. The first picture of this post is from a few days ago. You might notice that I made a few changes since these original pictures were taken. I increased the diameter of the outgoing pipe to allow for the expansion of the air as it heats up. I also added a second outgoing pipe that runs to my wife’s office, which is better insulated than my workshop and can actually get uncomfortably warm even on the coldest of days if the damper isn’t used.