How to Convert a Wood Stove to an Outdoor Heater
Wood stoves can be converted to outdoor heaters with a few simple steps. They can be used as a permanent fixture outside your house and add decorative value as well. For the heater to be effective, it must have enough oxygen flow to maintain a fire and should have an open front for direct heat output. An outdoor heat source is great on cool nights. It will extend the outdoor barbecue season and keep you and your guests comfortable.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need:
- Sawzall saw with metal blade
- Pry bar
- Eye protection
Place the wood stove on a non-combustible surface like gravel or concrete. Be sure it is not near any dry foliage or materials that will catch fire. The stove will become very hot and can cause a fire on contact.
Remove the rain cap, storm collar and roof flashing with your hands, pry bar and pliers. These materials will not be necessary for the outdoor heater but can be saved for future projects.
Cut the stove pipe to the desired height, using a sawzall with a metal blade. The height you choose will depend on the look you prefer. It is good to leave at least 2 feet to let the smoke escape above sitting height.
Cut the damper pipe on the back of the stove with the sawzall. It should be cut close to flush with the back of the stove. Do not plug the opening as you will want oxygen to enter the stove.
Tips & Warnings
The front door can be removed and replaced with a hinged metal grate. This will direct the majority of the heat through the grate. If you want even heat distribution around the stove, do not remove the door.
Locate the stove in a safe area where you will not start a fire. Keep your wood stack away from the stove and do not touch the stove while it is in use as it can become very hot. Wear gloves while working with the metal stove materials to avoid being cut by fragments. Also wear safety goggles while cutting the metal to avoid eye damage by loose shards.
Article Written By Zach Lazzari
Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Colorado-mountain-adventure.com. Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.
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