Homemade wood chip burner

Updated February 21, 2017

Wood chips are small shavings of wood that may be left as a waste product or purposefully created in a wood chipper. While not as popular as cordwood or pellets, chips can be used for heating as well.


A homemade wood chip burner can take many different forms, depending on its intended use. Some are quite small and made out of coffee and paint cans for use as camping stoves. Other burners serve as fireplaces or wood stoves in the home. Some wood chip burners are used in conjunction with an existing furnace or as a furnace itself to heat the home.

Wood Chip Burner as a Furnace

A homemade wood chip burner must contain a firebox for burning the material and a chimney to vent smoke. This can be used with a home hydronic heating system (i.e. a system that uses hot water to generate heat) by installing coiled metal pipes filled with water inside the firebox. The water in the pipes is heated by the burning wood chips and connected to the existing hot water heating system.

Other Uses

The simplest homemade wood chip burner is an old metal barrel in which you start a fire and add wood chips. For camping, the design is not much different, but it should allow air intake at the bottom, smoke release at the top and be just big enough that a pot or pan can be balanced on the top to minimise heat loss.

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About the Author

Darby Stevenson began writing in 1997 for his high-school newspaper, the "Alsea Valley Voice," which won him statewide awards for Best Feature Article and Best Personality Interview. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies from the University of Oregon.