How to Make a Sawdust Stove

Written by alyson paige
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You can fashion a homemade stove with simple materials. A homemade sawdust stove is a low-cost heating and cooking basic appliance. It burns fuel efficiently, provides heat over an extended time and is one way to be "off the grid." If the cost of heating and cooking are prohibitive, or if you want to live more rustically, a homemade sawdust stove may be for you.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Large, clean paint can
  • Sawdust
  • Piece of water pipe

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  1. 1

    Remove the lid from a large, clean paint can. Cut a 2-inch hole in the bottom of the can.

    How to Make a Sawdust Stove
  2. 2

    Place the can on three improvised fireproof legs. For example, use three cement blocks for stability and safety. At this point, the stove is finished.

    How to Make a Sawdust Stove
  3. 3

    Burn sawdust. Sawdust burns cleanly and for long periods of time without reloading. Insert a suitable length of water pipe up through the hole in the bottom of the can. Keep the stick vertical and resting on the fireproof bottom. Pour sawdust around the pipe in the can. Tamp the sawdust down as you load the fuel--the more compacted, the better for longer burning. Fill the stove nearly to the top. Add sand or ash over the sawdust.

    How to Make a Sawdust Stove
  4. 4

    Twist the pipe as you pull it upward out of the can. This leaves a perfect hole through the centre of the sawdust.

    How to Make a Sawdust Stove
  5. 5

    Fold a newspaper page into an accordion, pushing down through the hole until the paper sticks out from the bottom of the can. Light this end. You do not need to attend to the stove again until all fuel is burnt.

    How to Make a Sawdust Stove

Tips and warnings

  • A 12-inch stove will burn for about 6 hours.
  • Always ventilate the room where the stove is located.
  • Do not touch the stove while or after burning.

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