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Made-It-Myself Hot Water Boiler
"It saves us a lot of money and I don't have to fight the snow and cold while firing the furnace," says Roger Moore, Oconee, Ill., who built his own outside wood burning furnace out of a pair of old propane tanks. It's located inside a shed where Moore also keeps his wood supply.
  The wood-fired boiler measures 7 ft. tall and 40 in. in diameter and is located inside a 12-ft. wide, 18-ft. long shed about 25 ft. from Moore's house. The shed has room for a dozen or more loads of chopped firewood.
  Hot water is pumped by a circulating water pump through an underground copper pipe to his basement, where a heat exchanger mounts inside the plenum of his hot air furnace. The hot water is also pumped to the hot water heater.
  The two propane tanks were used to build the firebox. One tank was slightly smaller than the other one. He cut the smaller tank in half horizontally and mounted it on a metal base. Then he cut the bigger tank the same way and mounted it over the smaller tank, leaving room for a 2-in. wide water jacket between the two tanks. He cut an opening for a fire door that's made of 1/4-in. thick plate steel. Then he used heavy, 1/4-in. thick catwalk to build a firebox grate. A pair of 48-in. long, 5-in. sq. tubes extend across the inside of the tank, just above the fire so they get maximum heat.
  A metal pipe extends up through the bottom of both tanks and into the firebox. A blower delivers air through the pipe. If the house needs more heat, a thermostat that controls water temperature activates a blower to fuel the fire.
  The outside part of the stove is covered with corrugated roofing sheet metal. The stove is vented up through the shed's roof.
  "I built it when we moved into a new home three years ago and have been very happy with it," says Moore. "The tanks are thick and heavy and will last a long time. The firebox grate is built in three parts so it can be removed if necessary.
  "A commercial wood burning system like this would sell for $4,000 to $5,000. We spent only about $1,500. Most of that was for gauges and the heat exchanger inside the house."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Roger Moore, 19207 E. 29th Rd., Oconee, Ill. 62553 (ph 217 539-4366; cell ph 217 246-1541).

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2007 - Volume #31, Issue #1