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Side-By-Side Stove Burns Wood And Corn
When the wood stove he built 25 years ago needed to be replaced, Al Wolter built a new one with two chambers. One burns wood, and the other burns corn.
"I figured if the corn burner didn't work out, I could use both sides for wood," says Wolter.
As it turned out, the corn stove works just fine. He welded a fire pot out of steel and feeds it from the bottom by auger from a 3-bu. hopper a few feet away. The hopper was made from a hog feeder. Wolter made a stand for it and uses a 2-in. auger in a straight pipe to move corn into the fire pot. A timer on the auger motor runs it for five seconds and then stops for about a minute.
Filling the fire pot from the bottom moves clinkers up and out of the fire pot each time it fills. Wolter acknowledges the fire pot may not last more than a few years, but it was easy to make.
A small squirrel cage fan in the chimney pipe draws air into the fire chamber. Heat is always moving up and away from the fire pot and the auger. The downside of the design is loss of heat up the chimney. Wolter is designing a heat exchanger to capture more of the heat before it escapes. He is also considering adding a thermostat to control the auger. This would allow him to use the corn stove 24 hours a day.
"The stove stack stays between 400 to 500 degrees, which is too high, but I'll fine tune that," he says of the one-year-old stove.
The stove, located in the basement, acts as a space heater for the house, with the rest of the basement acting as a heat reservoir. Floor grates around the sides of each floor of the house allow heat to move upward. A large open staircase in the center of the house acts as a cold air return for the second floor. A 2 1/2ft. sq. grate in the center of the main floor completes the cycle as cool air moves down and over the stove again.
The one exception is a flexible coil pipe that extends upwards from the stove vicinity, carrying a stream of warm air to a single small grate.
"The grate at the end of the pipe is right under the chair my wife sits in when watching TV," says Wolter. "It keeps her a little warmer."
Wolter welded the stove out of 3/16-in. plate, angle iron and some steel tubing and strap. The stove chambers measure 2 ft. deep by 3 ft. high with each chamber 2 ft. wide. Legs and grips at either end for moving the 350-lb. stove are made from 2-in. channel iron. The legs raise the stove 1 1/2 ft. off the floor.
"I heat an old 1,100-sq. ft., three-story house with no problems," he says. He figures that isn't bad for a stove he built without plans in only two days. Now that it has made it through a winter, Wolter is offering to share plans with people interested in building one for themselves.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Al Wolter, 2510 360th St., Breckenridge, Minn. 56520 (ph 218 643-2061).

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2007 - Volume #31, Issue #5