Ok so the weather is going bazaarly hot, what better way celebrate than by donning the welding gauntlets, sweaty mask and continuing the sideways-burning, self-loading stove project (see the first instalments if that makes no sense). As stove glass (which is a kind of transparent ceramic, rather than regular glass) that is curved is absurdly expensive and virtually impossible to get hold of, we need to make a flat plane for the glass and frame to fit to. Instead of having the window extend evenly out either side of the cylindrical shape, which is what we planned, by sort of angling it towards what will be the front of the wood stove, we could make the fire visible more often.
The glass needs a square and flat frame to keep it in place, with a more or less airtight seal against the body of the stove. It needs a fair bit of cleaning up, but has remained square and flat, and is the correct size for the stove’s hole.
So with the fire rope fitting in there ok (thanks for the fire rope donation Dave), it’s hinge making time. After de-rusting with the grinder we tack two of them on to the frame and use the hinge-pin to align the top and bottom.
I found the hinge-pin in an old scraps tub, is a steel rod left over from when I pulled a sewing machine apart to make a scroll saw. Ooo, I almost forgot to mention: before welding the brackets onto the door frame I drilled and tapped some holes in the square section. Again, it would be nice to present some lovely finished welds, but for now at least it all looks quite scrappy and industrial.
We will have to get a video of it going up here in the next instalment, because a photo just doesn’t do it justice.
Anyway, once the magic hacksaw is done making our hinge brackets, it is drilling and aligning time.
Ok the 12mm round we planned to use as the hinge pins was actually nothing like round, so will have to go on the lathe before we get a real test.
At full extension, which I don’t imagine will ever be used the door sticks out far enough to unbalance the whole stove (eek!). Looking at it, I also decided that the leverage on the hinge was enough to justify a bit of reinforcement. So that’s about where we are up to with it now (and you thought this post would never end!).
Design issue to ponder at the moment is, how do we seal the bottom of the door, where it meets the combustion chamber, here?? Originally I though I would just have an overlap on the bottom of the door that retained a bit of fire rope seal.
Update: Ok have this sorted, I added two hinged flaps coming from either side, which tension together in the middle.
Would an internal flange on the lower piece of stove be possible, with a fire rope seal that the door would press up against? Sliding seals… sort of makes sense, I was also thinking about maybe one sliding down from the door… Not sure? We have been testing the experimental wood stove and heating the workshop for a while now, but for the sake of completeness and order lets have a look at the heat exchanger build. Just as a recap on the design: The heat exchanger is a completely separate unit to the burn chamber.
So while we stuck to that general design, during fabrication I went off the idea of having the fan blowing room air inside the assembly.
The flue gasses will pass between the cylinders off-loading there lovely heat to the metal, which will radiate it out to the room.

So we just need to put lids on, and add a spigot (flue joining bits) to the top and bottom and we would have a functional heat exchanger. So the holes in the top and bottom will allow air to pass from the inside of the inner chamber, into the room. By this point the heat exchanger becomes quite a beast and we need to rig up some hefty support to hold it in position above the burn unit. Once the bracket is firmly in place and we have done pull-ups and jumping swinging leaps from it, are satisfied with its solidity, we start positioning the exchanger.
The hydraulic engine-hoist (affectionately named Swanny) is very useful, as are the bodies risking life and limb to keep it steady.
We haven’t calculated it in a particularly scientific way, but according to this stove kw calculator our room size required an output of about 9kW to heat (assuming a well insulated draught free room). Enjoyed the above article but some of the comments about modern stove efficiency are a bit wide of the mark – remember that we also need high exhaust gas temperature.
I was thinking of simply slipping a larger flue over the existing flue with radiating fins to help the exchange and center the flue. We have heard from a couple of folks who have done this and they said it’s worked well for them. We get the welding ball rolling by tack welding the primary and secondary burn chambers together. Here is the first weld seam, certainly not the best, but passable – as you can see I was stopping and starting and fiddling about with the  welders settings for this one. It is not angled so much that you can’t use the hole to reach in and through to clean out and poke around in the secondary burn chamber though. The hinges for the viewing window are the perfect excuse to get the POWER hacksaw going, but more on that later. Actually, I had a few bits left over from that that I may use as engineering-geeky catch type parts… Anyway, once this is in position, we can tack on the remaining two brackets, and with the door clamped in its final position (with the fire rope compressed in place) we can drill through the two brackets in the door and into those on the stove.
At this point we simply have to unleash our own steam-punk museum style automatic hacksaw (which we obviously had to tinker round with to get going before we could proceed). With a new HSS blade, some re-wiring and TLC, it actually makes quite a nice cut, in not too much time, without much noise.
I imagine a magnetic welding square jig thing would have been very useful at this point (and a few others too), but we scraped through with a regular square.
So some swing limiters, stabilising feet or some bolt downs will have to be made eventually.
That won’t work as the overlap will snag on the combustion chamber, preventing it from opening or closing. It could seal against the rim as you suggest, but only below the dotted line, above that it wont open or close.
From the dotted line I imagine seals moving towards the burn chamber running in slots and then tigterning in place forming the seal. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. That way the burn chamber can be massively insulated – giving a very hot efficient burn. The inside one started out the same size as the outside, but we split it vertically with a jigsaw, and used ratchet straps to pull the diameter down, and then welded it back. The hole you can see in the side will be one of two access hatches that will allow for periodic inspection and cleaning.

The bracket is designed so that a screw can be tightened to adjust the unit up and down, and four nuts lock the exchanger in place.
With the exchanger raised up, a piece of reclaimed double wall flue pipe is fitted between it and the burn unit. With this in mind we know that the room can be brought to 22 degrees C within a couple of hours of lighting (not that we aim for 22C normally – 18C is a much nicer workshop temp). All of their stove products are made by good British engineers and are very robust, we have been back to service some of their products that have been working for over 30 years. We have an idea about how we want the stove to be orientated, so with that in mind the window hole is slightly offset to one side.
To keep things square the assembly is tacked to some scrap plate metal that is reasonably flat.
Now we have final dimensions and its working, it is time to order some ceramic stove glass.
It is sealing against a compound-curved surface at the top, and a slightly dented and irregular surface along the main body of the cylinder.
I am tempted to try using the spring of the metal to overcome this problem (a single overlapping skin of the 2.8mm) springs over and back fine) – but I am not sure how long it will retain its elasticity with all the heat cycling it will be getting? Once that burn is effectively complete we need to get the heat out of the waste gasses and into the room. We calculated the diameter, so that the area between the two canisters would be equal to the cross sectional area of the five inch flue pipe we have. If we keep feeding it lots of fuel it gets hotter than 22C and that’s when outside temp is below zero degrees. Without this, the frame could warp out of shape because of the heat generated during welding.
Now starting at the top, we weld the first few cm (inch or so) of the bar to the main cylinder then immediately after, bend the bar round the compound curve.
The first thing to do is to temporarily stick on some sample glass rope seal bits, so we can see exactly how the door sits.
This way the heat exchanger will not introduce too much air resistance, while still passing the flue gasses over a large surface area. The bar bends quite easily because it remains very hot from the weld and you have leverage on your side.
We started by welding (and bending) on some 10mm round bar, to act as retaining strip for the fire rope.
Proceed in this way centimetre by centimetre, weld bend, weld bend, until the curve is complete :-D At this point you need to grind the door loose while you can still get to the tack welds (or it will be stuck forever). Now lets say we have an averagely efficient burn chamber say 80% (even comparitivley cool smouldering fires turn more than 65% of the wood used into heat), but with a better heat exchanger, say 30% efficient, that gives us a total efficiency of 24%. It is quite a long seam, and in retrospect, it is probably not really necessary to weld it all.

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