Substitutes – Sawdust Stove

Wadly brought home a lovely 55 gallon barrel from a vendor on Craigslist.  We haven’t been as successful in finding a 30 gallon drum to use as the inner barrel.  Desiring to forge ahead, I’ve decided to try and use a water heater tank instead.  I’ve got two water heater tanks, one gas which I’ve promised to Ernie Wisner, and one electric which will suit my needs admirably.

I see two benefits and one drawback to using a water heater tank.  Benefit: it’s a smaller diameter which will allow me to consider an insulating sleeve around the outside of the burn tank.  Benefit: the top of the water tank is domed.  Used top down as the burn tank, it will facilitate the removal of ash.  Drawback: the tank is smaller in diameter so will burn for a shorter period of time.

I’ve been pondering the sawdust stove and how/why it works.  When first lit, the sawdust stove emulates a rocket stove.  The burn tank circumference is insulated by the compacted sawdust.  As the sawdust is consumed the stack reduces in height and the room at the top of the burn chamber becomes as a secondary burn area for flue gasses.  I’m dying to know if insulating the burn chamber sides will improve performance.  It is probably totally unnecessary as the sawdust stove is noted for its complete burn of the fuel.

I can’t wait to start experimenting.

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