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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2011
    Eagle River, WI
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    Homemade Tarp-Heating Wood Stove Instructions

    Several people have asked about the TiGoat knock-off wood burning stove that I made, so here some instructions.

    Materials: You can use stainless steel or titanium to make the stove. Stainless is cheaper, weighs more, and is a bit easier to come by.
    Titanium is lighter, stronger, more expensive, and harder to find.

    The ends of the stove are simply 7.5" stainless or titanium dinner plates.
    Stainless plates weigh 4.4 ounces each and are available here:
    Titanium plates weigh 2 ounces each and are available here:

    REI has a sale on now where you can save 20%. At the sale price, two stainless plates will cost you about $18.00, and two titanium plates will cost you about $29.00. As you can see, titanium is half the weight of stainless, but 1.5 times the cost.

    The body of the stove and the stove pipe are made from metal shim stock. Again, you can go with either stainless shim stock or titanium for both, or either. More on the stove body, below.

    Stainless stove pipe material can be purchased from Titanium Goat, or you can buy metal shim stock from McMaster/Carr. I originally bought a 12" wide roll of the stainless shim stock from McMaster/Carr in .004" thickness, but you can get it from Titanium Goat by the foot for $5.50/foot and it weighs 2.6oz./foot.

    You can also buy 12" wide titanium shim stock from TiGoat for $15.00/foot and it weighs 1.85oz./foot.

    The shim stock is used for two things-to make the stove pipe, and to make the round body of the stove.

    First, you will need to decide how long you want your stove pipe. A good rule of thumb is to have your stove pipe stick up at least two feet above the highest part of the roof of your shelter so that sparks do not fall down and burn holes in the roof, or worse yet, start it on fire. So, you need to pitch your shelter, determine the highest part (usually the ridge) and measure two feet above it. That will determine the length of your stove pipe. You can have a stove pipe that is too long, but you don't want one that is too short, for obvious reasons. Just remember, the longer you go, the more the pipe will weigh. Mine is 8' long, and I went with the stainless to save money.

    For your stove pipe, you will also need two 3" stainless collars, which can be puchased from TiGoat. You can also buy 3" wire rings from TiGoat and should purchase one ring for each foot of stove pipe. For my eight foot pipe, I have two collars and 6 rings(no ring needed on either end of the pipe because that is where the collars go).

    To make the stove pipe, you roll out your shim stock the long way. For my eight foot pipe, I used an 8' long piece of 12" wide shim stock. The shim stock comes rolled in a 12" long tube, so you will have to roll it out the long ways until it is stretched out to its 8' length. It helps to have two people when you do this because the shim stock has a memory and will want to roll up behind you. Once you have the shim stock rolled out, you want to use a piece of 2-3" diameter plastic pipe that is close to the length of your stove pipe to roll the shim stock around for the first time. The shim stock will be a bit stiff, but if you are careful, you can roll it around the plastic pipe without kinking it, into a neat tube about 3" in diameter and however long your stove pipe will be. The 12" wide shim stock will roll into a 3" diameter stove pipe with an inch or more of overlap, which you want because that is how the seam on the pipe seals itself.

    Once you have the shim stock rolled into a 3" diameter tube, slip a 3" collar on each end. Then you begin slipping the 3" diameter wire rings over the pipe and spreading them out about a foot apart. The last thing you do is slide the plastic pipe out of the finished metal stove pipe. Because the pipe is not welded along the seam, you will want to be careful handling it because it will twist and turn into a long, narrow cone. The most important thing is to burn the pipe in once you have it assembled for the first time because once the pipe has been subjected to heat, it will take a memory along its long length, and will be much easier to assemble the next time you roll it out. By burning the pipe in, I mean you put it on the stove and start a hot fire to heat the pipe up.

    You can go without a damper, but my stove does not have a draft control on the end, so without a damper there is no way to control the intensity of the fire in your stove. TiGoat sells a pre-made damper on their site for $25.00 and I bought one to use with my stove. Having the damper allows you to damp your stove back and reduce the rate at which fuel is used and the amount of heat that is output. Remember, you may have your stove near a tent wall and too much heat near a nylon tent wall is not a good thing.

    Now for the body of the stove. I made a long and a short body. One is 12" long and the other is 22" long, or about two feet. For the short one, I used a piece of 12" stainless shim stock that was 30" long. This time you will roll the shim stock along its 12" length to create a 7.5" diameter tube that is 12" long. The dinner plates slip into each end of this tube, which is why the tube is about 7.5" in diameter. The reason you need 30" is that is the circumferance of a
    7.5" circle(outside diameter of the dinner plates), with about 6-7" of overlap. Again, since this is not a welded tube, you want the overlap to seal the tube and also, if you position the overlap on the bottom of the stove when you assemble it, you will wind up with a double bottom, where your stove is most likely to burn through.

    Like the stove pipe, you need some way to hold the stove body in a tube to keep it from unrolling, and so you can slip the dinner plates in the end. I used stainless fishing leader wire(American Fishing Wire-Surfstrand 1x7, 90lb test, AFW, Valley Twnsp. PA) to make wire hoops just slightly larger than the outside of my stove body. I use two hoops on the short stove, and three on the long stove, spacing them a few inches apart once they are slipped over the tube. The stainless leader wire is relatively cheap, and you can buy matching metal sleeves(AFW #3 sleeve for the 90lb test wire) to join the ends of the wire hoops by crimping them with a pliers.

    Instead of buying 3" wire hoops from TiGoat for my stove pipe, I make them from the stainless leader wire. They are lighter and cheaper.

    I also use the stainless leader wire for another purpose. If you look at the cylinder stove on TiGoats website, you will see that they use rigid threaded rods legthwise down the sides of the stove body cylinder to hold the endcaps in place.

    Not having a source of titanium or stainless threaded rods, I came up with two alternatives, one which I have used on my stoves, and one which I have yet to try. The one which I have yet to try is to purchase stainless or titanium bicycle spokes to use in place of the threaded rods. One end of the spoke is already threaded and the other end can be cut to length and either threaded or bent to fit through a hole drilled in the edge of the dinner plate. I have not used the spokes.

    Instead, I drilled 4 holes in the edge of each dinner plate. Two holes are drilled a few inches apart along the edge of the plate that will be at the top of the stove, and two are drilled along the edge of the plate that will be along the bottom of the stove. The holes are not spaced evenly around the plates. Instead, the top two holes are closer together than the bottom two holes, for reasons that I will now explain.

    I take my stainless leader wire and I make up 8 leaders with loops on both ends. One leader goes through each hole on the outside edge of the dinner plates. Each plate winds up with 4 leaders attached to it, one through each of the 4 holes previously drilled in the edge of each plate. Each leader has a small loop on each end. When I snap the dinner plates into the cylinder body of the stove, I leave the wire leaders on the outside. The holes in the dinner plates are drilled in the same location on each plate, so that when the plates are snapped in place on the stove body, the holes for each plate match up opposite one another. The ends of the leaders from each plate will not reach each other, and there is a gap of about 4" between the ends.

    I then hook a small aluminum or stainless turnbuckle into the end of each leader and join the ends of the leaders with the turnbuckles. By tightening the turnbuckles, I pull the plates into the ends of the stove and everything goes together drum tight once the turnbuckles have been tightened down.

    There are a few more steps. You need a hinged door in one end of the stove. I used titanium plates to make my stove. I could have cut the door with a saw (a jewelers saw would probably work best) but I was afraid I would bend the edge of the cut all up in the process. Instead of a saw, I used a razor knife to score the edge of the door into the surface of the plate. It took me about 4 blades to cut the door in the titanium plate, but when I was done I had a door that fit perfectly and was almost air tight.

    I then bought a small piece of stainless piano hinge and cut it to fit the edge of the door. To make the door fit as tight as possible, I laid it back into the original opening and then drilled holes to mount the piano hinge using small stainless rivets. You could probably use the door without a latch, but I made one using a Ti tent stake, as will be shown in the photos to follow.

    You also need to drill draft holes in the end plate. I spaced mine below the door evenly around the edge of the plate, using a 3/8" drill.

    Lastly, you need to assemble the whole stove and mark the opening for the stove pipe. The dinner plates are mounted with their depression facing the inside of the stove. That way the lip on the edge of the plate serves as a place for the stove body to fit into. You cannot cut the hole for the stove pipe at the very edge of the cylinder because the pipe will hit the inside edge of the dinner plate once it is inserted into the stove. You need to measure the depression in the plate and then add about a 1/4" and hold back from the edge of the cylinder by that amount (depression measure + 1/4").

    For my 22" stove, I bought a piece of titanium foil from TiGoat.
    I bought a piece 22" wide x 30" long. It is sold in 6" increments, so mine cost me $70.00. This is rolled along the 30" length to make a 7.5" diameter, 22" long cylinder. Endcaps are snapped in place for this stove the same as the shorter one.

    I will post some photos in a subsequent post which will hopefully make this all more understandable.
    Last edited by rbinhood; 10-14-2011 at 06:33.

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