Build "stove" out of cinder-blocks? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

In a pinch, could cinder-blocks & cement be used to build a "wood-burning stove"? Obviously this is less than ideal, because there is still the cook-top, flue & door to deal with, but is there anything about cinder-blocks that can't take the fire?

If TSHTF, I could improvise the top/flue/door, but does concrete burn (hey - I'm a computer geek)? Would cinder-blocks crack (if heated & cooled slowly).

No, a real wood-burning stove is not an option for me. I'm maxxed-out on "brownie-points" now with my wife buying food, water-filters, batteries, camping supplies, etc.

-- Anonymous99 (, January 26, 1999


I think you need to line the cinder blocks with "fire-brick" first, unless you find a cinder block that's specifically for a fireplace. I'm almost positive they'll crack and then crumble under the heat. If you build such a stove inside, you also need a much broader floor area under the stove. Like a flat brick surface so when embers and stuff fall out while you're stoking it, you don't torch your whole house. Don't forget venting. I'm a computer geek, too, but did lots of practical work at sea (16 years). The type of mortar you buy probably matters, too. Check at a fireplace store or an old-timey hardware store with old guys working there. The new pups in the fancy stores don't know much. Any other ideas?

-- gscarlson (, January 26, 1999.


10 they are porous

2) they absorb water

3) they explode, or crumble.

There is a GOOD reason one uses fire brick, paving cobbles (my favorite), or granite block/bricks for a fireplace. This would be that they work better than any other system.


-- Chuck, night driver (, January 26, 1999.

Anyone know where the instructions are to build a fire brick oven?

Sounds like a great idea, outside, next to the campfire pit.

Thanks, Diane

-- Diane J. Squire (, January 26, 1999.

Neat campfire cooking goody ... products/

Click on Outdoors & Recreation and scroll to Like Cookin' at Home On the Open Range. The picture in their catalog is better.

Burnt toast, refried beans, ashy flakes in the eggs--leave those culinary embarrassments to the pioneers. Your cooking will be the talk of the campfire, tastefully prepared using our traditional Western camp irons. Ingeniously designed by a Kansas blacksmith, the adjusting "pigtail" design irons allow you--not the fire--to regulate heat. Both pot arm and 12" x 12" or 16" x 16" grills swing easily in and out of the fire. Also included is a hook for lifting piping-hot pots. Construction is rugged and durable, handforged of hot-rolled steel, the compact four-piece nesting design allows for easy transport and storage, plus fast set-up. The 12" weighs 111/2 lbs., 16" weighs 131/2 lbs. USA. 12 -- $84.95 or 16 -- $99.95.

I definitely want one of these too!


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 26, 1999.

If you want to build an outdoor oven for baking bread, try Sunset magazine online; they will mail you directions if you select the 'garden' department (go to 'about Sunset') and ask for the second generation Adobe oven directions from the August 1998 issue, pg. 112 or thereabouts. The thing uses ordinary backyard dirt and concrete.

My dad built a chimney for a cabin a number of years ago, and while the outside was concrete block, the inside was firebrick. Firebrick is fired at a much higher temperature than regular brick, as well has having all the other aforementioned advantages. You can use firebrick in a small homemade forge, for example (see for an article on how-to), and that is a lot of heat to handle.

-- Karen Cook (, January 26, 1999.

Use a fifty five gallon drum. Fill with water first! Very dangerous to cut empty drum. People die that way.

Cut six inch hole in top for vent and a door on side large enough to insert firewood, hinge cutout to drum and install latch. Place this on stone, brick or other fire resistant base. Needs to be at least 18 inches from walls or other flammables. Check with sheetmetal or fireplace installer to get proper fireproof, ceiling, roof jacks and vent pipes.

I built one of these for a friend living in a plywood shack in Half Moon Bay, CA and he was warm as toast. Be careful if you cut this yourself. I do know a neighbor of mine died because he thought there was no danger because the drum appeared to be empty. Fill it with water before you get a spark near it.

-- freeman (, January 27, 1999.

For outdoor cooking try this. Go to your washing machine repair store and buy an old washing machine drum. I paid $5.00 for mine. They are about 2 feet deep. In an area in your back yard dig a hole big enough and deep enough to place the drum in. I made my hole big enough to put a complete row of fire bricks around the outside of the drum. The drum should be level with the surface of the ground. My yard has large flag stones so I am able to cover up this fire pit with a large flag stone. Don't want anyone to know that I even have such a pit. This pit holds heat extremely well for a very long time, and is very easy to cook over. Remember the important thing is to stay invisible with all this preparation.

-- thinkIcan (, January 27, 1999.

How calculate stove efficiency for using biohdydrocarbon to replace kerosene.

-- Praveen kumar Mahato (, June 03, 2004.

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