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Old 11-22-2013, 10:43 PM   #1
1/2 Cup
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Default 1/2 Cups Brake drum pot belly heater build.

I guess heating your garages would be fairly topical at the moment so I thought it was time to share my pot belly build I did last summer.
Its not that I really needed a wood heater in the shed as it has reverse cycle air conditioning anyway, but came about after seeing a few of my mates building them for their garages and saw it as a challenge to firstly go one better and then build one with character and charm.
I have got to fess up to having a soft spot for all things "old cast iron" and that's where the inspiration came from.

I will let the pictures tell the story. As this is my first thread that I have started about the stuff I do please bear with me, hopefully it will be the first of many.


I purchased this old Windsor unit from my brother several years ago in the hope I could resurrect it at some point as I loved its classic lines but was in pretty poor condition.

In the meantime I was offered a couple of brake drums from a low loader that were going for scrap and promptly snapped them up as you do, they sat at home for months until my better half kept asking what I was going to do with them and to put in to her words "the place is starting to look like a recyclers yard". Done deal I will build a heater! just because I can.

I don't do plans, well maybe the odd sticky note and loads of inspiration.

It started with the base, as I had an unmatched set of cast iron display cabinet feet that just screamed out "repurpose me please" and some 3/8 and inch plate that a mate did some circle work on, I don't own a plasma cutter, just a gas axe and several grinders.



I "found" some railway sleeper cleats that I used for additional support behind the feet.

Last edited by 1/2 Cup; 11-23-2013 at 10:12 PM. Reason: Added image
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1/2 Cups Brake drum pot belly heater build.

Nice worko n the stove, I guess you mae the fence also?
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1/2 Cups Brake drum pot belly heater build.

Next came the ash tray locating ring.


Some years ago I built a flat steel roller that I used to roll the ring and many other parts.

One of the key things I had in the back of my mind during the build, due to its weight, that the heater be fully demountable.
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1/2 Cups Brake drum pot belly heater build.

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Nice worko n the stove, I guess you mae the fence also?
The fence is one of my creations, I just love building stuff!
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1/2 Cups Brake drum pot belly heater build.


The ash tray and door assembly.
It was basically hewn out of a short piece of 12 inch x 3/8 pipe with some decorative rings added for character.

The door hinge was made from 3/4 shaft collars stitched in place with a removable stainless hinge pin.



This pic shows the preassembly of the base to the bottom drum.
I fitted 2 x 1 inch mild steel dowels to locate the drum centrally on the base using the lug nut holes.

Last edited by 1/2 Cup; 11-23-2013 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:12 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1/2 Cups Brake drum pot belly heater build.

Machining the vents in the ash tray door.

Last edited by 1/2 Cup; 11-23-2013 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:14 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1/2 Cups Brake drum pot belly heater build.

The base and ash tray ready for high temperature paint.
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:23 AM   #8
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Default Re: 1/2 Cups Brake drum pot belly heater build.

Painted, also gives a bit more detail on the locating spigots and door hinge.
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:49 AM   #9
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Default Re: 1/2 Cups Brake drum pot belly heater build.

Misc. bits.

Drum jointing ring. 2 x 1/8 mild still flat.

Hot plate and spigot.

Drop in grate minus locating lugs.


The Hot plate

Last edited by 1/2 Cup; 11-23-2013 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: 1/2 Cups Brake drum pot belly heater build.


Preassembly, again. Those drums are heavy!!

Last edited by 1/2 Cup; 11-23-2013 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:23 AM   #11
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Default Re: 1/2 Cups Brake drum pot belly heater build.

man .. you don't mess around .. that thing is awesome
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:08 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1/2 Cups Brake drum pot belly heater build.



Cutting the hole for the flue proved a bit of a challenge as I don't have a plasma cutter.
I made a template and carefully scribed the out line due to the curves, drilled a series of holes the basically used a jigsaw to do the cutting between. I was surprised just how effective it cut the cast iron at low speed. I then dressed it up with a 4" as I am using a 4" butt weld elbow to transition to the flue.

Last edited by 1/2 Cup; 11-23-2013 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1/2 Cups Brake drum pot belly heater build.

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Old 11-23-2013, 01:59 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1/2 Cups Brake drum pot belly heater build.

I had no idea the brake drums on trucks/trailers were THAT ENORMOUS !

Great job cutting that hole for the flue !
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Old 11-23-2013, 02:03 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1/2 Cups Brake drum pot belly heater build.

how much for one shipped to NJ USA? Ha just kidding. Really nice stove though. How cold does it get where you are?
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Old 11-23-2013, 02:06 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1/2 Cups Brake drum pot belly heater build.

Quote:
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man .. you don't mess around .. that thing is awesome
Thanks very much anthony666
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Old 11-23-2013, 02:15 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1/2 Cups Brake drum pot belly heater build.

Thanks for the feed back guys.

Our temperatures range from plus 40 degrees c down to below freezing. It does not snow where we are but comes pretty close at times.
We are into spring at the moment with temperatures ranging from a cold 10 degrees c
up to a very comfortable high 20 degrees c during the day. From here on in we can get some pretty warm to hot days, air conditioner time believe me.

Its fairly cool and overcast here this morning (Sunday 24th), jumper weather.
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Old 11-23-2013, 02:53 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1/2 Cups Brake drum pot belly heater build.

What's the plan for the flue ? Welding some tubing in for the attachment of chimney pipe ?
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Old 11-23-2013, 03:12 PM   #19
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Default Re: 1/2 Cups Brake drum pot belly heater build.

Very cool so far.
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Old 11-23-2013, 03:15 PM   #20
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Default Re: 1/2 Cups Brake drum pot belly heater build.

I have decided not install the heater in the garage and it will ultimately end up in an undercover out door BBQ area.
A mate of mine has some 4" stainless tube that I will use for the chimney and a neighbour picked me up a suitable cowl that was in really great condition at a garage sale a few weeks ago.
I am using a 4" sch 40 long radius butt weld elbow that will incorporate a "throttle choke" and have machined and welded in a transition piece to adapt to the chimney.
The main reason for this is the heater is fed through the hot plate opening and I did not want to inhibit the opening in any way.
Very much like the Old Windsor I have.
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Last edited by 1/2 Cup; 11-23-2013 at 10:13 PM.
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