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New Firebox Construction
#1
So I started work on the new firebox. I'm taking sheets of 1/4" plate steel for the sides and bottom, and using 5/16 for the top. For the primary flue I'll be using an old water tank. This will have copper tubing wrapped inside for heating water.

This is my first real stick welding endevour. So I know my welds need work, but I've gotten better since my first weld. Figuring out some of the tricks to the welding is, well, a little tricky.



That's basically what I wanna build.
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#2
Day 1









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#3
Day 2






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#4
They don't look to bad, i tried welding when i was younger ending up burning my retinas and the weld did not hold.

That looks like a big fire box how much water are you heating?
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#5
Looks like a fun project!

Planning air-flow control too?
The flue diameter is large & will let lots of heat escape - maybe fit a damper, eg a disc of metal you can rotate to shut off/limit flow, maybe a foot up from the box?
You'll probably want some kind of air inlet control too.

Hope cooking marshmellows is on the radar? (loved doing that on a camp fire when I was younger)
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#6
(01-26-2019, 10:47 PM)Richard Wrote: They don't look to bad, i tried welding when i was younger ending up burning my retinas and the weld did not hold.

That looks like a big fire box how much water are you heating?

I'll have a 270 Gallon tank for a heat sink. That way I can stabilize the air temps in the house. This is actually about 1/3 - 1/4 of the whole project.

But this box will be inside of another cage that's enclosed in metal siding tapped into the central air. So the radiant heat from this will heat the air which will be pushed into the house

I'm not new to welding, just new to stick. I've done some mig w/o gas, that's where I started. I wasn't great at it, but I could put two pieces of steel together decently. Considering the thickness of this steel, and that the mig welder isn't working atm, I figured I'd try my hand at stick.

The mid-weld where the small piece was added in, I'll probably go over that 1 more time as there's still a seem visible. Even though I welded on both sides, I'd rather have a solid seem all the way across and not a crack in places. Being a fire box, it'll be shrinking/expanding a lot.
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#7
(01-26-2019, 11:02 PM)Redpacket Wrote: Looks like a fun project!

Planning air-flow control too?
The flue diameter is large & will let lots of heat escape - maybe fit a damper, eg a disc of metal you can rotate to shut off/limit flow, maybe a foot up from the box?
You'll probably want some kind of air inlet control too.

Hope cooking marshmellows is on the radar? (loved doing that on a camp fire when I was younger)

yes, the second stack will have a flue damper on it. I thought about using the large disc visible in the first few photos, but that's a lot of dampening. I think I'll just put a damper in the 4" pipe that comes out the top of the repurposed water tank. A lot more manageable, and easier to install Wink

The top will be made out of heavier steel as I'll also be using it as a cook top Wink

Also, in the crude 3D design in the first post, the top red section is low enough to help keep smoke from coming out the door when it's open. That's the problem I have with the current stove I'm using. Open the door and smoke billows out.

There will also be a section on the bottom that will allow for ashes to fall into a tray, so i won't have to scoop them out like I do now. This way I can get the ash out while a fire is still churning away. I won't have to put it out or wait till there's embers/ashes left to work it.
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#8
Day 3:   It's been a few days since I could work on the firebox. Sunday was all day rain, Monday was cold and miserable, Tuesday was just bleh and cold, Wednesday was way too tired.

So I was able to get some more work done today. I have the bottom plate added. This doesn't have to be "air" tight, per se. This is the area where the ashes will collect. Well, more like where the tray will sit that will collect the ashes. 

The first cut to the dimensions needed



Tack welds to hold it in place



I had to fight this part when doing the tack welds. You see there's a bow in this plate. So I had to start on the left corner and slowly straighten it out as I went. When I got to the right corner, I actually had to put a block and a log to hold the plate still while I pushed on the box to straighten it out. It was tough, but I won in the end  Wink


Here's the last few images of the inside.



These were taken before I cleaned up welds with the wire brush. By the time I was done cleaning them, there wasn't enough daylight for the camera to see properly.

Apologies for the images being a bit poor. The front camera lens is broke, so I have to use 'selfie' cam to take photos. Looking at getting a new phone. And the reason I have to use my phone is because I couldn't use my tablet to take the images as it is now broken. The dogs did something while I was at work and broke my tablet. The screen is cracked, and unfortunately on the corner where the digitizer is read from. *sigh*  So now I gotta get a new tablet, yay, meh  Angry
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#9
Just wanting to give a quick update on this project.

Here in Florida, we are now past winter and will be going into summer in a few more weeks. We have 9.5 months of summer, 1 month of spring, 1 month of fall, and only 2 weeks of "winter". Altho, this year our winter was about 3.5 weeks long, which I'm sure will cut into spring time.

With winter out of the way, the fire box is not needed in such haste. I will continue working on it over the next few months, though. I want to do some cooking on the top and use it for heating water from time to time. 

In the meantime, I'm focusing a lot of my attention on the construction of the garage. When I'm finished, it'll be 2 story with a deck on top for the solar collectors and wind turbine. That'll be documented in another thread, tho Wink
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#10
Have you thought about implementing phase change cooling/heating?

It would be actually pretty easy to implement with paraffin wax with metal particles in it to boost thermal conductivity.

It's actually a project I'm working on for thermal storage. Electrical storage is still way better with battery tech, but thermal storage is something I've been having my eye on, since I could directly use the energy from discharging 18650s to heat up the thermal storage during the winter, or use solar electricity during the summer to cool it down during the day, and release the cold during the night.
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