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WOOD GAS Camping Stove

Wood Gas Stove

Around last December I happened on a site while browesing for cheap gas for my camping stove. On the site was a picture of a little stove with flame jets coming out of the top of it, the picture made me curious to know more about it. So I did a bit of digging.
What I found was the stove was called a Wood Gas stove. Wood gas is not something new, it was widely used in the 2WW to power truck/lorries etc.

The Wood Gas Stove.


How it works - plus demo.

No added fuel to carry in your backpack.
Fast clean burn - less smoke than a normal camp fire.
Fuel - Wood chips - Twigs - Sticks - Pine cones etc.


Having researched the stove and seen some home made ones I thought I would have a try at making my own...

One day while browsing around my local woolworths (closeing down sale) I spotted a biscuit tin for 3, humm! this could possibly be the makings of a woodgas stove?
Returning home I removed the inner plastic lid, I then ransacked my cuboards for a tin that would slip inside the top ring/lid of the buscuit tin - Soup - Peas - Beanz - Rice pudding -  all sorts of tins were tried but were either to small or to big, damn!
I did some more shopping with lid in hand - Azda, Tesco, and Morrisons. I got some funny looks from shoppers as I slipped various size tins into the ring/lid. I nearly bought a tin of dog food (I dont have a dog) that almost fitted.

Sundays are spent trolling round a large market/carboot with a couple of mates. While browsing the stales I spotted a nest of three stainless steel tins, I thought one of thems bound to fit. 2 the woman said - Sold.

Once back home I tried the tins in the ring/lid - bingo one of them slipped in snugly. Then it was out with the drill. After I had drilled the necessary holes I slotted it all together. I then chopped up some kindling and gave my stove a try. It worked, not brilliant, though having never seen one in action or build one before I had no idea what brilliant would look like!

Here are some of my attempts at making a woodgas stove...

The biscuit tin from woolies and the lid with plastic innards removed.  Take no notice of the three holes in the lid.

Lid replaced.   One of the three nest of tins that fitted.

The tin slips in nicely

The 3 holes in the lid were drilled to add bolts for a potstand but I then came up with a much better idea! You may note that I hadn't as yet drilled holes around the bottom of the inner tin but it still worked ok. Now that I had a bee in my bonnet and I thought I could improve on it.

With improvment in mind I rummaged around the house/shed looking for something suitable. I found an old Stanley flask that was long past its sell by date  
I cut the top off the flask.  Shit, soot every where!

If you attempt to make a stove out of and old flask beware that (my flask anyway) flasks are filled with a soot like substance?
By the time I had fininshed cutting the flask I looked like a chimney sweep!

Here's how the flask turned out...           again take no notice of the 3 holes in the top.

In the picture (above right) you'll see that I added a bolt to the inner wall of the flask, this is to raise the inside up far enough above the holes on the outside of the flask and allow air to circulate.

Job done.

This also worked well , and being a flask was tall and acted like a chimney. but it was a little unsteady once a pot was placed on top!
Well me being me (stubborn bugger ) I couldn't let it rest.

While browsing the web I hit on a bit of a brainwave!

The brainwave was - A double walled Icebucket!
I began hunting on Ebay for something that looked suitable.

Here's how the Icebucket Stove looks...

It worked but not great! The trouble with the icebucket was that there wasn't a big enough gap between the inner and outer walls to allow a good air flow.

Months went by, then one day I spotted a double walled wine bottle cooler. Humm! only 4 - Im having that.

The Wine Bottle Cooler Stove...

The wine cooler stove is still a work in progress (it worked but I still had a few more air holes to drill in it) as I spotted a propper woodgas stove on Ebay.

I have since bought the Ebay stove but have only tried it out in the back garden, and I have only boiled a few pots of water with it. Once the stove is going and gasification starts I boiled a pint of water in around 7 mins.
The stove will burn almost anything that you can burn in a normal camp fire (dont burn plastic! as it may ooz into the fan?).

It took me a couple of attempts to light and get the hang of it but once mastered I found it to be a great little stove. I say little as I have the LE version of the stove. There are now 3 types of stove on the market...

The LE  - The smallest of the stoves. Ideal for backpacking.

The XL  - The larger stove.

Woodgas MEGA Outdoor Fireplace. This is a new product and is not really a stove (as the name suggests) plus it does not have a fan assist like the other 2 stoves have.


The only grip(s) I have with the stove is...

1. The pot stand its just 2 bits of flat metal crosscut and slotted into each other which rests on the inner rim of the stove. Once a pot is on top its a little hard to poke sticks/twigs in to keep the fire going, should you need to.


As you can see from this photo there's no a lot of room for poking sticks/twigs in.

My remedy for this was make my own potstand from 3 shelf brackets bolted together.               Plenty of room now.


2. The small battery pack that powers the fan could be improved! Once plugged into either of the Hi or Low jackplug settings you need to pull it out to swap it form High to Low - this can be a bit tricky due to you having to hold a hotish stove while pulling the plug out to swap over. Plus there is no off switch and it only has a short length of cable.

My fix for this...
I managed to find the same type of battery holder on a parasol light set in Poundland which had an off switch. I wired up an old jackplug to it. I can now turn the fan off should I need to.
I plan to make a similar battery pack with 2 jackplugs and a 3 way switch - HI / OFF / LOW. This would enable me to have both settings available at the flick of a switch. I also plan to add a small solar panel, which will charge the batterys.

Now that you have seen how relatively easy it is to make a stove you could have a go at making one yourself! Or of course you could splash out and buy a proper build one.

Its a simple enough and straight forward job. I dare say someone with some engineering skills could probably knock up a better one than just 2 tins slotted together!  Watch out lois, Gareth's got a new project on the go  

Here are a few links to homemade stoves, should you attempt one...

Eddies cheap turbo stove (made from a flask!). Where have I seen that done before?

Tincan stove with fan assist,


PS.... I'll try and get a few photo's done of my stove in action

A very useful bit of kit TC

Re: WOOD GAS Camping Stove

TopCat wrote:
Wood Gas Stove

Its a simple enough and straight forward job. I dare say someone with some engineering skills could probably knock up a better one than just 2 tins slotted together! Watch out lois, Gareth's got a new project on the go

     Funny you should mention that       Yes, I had already thought about making myself a simple convection type wood gas stove: Bodger and I discussed retort Charcoal making kilns at length about 12 months ago which work on a very similar principle albeit a much scaled up size; 45 gallon oil drum.

A wood gas stove project will have to wait a bit though; I am currently working on a simple but effective, low cost, low weight,  max capacity of 500kg GVW, tricycle/quardricyle differential unit suitable for FWD Tadpole trikes and RWD standard layout tricycles and quadricycles.

The Kelly Kettle also suffers from the same refuelling problem when the optional cooking set is used, although only one refuelling is necessary to cook a simple meal for two people and boil 1 litre of water.

I have seen these working and have often wondered about whether one could be made to retrofit a solid fuel rayburn converted to oil but now back to woodgas via one of these- perhaps i think too much

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