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My sawdustburner

Listing #1673   Listed on: 01/01/2009

Company Name: Cellarworx

Contact Name:   steve
I'm working the bugs out of my burner as we speak. So far I can burn about 8 hours at best off of 35 gallons of sawdust. I do mix five gallons of green dust in with the dry and it seems to balance the system quite nice. I don't get any flare ups with the way the dust is put in. I'm trying to figure out the best way to burn scrap wood. I am doing this but my temp. skyrockets and actually makes the magic heater glow red. So a minimal amount of scrap can be put in and burnt at one time. Still puts out a nice level of heat. I can't say I trust it just yet but I'm getting closer every time I use it. I do have pics but will post them if this is a popular topic. I will answer any questions about it you may have. Send me an email at
I have a thermal switch hooked to an outlet that I am going to use for a fan behind the burner to help circulate the warm air into my shop. I'm sure I could blow the air into a small kiln with ease but that's down the road yet. I can't remember where I found the original idea. I just tweaked the plans to my liking and will probably never install another type of heat. No need to. I also mounted a small squirrel cage blower to the side for raising burn temp. if needed. I could go on for hours but I'll see how the responses go. I'm quite impressed with the outcome and feel I should share my results with the next guy. I'll check this forum and my email frequently for any questions. The idea is so simple you'll smack yourself for not thinking of it. Oh, and I'm not limited to just 8 hours because I can just keep adding wood chunks as needed. Not more sawdust though!!! If you add more dust while burning you'll have a good chance of flare up in your face! Don't do it.

View Larger, Higher Quality Image
Here is a pic of the burner before I installed it in my shop.

View Larger, Higher Quality Image
Here it is with the lid on it.

View Larger, Higher Quality Image
This serves as the lighting point-ash collection-and damper

Viewer Comments:

Posted By: Rob     [01/02/2009]
I hope you have very good insurance on your shop if you plan to put than in your shop.

Posted By: steve     [01/02/2009]
lol Sounds like something my fionce' said to me the first time she saw it. I have installed it in my shop, through triple wall stuffed with fiberfill, 2 feet from any wall, and put hardeebacker concrete board on the walls behind it. I've been using for about 7 months now with no problems. I can't resist the free heat. I'm pretty happy about it. It is back woods but hey, My heating bill is close to zero.

Posted By: James     [01/02/2009]
Steve, do you pack your sawdust around a pipe in the center and then remove that pipe when you light this? I saw a sawdust burner online but was done with a coffee can. Right now I'm using and old time wood stove to heat my place and eliminate my scrap pile. For the time being I'm giving my sawdust away to local ranchers and farmers.

While you are "testing" this make sure you've got your water hose, and or your fire extinguisher handy, and never leave it unattended.

James your friendly volunteer firefighter / cabinetmaker

Posted By: steve     [01/03/2009]
Yes. I do the packing of the inner barrel outside of the bigger 55 gallon drum on the floor. I have an 1-1/2 pvc pipe in the middle while packing. I just use my weight to pack it. I reinstall the inner and light it from the very bottom in the ash pan. The flame spirals up through and slowly burns outward to the sides. It takes about 7-8 hours to completely burn the sawdust. When it is out I have a seperate inner barrel already packed and waiting to swap. I definately don't leave it unattended. I have tried burning solid wood in it but the temp. is quite abit higher and so I put very little in and monitor it very closely. The designs goes back to ww2 I guess. They used these to heat their tents with. I actually made one out of a paint can with bolts down through the base to keep it off the ground for airflow. It worked great. It burnt for 4 hours. I then built my current one in my back yard and started playing around with it. The outer barrel catches the flame from the inner before leaving exiting in the stove pipe. So the outer serves as a radiant heater. I too gave my dust to a local farm for cow bedding because it wa piling up so high behind my shop. Now I mix the old wet in with fresh dry dust. If I don't then I lose a significant amount of burn time because the straight dry sawdust burns quicker.

Posted By: Sean Simon     [01/04/2009]
Boy, those green freak tree huggers would have a cow? That thing is cool!

Posted By: Dan     [01/05/2009]
Very cool--I'm having a hard time envisioning the 'guts' though. Are you using a smaller steel drum to house the sawdust? If so, do you install the PVC, fill around it with the dust, then pack it down with a 'ram' type device? Then set the smaller drum (filled with dust)in the larger and remove the PVC before lighting? Sorry for the 20 questions... just trying to get an overall understanding. Thanks for sharing!

Posted By: Dan     [01/05/2009]
I saw your post in the forum which answered my questions...thanks again.

Posted By: steve     [01/05/2009]
Welcome. My ram device is simply 3/4 ply cut to the i.d. of the smaller barrel with handles on it. I could probably come up with a better packer but this works well for now.

Posted By: Egon Reisel     [01/05/2009]
In Germany we have
them fore 100 years
very safe also in boilers the only stove in the shop

Posted By: James     [01/05/2009]
Steve, I was going to suggest you install a copper coil in the space between the inner drum and the outer drum and flow some water through that and heat all the hot water you'd ever need with it. If you happen upon an old hot water circulating pump on craigslist or somewhere. Get all the "Oink" out of the sawdust PIG so to speak.

Posted By: steve     [01/16/2009]
I aggree the copper coils would be a big plus. As long as the coil wasn't too large to restrict flow to the bottom stove pipe.

Posted By: T E B     [01/10/2013]
Is this like a rocket stove for sawdust?

Posted By: woody     [01/11/2013]
It could be one with a little tweaking. I had some friends that had a hardwood mill back in the day. They heated a huge two story house burning sawdust in their furnace.

Posted By: kleinjahr     [01/09/2014]
There are several downloadable plans for these, on the web,as well as youtube. For better heat retention, line the outer barrel with firebrick/refractory or surround it with masonry.

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