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Thread: Old Pellet Stove - Burn wood?

  1. #1

    Default Old Pellet Stove - Burn wood?

    I am helping get a Christian camp refurbished and put into use again after a few years of being closed.

    The shop there had an old stove made out of a 55-gallon drum (using one of those kits) that was falling apart. I'm going to re-furbish it for them for use somewhere else.

    There was another stove there, shoved back into a corner. We moved it to replace the drum-stove. We looked inside, and it some burners in it that I thought looked like gas burners. I looked it up online, and it turns out to be a pellet stove.

    I'm pretty sure it isn't operational as a pellet stove. My question to you guys is: "Is there any reason it wouldn't work to just burn wood in it like a normal stove?" I don't see why not. Pellets are wood, they burn hot, and the stove is stout. What could be a problem?

    I'm asking just in case. You don't know what you don't know.
    "The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play." Capt. James T. Kirk


  2. #2
    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    There is a big difference in the metal thickness of the burn box and the venting of the pellet stove and wood burning stoves, it would take careful considerations when trying to convert from pellet to wood and there are no aftermarket conversion kits that I know of to do it.
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  3. #3
    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
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    The pellet stove has a smaller burn box and smaller diameter chimney than a wood stove.

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    I say tear out the guts, install a larger flue opening and line the bottom with fire brick and go for it!

    Additionally, I have heated two different cabins with stoves made from those "stove kits" and each kit lasted far longer than expected. One lasted for five years and the other was still in good shape when I moved out after three years. Both were used as primary heat source during Tennessee winters, which can get cold.

    With each one I lined the bottom with fire brick from Lowes or HD. That is not really necessary but I was afraid of burning them out and the cost was minimal. I would put a thick layer of sand in the bottom without the fire brick.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the tips, kyrat. Great idea about the fire brick.
    "The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play." Capt. James T. Kirk

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Back in the early 1980s I lived in an old farm house that was heated using a King wood stove in the front room and an Asley wood stove in the kitchen. They were pretty good quality for that time and both were simple sheet metal boxes of about 24 gauge metal with a door, damper, flue opening, and lining of fire brick.

    My greatest worry was always insulating the floor from the heat. All of the references say give 2 feet clearance between the stove sides and walls and then they put 6" tall legs on that sucker and build a fire right in the bottom.

    I would put down a layer of pavers or normal brick, then a stove pad, with sometimes an extra layer of dry wall somewhere in the stack. I have a cast iron stove on the back porch sitting on a layer of cinder blocks right now.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

  7. #7

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    More great advice, kyrat. Thanks.
    "The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play." Capt. James T. Kirk

  8. #8

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    A pellet stove will not work for wood. A pellet stove has an exhaust fan that pulls the smoke . It exhausts out the back near the bottom out of a 4 pipe. Most of the bulk size is a box to store the pellets. The only part that could be used as a wood stove if you tried would only be abou 7 deep . Ive used wood stoves over 40 years. Pellet stove 10 years. New 55 gallon drums are cheap. There is also smaller 35 gallon drums. Make great stoves.

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