Anyone used a wood stove for a firebox?

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Mar 21, 2010
Central US
So my dad replaced his wood stove in his shop last year with a bigger one, and is getting rid of the older one. He asked if I wanted it, and I turned him down, but now I'm reconsidering...

The opening is about 12"x12", and will burn logs up to 30", with a 6" exhaust. He used it to heat the insulated shop (around 1500 square feet) I figure it would be a quick start to a trailer smoker. I'm just curious if there would be any drawbacks to it.

I have my choice of a couple old tanks to use as well, one about a 200 gallon fuel tank, and one 300 gallon one. Does the flow calculator handle sizing as well?

Would I want the same size exhaust out of the smoker as what comes out of the stove (6")

I'll try to get some pictures tonight to show you what I have to work with.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Feb 17, 2009
Helena, MT
First thing to do is to clean that thing really good, no telling what kind of wood (i.e. wood with paint/stain, lead paint etc... wood with galv. nails) was burned in that thing. I know I burn a lot of scrap wood in my stove. Also the creosote buildup would be important to get off of there.


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
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Mar 22, 2008
I have a small wood stove I'm figuring on using to supply smoke for a smokehouse when I get around to building a new one


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Jul 16, 2008
NW Ohio - outside Toledo
   Greechneb,I'm not quite sure of what you are going to do with the stove
,but if it were mine,I'd say use it as a smoke generator for a "Smoke House"
4X4 or so

   Just think of all the Sausage and cheese and Ham and what not you could make

IMHO,if you can get the 250 tank,you would be better off building a Square fire box

Just sayin';have fun and,


Fire Starter
Original poster
Thread starter
Mar 21, 2010
Central US
So here's the pictures. Interesting story on the stove, about 10 years ago, a local hardware store was selling out, and dad was talking to one of the part-owners, and mentioned heating with wood stoves (dad does not have a furnace in the house, only wood heat for nearly 35 years). They said do you want one, and he said maybe, they took him into the basement of the store, and here was a brand new twenty or thirty year old stove. 1/4" steel, surface rusted, but still had the original papers in it as well, and fire bricks hadn't been installed yet. Sold it to him for $50. The only reason he quit using it was because he couldn't bank bigger chunks for overnight in it.


Here's the top of the stove. I figure I'll mount it with an elbow right into the bottom of the tank. Not sure If I'll do reverse flow, or just use 6" pipe all the way across with holes drilled to regulate flow across the tank.


Here's the tanks, one 250 gallon, one 350 gallon, not sure how big I wanna go. one is about 2½' round by 4½, one is 3' round by 6' or so


And here's the trailer, used it while I didn't have a truck, now that I have a truck again, I don't really need this trailer. Roughly 4'x8' bed on it. Just needs the cow manure cleaned off first, maybe a touchup on the paint.


And here's one of the causes of the manure, along with a couple of racks of firewood in the background.



Smoking Fanatic
Feb 11, 2009
He's a brute!  You'd better get his permission before you go taking his manure trailer!


Fire Starter
Original poster
Thread starter
Mar 21, 2010
Central US
Last year he chased me, and caught me. Fortunately when he caught me he didn't know what to do, and stopped. We were trying to move him to another pasture, and he decided he didn't want to go. I met him on top of a hill, and he chased me down the hill. I made record speed, but when I got to the bottom, my feet couldn't keep up, and I fell flat on my face. He stopped and was staring at me when I got up and got behind a tree. I was sure he was going to come down on top of me, but I got lucky. Most bulls I don't mind, but this one has a wild streak.


Fire Starter
May 16, 2010
I am using a wood stove for the firebox on my current build. Since i am still in the build process i dont have any hard data for you yet, but the dimensions look to be close to the same. Mine is 33H, 24W, 39D and has a 12X12 door. We hacked off the short chimney it had on it and sealed the top and will make an opening to the smoke chamber on the opposite side of the door. The only thing that we are just slightly worried about it is what has been burned in it like coffee_junkie stated. Do a good grinding on it(inside and out) and then crank up a super hot burn before you even put the tank and firebox together. Also where abouts in Central Illinois are you. I am originally from southern IL but now reside in springfield, il.
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Smoking Fanatic
Apr 29, 2008
Powhatan, Virginia

I am surprised that no one else has chimed in..  the key to a firebox is the size of the chamber.  You would want the firebox chamber to be at least 1/3 the volume of the cooking chamber. 

It is said that if the firebox is too small you will get creosote on the meat.  You will also want to make sure that the opening from the firebox to the cooking chamber is the correct size.  Along with the chimney being the correct size.  It is all important. 

I just finished a RF build and it is freaking awesome!  I love it and it cooks like no other cooker I have used before. 

There is a calculator you can use that will give you all the correct sizes just do a search on the forum.

good luck and keep us posted on the build.


Smoking Fanatic
Apr 13, 2010
Central Illinois
If it is a plate steel wood burner then I don't see why it wouldn't work.  The problem with the cast iron ones is welding.  You can weld it but the weld joints are weak and fragile.  If its big enough then use it.  I have been looking for the same thing to use on my next build.

I saw this in Craigs List today.  Its a couple 100 gallon (I think) LP tanks in Springfield.  Price isn't too bad.

dick foster

Smoking Fanatic
Apr 24, 2010
You can weld some cast but it's best to use stick or arc welding and to use stick made specifically for welding cast.

You can find the stick electrodes for welding cast at most welding supply stores. Some hardware stores even carry them.   

Some say you also need to preheat it, as in the whole cast part not just warming it up the weld area a little.

Of course I guess you could always gas weld it too.

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