We make a solid fuel boiler with our own hands


Of all the heat­ing equip­ment that is used today in every­day life, sol­id fuel boil­ers have been known for the longest time. Due to the sim­plic­i­ty of design and prin­ci­ple of oper­a­tion, the avail­abil­i­ty of fuel, units of this type are wide­ly used. Today, for many res­i­dents of pri­vate hous­es in rur­al areas, this tech­nique has become a kind of “life­saver”. The ever-increas­ing price of house­hold gas, the dif­fi­cul­ties in obtain­ing per­mits for the instal­la­tion of a gas autonomous heater con­tribute to the fact that today a sol­id fuel boil­er, at least, has not lost its demand among the pop­u­la­tion liv­ing near forests — a source of fire­wood.

Sol­id fuel heat­ing boil­ers: on the left — mount­ed and oper­at­ing, on the right — with­out con­nec­tion to the cir­cuit, at the instal­la­tion stage.

Today, there are two options to solve the prob­lem of autonomous heat­ing on sol­id fuel: buy a fin­ished fac­to­ry prod­uct or make a sol­id fuel boil­er with your own hands. The cost of a mod­ern high-tech heat­ing unit is quite high, but the price range is wide — from 3 to sev­er­al tens of thou­sands of rubles, which makes the device afford­able to a wide range of con­sumers.

With a cer­tain tech­ni­cal train­ing, a sol­id fuel boil­er can be assem­bled inde­pen­dent­ly, using dia­grams and rec­om­men­da­tions for the man­u­fac­ture of mod­els of these devices, the most pop­u­lar for do-it-your­self mount­ing.

Solid fuel boiler concept

A self-made autonomous sol­id fuel boil­er is, by and large, an ordi­nary stove installed in a bar­rel of water. The main task of such a device is to heat boil­er water, which will be sup­plied to home heat­ing radi­a­tors, using heat from the com­bus­tion of fire­wood or coal.

But such a device, tempt­ing to self-man­u­fac­ture due to prim­i­tive­ness, will not be effec­tive in terms of heat­ing and not cost-effec­tive due to high fuel con­sump­tion — the sim­plest boil­er designs have an effi­cien­cy of only 10–15%.

Prim­i­tive sol­id fuel water boil­er with chim­ney econ­o­miz­er

Impor­tant! The oper­a­tion of a sol­id fuel boil­er depends on the qual­i­ty of the draft and, accord­ing­ly, the sup­ply ven­ti­la­tion. Even a well-man­u­fac­tured boil­er will not be able to pro­vide effi­cient space heat­ing if the ven­ti­la­tion is not arranged accord­ing­ly.


Home-made boil­ers are assem­bled not only from met­al, but also assem­bled from brick. Brick devices are usu­al­ly built in coun­try hous­es, where high­er require­ments are placed on the aes­thet­ics of the installed equip­ment than in util­i­ty or tech­ni­cal premis­es.

Met­al boil­ers are the sim­plest devices, the man­u­fac­ture of which allows the use of impro­vised mate­ri­als and pos­si­bly with the help of avail­able tools. But it does not fol­low from this that their pro­duc­tion and instal­la­tion can be per­formed with­out, at a min­i­mum, sketch­es of blanks and assem­blies, as well as a well-devel­oped tech­nol­o­gy — a sequence, meth­ods for per­form­ing indi­vid­ual stages of prepara­to­ry and basic work.

Choosing the design of the heating boiler

Fur­naces for heat­ing and sol­id fuel boil­ers, with sim­i­lar com­bus­tion process­es, dif­fer in func­tion­al­i­ty. A heat­ing boil­er, unlike a stove, must not only heat the room at the instal­la­tion site by burn­ing wood or coal, but also sup­ply the heat­ing cir­cuit with heat­ed coolant. But to per­form the sec­ond task, it is not enough to place a heat exchang­er in the fur­nace (sec­tion of the heat­ing cir­cuit) — it is also nec­es­sary to ensure the con­ti­nu­ity of fuel com­bus­tion and uni­form cir­cu­la­tion of the coolant through this coil.

Pipe heat exchang­er of a sol­id fuel boil­er made of refrac­to­ry bricks

What design of the boil­er to choose to make it eas­i­er to make it your­self, what dif­fi­cul­ties will you encounter in the process of work? These ques­tions can be answered at the design stage. Draw­ings of home-made sol­id fuel boil­ers give a suf­fi­cient idea of ​​u200bu200bwhat this or that design looks like, and what you should pay atten­tion to dur­ing the man­u­fac­tur­ing process.

An exam­ple of a schemat­ic rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a sol­id fuel boil­er from the out­side: front, side and rear views.


Each type of sol­id fuel boil­er equip­ment has its own design fea­tures and man­u­fac­tur­ing nuances. When plan­ning an inde­pen­dent assem­bly of the heat­ing unit, it is nec­es­sary to decide which design to give pref­er­ence to — with the low­er or upper (mine) method of com­bus­tion.

Units with low­er com­bus­tion — this is equip­ment in which the door for load­ing fire­wood is locat­ed in the upper part of the com­bus­tion cham­ber, but the com­bus­tion of fuel occurs from below, as a result of which the upper lay­ers of the book­mark move down under their own weight, and the after­burn­ing of smoke occurs in the upper part. Depend­ing on the mod­el, the move­ment of air through the fur­nace occurs from the bot­tom up forcibly (fan) or nat­u­ral­ly (draught), which caus­es inde­pen­dence from the mains, but reduced effi­cien­cy and a small­er amount of fuel loaded.

Schemat­ic sec­tion­al view of a sol­id fuel boil­er with low­er fuel com­bus­tion

In sol­id fuel boil­ers of a mine struc­ture, fire­wood is loaded through a door, which is locat­ed in the upper part of the com­bus­tion cham­ber. Such units are equipped with forced draft, which is direct­ed from top to bot­tom — it dri­ves smoke to the low­er part of the fur­nace, where it burns mixed with air, and along the way it heats up and addi­tion­al­ly dries the fuel of the low­er tiers.

Scheme of oper­a­tion of a sol­id fuel heat­ing boil­er with an upper com­bus­tion method

A unit with a low­er com­bus­tion method is more suit­able for self-pro­duc­tion, so when assem­bling it, you can do with­out a fan for forced draft.

Sol­id fuel steel boil­er of low­er com­bus­tion with­out fin­ish­ing

Impor­tant! The more com­plex the design of the equip­ment, the high­er the tech­no­log­i­cal require­ments for the qual­i­ty of exe­cu­tion of its com­po­nents, which should not have devi­a­tions from the design para­me­ters. The assem­bly process of such a unit is no less respon­si­ble.


Accord­ing to the method of com­bus­tion, sol­id fuel boil­ers can be designed for nor­mal oper­a­tion or oper­ate with pyrol­y­sis — the process of decom­po­si­tion of sol­id fuel into two com­po­nents and their sub­se­quent sep­a­rate com­bus­tion. Giv­ing pref­er­ence to the sec­ond, more com­plex, option, you will have to take into account the need to install a sec­ond com­bus­tion cham­ber, which will increase the dimen­sions of the heater and, accord­ing­ly, require more mate­ri­als.

The choice of the type of heat­ing equip­ment is large­ly deter­mined by the type of sol­id fuel that will be sup­plied to the heat­ing device. If you have a large amount of fire­wood on hand, it would be bet­ter if the boil­er you made is designed for fire­wood. With greater avail­abil­i­ty of hard coal, anoth­er mod­el will do. The dura­tion of burn­ing book­marks, the qual­i­ty of heat­ing are deter­mined by the type of sol­id fuel boil­er, its pow­er and design effi­cien­cy.

On a note: the com­bus­tion tem­per­a­ture of coal is much high­er than that of fire­wood, so the grate, heat exchang­er and boil­er body for coal are made of thick­er steel. An alter­na­tive would be to build the body and com­bus­tion cham­ber of the boil­er from refrac­to­ry bricks.

If it is not pos­si­ble to cre­ate an exter­nal body of the unit from steel of the required thick­ness, a brick sol­id fuel boil­er will be a ratio­nal solu­tion. Refrac­to­ry brick lin­ing will cre­ate a spa­cious, com­fort­able and high tem­per­a­ture resis­tant com­bus­tion cham­ber.

Con­struc­tion of a com­bus­tion cham­ber from refrac­to­ry bricks with place­ment inside the heat exchang­er

The choice of a boil­er with a design of accept­able com­plex­i­ty must be made after ana­lyz­ing the tech­ni­cal per­for­mance and an objec­tive assess­ment of one’s com­pe­tence and capa­bil­i­ties. If there is any doubt, in order to exclude the pos­si­bil­i­ty of unjus­ti­fied dam­age to the mate­r­i­al, it is bet­ter to give pref­er­ence to the unit of a sim­ple design that is clear from the draw­ings — even such a sol­id fuel boil­er is able to pro­vide the house with heat in the cold sea­son.

See also: home­made gas boil­er.

Basic requirements for the design of a homemade heater

In its clas­sic form, the heat­ing unit, from which home heat­ing will work, con­sists of the fol­low­ing ele­ments:

  • com­bus­tion cham­ber (bunker) for burn­ing fire­wood, coal, fuel bri­quettes;
  • grates through which air mass is sup­plied to the com­bus­tion cham­ber;
  • tubu­lar heat exchang­er or stor­age tank for boil­er water;
  • chim­ney for bring­ing out the prod­ucts of com­bus­tion of fuel;
  • trac­tion reg­u­la­tor.

An impor­tant require­ment that will have to be tak­en into account at the design stage of the boil­er is the dimen­sions of the com­bus­tion cham­ber. The fur­nace of an autonomous sol­id fuel boil­er should be spa­cious and roomy. The design of the com­bus­tion cham­ber is cal­cu­lat­ed in such a way that the fuel placed in it burns com­plete­ly with­out addi­tion­al mix­ing. Brick boil­ers are prefer­able in this regard, since brick has a low­er ther­mal con­duc­tiv­i­ty, which pro­vides a high­er com­bus­tion tem­per­a­ture in a ceram­ic fur­nace than in a met­al unit.

The com­bus­tion cham­ber should be designed in such a way as to max­i­mize the con­cen­tra­tion of ther­mal ener­gy on heat­ing the heat exchang­er.

Sol­id fuel boil­er steel fire­box

The next, no less impor­tant aspect in the design of heat­ing equip­ment is the heat exchang­er of a sol­id fuel boil­er. The effi­cien­cy of boil­er equip­ment depends on the design of this ele­ment, the qual­i­ty of the mate­r­i­al and the per­for­mance. The name of the heat exchang­er is deter­mined by the mate­r­i­al of its man­u­fac­ture — cast iron or steel. The heat exchange coils of these units — tubu­lar struc­tures with a ver­ti­cal or hor­i­zon­tal arrange­ment of pipes in every­day life are often called water jack­ets.

We will not con­sid­er cast-iron heat exchang­ers, since this is a cast struc­ture, the man­u­fac­ture of which is impos­si­ble at home. How­ev­er, you can use ready-made cast iron assem­blies, removed from old units, dis­man­tled for some rea­son. Such a replace­ment is com­mon when a sol­id fuel boil­er is being upgrad­ed or repaired.

For the man­u­fac­ture of a steel heat exchang­er, thick-walled pipes are used. The desired con­fig­u­ra­tion of the pipe is made flex­i­ble under heat­ing or using bends or half-bends of the appro­pri­ate diam­e­ter, con­nect­ed to the frag­ments of the coil by elec­tric weld­ing.

The instal­la­tion dia­gram for a coil for a tra­di­tion­al sol­id fuel unit will give a com­plete pic­ture of how the heat exchang­er should look like and in what posi­tion it is bet­ter to install it.

Sketch of one of the options for the loca­tion of the tube heat exchang­er in the hous­ing: side views

Step-by-step production of a solid fuel boiler. Subtleties and nuances

You will not be able to make the most eco­nom­i­cal home-made sol­id fuel boil­er, but you can cre­ate a heat­ing appa­ra­tus that is quite suit­able for heat­ing and hot water sup­ply. The fact is that the assem­bly of indus­tri­al prod­ucts is car­ried out on high-pre­ci­sion indus­tri­al equip­ment from spe­cial­ly select­ed mate­ri­als in com­pli­ance with tech­no­log­i­cal para­me­ters. Accu­rate ther­mal cal­cu­la­tions are the basis of each fac­to­ry mod­el of the boil­er. The pos­si­bil­i­ties of work­ing at home are incom­men­su­rably more mod­est than pro­duc­tion ones, there­fore, when choos­ing a mod­el to be man­u­fac­tured, one must pro­ceed from exist­ing real­i­ties, includ­ing one’s per­son­al poten­tial as an installer.

Tools and materials

Hav­ing a draw­ing and spec­i­fi­ca­tion of the heat­ing unit, you can decide on the list of nec­es­sary tools. Whether you want to make a large boil­er or plan to assem­ble a small sol­id fuel heater with your own hands, the list of acces­sories will be approx­i­mate­ly the same.

Tool kit for self-man­u­fac­tur­ing of a sol­id fuel heat­ing unit


To work, you will need the fol­low­ing tools and fix­tures:

  • weld­ing machine;
  • small grinder with cut­ting and grind­ing discs (safe­ty glass­es);
  • elec­tric drill with drills for met­al;
  • gas keys No. 1,2;
  • a ham­mer;
  • a set of open-end or box wrench­es and screw­drivers;
  • pli­ers;
  • 90 degree angle.

The main mate­r­i­al in the man­u­fac­ture is steel, the thick­ness of which for the boil­er must be at least 5 mm, for the grate — from 7 mm.

In addi­tion, you will need:

  • steel cor­ner 50x50 — for the boil­er frame;
  • sheet stain­less steel — if there is a stor­age tank in the design;
  • steel thick-walled pipes with a diam­e­ter of 32–50 mm — for the man­u­fac­ture of a coil heat exchang­er.

A com­plete list of mate­ri­als and their con­sump­tion is com­piled in advance on the basis of tech­ni­cal draw­ings.

Housing and heat exchanger manufacturing

The boil­er body, which often plays the role of a com­bus­tion cham­ber, is the basis of the entire struc­ture. To reduce wall defor­ma­tions under the influ­ence of high tem­per­a­ture, the enclos­ing struc­tures of the fur­nace are made in two lay­ers with back­fill between the lay­ers of dry sift­ed sand, which plays the role of a geom­e­try fix­er. The out­er and inner shells of the fur­nace are made of frame, which also increas­es the rigid­i­ty of the struc­ture. In addi­tion, to increase the strength of the walls of the com­bus­tion cham­ber, the out­side can be sheathed with a steel cor­ner or a pro­file in the form of stiff­en­ers.

Man­u­fac­ture of a body of a sol­id fuel boil­er by weld­ing blanks from sheet steel

Accord­ing to the draw­ing, two open­ings are cut out on the front wall with a grinder or a gas cut­ter — for the bunker door and the ash pan.

Advice! Before cut­ting sheet steel, it is nec­es­sary to mark future open­ings with small diam­e­ter holes (3–4 mm) at the cor­ners of the holes — this will allow cut­ting with greater accu­ra­cy.

After cut­ting blanks from sheet steel and a pro­file for the body, you can begin to cre­ate a heat exchang­er. We use cut water pipes, which are con­nect­ed by weld­ing into a sin­gle sealed cir­cuit. The main task is to cre­ate a her­met­ic flow frag­ment of max­i­mum length to increase the heat­ing area of ​​the pipe.

How to make a heat exchang­er, cor­rect­ly posi­tion the pipes and per­form weld­ing, tells the video brought to your atten­tion.


When all struc­tur­al ele­ments are ready, assem­bly is start­ed, which is best done at the instal­la­tion site of the unit — some­times the dimen­sions and weight of the fin­ished device do not allow it to be moved from the assem­bly site to the final loca­tion.

Most often, the boil­er is installed on a spe­cial­ly con­struct­ed con­crete foun­da­tion with the unit fas­tened by weld­ing to embed­ded parts — anchors. Instal­la­tion begins with the instal­la­tion of the frame, after which it is equipped with com­po­nents and sheath­ing sheets. All weld­ed joints are made with cham­fer­ing and pro­cess­ing of welds — slag removal and grind­ing.

On a note: After assem­bling the body, a thor­ough visu­al check of its tight­ness is car­ried out, as a result of which addi­tion­al weld­ing of the seams is car­ried out.

Grates (steel grate) and a heat exchang­er are installed in the fin­ished hous­ing, which is con­nect­ed to the heat­ing cir­cuit by weld­ing.

The body of a sol­id fuel boil­er at the stage of instal­la­tion of exter­nal stiff­en­ers

Impor­tant! It is bet­ter to entrust the man­u­fac­ture of a stor­age tank from stain­less steel with its inser­tion into the cir­cuit, since work­ing with this mate­r­i­al requires spe­cial equip­ment and prac­ti­cal skills.

Upon com­ple­tion of the assem­bly, for cor­ro­sion pro­tec­tion, the boil­er is paint­ed with two lay­ers of heat-resis­tant paint with pre­lim­i­nary sur­face prepa­ra­tion.

Heat-resis­tant paint Ecoter­ra for coat­ing sur­faces exposed to high tem­per­a­tures

A self-made heat­ing boil­er is dis­tin­guished by its dura­bil­i­ty and ease of main­te­nance, which con­sists in peri­od­ic clean­ing of the fur­nace ash and main­te­nance of the chim­ney.


After the assem­bly is com­plet­ed and the unit is com­plet­ed with all the nec­es­sary ele­ments, it is pres­sure test­ed with water under pres­sure, accord­ing to the results of which defects are elim­i­nat­ed, and then a set of com­mis­sion­ing works. Do not neglect the instal­la­tion of a draft reg­u­la­tor, which will facil­i­tate the oper­a­tion of a sol­id fuel boil­er in var­i­ous weath­er con­di­tions.


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