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Home Made Garage Heater

Mark P

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I've built a few of those over the years. I made mine from scratch but you can buy a kit with the doors and feet.

The bottom drum is the firebox, the top drum is just additional surface area to radiate heat. The waste oil drip on a hot bed of coals can provide a lot of heat and it's really low tech. Just don't forget to turn it off.

The clearances in the photo are about right- anything closer than three feet or so will burst into flames.

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Those things make great shop heaters. You can stuff huge chunks of wood in them. Once you get them going, the wast oil drip, while environmentally offensive, blasted heat and was the wasted dump of choice for those of us that lived before retail oil change stores.

I used to take planer waste (mountains of shavings), pack them tightly into plain brown grocery bags, and burn them; they actually put out an amazing amount of heat with the oil drip.

I heated a completely uninsulated metal sided pole barn, about 1200sf, to T shirt comfort in the middle of harsh Michigan winters.

We ordered the kits out of Mother Earth News; they probably still have them. I think they were called "Sotz Kits" after the mfg.

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