How to build your own rocket stove using scrap metal

Make your own rocket stove from scratch with this handy guide.
Christopher McFadden

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There is nothing better than cooking your own food outdoors. What makes the experience even better is if you use a stove built by your own fair hands.

Follow this simple guide to find out how to make your own rocket stove from scratch. 

diy rocket stove complete
Source: AVmake/YouTube

As you can imagine, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.

Materials and gear needed

With all your gear in hand, it is time to get on with this great little build. 

Step 1: Make the basic body of the stove

The first step is to take your tubular steel and mock-up the basic design for your rocket stove. In this case, two equally-sized tubular steel lengths will be welded at an acute angle to one another. 

Place the tubes on top of one another and mark of to the desired angle using chalk or similar. 

diy rocket stove design
Source: AVmake/YouTube

With that complete, cut the angular steel using your angle grinder. As always, ensure you take precautions when doing so - you really don't want to be showered in red hot metal shards. Grind down the cut edges to remove any barbs and other sharp surfaces from the cut areas. 

You can also take the time to grind off any blemishes and rust from the outside surfaces of the tubular steel if required.

With the two main pieces now complete, weld the two angled lengths of tubular steel together as shown. Whenever welding, ensure you wear and use protective equipment to protect your exposed skin, eyes, and face. 

diy rocket stove weld
Source: AVmake/YouTube

Once the weld is complete, clean up the welds by chipping away any excess and grinding down the weld lines as needed. Keep working the weld lines until the weld becomes more or less invisible to the eye.

Step 2: Continue building main body

Next, take your steel rods, and secure them in a vice. Then take your angle grinder and cut a notch in one end. With that done, drill a hole transversely across the notch using your bench drill.

dit rocket stove drill
Source: AVmake/YouTube

Once done, take your tap and die set and cut a thread through the drill hole as needed. With that done, make some small hinge points for the threaded steel rods and weld them into place onto the rocket stove body as shown in the video. 

With that done, take another length of smaller metal rod and cut it down to size to make the main carry handle for the stove. Place the rod in your vice, and hammer a series of right angles in the rod to make the handle.

Once done, weld the handle into place against the main body of the rocket stove. 

diy rocket stove handle
Source: AVmake/YouTube

Clean up the welds as needed. 

Next, take some short lengths of steel sheet and cut a series of notches along one edge as shown in the instruction video. Assemble the pieces to make the cruciform pan support for the top of the stove. 

diy rocket stove pan support
Source: AVmake/YouTube

Step 3: Paint the piece and complete the build

With that complete, give the entire piece a good polish with some sandpaper and elbow grease. You can also use an orbital sander if you have one to hand. 

Next, either paint by hand or use a spray can to cover the entire piece with a layer of heat-proof paint. You can paint in whatever color you like, but in this case, the stove has been painted jet black. 

diy rocket stove paint
Source: AVmake/YouTube

Paint the supporting legs and pan support to match as well. Leave the paint to fully dry before moving on with the build.

Once all the pieces' paintwork is fully dry, you can then begin to complete the assembly. Take the supporting legs, and mount the legs to their matching mounts at the base of the strove.

diy rocket stove legs
Source: AVmake/YouTube

Next, install the stove's pan support at the top of the stove too. And with that, your rocket stove is now basically complete.

Now all you need to do is take your stove into the great outdoors and find a place to test it. Fill the bottom end of the stove with some combustible materials, like sticks, and ignite as needed.

diy rocket stove fire
Source: AVmake/YouTube

With that done, your stove is ready to start cooking food or boiling water. Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this project, you might enjoy another outdoor burner-related project? How about, for example, making our own wooden rocket stove?

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