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  1. #1
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    Setting my backyard on fire, need lounge advice...

    Fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, chimineas... Neighbors have a round outdoor block fire pit that they built. I thought it was pretty cool until I had the opportunity to hang out with them around it - I didn't like that smoke would blow in your face whenever the wind direction changed.

    Recently I started looking at round and pyramid chimineas for my backyard. I figured they should help channel the smoke above and away from people. I'm thinking about going with weathering or 3/16 plate steel which should last a lifetime. I know the cheap ones will rust through if left out in the elements. And I'm not a fan of the clay ones due to durability.

    So -does anyone have one they like? Anything important that you don't know until you own one?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by beeristasty View Post
    Fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, chimineas... Neighbors have a round outdoor block fire pit that they built. I thought it was pretty cool until I had the opportunity to hang out with them around it - I didn't like that smoke would blow in your face whenever the wind direction changed.

    Recently I started looking at round and pyramid chimineas for my backyard. I figured they should help channel the smoke above and away from people. I'm thinking about going with weathering or 3/16 plate steel which should last a lifetime. I know the cheap ones will rust through if left out in the elements. And I'm not a fan of the clay ones due to durability.

    So -does anyone have one they like? Anything important that you don't know until you own one?
    Your experience with chimineas echoes mine; they are better than firepits if one is one of those folks that fire smoke seems to follow (which is everyone, right?) The clay ones aren't particularly durable, but not particularly expensive, either. The only steel ones I've seen are the ones made from sheet steel, not plate (which I think might be prohibitively heavy), and last a little longer, but not all that much longer.

    They do make chimineas in cast iron (I can only imagine the deck bracing required for those--see "heavy," above) and aluminum...not sure if titanium is being used. Carbon fiber, of course, is not good, due to its propensity to 'splode.
    More Americans wanted Hillary Clinton to be President than wanted Donald Trump.

  3. #3
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    My neighboor has one of those damned chiminea things, and every time he has a party, the smoke blows straight into my windows. I'm planning to sneak over onto his deck some night when he's not there, and smash the thing.....
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  4. #4
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    I built an outdoor fireplace out of a bunch of concrete pavers that I had leftover from a patio project. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-ykOnJ__tc
    I made it big so that I could burn off the many fallen branches I get all the time. I looked into chimineas, but the ones I saw were too small. The problem I had with open fire pits were that they were open and the fire could get out of control. And it would seem that metal ones would just get too hot on the outside.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxl View Post
    The only steel ones I've seen are the ones made from sheet steel, not plate (which I think might be prohibitively heavy), and last a little longer, but not all that much longer.
    I was looking at the Blaze Fire Tower which has 3/16 plate steel. Yes, it'll be heavy when fully assembled at 200#s. But that makes it a little harder to walk off with. It also has a bunch of accessories to turn it into a grill and a smoker. Expensive, but it should last for a good while.


    Originally I had settled on the Buck Stove Pyramid, but my order fell through due to distributor issues with the web store I ordered from. I'm kind of glad it did, since it's sheet steel and would require a bit more maintenance vs. the Blaze (which I'm leaning heavily towards, but double the price).

  6. #6
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    One of the simple pleasures of sitting around a campfire is playing smoke roulette.
    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." --A. Einstein

  7. #7
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    we've got a chiminea. thinner iron but we keep it out of the elements mostly and its rusted very little after 3 years. we had the same conversation about portability versus a big hole in the ground versus smoke/sparks around the house...
    do it. you'll be glad you did.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    My neighboor has one of those damned chiminea things, and every time he has a party, the smoke blows straight into my windows. I'm planning to sneak over onto his deck some night when he's not there, and smash the thing.....
    as opposed to....some other smokeless fire?
    Not banned yet.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by beeristasty View Post
    Fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, chimineas... ...So -does anyone have one they like? Anything important that you don't know until you own one?
    We have had a sheet metal one with the mesh topper for several years. I am thinking of some grill paint on some strategic parts later this summer. Or maybe not, the thing is in ok shape.

    Lesson 1 - Keep the sand in the bottom, it seems to help with the durability.

    Lesson 2 - not all yard branches smell good when burned. Some stink.

    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    My neighboor has one of those damned chiminea things, and every time he has a party, the smoke blows straight into my windows. I'm planning to sneak over onto his deck some night when he's not there, and smash the thing.....
    Do you like anything on here?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigrider View Post
    One of the simple pleasures of sitting around a campfire is playing smoke roulette.
    Also laughing at the one coughing and waving her hands.

    Quote Originally Posted by beeristasty
    Blaze Fire Tower
    Those are cool looking.

    Quote Originally Posted by bahueh View Post
    as opposed to....some other smokeless fire?
    Vaping. It's not for everyone.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigrider View Post
    One of the simple pleasures of sitting around a campfire is playing smoke roulette.
    If you drink enough beer you end up not minding the smoke. It's a win/win for everyone.

  11. #11
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    Do you have a deck? We abandoned our fire ring for a propane fire table on our deck, it's just so much easier and useful.
    "I felt bad because I couldn't wheelie; until I met a man with no bicycle"

  12. #12
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    I built a pizza oven out in the back yard. When not using to cook I'll fire it up just for ambiance from time to time.
    I also built a Korean BBQ table for the patio. It uses live coals.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOky View Post
    Do you have a deck? We abandoned our fire ring for a propane fire table on our deck, it's just so much easier and useful.
    I do, but it's not conducive to having stuff on it. It's got the length, but not the girth to have 2 people standing side by side.

    I forgot to mention, fire will have a dual purpose - I've got firewood up the wazoo from cutting trees down in my back yard. Currently I've got 5 trees worth of wood, with another 15 or so planned to come down.

  14. #14
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    I've got one of the cheap steel ones with a 360 degree wire mesh bottom part, so you still get to smoke everyone. I will say that the draft is freaking amazing, you really have to be conservative not to shoot flames 20 feet into the air.



    The ash tray completely rusted out after 4 years, and the cover disintegrated, but so far it still works. I think a real man/woman would design and build one themselves.
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  15. #15
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    A chair that moves easily works to address the smoke-in-your-face issue. Just sayin'

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJay View Post
    A chair that moves easily works to address the smoke-in-your-face issue. Just sayin'
    Yes, you're right. But that gets old, quick.

    I'd like to prevent the cancer instead of treating its symptoms, so to speak.

  17. #17
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  18. #18
    Roll Out Jeremy
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    Best day of my life was sawing up the hot tub and replacing with a NG fire pit. All supplies came from firepitoutfitters.com
    The fireglass beads are a nice touch but beware, the common glass beads you see in florist shop etc. are not fired. they can pop...Only use fired glass....
    We use the firepit all the time year around. The hot tub was a money pit that we didn't use.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by beeristasty View Post
    Currently I've got 5 trees worth of wood, with another 15 or so planned to come down.
    It sounds like your raking prowess and endurance will suffer. Have you abandoned those career ambitions?

  20. #20
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    Anyway, to get technical, here is my smoke-attractant theory.
    Your body warms the atmosphere around you. Smoke follows the warmest path upward. You heat up the area around you, then the smoke finds that warmth, and veers over to that warmth.

    You move. That spot cools, and you warm another area. The smoke feels you out again.

    If this is true, the guy with the highest resting metabolism suffers the most. Which is usually the one dedicated cyclist in the crowd.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ogre View Post
    It sounds like your raking prowess and endurance will suffer. Have you abandoned those career ambitions?
    Yes, sadly. It's bittersweet leaving while I'm at the pinnacle of my raking career, but now it's time to start a new chapter in my life: chainsawing trees.

  22. #22
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    Complex thermo-dynamic theory right there. No innuendo, trashing carbon fiber, trek bikes reference? Are you sure you meant this to be posted in Lounge?
    The internet is a little like a bar, a wonderful place where we can bullsh(t our past, but it also, is full of reasonably reliable sources of information to be used as ammo to call "bullish)t."

  23. #23
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    I have a round copper fire pit / tub. It's about 3 feet across, and about 10-11 inches deep with straight sides and a flat bottom. I don't like it much.
    • It's too big. I typically want just a small fire, maybe 3 or 4 small-medium logs. It's too wide and deep to burn well - the logs just get lost.
    • It didn't come with a grate. Did you know it's really hard to find a round grate for a fire pit, and a grate is essential to get enough air underneath the wood for it to burn well?
    • Draws very poorly. Therefore, I get more smoke than fire. It makes less of a pleasant patio heat source, and more of a signal fire that would attract a rescuer to a cast away.
    • It think it's possessed and doesn't like me. No matter where I sit or stand, the smoke blows in my face. Inexplicably, my wife and I can be on opposite sides and still both get smoked out.


    I would go for something smaller and more shallow. Perhaps even with of those chiminea things.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by B_arrington View Post
    I have a round copper fire pit / tub. It's about 3 feet across, and about 10-11 inches deep with straight sides and a flat bottom. I don't like it much.
    • It's too big. I typically want just a small fire, maybe 3 or 4 small-medium logs. It's too wide and deep to burn well - the logs just get lost.
    • It didn't come with a grate. Did you know it's really hard to find a round grate for a fire pit, and a grate is essential to get enough air underneath the wood for it to burn well?
    • Draws very poorly. Therefore, I get more smoke than fire. It makes less of a pleasant patio heat source, and more of a signal fire that would attract a rescuer to a cast away.
    • It think it's possessed and doesn't like me. No matter where I sit or stand, the smoke blows in my face. Inexplicably, my wife and I can be on opposite sides and still both get smoked out.


    I would go for something smaller and more shallow. Perhaps even with of those chiminea things.
    Does your tub fire ring have holes on the bottom of the sides? It should if it doesn't. Then it would draw air, burn better, and not smoke you and your wife out.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fordy View Post
    The hot tub was a money pit that we didn't use.
    That sounds like crazy talk to me. But, then again, we've only had our tub for about 9 months. The O&M costs are indeed a bit more than I expected although we use it about every other day.

    We've tried using the tub simultaneously with our small fire pit but that limits your ability to move away from smoke and getting out of the tub to add firewood to the fire is a real hassle. Star gazing seems more fun anyway.

    Fire pit is good for parties, hot tub is good for everything else.

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