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How to create an eternal fire.

Discussion in 'Obsessions and Interests' started by Major Tom, Apr 25, 2021.

  1. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    So I've been wanting a burn pit in my back yard now for several years, and recently I had the time and willpower to get after it.

    I dug out an exact hole for a 5 gallon metal bucket and lined it with 6 inches of quartz stones the bottom (about dime sized or a little bigger stones.) I drilled about 20 holes in the bottom of the bucket. I then seated the bucket into the hole and filled any gaps with soil.

    I then stacked 18 bricks around the rim of the bucket which stuck out about 2 inches. With air gaps between the brick. it looks like that.

    The fire burns twigs or logs vertically so everything burns for a really long time, plus it holds hot coals for what seems like forever.

    I lit the fire for the second time to clear some broken branches in my backyard at 9:30AM Saturday and it's now 6:05 PM Sunday and it's still holding the same amount of hot coal. I've just been feeding it an occasional branch here and there throughout today.

    I put a few logs in last night just to sit by the fire and the frogs were very vocal. It was a nice experience. After a long winter, it's good to have spring here briefly.

    All the gardens are doing well and I'm liking my jobs. The antique shop took me treasure hunting last Thursday and I scored some awesome old tools that I've been restoring to the best of my abilities. It's the small things in life that are really important. Doing things you love is top-priority for me.

     
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  2. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Wow quite a precise job, if you left gaps would something bad happen? It looks and sounds great, but I would imagine it needs much skill to do this properly. I will stick to gardening, plus there's a real fire in the new house luckily. Love the atmosphere, and an outdoor fire like yours is so great, with sounds of nature and the night skies overhead.

    Just put up an additional walkin greenhouse, and all the pumpkins, which are already in large pots and growing scarily fast, have moved in to it. The house was getting crowded!
     
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  3. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    yuh, liking it but, you gonna have to scoop out the ash with a shovel, something above ground but with an ash drawer could mean less work overall, see how ya go...

    been looking at fire box stuff at the hardware store but hmm,

    There's a folding/camping style one, it's just sheet metal on sheet metal legs, I think it interests me cos it's easy to just tip out the ash on your ash lovin' plants.
     
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  4. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It sounds wonderful Major Tom, peaceful and idyllic. Here people have fires at certain times of the year.

    I'm curious though about your using the quartz in the bottom of the bucket, why?
     
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  5. Nitro

    Nitro Admin/Immoral Turpitude Staff Member Admin V.I.P Member

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    I used to make jewelry out of small sight glasses that were diamond drilled, diamond engraved then colored.
    I always fire polished the edges to make them clear and smooth.
    One day, I went to make one for my Mom.
    I found one that was thicker, but very suitable for my intentions.
    I fired up the torch to begin the polish which generally started with an orange glow.
    It refused to polish so I applied even more heat.
    It started to make the most blinding white light I had ever experienced after it got hot.
    It turned out to be quartz.
    I must have seen blue dots for hours that day :p
     
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  6. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    I used the quartz layer as drainage and airflow mainly, I hadn't also thought that it would be that good of a heat retainer/insulator. I think the combination of the holes in the bottom of the bucket, the quartz and the earth insulating the bucket basically made it into a 5 gallon rocket stove. The vertical rather than the horizontal burn also extends the burn time immeasurably.

    Yep I had to scoop it out after the first fire I made in it, it wasn't a big deal, all I used was an old flower pot, it gave me the bonus of having some coal and ash to put into the new batch of soil I'm making. If the bucket or container you were looking at was above ground A: you'd be at risk of burning yourself and any vegetation around it.(my backyard is full of bushes and trees surrounding the pit) and also the fire would not last so eternally.

    If I had left gaps it would create too much heat in the bucket and eventually melt the bucket or put holes in it. I'm keeping my eyes out for an approximately same sized clay pot and doing the same method in the same spot as I'd also like to turn that pit into a dual purpose pizza oven/brush burner. I just wanted to see how the concept worked with the materials I had.

    I'm super glad to hear that your planting is going well! I just planted a Japanese black trifle tomato plant and an orange kabocha squash plant in the front garden. They are both growing like no tomorrow and also the strawberries are doing great. All 6 spots out back the sunflowers have sprouted HUGE sprouts. If the size of the sprouts are any indication as to the size the plants are going to be I can't even imagine the size they will become!
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
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  7. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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  8. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The fire art is amazing, how is it done?

    Yes it seems a really good year for seeds, I got 10 huge pumpkin sprouts and they are making new leaves already. Looking forward to seeing how your sunflowers turn out. And the black trifle tomato plant, that sounds interesting. Wow I Googled them, they look great. Some of mine are Tiger Stripe, Lemon Sherbet, Tumbling Tom, Sun Gold.
     
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  9. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    The fire art is done by having a VERY slow shutter speed and then rotating the camera around the fire or ash,if you get really good at it you can write or draw.

    Wow that's a lot of tomatoes! When we first moved here I grew 8 plants and ended up giving most of the tomatoes away haha. Hopefully you live in a dry climate so you can dry some of them or have access to good canning jars!

    I look forward to seeing how your crops progress! I'm actually growing an orange kabocha squash plant too and took out one of the zucchini plants. I've heard very good things about the kabocha squash. All my sunflowers have sprouted and my peppers are just budding their first flowers. Lettuce is thriving too.
     
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  10. hatfullofrain

    hatfullofrain Well-Known Member

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    It's easy, the steps are:

    Say my name
    Sun shines through the rain
    A whole life so lonely
    And then come and ease the pain

    Oh wait, sorry, that's an eternal flame, not an eternal fire. Never mind.
     
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  11. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I always wanted a fire pit, but, where I live outside fire is not allowed.
    The guy I rent from wouldn't want it either.

    The frog song is a nice touch. I do have frogs at least.
    Ten tree frogs that live in my screened pool area in potted plants.

    I just bought a packet of those giant sunflowers and will give those a try.
    @Major Tom after reading about what you are doing with them and seeing the posted photos of your flower bed, I couldn't resist. :)
     
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  12. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    Awesome to hear and good luck! I was writing a long reply and it got wiped, but mine are growing about an inch a day! Try planting strong smelling herbs around them to keep the squirrels away! I look forward to seeing how they grow!