Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

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RJC
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Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by RJC »

Dear friends,

Just pulled the trigger on a Solo Stove and had a few questions:

1. Can we use it on our composite deck?
2. Do you recommend the shield to prevent embers from blowing out? We have 2 little ones.
3. How do you like it? Anything to watch out for?

Thanks in advance.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by unclescrooge »

I was looking into this and eventually decided against it for the following reasons:

My 3 year old son will probably burn himself against the exterior surface.
Repeated exposure to burning wood can cause lung cancer.

We decided we will be getting a fire table instead.

I would use the ember grill if I was out camping, or lived in a rural area.
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MrBobcat
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by MrBobcat »

I've had one for a few years.

1. See #19 of instuctions https://www.solostove.com/content/bonfi ... ctions.pdf so no I wouldn't.
2. I have not found that necessary, ymmv.
3. We love it and use it most Friday evenings when it's not too hot out.

The bigger concern with the little ones is it does get hot, you'll have to watch them constantly around it (IMO, no different than any other fire).

We usually use the stove on our concrete patio but there are time when we use it on our grass. When we do that we have a few thin concrete paving stones we set it on.
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RJC
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by RJC »

MrBobcat wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:54 am I've had one for a few years.

1. See #19 of instuctions https://www.solostove.com/content/bonfi ... ctions.pdf so no I wouldn't.
2. I have not found that necessary, ymmv.
3. We love it and use it most Friday evenings when it's not too hot out.

The bigger concern with the little ones is it does get hot, you'll have to watch them constantly around it (IMO, no different than any other fire).

We usually use the stove on our concrete patio but there are time when we use it on our grass. When we do that we have a few thin concrete paving stones we set it on.
We'll probably put it on the grass then (ordered the stand).
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MrBobcat
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by MrBobcat »

RJC wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:09 am
MrBobcat wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:54 am I've had one for a few years.

1. See #19 of instuctions https://www.solostove.com/content/bonfi ... ctions.pdf so no I wouldn't.
2. I have not found that necessary, ymmv.
3. We love it and use it most Friday evenings when it's not too hot out.

The bigger concern with the little ones is it does get hot, you'll have to watch them constantly around it (IMO, no different than any other fire).

We usually use the stove on our concrete patio but there are time when we use it on our grass. When we do that we have a few thin concrete paving stones we set it on.
We'll probably put it on the grass then (ordered the stand).
Just be sure to put the top ring on correctly. It came packed with it down and I didn't bother to read the directions and left it that way the first few fires, lol. It seems to burn a bit better with it turned up.
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RJC
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by RJC »

MrBobcat wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:22 am
RJC wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:09 am
MrBobcat wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:54 am I've had one for a few years.

1. See #19 of instuctions https://www.solostove.com/content/bonfi ... ctions.pdf so no I wouldn't.
2. I have not found that necessary, ymmv.
3. We love it and use it most Friday evenings when it's not too hot out.

The bigger concern with the little ones is it does get hot, you'll have to watch them constantly around it (IMO, no different than any other fire).

We usually use the stove on our concrete patio but there are time when we use it on our grass. When we do that we have a few thin concrete paving stones we set it on.
We'll probably put it on the grass then (ordered the stand).
Just be sure to put the top ring on correctly. It came packed with it down and I didn't bother to read the directions and left it that way the first few fires, lol. It seems to burn a bit better with it turned up.
haha good to know. Thanks.
neglogic
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by neglogic »

RJC wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:21 am Dear friends,

Just pulled the trigger on a Solo Stove and had a few questions:

1. Can we use it on our composite deck?
2. Do you recommend the shield to prevent embers from blowing out? We have 2 little ones.
3. How do you like it? Anything to watch out for?

Thanks in advance.
1) You can buy a stand from Solo Stove (way overpriced), or just buy a $5 paver from Home Depot and put the Solo Stove on that.

2) I don't have the shield, we occasionally get embers flying out but it's no big deal. You can buy a screen from Solo Stove (again, way overpriced) or you could probably find a similar item for way less.

3) We love it, very little mess to clean up at the end as almost everything burns up. The exterior does get very hot, so if you have little ones, be careful.
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RJC
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by RJC »

neglogic wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:41 am
RJC wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:21 am Dear friends,

Just pulled the trigger on a Solo Stove and had a few questions:

1. Can we use it on our composite deck?
2. Do you recommend the shield to prevent embers from blowing out? We have 2 little ones.
3. How do you like it? Anything to watch out for?

Thanks in advance.
1) You can buy a stand from Solo Stove (way overpriced), or just buy a $5 paver from Home Depot and put the Solo Stove on that.

2) I don't have the shield, we occasionally get embers flying out but it's no big deal. You can buy a screen from Solo Stove (again, way overpriced) or you could probably find a similar item for way less.

3) We love it, very little mess to clean up at the end as almost everything burns up. The exterior does get very hot, so if you have little ones, be careful.
Love that there is little to clean up after. Looking forward to firing it up when the weather gets cooler!
sjt
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by sjt »

We have a Solo Stove "Bonfire" and I also have a little backpacking solo stove that can burn wood, or you can drop a little alcohol burner in there if the forest wood is too wet.

Since you are talking about the deck, I assume you're looking at the firepit style (ranger, bonfire, yukon). We have 3 pieces total, the bonfire stove, the stand, and a little ring that sits in the top which directs airflow upwards. We use on a wood deck without any problems. There are some internal baffles, so the bottom surface of the stove isn't actually in contact with the ashes / embers. The air intake consists of little holes around the bottom of the outside wall, and I think this cold air intake also helps cool the bottom. I think it would be fine on a composite deck.

The outside of the stove does get very hot, so consider that you need to keep little ones away. I think we had 4 year olds, and they listened well enough to keep away from it and avoid any burns. I don't have the screen on top, and sometimes when wood pops, there are some embers that make it onto the deck.

Clean up is a breeze since the wood burns so completely, very little ash, and I end up spreading it in the yard the morning after.
"The one who covets is the poorer man, | For he would have that which he never can; | But he who doesn't have and doesn't crave | Is rich, though you may hold him but a knave." - Wife of Bath tale
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RJC
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by RJC »

sjt wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:49 pm We have a Solo Stove "Bonfire" and I also have a little backpacking solo stove that can burn wood, or you can drop a little alcohol burner in there if the forest wood is too wet.

Since you are talking about the deck, I assume you're looking at the firepit style (ranger, bonfire, yukon). We have 3 pieces total, the bonfire stove, the stand, and a little ring that sits in the top which directs airflow upwards. We use on a wood deck without any problems. There are some internal baffles, so the bottom surface of the stove isn't actually in contact with the ashes / embers. The air intake consists of little holes around the bottom of the outside wall, and I think this cold air intake also helps cool the bottom. I think it would be fine on a composite deck.

The outside of the stove does get very hot, so consider that you need to keep little ones away. I think we had 4 year olds, and they listened well enough to keep away from it and avoid any burns. I don't have the screen on top, and sometimes when wood pops, there are some embers that make it onto the deck.

Clean up is a breeze since the wood burns so completely, very little ash, and I end up spreading it in the yard the morning after.
We got the Ranger because of it's portability. Will definitely keep our eyes on the kids when they are around.
LeftCoastIV
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by LeftCoastIV »

We have the stand and use on our deck with no problem.

We have the spark guard but I don’t think it does a very good job of actually stopping sparks.
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willthrill81
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by willthrill81 »

We've had a Solo stove for the last couple of years on a concrete patio and really like it. It produces really good heat with minimal ash. I only dump it once or twice a year. However, we had significant issues with embers popping out and burning our clothes and patio cushions, so we got the shield this spring, and that eliminated at least 90% of the embers, so I definitely recommend it.

I'm not sure that I would use the stove directly on a wood or composite patio, but if you put three bricks underneath it at various points, just lifting it a few inches, then it should be totally fine.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
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RJC
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by RJC »

willthrill81 wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:52 pm We've had a Solo stove for the last couple of years on a concrete patio and really like it. It produces really good heat with minimal ash. I only dump it once or twice a year. However, we had significant issues with embers popping out and burning our clothes and patio cushions, so we got the shield this spring, and that eliminated at least 90% of the embers, so I definitely recommend it.

I'm not sure that I would use the stove directly on a wood or composite patio, but if you put three bricks underneath it at various points, just lifting it a few inches, then it should be totally fine.
I ordered the stand and the shield (as a bundle) so I hope it's enough. Really looking forward to firing it up.
medic
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by medic »

We had a Bonfire. Returned it and just went with a traditional fire pit.
It was nice, but still generated quite a bit of smoke unless we had the fire raging. Also, heat was limited outward (mostly going up) unless we again had it raging or were sitting really close. Wood also had to be cut down to fit the stove or again you get smoke from parts above the fire ring (not a problem with the yukon). It would shoot embers, but given the height we didn't notice it much. It also goes through wood like crazy - one bundle of wood per 90 minutes vs one bundle lasting 4-5 hours with a traditional pit.

Plus was that it was easier to light and clean than a traditional fire pit. Also no need to spray paint it to control rust.
We had it on mulch and it was fine. For a deck, the overpriced stand or raising it by a few inches is fine. Lots of youtubers doing this.
Enganerd
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by Enganerd »

medic wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:13 am We had a Bonfire. Returned it and just went with a traditional fire pit.
It was nice, but still generated quite a bit of smoke unless we had the fire raging. Also, heat was limited outward (mostly going up) unless we again had it raging or were sitting really close. Wood also had to be cut down to fit the stove or again you get smoke from parts above the fire ring (not a problem with the yukon). It would shoot embers, but given the height we didn't notice it much. It also goes through wood like crazy - one bundle of wood per 90 minutes vs one bundle lasting 4-5 hours with a traditional pit.

Plus was that it was easier to light and clean than a traditional fire pit. Also no need to spray paint it to control rust.
We had it on mulch and it was fine. For a deck, the overpriced stand or raising it by a few inches is fine. Lots of youtubers doing this.
Unless you are especially worried about smoke and it virtually eliminates it just does not look like it would be anywhere as near enjoyable as a traditional fire ring or shallow bowl fire pit. It's just more fun to watch the wood burn.
barnaclebob
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by barnaclebob »

Enganerd wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:11 am
medic wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:13 am We had a Bonfire. Returned it and just went with a traditional fire pit.
It was nice, but still generated quite a bit of smoke unless we had the fire raging. Also, heat was limited outward (mostly going up) unless we again had it raging or were sitting really close. Wood also had to be cut down to fit the stove or again you get smoke from parts above the fire ring (not a problem with the yukon). It would shoot embers, but given the height we didn't notice it much. It also goes through wood like crazy - one bundle of wood per 90 minutes vs one bundle lasting 4-5 hours with a traditional pit.

Plus was that it was easier to light and clean than a traditional fire pit. Also no need to spray paint it to control rust.
We had it on mulch and it was fine. For a deck, the overpriced stand or raising it by a few inches is fine. Lots of youtubers doing this.
Unless you are especially worried about smoke and it virtually eliminates it just does not look like it would be anywhere as near enjoyable as a traditional fire ring or shallow bowl fire pit. It's just more fun to watch the wood burn.
Yeah these fire pits are gimmicks. The heat from a fire come from radiation from coals. You dont get that from this.
iamlucky13
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by iamlucky13 »

barnaclebob wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:15 am
Enganerd wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:11 am
medic wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:13 am We had a Bonfire. Returned it and just went with a traditional fire pit.
It was nice, but still generated quite a bit of smoke unless we had the fire raging. Also, heat was limited outward (mostly going up) unless we again had it raging or were sitting really close. Wood also had to be cut down to fit the stove or again you get smoke from parts above the fire ring (not a problem with the yukon). It would shoot embers, but given the height we didn't notice it much. It also goes through wood like crazy - one bundle of wood per 90 minutes vs one bundle lasting 4-5 hours with a traditional pit.

Plus was that it was easier to light and clean than a traditional fire pit. Also no need to spray paint it to control rust.
We had it on mulch and it was fine. For a deck, the overpriced stand or raising it by a few inches is fine. Lots of youtubers doing this.
Unless you are especially worried about smoke and it virtually eliminates it just does not look like it would be anywhere as near enjoyable as a traditional fire ring or shallow bowl fire pit. It's just more fun to watch the wood burn.
Yeah these fire pits are gimmicks. The heat from a fire come from radiation from coals. You dont get that from this.
Interesting observations. It probably would radiate a lot better without the double-wall construction, but then it would lose the secondary burn effect for reducing smoke.

I suspect if they used tubes to circulate the heated secondary burn air upward, while exposing the outer surface to more flame, they could get better radiative heating, while still achieving more complete combustion than fully open fire pits. However, it might be a bit of compromise, because any heat you extract from the flame before the pyrolysis of wood is complete can reduce combustion effectiveness. This is part of why wood stoves have a baffle above the secondary air tubes.
barnaclebob
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by barnaclebob »

iamlucky13 wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:26 pm
barnaclebob wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:15 am Yeah these fire pits are gimmicks. The heat from a fire come from radiation from coals. You dont get that from this.
Interesting observations. It probably would radiate a lot better without the double-wall construction, but then it would lose the secondary burn effect for reducing smoke.

I suspect if they used tubes to circulate the heated secondary burn air upward, while exposing the outer surface to more flame, they could get better radiative heating, while still achieving more complete combustion than fully open fire pits. However, it might be a bit of compromise, because any heat you extract from the flame before the pyrolysis of wood is complete can reduce combustion effectiveness. This is part of why wood stoves have a baffle above the secondary air tubes.
Im not sure the secondary burn effect is that great at smoke reduction in a fire pit like this. I thought you needed something like 1000 degree heat in a wood stove to get secondary burn. Most smokey fire pit fires are because of using wet wood or just building a bad fire IMO
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willthrill81
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by willthrill81 »

barnaclebob wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:29 pm
iamlucky13 wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:26 pm
barnaclebob wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:15 am Yeah these fire pits are gimmicks. The heat from a fire come from radiation from coals. You dont get that from this.
Interesting observations. It probably would radiate a lot better without the double-wall construction, but then it would lose the secondary burn effect for reducing smoke.

I suspect if they used tubes to circulate the heated secondary burn air upward, while exposing the outer surface to more flame, they could get better radiative heating, while still achieving more complete combustion than fully open fire pits. However, it might be a bit of compromise, because any heat you extract from the flame before the pyrolysis of wood is complete can reduce combustion effectiveness. This is part of why wood stoves have a baffle above the secondary air tubes.
Im not sure the secondary burn effect is that great at smoke reduction in a fire pit like this. I thought you needed something like 1000 degree heat in a wood stove to get secondary burn. Most smokey fire pit fires are because of using wet wood or just building a bad fire IMO
I can tell you from experience with our Solo stove that once it gets hot, it produces very little smoke, even though we burn exclusively softwoods like fir in it.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
wcinnn
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by wcinnn »

Have had a Solo Stove for a couple of years and use it on a wood deck. Got a round fireproof mat for under it but manufacturer says that's not necessary. Also found a mesh pizza pan to put on it to keep the embers down and a solid one to put over it so rain doesn't get in it when we're done but the fire hasn't completely burned out and the unit cooled. Beautiful design and much less smoke to deal with than with most fire pits.
wilked
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by wilked »

Agreed with the others - this things awesome!

Before, we had a traditional fire pit. Got everyone warm and Smokey. My wife eventually refused to join me at the fire. Not as much fun sipping a scotch by yourself.

Now the whole family hangs there. Once hot it will no longer smoke. Generally the kids tell me it’s too hot, so not sure of people saying it’s not hot enough? You do need to be somewhat in the proximity of it I suppose.

It is a wood hog, this is true. The dual combustion / excess oxygen burns through wood at 50% greater pace maybe. That’s the price of a smokeless experience.

Some are maybe more sensitive to smoke than others. My wife hates it, so it’s a huge win for us. Plus I like not drinking of smoke after
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RJC
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by RJC »

Is there anything I can do preemptively to lessen the chance of rust?
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willthrill81
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by willthrill81 »

RJC wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:18 pm Is there anything I can do preemptively to lessen the chance of rust?
Don't let it get wet. We store ours in our garage when we aren't using it, plus we live in an area with low humidity. We've had zero rust on it.

It gets far too hot for you to oil it down, which would normally be a good means of staving off rust.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
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RJC
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by RJC »

willthrill81 wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:42 pm
RJC wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:18 pm Is there anything I can do preemptively to lessen the chance of rust?
Don't let it get wet. We store ours in our garage when we aren't using it, plus we live in an area with low humidity. We've had zero rust on it.

It gets far too hot for you to oil it down, which would normally be a good means of staving off rust.
Wouldn't oil be a protectant for when it's not burning? I've read that putting a small layer of vegetable oil between uses might help prevent rust and increase longevity of the steel. Doesn't say anything about it in the manual though...
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willthrill81
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by willthrill81 »

RJC wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:45 am
willthrill81 wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:42 pm
RJC wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:18 pm Is there anything I can do preemptively to lessen the chance of rust?
Don't let it get wet. We store ours in our garage when we aren't using it, plus we live in an area with low humidity. We've had zero rust on it.

It gets far too hot for you to oil it down, which would normally be a good means of staving off rust.
Wouldn't oil be a protectant for when it's not burning? I've read that putting a small layer of vegetable oil between uses might help prevent rust and increase longevity of the steel. Doesn't say anything about it in the manual though...
Yes, that would work, but the oil will burn and leave residue after you use the stove.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
teamDE
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by teamDE »

Fwiw, a friend of ours has one. I don't find it a very relaxing fire pit. It burns really hot and aggressively. It's like sitting around a little afterburner. It also burns through wood like crazy and the wood has to be cut up small enough to fit in it. Maybe they're doing it wrong.

We and other friends have traditional fire pits and they're much more pleasant to be around.
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MrBobcat
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by MrBobcat »

teamDE wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 11:45 am Fwiw, a friend of ours has one. I don't find it a very relaxing fire pit. It burns really hot and aggressively. It's like sitting around a little afterburner. It also burns through wood like crazy and the wood has to be cut up small enough to fit in it. Maybe they're doing it wrong.

We and other friends have traditional fire pits and they're much more pleasant to be around.
Out of curiosity what size of solo do they have? I have the bonfire, it takes "regular" length albeit split wood fine (I teepee them). I suppose it might go through the wood a bit faster but I never really noticed that much nor I have I run a test.

I can certainly understand the aesthetic aspect vs a traditional fire pit.
DoubleComma
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by DoubleComma »

Other than the cost, Solo Stoves are great.

Now, we have been using washing machine drums as fire pits for years and years. It started out on the beach where pits we required; but quickly figured out that they burn much hotter and with all the air draw from the drain holes it creates a heat vortex and draws any smoke high and fast giving the impression there is no smoke.

Washer drums cost $15-$20 around here on Craigslist. They are either porcelain enameled or stainless; neither rust at all for us. They do get black from ask over time.

I will also say they do burn wood faster, but not enough to make a difference for me.
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camillus
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by camillus »

I found a cheap alternative. I got an old Weber smokey joe 14" mini charcoal grill. I make fires with a combination of charcoal and wood. The charcoal seems to help radiate warmth and help the wood to burn evenly and relatively smokelessly because of the heat. I got the grill for free on marketplace.

They key to smoke management is heat. As long as you make a hot fire, there will be little smoke.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by SmileyFace »

We have a cheaper alternative as compared to the prior poster who said he had a cheap solution. We stacked large rocks we already had on our property - works great.
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willthrill81
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Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

Post by willthrill81 »

teamDE wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 11:45 am Fwiw, a friend of ours has one. I don't find it a very relaxing fire pit. It burns really hot and aggressively. It's like sitting around a little afterburner. It also burns through wood like crazy and the wood has to be cut up small enough to fit in it. Maybe they're doing it wrong.
It's designed to burn hot and aggressively in order to reduce smoke. A cooler burning fire pit will create more smoke. For the Solo stove, this can be tamed somewhat by just not putting too much wood in at one time. But yes, the wood has to be cut up into fairly small pieces.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
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