Our New Chimenea

I have been watching for a new or used Chimenea for our deck for the past for the past year (or more). 

Earlier this spring, I found one being sold (used) on craigslist that fit my price range (aka “on-the-cheap”) in the town next to us.  I called the seller and showed up the next day cash in hand.  He walked me around the back of his house where it was located – it was exactly what I was looking for!  It was many years old and was used by his parents before they gave it to him – and he used it for many years before selling it.  The seller and I picked it up to load in in my car when the chimenea crumbled in our hands.

I was (needless to say) disappointed… 

Last week, while at Lowes, I noticed a Chimenea marked so ridiculously low priced that (despite the Mother of Five’s pointing out how much it resembles Sponge Bob Square Pant’s house – a pineapple under the sea) that we HAD to pick it up.

I was not going to be able to “fire it up” for a few days (due to a hunting trip) – but the evening I got back from my hunting trip (which was filled with time around the campfire) – I put our first fire in the chimenea. 

There are some “instructions” for breaking it in…

Step one… Light several small fires in it before you “load it up” (to “break in in” so as to prevent cracking)… 

I took a few scrap pieces of construction grade lumber (“two by’s”) and got to the “work’ of breaking it in.

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Now, before you all lecture me about having a “flame resistant hearth” under the unit – I’ll have them under there before the next fire – this was my first time out and I sat by the fire with a bucket of water the whole time!  I was being plenty cautious…

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The fire started out small (and not very warm at all) but it was an excuse to relax and watch the kids playing in the yard! 

As the evening went on, and the wood broke down to coals – it really spit out the heat!  I turned out to be a really nice relaxing evening!

Ideally, I’d like a cast iron chimenea with a deeper bowl and a taller stack. Even though it’s not exactly what we want, it was way too good a deal to pass up, and it will do for now – at least until the time comes that we do find what we are looking for (in my “on the cheap” price range).

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  1. David,
    I did some research on "fuels" you could burn in your new chimenea. I thought maybe, since you had a lot, you could use those excess cat droppings. Don't do it, according to an Internet article "The World's Worst Smell"
    " . . . Unsolicited “discoveries” shared with Dalton:
    Burning cat poop (This person confided that, in the spirit of discovery, she had actually put her cat’s poop on a lit barbeque.)
    Five pounds of raw shrimp left in a vacation home over the winter
    The fluid excreted by a dog’s anal glands
    “My mother’s basement”
    The socks and underwear of a guy named Gary. Wrote a friend of Gary: “All you would have to do is throw a pair of his socks in the Taliban caves in Afghanistan and I promise you they would come running out.”
    So, stick to real firewood and enjoy.

  2. Today I feel as though I have played the role of the student, and you my friend were the teacher. I have never heard of this device before reading your post and it seems like it would have been great to have during those extra cold Buffalo winters. I must inform my parents now. Thanks for the tidbit of info.

  3. Nice find... even if it does look like a pineapple under the sea! I would like to have a chimenea, but I don't have a good location for one at the present time, and my technically-not-legal-in-my-small-town steel truck rim fire pit serves it's purpose, for now.

  4. You've convinced me. My kids love Spongebob, so maybe my local home store will have something appropriate like yours. I've been looking for a reason to spend more time on the deck.


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