Since it was super hot at the cabin (and no campfire ban), thought it would be a good plan to “test” the Cowboy Hot Tub Project. The goal was to place a hose/copper pipe in the campfire and run it back into the tub. The water would be pumped through the hose and come out warm on the other end. After 2 hours, the water should be a reasonable temperature.
Most of the parts were scavenged, but the stock tank was purchased used from a local farm for $200. The water tank measures 10′ long x 3′ wide by 2′ deep. It has two brace beams to keep the sides from falling out. The 300-gallon water tank was filled with a 1-1/2” PVC pipe from the water line to the cabin. More information about the parts can be found at the blog post on July 12, 2015
Once the tank was full of fresh lake water, the next step was to heat up the water to a comfortable temperature. To help push the water, I used a 12 volt DC pond pump. It was hooked up to a deep cycle battery and worked quite good.
I had bits and pieces of leftover, 1/2″ soft copper pipe from the old roof top water system. Using a car tire as a bending form, the pipe was bent into a coil. Built up a fire using the “log cabin” style and placed the copper pipe over the flames. It worked pretty well, but the fire needed to be hotter. I moved some the wood around and cut smaller pieces. It let it burn for a few hours and then called it quits for the day.
The next day, I looked around the shop and found a decent coil of 3/8″ soft copper. It was wound up in four coils and looked like it would do a better job. Attached the garden hose to the ends and started to work on the fire. This time, I found an old, round BBQ that had holes in the bottom. I looked for shorter logs and split them with an axe. The plan was to create a small, hot fire inside the old BBQ. Hopefully, the heat will be contained. Once the fire was going well, the coils over the fire. I kept adding pieces to the inside and outside of the coil.
This time, I noticed the temperature was a bit hotter. The extra coils did make a difference. What was really interesting, we the wind increased and blew on the campfire, the temperature increased incredibly.
At the end of the day, it was a good test for Cowboy Hot Tube project. I know what needs to be improved and I got a chance to sit back and enjoy the project. More improvements will follow in a few weeks. Thanks for watching!
Wa-hoo! Completed stage 1 of the Cowboy Hot Tub!
Found a large, used, galvanized, livestock water tank on craigslist for $200. I’ve seen new ones for $350 – $700. It measures 10′ long x 3′ wide by 2′ deep. Holds a bit over 300 gallons. No leaks and it’s in fairly good shape. Originally, I wanted to make a wood hot tub out of Western Red Cedar planks, but the cost of Cedar has almost doubled since last year. Plus, as a first timer, it would probably leak. This way, I can start with a tank that hold water and then add rectangle frame, insulation and dress the outside with 1″ x 4″ Cedar.
For some gas money and a couple hours of his time, a good neighbor, and myself went out and picked up livestock tank with his Ford F150 pickup truck. (I wish I had a truck, it would make life so much easier!)
Plan to use our old Blaze King wood stove to heat the water. (The wood stove actually has water coil that runs through the firebox, but it has a crack in it.) The factory that actually makes the stoves is only 50 kilomters away. Sent an email off to Blaze King, but have not heard back. I’m guessing they are “talk on the phone or visit in-person” type of company. I do have some spare flexible, 1/2′ copper coil. It could be wrapped around the stove pipe. Have to see which is easier in the short turn.
Sadly, since there is a campfire ban on, so the project is on hold until the end of the summer.