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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Winter Camping and Activities
      Sand in the Stove?     

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Jaywalker
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03/12/2014 08:28AM
This year was my first year of hot tenting, and as I make reminder notes for next year I find I have a few questions that I still need to figure out. One I wanted to put to the group was simply "do you put sand in the bottom of your stove or not, and how much do you think it matters? Wondering if it is worth the bother of bringing along?

 
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03/12/2014 11:13AM
No I don't. Don't wanna carry the extra weight. I put a false floor in my stove to protect the bottom from burning through/warping which is the issue as I understand it and the reasoning for using sand.
OldFingers57
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03/12/2014 01:08PM
How about using some type of a rack to hold the logs up, like in a fireplace.
03/12/2014 01:37PM
Get a little sheet metal from the hardward store and make a false bottom. Make it in two pieces so you can fit it in the door. Just take the sheet metal pieces and bend over the edge all the way around by about 1/2" to hold the pieces off the floor of the stove. Beats lugging sand around.


False Bottom
Doughboy12
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03/12/2014 02:10PM
100% sure one piece would have fit through the door...but the center ridge/leg really is the advantage of two pieces.
Garyfisher09
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03/12/2014 02:26PM
I put a little sand in the bottom. Not much extra weight and I think it helps prevent bottom from burning out
03/12/2014 03:53PM
quote Doughboy12: "100% sure one piece would have fit through the door...but the center ridge/leg really is the advantage of two pieces."

I learned the hard way that this is not so, at least in the case of my stove and my floor making project.

The width of the floor of my stove, a Kni-Co sold by Snowtrekker, measures 11 1/2" give or take a smidgen. The diagonal measurement of the door opening is 11 1/2". I took all necessary measurements and cut my sheet metal, planning on a 1/2" lip all the way around.

The reason I could not get a one piece false floor in the door was because of the additional "thickness" created by folding the edges down. The opening is not wide enough, at the point where the folded edges must pass through, to make it.

I suppose, if you took this into account, you could compensate by making the false floor somewhat smaller then the dimensions of the stove floor. I don't think this would really hurt the stove any.

In any case, I made mine in two pieces. It's easy to get em in and out when cleaning the stove out and it makes the false floor more sturdy, as Doughboy12 already noted.
Doughboy12
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03/12/2014 04:23PM
28ga. sheet metal...bend it like Beckham...;-)
Did you go with galvanized?

I would thing that ashes in the sand would require you to replace the sand every trip...do you leave it behind in a pile of ash? (Leave NO trace.) ~JK
Jaywalker
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03/13/2014 01:06PM
Thanks everyone for your responses. I really like the idea of a false bottom. I wonder if if I can muster the metal working skills I learned in shop class (I think Carter was president then). I was thinking about the sand less for reducing metal fatigue and more for preventing melt below, but I think the false bottom would probably help with both. I'll start watching for sheet metal. Thanks
Doughboy12
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03/13/2014 02:47PM
quote Jaywalker: "Thanks everyone for your responses. I really like the idea of a false bottom. I wonder if if I can muster the metal working skills I learned in shop class (I think Carter was president then). I was thinking about the sand less for reducing metal fatigue and more for preventing melt below, but I think the false bottom would probably help with both. I'll start watching for sheet metal. Thanks"
Go to the furnace duct area in your home improvement store of choice...no need to watch for it, it is readily available..;-)
I was trying to think of a suitable product that could just be used instead of "made." I can't think of any at the moment but that is why I like to "shop." The wife doesn't often understand why I have to go down every isle in the store. But when I see a good item for an out of the box use, she sometimes comes around.
03/13/2014 03:14PM
There are other alternatives to building a false bottom as being discussed here so far.

1. Sand, dirt or gravel
2. Fire Brick
3. Expanded metal
4. Sheet Metal

Anything that helps to insulate the bottom from the intense heat of the fire would work.

False bottom discussion
Minnesotian
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03/14/2014 07:38AM

If you go the route of using a galvanized sheet, make sure you burn a hot fire before taking the stove on your next camping trip. You need to burn off the zinc, in a well ventilated area, and don't breath in the smoke. Read all about it here: Metal fume fever

Because of the concerns regarding galvanized metal, I would skip making a false bottom out of that. I picked up some 24 gauge sheet metal at a Big Box hardware store and made it out of that.
Cedarboy
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03/14/2014 07:52AM
I did as Doughboy says, ductwork. I used two pieces, layed side by side, easy to get them in and out to clean. About a 1/2 inch off them bottom of floor.
CB
Doughboy12
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03/14/2014 09:52AM
quote Minnesotian: "
If you go the route of using a galvanized sheet, make sure you burn a hot fire before taking the stove on your next camping trip. You need to burn off the zinc, in a well ventilated area, and don't breath in the smoke. Read all about it here: Metal fume fever


Because of the concerns regarding galvanized metal, I would skip making a false bottom out of that. I picked up some 24 gauge sheet metal at a Big Box hardware store and made it out of that. "

I understand your concerns and they are not unfounded...just over stated. Unless you are planning on sucking on the end of the stack you don't have much to worry about.
Jbuschie
 
02/19/2018 04:06PM
Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread, I'm heading out soon with my Kni-co stove, and was wondering what others did- sand is not easy to find in February in the BWCA, and I don't really want to carry dirt, I'm already bringing too much crap anyways! :)

I just got back from Menards, and picked up an 8X20" piece of "duct end cap" for about $4.50, from the duct/vent section as recommended. I think having the edges already raised, and some holes will really improve draw/stove performance, and decrease my worries about wrecking my new stove. It won't cover the entire bottom of the stove, but the hottest part in the center should be adequate, I think.

I drilled some holes, and filed down the burrs, will try it out in a couple of weeks, and post results- feeling better about not abusing my stove, and worrying about burning through the bottom.

(I tried to attach photos, but was told I'm too new to the forum to post links, I think you can see them on my profile/I made those pictures public, I think)
Merlin
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02/19/2018 04:38PM
I snipped an old baking sheet into a couple of pieces that fit the stove. Its been used multiple times and is still doing its job.
Arcola
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02/19/2018 10:17PM
I've never seen the bottom of my stoves glow red like the sides do. Ash left in the over summer is what eats a stove bottom and we don't have that problem with our little stoves. Nothing like a good bed of ashes to insulate the bottom of my stoves til I head home and dump them.
Birdknowsbest
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02/25/2018 09:51PM
Birdknowsbest
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02/25/2018 09:51PM
Highly suggest a Four-Dog Titanium stove. No false bottom needed.
ABisbee
member (36)member
 
04/04/2018 08:46PM
Merlin: "I snipped an old baking sheet into a couple of pieces that fit the stove. Its been used multiple times and is still doing its job."

Yep. Invert a baking sheet. Available in all sizes from goodwill. $.99
 
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