Jennifer's wood-fired bathtub revisted
This summer I was back in Homer, Alaska. I got to hang out with my old friend, Jennifer. After a long day of fun Alaska-type projects: wood chopping, fish smoking, gardening and lawn mowing (with a hand scythe grass cutter), I asked Jennifer if I could fire up her outdoor wood-heated bathtub.
I discussed the tub a bit in a previous post here: wood-fired outdoor bathtub This was from a trip two summers earlier. This year I was actually able to enjoy it!
It took about two and a half hours from filling the tub and lighting the fire to soaking. When I got in the water it was actually a little too hot. This was easily corrected with the addition of a little more cold water.
The burning area is enclosed with mud and gravel. Jennifer found an old wood stove door that is packed into the side of the tub with mud. The fire is fed through this door.
Once started, the fire burned efficiently and it didn't seem like I added a heck of a lot of wood to get the water up to soaking temperature. The cast iron tub, has a flatter bottom and is built into the side of the bluff.
Air enters the door, feeds the fire and then escapes through a chimney toward the back of one end. The fire has an opportunity to travel over a lot of surface area of the underside of the tub, transferring heat pretty well in the process.
Jennifer's tub is a 1970s-era higher-end model. It's bigger than a standard tub so there is ample room to stretch out and relax. This is similar to what you'd get from an antique clawfoot tub without the ridiculous expense.
These two cedar boards are for sitting on. The bottom surface to the tub can get pretty uncomfortably hot, certainly too hot to sit your butt directly down on the enamel surface of the tub. There's a bit of a knack to pushing the floating boards down and tucking them under your bum. Luckily I didn't burn these boards before being told what they were for!
Later on the kids took a soak too. No need to waste the hot water.
Thank you, Jennifer!
Labels: sauna soak and steam