For me, the rustic clay chiminea is a romantic addition to my backyard. It provides me with time to poke in a small fire while enjoying the wilderness of My Back Forty Garden and Park. It is not supposed to warm me on a chilly night, only to spread a golden glow.
The most common clay chimineas are manufactured in two parts: the base or the "bowl" and the neck. The pieces are dried separately and then fused together into a single unit. This makes the chiminea rather delicate to handle although it looks bulky. They are heavy to lift and it is best to put one hand in its mouth and the other arm around its neck for moving.
To transport the chiminea from any retail chain store or home improvement center, put the chiminea in the back seat of your car and strap it in with the seat belt. Some padding may be necessary. Don't forget the three legged stand for your new fire place. Also, be sure that the chiminea comes with a lid to put on the top (the smoke stack).
Before you start a fire, it is imperative to insulate the bowl against direct heat that may cause it to crack. Add sand and small pebbles into the bowl until it is 3 - 4 inches below the lower lip of its mouth. It is also recommended that two bricks be placed on either side about 6 inches apart to act as a grate to keep the the wood elevated.
The manufacturers strongly advise against using treated wood, pellets, and charcoal in your chiminea. I have enough branches from various tree that I cut up. I have on occasion bought a small bundle of wood that I have cut in half or whatever size the chiminea will take.
Finally, it is also recommended that when storing the chiminea it should be sheltered in the garage or in the shed, or at least wrap it up in a tarp for storing outside.
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