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Old 04-26-2012   #1
 
tmaggert's Avatar
 
Wheat Ridge, 80033
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Fire Pan Feedback

Hello,
You might have seen my other post asking about fire pan sizing, this time I am looking for opinions. For my CU Freshmen Engineering Projects course, my group designed a light weight and breakdown fire pan. We are presenting at the University of Colorado Engineering Design Expo on this Saturday, April 28th.

The main features of our pan are:
  • Competitive price (we are thinking about $125/$150 retail)
  • Breakdown & extremely packable
  • Quick & easy to assemble
  • Light weight
  • Modular
We currently have two sizes; 12x12 and 300in^2 and we expect a retail price of around $125 and $150 respectively. The 12x12 is the NPS minimum for charcoal fires and BLM minimum for all fires. The 300in^2 is the NPS minimum for wood fires and measures 17"1/2x17"1/4 when assembled. The 12x12 is the perfect for unsupported kayaking trips.

From the pictures below you can see how small the pan packs up. The 300in^2 packs to about 3.5x18x6.25 and the 12x12 is about 3.5x12.5x6.25. The pan separates into 15 pieces and could be carried by different people (mainly for kyakers) or separated to fit where it can when rigging.

Do note that in the photos the 12x12 fire pan is using our prototype fittings and are longer (4"3/4) than the final design fittings (3"1/16). This is only because we only have one set of the final design fittings, the 12x12 will have the short fittings.

We are using aluminum for everything except for the base which is steel (stainless could be used but more expensive) to keep the weight down. The risers are SCH40 pipe 6061-T6, the fittings were created using a lathe and 4-axis CNC out of 1"3/8 solid round 6061-T6, the side plates are bent 5052 aluminum (6000 series doesn't bend), and the base is A366 steel sheet with two of the three plates (300in^2 version) jogged to provide an overlap. With this the 12x12 weighs about 6.75lbs and the 300in^2 weighs under 9lbs.

The fire pans are strong and durable as well. In a couple of the pictures you can see a bucket full of water in the pans. This is a 2.5 gallon bucket (about 20lbs) and placed directly in the center with no issues. You could put more depending on the bucket diameters but can easily support 3 full 2.5 gallon buckets.

One of my favorite features would be the modular ability. You could easily have different (and custom) sizes for the fire pan based on your trip necessities without increasing your cost drastically. Lets say you want a 17x24 or 17x36 all you would need is two additional side plates and one or three bottom plates.

While this doesn't have a cooking surface it is designed for one. The scope and time constraints of the class kept that from this design. For the cooking surface there will be 2 more fittings that get inverted and stacked on top of opposing corners. Then you'll attach 8" pipes to the inverted pieces. The pipe will have about 5 holes along the length for temperature control. The cooking surface will have fittings on two corners that slide over the pipe and get pinned to the correct height.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now for your help. Can you provide your feedback that we can use in our presentation? We want the good and the bad.

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Old 04-26-2012   #2
Shapp
 
the grove, Oregon
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Build about 20 individual fires in there to the heat intensity and duration of the intended use, and see if everything still slides together, nice work.
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Old 04-26-2012   #3
The Russian
 
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Seems kinda small for the fires my groups make. Price is steep comparing to NRS pans with a grill. Would like to see an aluminum lid like NRS, we use it for DO cooking while burning a fire.

Also putting two of yours together would create a space for the fire embers to fall through
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Old 04-26-2012   #4
Shapp
 
the grove, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazak4x4 View Post
Seems kinda small for the fires my groups make. Price is steep comparing to NRS pans with a grill. Would like to see an aluminum lid like NRS, we use it for DO cooking while burning a fire.

Also putting two of yours together would create a space for the fire embers to fall through
I think the idea is that it is for IK self support, which is a differnet set of cooking circumstances than a full blown raft support trip. You might grill a little or bake a tatter, but you probably aren't bringing a lot of grill food and big dutch ovens on an IK self support trip. And how would a lid fit into this equation, not needed as it all comes appart and I assume would fit in some sort of heavy duty stuff sack. A lid on a NRS setup keeps all the parts together for packing, not needed for this design.
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Old 04-26-2012   #5
The Russian
 
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I see, then ignore all my points For kayak self support seems pretty cool then.
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Old 04-26-2012   #6
 
Golden, Colorado
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I am a CU mechanical grad and remember taking that class. We made a solar toilet.... Anyways, get those legs made out of something that requires less machining, you could easily get something like those bent out of some sheet metal. What shop did you get it done at. I know a few local (denver/louisville) sheet metal shops that do excellent work. I've used them both for a couple of years now for work and my own projects. Send the files over to get quotes, factor in labor, packaging and profit and that is your asking price.
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Old 04-26-2012   #7
 
Walla Walla, Washington
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Looks good and I like the ability to break it down. The thing I would worry about is the aluminum sides. I like a big hot fire. With aluminum's lower melting temp I would be worried about melting it or warping it. That would keep me from buying it.
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Old 04-26-2012   #8
 
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Sandy, Utah
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Nice design. I like the breakdown aspect and the lighter weight. I can see it as a great piece of gear for self support kayakers, but perhaps not as big a market to rafters. I currently use a collapsible firepan that is 15X13 packed, can extend to 15X25, weighs 15 lbs. and cost $40. We do a lot of DO cooking with two 12 inch & two 10 inch DOs stacked. We need a minimum of 24 inches in length to fit the DOs. That's a lot of weight & heat. Can your firepan handle that? I'm not sure that the weight savings and breakdown aspects would offset the price for a 17X24 firepan???
Just my two cents.....the pack ability sure looks sweet though. If it was priced under $100 I might be tempted.
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Old 04-26-2012   #9
 
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Springfield, Oregon
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I'm no chemist. From a toxin standpoint, what happens to aluminum when it gets really hot? Will the sides of the firepan get hot enough to release something that shouldn't be inhaled? Like using a galvanized oil pan?
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Old 04-26-2012   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrice345
I'm no chemist. From a toxin standpoint, what happens to aluminum when it gets really hot? Will the sides of the firepan get hot enough to release something that shouldn't be inhaled? Like using a galvanized oil pan?
First it warps, then it melts. I'm no expert but i dont think the temp of a fire can gassify it.

The vapor from zinc coating in galvanized metal, at least when welded, can cause zinc poisoning
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