Radio Flyer Fire Pan - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 11-21-2010   #1
 
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Oregon City, Oregon
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Radio Flyer Fire Pan

When I was an outfitter, my guides tested several different kinds of fire pans. The standard pans that the company had when I bought it were fabricated from sheet metal bent into a shallow box and welded at the corners. These turkeys twisted badly the first time they were used so that they would never sit flat again.

Later I bought some similar pans that were shaped so that they would fit under a Gott-80 cooler. They packed nicely at first, but soon warped just like the box-shaped ones.

In the clearance room of a restaurant supply store I found some hot dog bun baking pans, which had a rolled lip. These things did not suffer the warping and twisting of the other fire pans, so we used them for several years. The drawback was that the sides of the pans were less than two inches tall, so we had to be very careful not to spill the ashes over the sides.

Meanwhile, I asked an engineer friend why the hot dog pans didn't warp the way the other pans did. He said that it was the rolled edge at the top of the sides. I started looking for a shop that could form that detail on a custom fire pan.

But one day I found exactly what I was going to have made, sitting right on my own driveway. Here it is:



Yes, I had to take the wheels off and weld-up the holes, but this photo shows a fire pan that I've been using for 15 years. No warping.

We got tired of propping it up on rocks and kneeling in the sand, so we bent some 1/2-inch EMT conduit and made a folding stand for it.



And because we often use the fire pan as a barbecue, we got a universal barbecue grill and laid it into the pan. We welded rails near the top edge inside the fire pan to support the grill.



Ham and pineapple kabobs on Day 15 in Grand Canyon. And because my brother (The Barbecue Nazi) wanted a lid, we went out and got another wagon body--not a Radio Flyer--that was just enough smaller than this one to nest inside it for packing. It has a removable handle and a chimney vent, and The Barbecue Nazi is happy, and we are all happy because he does the best steak barbecue on earth.



You can see the lid on the ground behind Barbecue Nazi's right leg.

Now all of this might seem like a lot to pack on a raft, but the way the two pans nest together and fit right over a pair of Scat Packer buckets, all we have to do is add a foam pad and the fire pan becomes the rower's seat on this raft.



We carry charcoal in the Scat Packers at the start of the river trip and by the end of the trip, we have used the charcoal and filled the Scat Packers with . . . well, you know what we filled them with. (In the Grand Canyon, Scat Packers are not allowed for toilet use. We still carried charcoal in them, but had Eco-Safe toilets.)

And finally, here's a look at the fire pan stand, being used as a cocktail table (or in this case a birthday cake table) with the addition of a cutting board or two. We try to make use of every resource!


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Old 11-21-2010   #2
 
Jenks, Oklahoma
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WOW
Best use of American do it your self I have seen in a long time.

Great Story!
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Old 11-21-2010   #3
 
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Awesome. Do they still make the wagon like that? Riley's was wooden.
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Old 11-21-2010   #4
 
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Around here, you can still find them on craigslist and at yard sales. Unfortunately, they are increasingly becoming "collector's items," at preposterous prices. You can still find 'em for five or ten bucks, but you'd better do it soon, before everyone decides that they're golden.
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Old 11-21-2010   #5
 
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First link is the big one.


Radio Flyer #18 Toy Wagon 36X17.5X4.5

Radio Flyer 5 12 5/8 inch Litt Red Wagon
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Old 11-21-2010   #6
 
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I have the 36-inch wagon.
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Old 11-24-2010   #7
 
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Gardnerville, Nevada
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Mogur, for a grumpy old man you are an inspiration! All I have to do is figure out a way to convert the one in my garage into one suitable for the river.

But to do that I have to convince my 6y/old that her wagon will be used for a better purpose than hauling around her toys. I suppose in a few more years and it will be a faint memory stashed in the shed, but I know it will cause some grief the first time it gets used...

Should I just convince her now that it will roast marshmellows way better than those other firepans? Then there is the grandpa, I sure won't be taking him on any trips with that firepan... I can just see it now..... What the Hell?

Happy Turkey Day!
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Old 11-24-2010   #8
 
thornton, Colorado
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That is one great useful idea. Thank's for sharing that.
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Old 11-25-2010   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oarframe View Post
Mogur, for a grumpy old man you are an inspiration!
Now, you know that saying things like that will just encourage me. Children are crying all over the country because their little red wagons have gone missing.

Digging through the archives I came up with this photo, which shows one of the hot dog bun baking pans that we used for fire pans before switching to Radio Flyers. These wouldn't be legal today, because of the low sides, but 20 years ago that wasn't a factor. That well-dressed Dutch oven chef you see in the picture is Mountain Buzzard ClaveyJeff, back when he was a guide for my rafting company.

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Old 02-19-2011   #10
 
Newberg, Oregon
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2 more unhappy kids

The Wagon bqq/fire pan version II.This one has a propane burner for use when we have a fire ban.We used it on a trip down the Rogue. Someone must have reported our bbq to the Forest Service. Two rangers come to our camp. They checked our permits and required equipment,then it was time for the big bust.no fires,no briquet bbq's! I had already put the fuel line & propane tank away,the bbq was still smoking from the best steaks on earth. I lifted the lid from the bbq ,the ranger looked in side and said "this is great you should build and sell them" So the version II wagon Q is Forest Service approved! As for building and selling them, I just can't bring myself to making that many wagonless unhappy children.
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