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  1. #1
    Jon
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    Fireplace blowpoke - photos and patent

    The world of fireplace tools is fraught with gimmickry. The blowpoke is NOT one of them - it's an excellent tool. Use it once, and you're hooked for life. Looks like this:



    You get a double-pronged fork on one end, which is far superior to a standard poker. You can also use this forked end to open and close woodstove doors, and adjust woodstove vents. More importantly, you can blow through one of the blowpoke ends to jumpstart a fire. Yes, this works. Extremely well. Especially if you use the forked end to lift up a log, and then blow under it.

    If your first thought is "gimmicky", it might be due to this attractive but mostly useless fireplace blowing tool, whose regretted purchase is a rite of passage for rookie woodburners, certainly including my younger self.



    I burned wood for around 20 years before using a blowpoke. I bought one after seeing a documentary about Michael Peterson, a man who was accused of murdering his wife with a blowpoke. Yes, you can blow on a fire with an aluminum arrow shaft, or just tubing, but the addition of the forked end is very worthwhile.

    Looks like this concept was first patented in 1942, by a J.H. Smith. The initial designs excluded the forked end.



    While this is likely a fairly straightforward tool to build, I don't believe we have a single blowpoke listed on homemadetools.net.


    More: https://patentimages.storage.googlea.../US2286387.pdf


    Previously:

    Power Stow belt loading system and moving firewood into a house
    Woman traverses firewood over river - GIF

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  3. #2
    Frank S's Avatar
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    we do now.
    I had been just using a length of SS tubing and never thought of adding lifting spikes until you posted this so I went out and slid a 1/2" tube over my 3/8" tube to give it more strength then welded a pair of 30 penny nails to it so now my blow tube is a blow poke Thanks Jon for the idea
    Fireplace blowpoke - photos and patent-20180111_155408.jpga.jpg Fireplace blowpoke - photos and patent-20180111_155450.jpga.jpg
    Some day I might make a proper mouth piece for it not just now though because I do not run my lathe when the shop temps are below freezing unless it is an emergency
    Fireplace blowpoke - photos and patent-20180111_155522.jpga.jpg
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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  5. #3
    Jon
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    Nice! I was going to suggest to bend the nails a bit, but then I saw that the top of your tube is bent. Interesting. I do kinda have to hunker down a little to use my blowpoke; perhaps I do want the end bent.

    The fire poker is one of humanity's oldest tools; probably Paleolithic, and likely "discovered" immediately after we learned to control fire, roughly 1 million years ago. A million years of development, and single-prong is still the default configuration.

    Now back to my primary life goal: heating a hot tub with my woodstove.

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    Jon
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    Just tended the fire while observing my blowpoke use more carefully; I think I might want both a bend at the mouthpiece like you have, and bent forks.

    I just realized that I use the bent forks as a simple coal rake. Rarely I will also use this fork as a stray coal pickup tool; I press the fork down on the hearth vertically, around a fallen coal, and then I tap it inside the woodstove to discharge the coal into the fire.

  7. #5
    Frank S's Avatar
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    Ijust left mine straight since I already have a rake which works admirably For heating your hot tub with a wood stove try constructing a Rocket Mass heater around it. Instead of a straight line horizontal mass with the flue inside, make it do a near full circle, then have the chimney Tee" into the horizontal part. This way you can circumvent the 25 or 30 feet of flat line chimney when starting up the rocket stove. Once the secondary combustion chamber reaches critical mass temps you close the cut out causing the super heated exhaust to be routed through the horizontal flue which in turn heats the cob mass encompassing the hot tub and water lines you have embedded in the cob following the pathway of the flue. Add a brick or stone wall around the whole thing leaving a small air space between the cob mass. Then top with a nice teak deck made of 1 by 3 slates set on edge spaced 1/2" apart. Build a gazebo over the whole thing with roll-down bamboo curtains for privacy, and to retain the heat for those cool evenings. If it works mention my name once in a while to friends. If it doesn't work tell them who the idiot was that suggested it anyway
    Last edited by Frank S; 01-12-2018 at 06:28 PM.
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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  9. #6
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    Thanks Frank S! We've added your Fireplace Blowpoke to our Heating and Cooling category,
    as well as to your builder page: Frank S's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:





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