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Picture of DIY Hot Wood Fired Tub +20 for Relax in Garden

Everyone likes hot baths, but what about having them in Your garden, when You see the sunset or the stars at the sky ? That's an idea!

I'll show You how to built really simple hot tub in the garden/backyard. You can think about it as cheap jacuzzi ;-)

The project isn't hard, although time consuming, because You need to wait few days when the foundations will dry, the plastering will dry etc..

Step 1: The Idea and a Tub

Picture of The Idea and a Tub

Hot tub construction should be safe and looking good to fit to the rest of the garden. In My garden there are lot of white elements, so I decided to have white frame for a bathtub.

The tub should be made from metal - steel or even iron - from obvious reason. It will be heated from the fire underneath it. The fire will be close and not visible from the outside (safety reasons, kids in the garden). I don't want to build the chimney because it would not fit to the rest of my garden/it would be to heavy construction). So, the entrance to the fireplace should be big enough to sustain fresh airflow for a fire and smoke outflow from the fire.

blkhawk1 month ago
I had a nice old steel tub that I regret scrapping now. Great project!
compmend1 month ago
Here in Florida we would have thousands of mosquitoes and maybe a couple of water moccasins wanting to share the bath with us. It is a really nice project though. I guess if you made something like that here, you could put a tent of some sort over it.
Ya I am in FL and the mosquitoes are killer even in North Central FL. There is just about a 3 week winter period when they are dead. I saw a pop up tent that is all mosquito net on Amazon. That could work. Some have floors and some do not or you can cut out the moquito net floor. I love my outdoor shower I heat with Eccotemp propane heater, it has hose connection and could easily be used to fill the tub without fire. I have been wanting a tub for 20 years since I moved here from Hawaii and had the japanese soak tub made out of slate.
Same problem in NE TN!
Mimikry2 months ago
really interesting ...
I also have an old bathtub in my backyard to enjoy a hot bath while surrounded by nature :)
Until now I cooked water in a big kettle on a wooden fire -but thats kind of dangerous and not very elegant...
I'll think your solution through - but I might add a chimney anyway - cause smoke in my eyes while taking a bath sounds unpleasant… - and I would have to keep the fire alive while bathing - I like to take a bath for 2 hours or even longer if I have a good book and one or two glasses of wine :)
I'm also thinking of two bathtubs next to each other - for long philosophy nights ;)
Thanks for your instructable!
ooohlaa Mimikry1 month ago
what about using an Eccotemp propane water heater that has hose connections I have one in outdoor shower and it works great, water can get very hot. Maybe also build an insulating wall around the tub but I would miss the claw foot ambiance. BTW I thought clawfoot tubs were the designer rage and sold for like $2K and hardly available? Maybe just here in FL?
woodenProjects (author)  Mimikry1 month ago
You are right about the smoke, but You have two sollution:
- big chimney
- make fire, fire will heat the water&special bricks, wait until fire is gone and then make a bath with no smoke at all.

smoke is also good for mosquitos:)
Direct heat on your tooshy could cause unpleasant burns.
JP673 Mimikry1 month ago
By glass’s I hope you mean bottles!?!? #LifeIsGood
GrahamH271 month ago
How do you fill and empty the bath please
woodenProjects (author)  GrahamH271 month ago
filling - with the water from garden pipe/sneak (i dont know exact word in english)
empting - with an outflow on the bottom of one wall
Hi. We call them hosepipe

ewbray1 month ago
Why not just go to a Salvage Yard buy an "old" claw foot tube and make a "poor man's" Scandinavian 'hot tub' something like the attached images by drilling a few holes in the tub and maybe a surplus 35 or 55 gallon drum. It even can be moved to match the outside seasons if you live in a temperate climate!
Hot Tub.JPGHot Tube 01.jpg
woodenProjects (author)  ewbray1 month ago
this is not the best idea in my opinion.
- the efficiency is poor, You have to wait several hours (on forums people say that from 4 up to 7). In my project it takes only 30-60 minutes
- You have open fire which is not good when the kids are in the Garden
- You have the complicated design (how to drill in thick steel, how to secure it from water etc)

Here is a "perfect" oversized "old" Claw Foot tub from Philly Salvage with straight side that would accommodate a M67 military surplus immersion heater and still have enough area to partition off the M67 military surplus immersion heater from the tub's occupants. Cost of tub ~$300.00 to ~$500.00 or what ever you can bargain or haggle it down to; Cost of M67 military surplus immersion heater ~$140.00. There are plenty ads of people renovating old houses that want to get rid "old" Claw Foot tubs.
Philly Salvage.JPG
Voted! Just don’t flash your neighbors
woodenProjects (author)  winneremerald121 month ago
this is still rpoblem to solved ;-)
Oh no...
Jobar0072 months ago
Having the tub in contact with the fire doesn't create a hot spot in it?
woodenProjects (author)  Jobar0071 month ago
Yes there are hot spots, but water quickly takes the hot from them.
If You put very big fire it's impossible to seat on it. Then I'm using the sit made from sponge pillow.
woodenProjects (author)  Jobar0071 month ago
no no, it's not that bad as You are thinking.
First of all I'm making the fire first, wait till the fire is gone and then taking the bath.
The water is hot pretty long time, because the special oven-keeeping-heat-bricks are still heating the water, but not so hard as the fire.

But I admin, I have a bath few times with still a fire underneath and one time it was so hot,that I need to seat on a sponge ;-)
This answers my question exactly. Thank you.
I don't think so because steel/iron is a very good conductor and it quickly radiates heat all over the surface and then to the water.
woodenProjects (author)  Oskar Wojak1 month ago
yes yes. You are right
Bring an waterproof ass pillow lol
Like a hot spot in a cooking pan! I keep thinking about this and you’d need to have the tub up high and a lot of airspace between the flames and the tub bottom. Perhaps some scrap aluminum rods or sheets below the tub to help radiate the heat.

Or maybe even a bunch of copper pipes bent L shaped so one end comes out at the end of the tub and the other ends stick out the other side and can be capped (and uncapped for a cleanout). You just make sure the copper pipes are filled with water each time! You’d have a nice steam coming out of the tops of the pipes too!
WkH1 Jobar0071 month ago
Ever tried to boil water in a paper square? The water can only be heated to +/- 100c like 212f. And yes that will burn you. But the whole thing will gradually heat.
I am no sure I am all on. Board with the safety of the project because the heat rising to the rim and outliers that aren't in water may heat those higher. There are other factors. There is somewhere a plant that works with a extrernal fire and water tat is heated in a poor system over that fire I deem safer but who am I but a baker
Kethurston1 month ago
I think this project is more suited to using a "Rocket Stove" type of wood fire. Certainly, you would be burning the small sticks that gardens produce, also I think if you lay it out the firebox with cair you could probably feed the wood sticks into the stove from the tub its self. Rocket stoves are virtually smoke-free so your neighbors will not be bothered. The other two things that come to mind are the high efficiency of the heat extraction, and ability to control a small fire (modulate) so as to keep a steady temperature for several hours. I would also place blocking around the sides of the tub so that the top 2/3 of the side wall remain cool or water temperature. I could see getting burnt if the water level is not higher than the firebox is tall. Last thing I would install a metal drain that is isolated from the firebox.
woodenProjects (author)  Kethurston1 month ago
Ha! I was also thinking about metal drain isolating from the fire :) But decided to not do it
ewbray1 month ago
If you don't want to drill a great many holes into thick metal, then you could go to a Salvage Yard and buy an "old" oversize claw foot {extra long} and the screen off a section of the water so that the occupant can't come in contact with a M67 military surplus immersion heater (shown in image) that costs ~$140.00 and you would have another version of a very inexpensive Scandinavian 'hot tub'. Again it can be moved to match the seasons in living in a temperate climate.
Immersion Heater.JPGHot tub 02.jpg
woodenProjects (author)  ewbray1 month ago
this is in fact good idea but at my place it was very hard (impossible in fact) to get such big tub for good money
KevinKarney1 month ago
What a great project. I love the idea. Added it to my list of things to do!
woodenProjects (author)  KevinKarney1 month ago
JP6731 month ago
We built something similar when operational in Bosnia!! Middle of winter, 3ft of snow, near the top of a mountain and we were having hot baths!! It was brilliant!!
woodenProjects (author)  JP6731 month ago
Greetings for Bosna from Poland then ;-)
I'm also counting to have bath in a winter in this.
tkteun1 month ago
We made one like this in the past, but the problem is that you easily burn if you're sitting on the bottom of the tub. Because there's no water between you and the metal/fire, if I were to make one again, I would put a tub in a 'pool' or put some wood panel on the bottom of the tub.
Could be a real pain in the butt if not done properly.
ewbray1 month ago
Better yet you could combine my two previous IDEAS into a single concept and place the M67 Military Surplus Immersion heater inside a 35 drum and have it heat the medium* that is inside the 35 gallon drum to a higher operating temperature, thus getting rid of the need to constantly feeding the fire with wood as its fuel and let the convection heating of the bath water flowing through the coil take place; that way the M67 Military Surplus Immersion heater could never be a danger to the bather(s)! *The medium inside the drum could be water or something non-flammable & non-toxic like Mineral Oil that could transfer more BTUs!!
Immersion Heater.JPGHot Tube 01.jpgCoil 01.JPGImmersion Heater 02.JPG
Gadisha2 months ago
Great idea!
I'd love to bath like hundertwasser ;)
woodenProjects (author)  Gadisha1 month ago
this was my inspiration
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