There’s no better way to unwind after a hard day’s work than indulging in the soothing warmth of a hot tub. There are several hot tub models you could buy, but these are extremely expensive. Then again, you’ll need to consider the cost of heating one with electricity or gas. On the other hand, if you wish to save lots of money, and have time on your hands, here’s how to build your own wood-fired, hot tub.
Things You'll Need
- Stock Tank
- Bulk Fluid Container (caged)
- Heating Gun
- Arc Welder
- Welder Safety Gear
- Hacksaw (or angle grinder with metal cutting disks)
- Metal File
- Steel Wires
First decide where you wish to have your hot tub placed.
Pour enough sand at the tub location you’ve selected to be able to cover the area where the tub will be placed. Then, place the tub on the sand, using a leveler to ensure that it is not slanted.
Decide on suitable size and type of tank that fits your location. Then head to your local feed store, and buy a plastic or metal stock liquid tank to match those specifications.
Wood-burning heaters are inexpensive, and you can choose one that suits your needs. 'Chofu' heaters are available on-line and are a good alternative choice for your hot tub.
If you’ve bought a plastic version of this tank, unbolt all steel cross bars that hold the caged tank, and remove it.
Using a hacksaw or grinder, cut off the top of the cage. Then shorten the cage to the desired or comfortable height that matches a sitting position in the tank. Now, use the grinder or metal file to smooth the sheared steel edges of the cage. This is to avoid tearing of the plastic tank liner.
Reposition the top ring of the cage that was sheared off. Then, weld, wire or bolt this ring to it, ensuring that this process does not leave any sharp edges that may tear the plastic liner of the tank.
Carefully lower the tank into the cage. Now, use a marker and draw a horizontal line immediately below the curve at the top end of the tank. When drawing this line, use the lip of the cage as your reference.
Use a hacksaw to cut off the tank top along your marked line. The detached portion can be used later as a lid to keep out debris.
Cut deep slots into each tank corner, limiting length of each slot to approximately ½ inch above the cage top.
Heat the entire top portion of the plastic tank with the heat gun. Then bend the molten plastic flaps around and over the rim of the steel cage. Now clamp the flaps, and keep them fastened and in place, until they’ve been completely cooled.
You may buy a water-tight, ‘snorkel’ wood stove which is small in size and fitted with an inlet port for fuel and an outlet pipe to expel smoke. The stove can be placed safely below your tub for heating. Fill the tank with water and get ready to indulge in your own hot tub.
Tips & Warnings
- When choosing a stock tank, try sitting in it to ensure that it has the shape and size which is comfortable for you.
- An outdoor location would be ideal to build and locate your hot tub
- On completion of the steel cage, make doubly sure there are no sharp edges, as this may damage your hot tub.
- When welding, use safety gear.
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