Welcome to the winter warmer build, which is basically a small portable campfire in a tin can. My Dad built these as a young boy just for fun, and although he knows them as a ‘winter warmer’, they used to build them anytime of year. In fact they work best, and look best, in the summer because of the dry wood available. BUT, an obvious word of caution, be extremely careful if considering making one of these, as stray embers can cause fires. So please use common sense and stay away from anything flammable, public parks, woods, forests e.t.c.
Campfire in a can
What makes a winter warmer unique, is the wire handle for spinning or swinging it. This means if you drill some air vents and swing it in a circular motion you can build up much higher temperatures than a stationary ground fire, because you force feed it oxygen through the ventilation holes. In Autumn this means wood that may be slightly damp can be force dried out with the hotter temperatures generated.
How to build a winter warmer
Materials could not be easier or cheaper. Take an old tin can, almost any size; but the bigger ones store more, burn longer and tend to be hotter. Punch or drill two handle holes in opposite sides of the can as near to the top as possible, just underneath the reinforcing ring where the lid was removed. Now make more holes in various locations around the can. With that done cut a length of strong wire and connect it to the two handle holes. The wire should be long enough to allow a 360° rotation while standing, but not so long that its strikes the floor. Attatch the wire to both handle holes ensuring it has a loose looped connection, and is securely crimped so it cannot come loose, even when holding weight or being swung.
Swinging the winter warmer
If you decide to build this project, before swinging any blazing hot cans full of flaming timber and embers, make sure that your wire handle is well attached, and you know how to start and stop it. Practise first with an empty can, before progressing to live fires, and it may pay to add pebbles to the bottom as a weight and technique test. Always do this with adult supervision, and I stress again use common sense, think fire safety, look around, stay away from anything flammable or combustible. Never swing towards people, property or animals.
The above project is aimed at adults for education and entertainment purposes only, not to replicate. Anyone doing so takes full responsibility for their own actions.