Bushbuddy Ultra wood stove (Canada)

Discussion in 'Other Countries' started by presscall, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    Reporting on my findings on a Biolite fan-assisted wood stove, @snwcmpr threw in favourable mention of the Bushbuddy and when I happened across one for sale in the UK I felt confident from Ken’s recommendation that it would be a sound purchase.

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    It’s essential before progressing further to acknowledge the achievement of the originator of the stove, Fritz Handel and his remarkable design, engineering and construction insights, no better described than in this outstanding interview by Hendrik Morkel.

    With that interview in mind and already with a liking for the way Fritz expressed himself, I was ready to be delighted by everything about the stove, not least the packaging ...

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    I love the handwritten instruction ‘Open’ (either way) to reveal the ‘mechanism’ of a nail pivot.

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    ... the profoundly helpful and thorough instructions, more like an informal chat with Fritz himself, an enthusiast talking stove lore.

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    ... and the stove itself, beautifully crafted. Absolutely stunning folds, pressed forms, spot welds. Masterly.

    Like the ‘Open’ written on the box lid, what else but the stove name handwritten in permanent marker on the base.

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    Those spot welds.

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    Pot rest stowage.

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    Size comparison with a Svea 123. No comparison in terms of weight, the Bushbuddy Ultra being made of ultra-thin stainless steel. Deceptively strong nevertheless.

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    Performance was outstanding. I took the precaution (as per the instructions) to provide some windshielding.

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    Brewing up water for tea, poking bits of fuel through the gap in the pot rest.

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    Plenty of evidence of gassification.

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    Soot deposited on the kettle, but not caked in it.

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    Fritz had this to say about soot deposition - arrange to have the pot raised.

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    Raised by such means as a ‘dingle stick’.

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    You’ll remember that a key requirement Fritz set for his design was that the base wouldn’t get hot enough to char whatever the stove was resting on. He suggests that the stove can be moved or handled by a gloved hand.

    How’s this for a demonstration of how well he achieved that feature? The stove had been fired up continuously for a good twenty minutes and the base at least (I wouldn’t have attempted higher up the side of the stove) was just warm to the touch.

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    Cooled down, dusted off, back in its box.

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    Absolutely bowled over by it. Thanks Ken for the introduction!

    John
     
  2. Ed Winskill

    Ed Winskill United States Subscriber

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    Wow. Of all of these little woodies that have been discussed, this is the only one that really grabs me. Are they currently available?
     
  3. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr Subscriber

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    I guess this is where I say "You are welcome".
    Well done on the presentation.

    Did I say I have the Grill and Pot for the BioLite now?
    Some one says "Aren't stove fascinating?" (George)

    Ken in NC
     
  4. Metropolitantrout

    Metropolitantrout SotM Winner Subscriber

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    That's one great design! Nice write up John, Jerry
     
  5. Big Si

    Big Si Subscriber

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    Hi John, I have a clone of the bushbuddy, I've used it on and off for a while. I found that using it with dried wood pellets (Cat litter) I could get about a 45-60 minute burn, enough for porridge, a fry up, a good pot of tea and washing up water as well. I would just pile in the fuel and light it from the top so the fuel burnt from the top downwards. A "Slack" hand full of fuel was always enough for a brew.

    [​IMG]

    Si
     
  6. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    I believe Fritz himself has stopped making them Ed but THIS source might still be in business.

    John
     
  7. dogface

    dogface United States Subscriber

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    They seem to be selling them, although ........

    **All orders have a current lead time of ~12 weeks**
     
  8. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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    @presscall

    Excellent presentation John.

    An interesting observation was the analogy with candles and sooting, a conclusion I've come to with TLUD stoves. Oh well have order a dedicated billy to go with the Lixada. Also all our open fire pots in scouts were well sooted, and we just made sure the insides were clean, can live with that.

    Interesting the open wire grate, so unable to use wood pellets in this design?

    Interesting to note the sealed base on a single tube construction, the Lixada is modular for stacking. Your images don't show the ashpan, which I assume is there to allow you to hold the stove.

    I'll have to take the snips to the new chimney to provide a refuelling opening.

    I agree with @Big Si, a full pellet charge will give 45min +, and a slack handful enough for a brew.

    These stoves are very efficient, possibly overly so for the kiln dried kindling, what wood were you using? I do need to try again with 'found' wood.
     
  9. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr Subscriber

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    I will stand firm here and say a clone is not the same. "Getting By" is not the intent here. The Bush Buddy is the real deal. You get what you pay for.

    There are excellent instructions for making one on the web. A paint can, a food can, some wire mesh, a step drill, and voila. You still may get what you pay for.

    YMMV

    Ken in NC
     
  10. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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    @snwcmpr

    Ken I got exactly what I paid for, a functioning wood gassifier made in China.

    I didn't want to make one, nor did I want to spend money on a fan assisted nor the esoteric hand made efforts of someone off grid in Canada, however many followers he may have.

    The basic principle remains the same, and from Johns experience the basic issue remain whoever puts the bits together.

    The Lixada works perfectly well and looks to be as good as the Bushuddy in all respects if Johns photos are anything to go by. I suspect it's operator error on my part with what I have rather than fundamental problems with the stove. Every day is a learning day.

    I admit I was expecting better combustion performance before trying the stove, but accept that it's an inherent issue without forced draught, whichever TLUD stove you want to buy

    Is the Lixada a clone of the Bushbuddy it isn't, I don't know the origins of the original segmented stove but whatever you feelings are for China manufacturers, the Lixada brand are producing good equipment
     
  11. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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  12. Big Si

    Big Si Subscriber

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    @Simes

    I've never had a problem with mine and I've used it lots! I always start the fire from the top of the fuel, once alight it burns down slowly but constantly.

    Si
     
  13. boknasild

    boknasild Subscriber

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    Thanks for the report on the Bushbuddy John.
    I borrowed a Bushbuddy from a friend some years back and was impressed by its performance and build quality. But 100 USD is too much for me. But this post has made me want a wood gassifier.
    So today I ordered a Lixada from Aliexpress. Cost me USD 13,12. Free shipping from China. I have to wait for 4 weeks. No problem with that. Now I can find use for the pine cones my ex wife collected and left behind when she moved out.She used to make some decorations with them.

    Bjørn

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  14. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    Could do, if I inserted a disc of a finer mesh on top of the existing grid, which though allowing pellets to pass through has the benefit of giving a minimal obstruction to airflow, surely benefiting combustion.

    The ash pan is an integrated part of the construction.

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    The ‘found’ wood I’ve access to at the moment has been thoroughly doused by a wet UK Autumn, Winter and Spring. Meanwhile, a wood yard I’ve been a customer at for many years has bags of kiln-dried offcuts, much of it native hardwoods. Part of the fun’s using an axe, knife and loppers to get the blocks down to the right size of fuel pieces.

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    An experiment

    I agree, it’s no big deal to have a pot sooted up, but following up on Fritz Handel’s suggestion to reduce (eliminate?) soot deposition, I set up an experiment.

    Start was to clean up the MSR kettle I got sooty last firing.

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    Opting for an urban alternative to a ‘dingle stick’ I bought a small steel tripod.

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    Wrapping some duct tape around the kettle handle to prevent the tripod hook slipping sideways I set the pot to boil.

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    Before long, there was soot.

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    It’s a trade-off. With another set of extension legs added to the tripod and the kettle raised higher, it would be possible to reduce or eliminate soot on the pot, but at the expense of longer boiling times. Handy device to use as Fritz Handel said to create a simmering set-up.

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    No soot with a fan-blown flame as on the Biolite.

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    Spotless.

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    @boknasild
    Lot of fun in prospect Björn! I was lucky with the price of the Bushbuddy at a fraction of the usual price, just £50, which seemed reasonable to buy into the legend, or the “the esoteric hand made efforts of someone off grid in Canada” as Simes somewhat waspishly put it!

    John
     
  15. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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    @Big Si

    Yes with the pellets it's a nice slow burn, happy with it. Just wasn't expecting the sooting that was all.
     
  16. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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    @presscall.

    Looking forward to a chat about Fritz over a pizza and beer in a few weeks.

    I think I'll look at another Lixada with integral chimney as shown above. I'll now look at primary air control with inserts for the one I have for different fuels.

    It works really well with pellets on the low pot stands it comes with, some wind shielding required. I have yet to try adding pellets to extend the burn time properly and what effects that may have.

    But as @Big Si stated for short trips a small bag of pellets would do as well as other stoves, and free fuel if needed. I now have the small hand axe and the Bahco mini saw. Just need the Bear Grylls knife. ;) Bring on the zombies.

    My life is not now complete without a tripod pot holder.

    @boknasild You have so much fun in store, enjoy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  17. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    Definitely Simes!

    John