Introduction: Log Rocket Stove Jack-O-Lantern

About: I love to make stuff and try new things.

After seeing log rounds being turned into rocket stoves, I thought I would try one myself. With a drill and some spade bits I set off to create an easy fire for an cool evening. While enjoying that first fire, I sent a picture of the burning log to my wife. With the flame coming out of the intake it looked eerily similar to a mouth. When my wife uploaded a picture to Facebook, she added a few eyes to make it look like monster face. That got my mind thinking, “why not make a Jack-O-Lantern out of a log round?” So I set about creating such a monster.

This will take some common tools to complete but not ones everyone will have. There are certainly some other tools that will make this easier than what I have on hand. So, note that I am doing this while not having the best tools for the job.

****Disclaimer**** As with any fire, always keep some type of fire suppression close by. Whether it be a hose, fire extinguisher of bucket of water, you should always have something in close proximity in case things get out of hand.

Supplies and tooling:

Log round

Assorted Spade Bits/Drill bits (1-1/2"minimum largest bit,) 12' bit extension

Power corded drill, Battery may work but depending on the size of you round, you may find the battery might not cut it…

Dremel Oscillating Tool with wood saw blade

Marker(Sharpie- personal favorite)


Printed Jack-O-Lantern Face or custom design



Fire starter/kindling

Fire extinguisher/Hose, etc

Step 1: Choosing the Log Round

Choose a round that you can move easily as it will be easier to rotate and flip when drilling especially if working by yourself. It may be easier to work with if you find one without bark or can you easily remove the bark.

This was a dead standing elm I believe. The moisture content was still above 30%. Far from being seasoned but as you'll see it was more than enough.

Finding a round might be hard as well, you don’t find these on every corner. You may consider contacting a tree service or look for a crew removing a tree near you.

Step 2: Lay Out Your Design

I made a photocopy of a jack-o-lantern eyes, nose and face that I found on the Internet.

After cutting out, tape your eyes, nose and mouth to the round. Then use a marker and trace them on to your log.

Using a straight edge, eye or draw lines coming from the mouth to the top of the round and continue around on to the top. Mark two or three locations on the top depending on how many holes you want to drill and how accurate with you drilling you think you can be. Take into account that you will start your fire in the mouth with hopes of it coming up through the nose and eye sockets.

I would suggest marking your top holes being ¾ of the way back from the front of the round. This should give you a longer burn time.

Step 3: Eye, Nose and Mouth Removal

After my round is marked, I began drilling. For this, I started on the face. I used a selection of spade bits to drill in to my eyes, nose and mouth. I started with the biggest that I had which was 1½” to tear out the majority of the material. I marked my drill bit with tape as to how deep I want to drill with the end goal being that holes on the face will intersect with the holes from the top.

I switched over to progressively small bits to get into the corners and tight spots that the bigger bit couldn’t reach without deforming my facial pattern.

Step 4: Drilling the Top

After the face was drilled I then moved to top of the round. Using an extension with the 1½” bit, I bored in from the top. My accuracy with this was not the best but it actually worked out in the end. I was trying to make 3 holes, one for each eye/mouth and one for nose/mouth channel. However, I missed and it went through one eye, then the nose and into the mouth, (sounds painful.)

No matter how many holes you decide to go with, each hole will terminate in the mouth since this is where you will start your fire and it will climb up the shaft or chimney.

Tip: When drilling from the top, it may be helpful to have a helper with a shop vacuum to remove the shaving the bit will be making. If a helper is not available periodically take a moment to suck, pull or dump them out. These shavings can be used to help start your fire or other fires later.

Step 5: Oscillating Tool

After your holes are bored, now your Dremel or other oscillating tool comes into play. Using a wood sawing bit, I then went to town making the eyes, nose and mouth truly look like a jack-o-lantern. Its small sawing motion will square off all the triangles and squares that the round drill bits cannot get. The saw blade can be restrictive when it comes to really tight areas, but for the wider open spaces you are able to dig down fairly far.

Step 6: Happy Little Log Rocket Stove Jack-O-Lantern Fits Right in With the Decor

Once you have it all cleared out, now you can take the opportunity to show off your handy work to all the neighbors by setting on your front porch with the rest of you Halloween décor. (If your wife or husband allows)

Step 7: Fire Time

When the night of Halloween or your famed Halloween bash comes around you will get to see your wood rocket stove jack-o-lantern in all its glory. I started with a few little twigs, scrap wood and wax/sawdust fire starters to get this party started. On the night that I burned this, it started as a calm evening but soon after I lit it the wind picked up. So, before too long I had a raging fire that was sure to warm anyone standing next to it. Pardon the pictures, I certainly am not a photog by trade.

Step 8: In Conclusion...

The fire took about 1 hour to burn through the face which seemed quick compared to the practice jack-o-lantern I made previously. I think the two culprits for this were the wind and not having drilled back further on my top drill.

The fire did continue burning for another two hours, however at that point I was feeding it twigs and scraps. It also left the quite a bit of the round that I will later be able to throw in to the fire pit.

****Disclaimer**** As with any fire, always keep some type of fire suppression close by. Whether it be a hose, fire extinguisher of bucket of water, you should always have something in close proximity in case things get out of hand.

Overall, I am happy the way this turned out. This was a nice little fire to sit around while enjoying my favorite drink. On top of that, I think this is also a nice conversation piece.

Given the amount of wind that evening I will say there was very little ash or embers flying anywhere. With most campfire or fire pits those little buggers can get annoying, but this wasn't bothersome. Your mileage may vary.

A few things I would/will do differently:

a. Drilling top holes back further from the front round

B. Better drill bit (larger auger bit)

Halloween Contest 2017

Participated in the
Halloween Contest 2017