First things first. Once the Blue Rhino Outdoor Fireplace is put together, it’s a really nice looking piece and it’s very sturdy. For basically $100, it’s really quite functional and enjoyable. Our family really likes it.
However, having said that, putting it together is a bit of a battle. A little forethought, or even having someone actually follow the enclosed instructions, before release would likely have led to some basic design changes and instruction changes that could have made the assembly of this unit much easier and a much more pleasant experience.
Should you decide to purchase this unit, I have a few words of advice to try to help make the construction go a little smoother than it went for me:
First, have a screwdriver (preferable adjustable angle, if you have one), a wrench and a drill with a ¼ inch titanium bit (for drilling through metal) on hand. Also, be sure not to lose any pieces as there aren’t any extras in the kit. Nut “C” is packaged attached to either end of the Frame Posts.
In step (2) Attach Handle, although it doesn’t show this well, make sure that the long end of the latch plate is facing away from the center of the door.
In step (4) Attach Topper and Finial, you will need to drill two ¼ inch holes in the Hood Assembly as these were omitted on my unit during the manufacture process. I assume this to be a flaw in all of them since someone else mentioned having to drill them as well.
In step (5) Attach Frame Posts, be sure to get the orientation correct on this. The front left corner of the base is the one with two holes pre-drilled in it. A simple note here mentioning that would have been immensely helpful. There should be two pre-labeled posts in your kit, although I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the labels fell off in shipping as they aren’t the best glued labels. The front right post will have a small strike plate for the door latch in addition to the hook for the grill grate. The back left post has the grill hook in the same position as the one on the front right. The other two posts (front left and back right) are interchangeable. Be sure that, when you are attaching the posts, the grill hooks all face up and do NOT tighten the post nuts to the base all the way yet.
In step (6) Attach Frame Panels, the frame panels go on the sides and back of the unit. You will have trouble here unless you have a right angle screwdriver. This step would have been one hundred times simpler had they welded the screw heads to the Frame Panels. That said, if you can hold the screw head with the tip of your finger while tightening the nut down with your wrench, it seems to be enough to hold the whole thing together. Tighten them down as much as possible. It might still be a touch wobbly at this point, but once it’s all together, the unit is pretty sturdy.
In step (7) Attach Hood Assembly, orientation is again important. The front left corner of the hood is the one with two holes drilled in the corner piece. Once you have the Hood Assembly on the Frame Posts, tighten all the nuts from this step and from step (5).
All in all, as I wrote above, I think that it’s a nice looking unit and pretty sturdy when complete. It’s light enough that moving it around isn’t too much trouble, although you might want to be wearing some rag clothes when doing so, as it’ll be pretty sooty after few fires. Also, keep in mind that it’s metal, so it’s going to get really hot to the touch when you are burning or even just sitting in the sun too long. Lastly, although another reviewer mentioned that it’s built to weather the elements, I would still recommend buying a small grill cover (as I can see it eventually rusting without some sort of protection) as well as something to set it on if you are using it on a deck (four properly placed concrete stepping stones would likely be enough).
Hopefully this has been useful. If I’ve missed anything that you think might be useful to others, please let me know.
Thanks for your time.
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