Dolphins, for all their vaunted intelligence, have never harnessed the power of fire.  ~Prof Petit Pauva

     Dolphins may not have harnessed fire but we have and here is my example of the domestication of fire.  Like most people I enjoy a good fire pit on a chilly night.  What I don't like is a face full of smoke, flying embers, jackets that smell like smoke, and most of all, that horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach when you can't get the fire started and you know you will be shunned by your tribe and not allowed to mate.

     To avoid all these things I decided to make a fire pit that used gas for fuel.  There are many examples of these out there that people have made, some permanant and others portable.  What I have noticed over the years is some of them just look nice but produce no heat while others actually work to keep you warm.  I wanted one that looked nice and kept me warm.  Too much to ask?  I think not.

     After seeing two examples of gas fire pits at burning man last year I figured I knew enough to build the pit I wanted so it was time to get started.

NOTE:  Fire is dangerous and so is propane.  Be careful and follow safety instructions or your life will suck big time.  These are meant to give you ideas on building your own and do not contain all of the information you need. 

Step 1: A proper container and hardware

     To make a good fire pit you need the proper container.  You want one that is a good size and will act as a heatsink.  This will allow it to collect heat from the flames and radiate it out to you.  Something made of metal with thick walls is ideal.  I wanted to use an old cauldron that I have had for years.  I picked it up at a yard sale and sometimes used it as a fire pit for burning wood.  It has also served as a halloween decoration at several haunted houses.  It is cast iron and very heavy so makes a great fire pit.  It will radiate heat and look awesome.

    One of the fire pits I saw was made by Jon Sarriugarte, he also made an instructable for it here:  http://www.instructables.com/id/Sand-Fire-Garden/  His kit had almost everything I needed to complete my build.  The kit came with the ring, bulkhead fitting, tape, hose, regulator, lighter, and instructions.  My cauldron would have fit the 18 inch ring but I decided on the 12 inch to save a few bucks.  As you can see in the finished picture the flame output did not suffer.  The only thing I added was a flexible hose from Home Depot for about $13 and some high temp RTV for $8.
<p>sweet I'm gonna have to try this!!!!</p>

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Bio: I am an engineer in the automation industry by trade but really like to make things on the side. My interests flit around to cover ... More »
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