Making a fire pit / brazier / barbeque from an old 4.5kg gas bottle. Great for evening outdoor heating, roasting marshmallows or bbq!
Step 1: Prepare the Gas Bottle
First, ensure that the bottle is free of gas. In an outdoor open space open the valve until all gas has been released. Ensure there are no open flames or other sources of ignition nearby. Remove the valve with a spanner and fill the bottle with water to expel any gas still in the bottle. I used a cork to plug the water filled bottle. Mark a cut line around the top of the vertical side of the bottle.
Step 2: Cut the Top Off the Bottle
Secure the bottle in a vice. Fit a cutting disk (not a grinding disk) to your angle grinder. Wear gloves, long sleeve shirt and pants, plus safety glasses and ear protection. Carefully cut through the bottle near the top. The water inside will help cool the cut. Try to get a good straight cut at first as then it is easier to follow the cut around the full circumference of the bottle. Stop 2 or 3 times to rotate the bottle in the vice. I used most of a 100mm cutting disk for this bottle (the steel is about 3mm thick). After the top of the bottle is off, grind smooth any rough edges with a grinding disk in the angle grinder. Remember to read the safe operating instructions for your grinder before starting.
Step 3: Drill Air Holes in the Bottle
Secure the bottle upside down. Mark out and centre punch a pattern of holes in the bottom and lower sides of the bottle. I needed about 80 10mm diameter holes before the fire would draw through enough air to burn properly. Lubricate/cool the drilling with engine oil or similar. It was useful to have someone else apply the oil during the drilling. I then used a grinding tone in the power drill to smooth off the sharp edges.
Step 4: Make a Fire
I put a kind of grille in the bottom of the bottle to hold the coals up. I used a cheap collapsible colander.
Choose a space outside, well clear of anything that could catch fire. Keep a hose ready just in case. Put the bottle on a metal tray or concrete paver base.
Fill the bottom of the bottle with screwed up newspaper, then cover with small dry sticks. Light the paper and let the small sticks get burning before adding bigger sticks. Don't over-feed with wood as this could choke the fire.
For a outdoor heater / brazier just keep feeding in sticks.
I tried using the cut-off top piece of the bottle as an 'ash-tray' but that was not very stable.
Step 5: Cook Your Bbq
For a bbq get a good base of coals then let the fire burn down and add some charcoal over the coals.
I used a hot plate from an old gas barbeque. The plate got pretty hot, so you need to wait for the coals to cool down a bit, and use some cooking oil on the hot plate.
Mmmmm bbq sausages and onions!!