Introduction: How to Make a Cool Steel Fire Pit for Your Back Yard or Garden

In this Instructable I will try to show how I made a cool back yard fire pit from some chequerplate and rebar.

The design is very simple and shouldn't be too challenging for anyone with basic welding and cutting skills.

You will notice by the pictures that I'm an absolute amateur at this, and I'm hoping that this fact will inspire other amateurs to have a go too.

I'm only going to use metric measurements in this. Sorry if you still adhere to archaic systems, but they make my brain hurt.

To make the bowl part you will need a piece of steel plate 1200mm x 1200mm. This is half a standard sheet so there is only one cut to make the initial square.

To make the stand you will need about 11m of 12mm rebar or steel bar of some sort.

Step 1: Cutting the Plate for the Bowl

Get out your tape measure and mark the steel plate as I have done in the sketch.

With a cutting disc cut out the corner pieces as shown.

Lightly score the fold lines on the central square. This will help you bend the plate neatly.

Step 2: Shaping the Bowl

Now bend along the edges of the central square until the corners meet. I got my beautiful wife to help with this. It's quite tricky single-handed.

Lightly weld the corners to hold the shape.

You may need to get a hammer onto it at this point to get the edges to meet.

Weld the edges together.

A bit of a tidy up with a grinder might be a good idea now to get rid of any sharp bits.

You now have the bowl part of your fire pit completed.

Step 3: Making the Stand

It may just be me, but I think structures made from rebar look cool. You might like to choose a different look.

The idea of the stand is to safely raise the bowl above ground level. It is simply made up of two squares; one is 700mm x 700mm to hold the bowl part, and the base is 900mm x 900mm. Between these squares is a very simple lattice to give it rigidity.

First cut the bar for you two squares: 4 x 900mm and 4 x 700mm.

Set the squares out taking care to make sure they are square and weld the corners. TIP: measure the diagonals of the squares before welding to be sure they are actually square - they should be equal.

When you have the two squares made up it's time to go 3D. I found this bit to be quite fiddly. You can see in the pictures that I propped the smaller square on some bits of timber etc to get it to the right height and position. Once the smaller square is in a satisfactory position measure and cut some bar to go between the corners. Carefully position these and lightly weld them. When all four are tacked in place you can get rid of the temporary supports.

Check that the structure looks even and square. If it looks wonky don't be afraid to get the hammer onto it.

Now measure and cut bar to go from the centres of each edge of the larger square to the top corners. Just look at the picture if that last sentence didn't make sense.

Check for wonkyness and if all good weld all the joints properly.

Tidy up the welds with a grinder if necessary.

Step 4: Conclusion

Put the rebar stand on the ground resting on the larger square. Drop the bowl part into the stand. Stand back and admire your awesome new fire pit.

If course you now need to fill it with wood and flames and get a bunch of friends to stand around it drinking beer while they all come up with clever ways of adapting it for cooking.

I hope you have enjoyed this; my first Instructable in years. If you have any comments, tips or ideas, please feel free to comment.

And if you would like to see some more of my work please check out my Etsy shop at deBurghSTEEL.

Comments

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ElektraSteel made it!(author)2015-04-03

RAD!! This is another thing I'd been thinking about making, and I'm totally inspired by your example!!

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Twin11231144 made it!(author)2014-12-24

I changed the firepit a tiny bit after I read your comments. It was a great design fire out but I also realised how the flames didn't reach as high so I made the sides of the firepit it self a 100mm shorter. It works great! Also, i created this firepit for a school project. The result was your design became liked by all the metal works teachers and are being introduced to our curriculum for year 9 metal works. Congradulations! :)

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brookefox made it!(author)2014-05-29

Super. As I said, very handsome and very nicely presented. All that I lack are skills, material and a little time.

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cammers made it!(author)2014-05-29

Only three very small obstacles. The first not relevant, and the others easy to overcome. As Nike says: "Just Do It".

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brookefox made it!(author)2014-05-29

No excuses.

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ajensen27 made it!(author)2014-05-27

how did you get the flames to go so high and straight up. mine always are sort of pyramid shaped and not as tall

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cammers made it!(author)2014-05-28

I think that is just luck. Lots of light sticks and not much wind.

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spark+master made it!(author)2014-05-22

A note to people who have never sat around a fire pit, the smoke goes in all directions, I have a chimanea that is a glorified fire pit, it is obnoxious. This is fine for camp, but in your yard a confined burn chamber with a chimney is better, the smoke goes UP.

There is 1 benefit from this, it does disperse bugs, the down side you smelll like bacon,(for me not an issue, but for others...)

But the project itself is quite nice. Very nicely laid out and esthetically a plus in most back yards. Keeps the fire off the ground, and ashes contained.

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cammers made it!(author)2014-05-22

Thanks for your comments. It's a well known and scientifically proven fact that smoke follows beauty, so camp fire smoke has not been a problem for me. If you are worried about smoke, I suggest inviting someone more beautiful than yourself to sit at the opposite side. If you believe there are none more beautiful than you, then perhaps you should stay inside with the electric heater.

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nicdinecola made it!(author)2014-05-20

Great design! I've been making truncated pentagonal pyramid pits (complicated description right?) basically the same as yours but with five sides, and the bottom is a trapdoor for cleanout. So I have all these pieces cut out and then have to assemble everything, but I really like your cut and score method.

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cammers made it!(author)2014-05-20

Yours sound nice. My aim was to keep it as simple as possible, and minimise the cutting and welding. I've got ideas to pimp it up a bit, but need to get the time to do it. I'll try to publish what works.

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guaps made it!(author)2014-05-20

Very cool, and a great project for me to develop some basic welding skills.

What do you use to finish the rebar and plating so it stays looking nice and doesn't rust?

Thanks for sharing!

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cammers made it!(author)2014-05-20

I used a paint they call "Pot Belly Black". It's made for stoves so should handle the heat.

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spizzak made it!(author)2014-05-20

What gauge is the diamond plate you used?

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cammers made it!(author)2014-05-20

Hi Spizzak. I used 2.1mm chequer plate.

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Involved+Observer made it!(author)2014-05-12

Great 'ible, favorited for use in the future!

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cammers made it!(author)2014-05-12

Thanks

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craftclarity made it!(author)2014-05-12

Super Nice! Looks like it'll last forever.

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cammers made it!(author)2014-05-12

Thanks. I hope so.

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kenbob made it!(author)2014-05-12

love it, clean and simple and effective!

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cammers made it!(author)2014-05-12

Thanks. I'm glad you like it.

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lathe_makeatio made it!(author)2014-05-12

Really cool and unique style! Have you thought about drilling holes in the bottom to drain rainwater?

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cammers made it!(author)2014-05-12

Thanks Lathe. Yes, I've already done that. I'm thinking of adding some adjustable ventilation too. Maybe with a sliding gate of some sort.

About This Instructable

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Bio: To see more of my work you are welcome to follow me on Instagram @cam_de_burgh
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