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How to make a cool steel fire pit for your back yard or garden

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Picture of How to make a cool steel fire pit for your back yard or garden
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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.

 
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Step 1: Cutting the plate for the bowl

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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

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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.

brookefox6 months ago

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

cammers (author)  brookefox6 months ago

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

brookefox cammers6 months ago
No excuses.
ajensen276 months ago

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

cammers (author)  ajensen276 months ago

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

spark master7 months ago

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.

cammers (author)  spark master7 months ago

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.

nicdinecola7 months ago

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.

cammers (author)  nicdinecola7 months ago

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.

guaps7 months ago

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!

cammers (author)  guaps7 months ago

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

cammers (author)  User17 months ago

Hi User1. Thanks. The size is based on half a standard sheet of plate. It could easily be made smaller with a couple more cuts. Or larger with more welding.

It is pretty big. Thankfully I have a big yard. I am making a smaller one to a new design. I'll be creating an "ible" for it this weekend if I get time.

spizzak7 months ago

What gauge is the diamond plate you used?

cammers (author)  spizzak7 months ago

Hi Spizzak. I used 2.1mm chequer plate.

Great 'ible, favorited for use in the future!
cammers (author)  Involved Observer7 months ago

Thanks

craftclarity7 months ago

Super Nice! Looks like it'll last forever.

cammers (author)  craftclarity7 months ago

Thanks. I hope so.

kenbob7 months ago

love it, clean and simple and effective!

cammers (author)  kenbob7 months ago

Thanks. I'm glad you like it.

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

cammers (author)  lathe_makeatio7 months ago

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.