The summer is here! ...But where I live, it's still chilly in the evenings. So what better way to scare away the chill of the night than with your very own fire pit? It only took me half an hour to build and already gave me many hours of enjoying myself with a beer and watching the flames.

Step 1: Materials

You don't need much for this instructable. For the body I used an old drum of a washing machine. You can find these at your old iron shop. Price: 1 Euro.

For the support legs I used a normal galvanised steel plumbing pipe that fits nicely into the holes that were already in the drum (some sort of connecting holes that connect the drum to the motor shaft...)


My only concern is the longevity of using such materials. The oxidation looks okay but after repeated use and potentially rain wouldn't that rust through quickly?
Be careful with galvanized metal when it's heated. It releases some nasty chemicals
Could you suggest an alternative to the galvanized. I am very new to the diy.
<p>You can use anything too be honest, I doubt the legs get hot enough to cause any problems but if you are worried go for either stainless or normal steel, If you are lucky (look in skips,charity shops ect) you might find some old cast iron legs (will last for ages like drain covers) either bath ones (looks fancy) or sowing machine for e.g, the list is endless. </p><p>You can even use wood if you use a long bolt to separate it from the drum the heat conducted shouldn't be enough to burn the wood enough to reduce its strength. </p><p>I would go with a stable stack of bricks if I had nothing else just three or four around the edge then you can add more to your hearts content. Though I would go max two bricks tall without cement to maintain stability. </p><p>A good place to look for materials free is your local dump or refuse centre. Ask the guys working there if they mind if you take a couple of bits. If you think its appropriate offer them money for it (but not too much) and half the time they'll let you take it for free.</p>
I had to point out the misuse of e.g. here, I know it's old but some unsuspecting person may see it and absorb the misinformation. 'E.g.' means 'for example', so one would NEVER say 'for e.g.' as it is redundant. Also,while not to my knowledge a hard rule, I have never heard it used AFTER the example but always before... &quot;Find iron legs, e.g. those on a sewing machine...&quot; I have never used a sowing machine, but it's almost certainly a piece of mobile farm equipment and would likely lack legs.
<p>Just use regular Black Steel pipe, you can paint them High Heat Engine paint that they sell at car parts stores.</p>
<p>I don't know of a galvanized washer drum. I think they are either porcelain or stainless. the galvanized pipe legs would be the only zinc in this project. and you can easily substitute black iron pipe available at most hardware/home center stores. Just ask around.</p>
Thanks for the tip! Haven't noticed the legs becoming very hot, but will check next time
<p>The drum is stainless steel. For the legs use stainless tube, or ordinary unfinished steel and let it rust. I made one of these with an enameled drum and bare legs. It lasted years.</p>
<p>Some are porcelain or baked enamel and have the same toxic fumes.. a good hot burn will usually clean them, just be careful not to breath the smoke and fumes. </p>
<p>thanks for saying was just going to make one</p>
<p>What you say is true, although heat travels up and very little will be transmitted into and down the legs. Notice his wood deck is not even burned around the legs. Also pedrobedro has a point, there would be very few fumes and only for a short time. Besides your not going to play like Mongo (ref to Blazing Saddles) and stick your face in the fire..... I hope! </p>
<p>How much galv is on there ? You only get galv flu from prolonged exposure to fumes at welding temperature, don't sweat the trivial stuff and enjoy the fire.</p>
I think it would be cool to put 3 capped pipe nipples in the top 3 holes, so it looks as if the bottom pipes 'continue' if you will. If you live in the city and sparks etc. are a concern you could even attach a rigid screen at one of the caps, so it could swivel out of the way for fueling and then swivel back over when lit. This is an awesome 'ible, one of the best in terms of value- very little time, very little money, great result. Win,win,win.
<p>oooh shiny!!! how long did that shine last? must a had it chrome plated!</p>
Never tried a washer drum but it looks great! We used an old tire rim and still do.
<p>Had one of these back in the 60s which my dad made - He bolted 3 peices of 2 inch angle iron onto the side and an old mess tin lid as a damper for the top. Great burner </p>
<p>wow, very cool. I wish I could find a SS drum like that. was it from a regular top load washer or from a front loading type? </p>
<p>cool great idea </p>
<p>An outstanding 're-purposing' of what I never considered to be suitable to such an application. Upon seeing the raw/finished product, however, I'm stunned to see how perfect such an application truly is, and as it's made of stainless steel, should provide decades of trouble-free service. Only thing I can think of, is emptying out the old ashes may be problematic, with an exit flap at the bottom a possible addition. Small matter, Kudos!</p>
<p>I am always pottering around making things in steel and word and can support you in that it works perfectly as my neighbour came to me with a stainless steel drum and asked me to make the same, almost identical. As the fire burns so the colours come into the stainless steel. There is the added advantage of stainless steel standing up to the heat longer than ordinary steel sheet. I have been making or forging roses that I started out as curiosity to see how they would turn out. Worked so well I have requests fro many so am expanding it to include poppies, irises and other flowers. </p>
<p>grhh wood not word:) Ancient fingers not working well</p>
<p>This is great idea, gonna ask my Husband to make us 1 </p><p>So simple to make .</p><p>Thank you for sharing.</p>
<p>Very nice. Is that a stainless steel drum? It really looks good and I imagine that with the heat and discoloration it would only get better looking with age.</p>
<p>Sweet...how easy is this thing to make...I bought a portable fire pit about a year ago and it's already looking like it won't last too much longer...last one I'll ever buy...great job..I don't think there's much you can do about the discoloration...doesn't bother me at all.</p>
<p>You mean it looks like it went through a ringer.</p><p>Washing machine drum fire pit has no ringer to go through.</p>
<p>Washing machine drum idea..... Ace!</p><p>Well done.</p>
<p>Go to the electrical dept. and you will find locknuts and washers that will fit the water pipe threads.</p>
Dryer drums work real well for this as well, I made one a few years back and even put a stack and makeshift door so it would breathe
<p>Most dryer drums don't have the holes necessary for air flow.</p>
<p>I have two of these drums and a stainless steel washing machine drum I modified. Best fire pits ever. </p>
<p>The drum is stainless steel, the legs he added are galvanized. Most of the heat the legs pick up will go straight to the coldest part of ground around before any heat will have any kind of buildup happens. I have one like this no worries at all. </p>
<p>I've done this, got a broken washing machine off ebay for &pound;0.01, did need an angle grinder to get the drum out but fortunatly the drive shaft and wheel make a fantastic stand!</p>
Haven't thought about eBay before and was thinking where I could find some more drums. You know, it makes for a fantastic gift
My local waste / recycle centre lets 'special' customers take bits off old appliances. <br><br>I get much treasure and the place me to get washer drums.<br><br> I also get the (much prized) heavy round glass 'windows' from clothes washing machine doors too. They make great salad bowls, almost indestructible.
<p>Hello,</p><p>Too much good stuff in washing machines to chuck out - solenoid valves, motor - I use the drum for growing potatoes (too nice a finish to burn stuff in it), and yes, the glass window, does make a nice bowl, goes well with the jam jar fruit juice glasses - my experience is that buy the posh ones and breakage is inevitable, but the jam jars last for ever.</p>
<p>Samsung front loader. Wow. I have my feet resting on that actual part right here in my basement right now as I'm reading this and am splitting my sides laughing. Samsung front loader. Never again. Now I have a $400 CDN foot rest, or -OR- a $400 CDN hillbilly redneck fire pit.</p>
<p>Great idea! I had a drum waiting for something to do with it. After reading this instructable I knew what to do with it :) In the pic the drum is drying after I painted it with heat resistant paint. </p>
Love it! Doesn't stay shiny for long though!
I also found out about that problem. I'm working on a few modifications to keep it shiny. Spraypainting it with heat resistant paint is also possible of course (max temp was 350 degrees Celsius)
<p>And to think, I just junked my old dryer! I'll have to go searching for a drum because this looks awesome!</p>
My drum came out of a Samsung front loader and didn't have four holes, but it did have a shaft mounted on the underside with one single hole in the center. Drove a single piece of 1&quot; galvanized pipe about 18&quot; into the ground and the other end fit up nicely into the shaft. Whole thing sits about 24&quot; off the ground. It's a bit hot to sit around a fire this time of year, but I can imagine getting some good use out of it in the fall.
We just bought a drum for a couple of bucks from a used appliance shop. They had TONS of them. Next weekend we are starting the project! Thank you for the idea. Will send a pic of the final product.<br>?
<p>Have been wanting to try making a fire pit for ages now, and as soon as I saw this - my mind was made up. </p><p>All I did was post a wanted ad on Craigslist under &quot;Wanted&quot;, and also attached a photo of a drum - I posted I was looking for a washing machine drum from a <em>dismantled</em> washer. I also stated I was willing to pay a couple of dollars for it as it would just end up being something hauled off if not sold to me. :D </p><p>I had 3 people email me within 24 hours with &quot;just come pick it up and take it off my hands.&quot; </p><p>Haven't got to work on it yet but my plans are to use heat resistant paint - most likely black, and use bricks or tumbled pavers (stacked) instead of legs. </p><p>Thanks Mr. Hyde - for lighting a fire under me to get my fire pit made! ~.^</p>
Nice to hear! Looking forward to see some pictures of the finished product!
<p>I have an old washing machine tub on angle iron out in my back yard :). I've been using it for more than 15 years. The legs were welded on hence they are rusting out. The heat from many years of fires has caused the porcelain to crack and make the tub rust. I've been trying to figure out how to make one like yours for a while now. Low and behold you've solved my problem sort of.</p><p>I like your idea since it is stainless steel it won't rust like mine has. I have no idea where in the US a person can buy a stainless steel washing machine tub for so little money. Does any one have an idea? I'm up in New England in Connecticut so if someone does have an idea that is near by then let me know.</p><p>Wouldn't an simple pipe cutter cut the legs in half? I ask this because I've recently (this week) I had to buy a pipe cutter to repair a broken tub spout.</p>
<p>Hello HollyHarken,</p><p>You can go to most any big box hardware store and in the plumbing section purchase short stubs or extention pieces of pipe in many different lengths that are threaded on both ends. I suggest that you by end caps from the same store you buy the pipes from and use them as feet for the project. You could also screw them on the top inside the drum to act like a lock washer which will also help stabilize the legs. Your pipe cutter may cut the pipe but you need threading dies to thread the pipe. Cheaper to just buy the extensions. Good luck!!</p>
<p>You may want to check freecycle.org postings near your area. What you want to look for most of the time are front loading washing machines.</p><p>I had one that the tub was belt driven and was able to use the axle and pulley as a center leg and stand, it looked quite nice.</p>
<p>Thanks I'll try your suggestion. I appreciate all of the ideas everyone sent me. </p>

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