Introduction: A Freaky Firepit

About: I am a Marine Engineer in the RNZN (45 years done in various navies) and am looking forward to retirement!!! so I can do more messing about with tools

After building a chill out seating area I thought it might be nice to have a firepit there too, now there are plenty of firepit designs out there so I am shamelessly going to use some of those ideas.

(Heres a link to the seats)

However I am going to have mine LPG powered.....

Soooooooooooooo, the first thing I need are some materials.

The main things will be a burner, a control valve, a bottle connector and regulator, and a BBQ bowl with lid (a webber BBQ or similar)

Step 1: I Bought an Old BBQ

I got this on TradeMe for the princely sum of $2 (that's NZ$ so about 80 pence or $1.40 US)

I had to partially dismantle it to get it in the car,(at 5:30 am at the side of the road - apologies to anyone I disturbed)

The main cabinet was fairly rusty, but I won't be using that, what I wanted was the regulator, burner and connection hose and gas valve.

Step 2: So Fully Dismantled It

The first picture are the bits that I think I am going to need

The second picture is all the other useful stuff, which may come in handy, if not, then in the skip it will go

Took about 30 minutes to get to this point, surprisingly most of the screws undid fairly easily.

So I have a burner with its gas valve and a bottle connector and regulator.

I also need a second Kettle type BBQ (a Webber or similar) so back to TradeMe

The spares include wheels (always useful) 4 flat burners and their controls (which I may use to make a forge at some point), nuts, bolts, screws and gas connections

Step 3: The Kettle BBQ

Got this again off TradeMe for $5, took the legs off and ready go!

Step 4: Drilled Hole for the Burner and Installed Burner

So drilled an access hole for the burner pipe (later realised I had made a right cluster**** of that but hey!)

Married up the burner to it.

Step 5: Preparing the Burner

Now when I dismantled the original BBQ, I know I kept the gas valve-------- but could I find it in my disaster of a garage, fortunately I had the 4 other main burners but they would need a bit of adaptation.

Odds are I will find the bit I want once I am finished

So I bought 2m of 1/2 inch copper and drilled a hole to attach the burner.

I also blanked off the open end (initially with a bolt, but later I filled with 2 part epoxy plastic steel as it seemed a better fix)

Step 6: Attach Copper to BBQ

Had to bend the copper to fit (came in a roll) so not the neatest job as didn't have a pipe bender

Made up a couple of brackets to attach the pipe to the curve of the kettle BBQ from stuff I had around, (they are the staples from door bolt hasp and staple sets!)

Step 7: Fit Burner

I screwed the BBQ burner inside the bowl and aligned the supply pipe with the supply valve, the supply valve is a loose fit inside the supply pipe as it has to pull in air as the gas passes to make a combustible mix, (using a venturi effect) -----this caused me some "issues" later!!!!!!!!

The supply valve will be ON permanently as it will be difficult to access once the brickwork is in place, gas flow will be regulated on the cylinder valve.

Step 8: Connect to Gas Supply

I led the copper pipe through a shallow trench to connect to the regulating valve and gas cylinder that are located under the bench.

Bench build here

Before back filling the trench I wrapped the pipe in plastic ( I used old animal feed bags) to give it some protection, however before burying it, it was time for a test run.

Step 9: TEST RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No pics here but imagine the worst of a Michael Bay movie!

I opened the valve and lit the burner

Initially (for the first couple of seconds) all appeared well, however some of the gas appeared to have gone underneath the BBQ and there were flames coming up around the outside.In fact there were flames everywhere, TBH it was pretty cool but I don't think 'er indoors would be too happy!

It was however a relatively easy fix.

Step 10: Seal Around the Burner

So I cut this adapter plate (from a petfood tin lid) and screwed it into position to make a more snug fit around the supply pipe, I then completely sealed it using a bit of 2 part epoxy "plastic steel", to stop the flame "wicking" through

I also filled all the voids underneath with sand so there was no place for gas to gather.

I then refitted the burner and went fot trial run 2! (Actually it was about test run 5 before I got everything sussed -- bit slow on the uptake!!)

Step 11: YAYYYYYYYY Man Make Fire ! Fire Good!!

Well that works! I'm not dead, and the house hasn't burnt down

Win Win as far as I am concerned!

Step 12: Tidying Everything Up

A quick couple of courses of bricks and the jobs a Good 'Un

Just need to finish the area (some quartz chip and bricks) and ready for beer and burnt stuff

Will find some nice decorative coals to go on the top from a fireplace shop and we are sorted

Time taken --- well I started at 9am and finished at 4pm but I stopped for lunch -so about 6.5 hours

Injuries ---- none (for once)

Total cost ------ about $50 NZ -- However I had the bricks, cement etc from earlier projects, so if you had to buy it all in it would probably be nearer $100

Hope you like

Step 13: And Finished

So a bit of concreting down the brick borders, plus I set in these neat little stepping stones as footrests for the seating that I found on TradeMe for $12 each.

Spread a bit of quartz chip around the firepit and plants and red chip around the path and planted with all the "reduced to clear" plants I found at Mitre10, ($35 in all), it is all weedmatted underneath to keep it all neat and tidy.

I also weeded the whole area to make it ready for a southern hemisphere xmas!

All told the entire project (seats, fire pit, planting etc) came in at about $1300 (factoring costs for bricks etc which I already had)

Time taken 3 non consecutive weekends (1 for digging, 1 to build the seats, 1 to build the firepit and plant/landscape)

Ready to enjoy it now

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