DIY Patio Heater/fire Pit

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Introduction: DIY Patio Heater/fire Pit

About: I like to make stuff for my home and garden from wood and metal..

Hi, with fall (autumn) quickly closing in on us and the evenings getting that bit shorter & cooler this is a great project to make. You can get that extra bit of time outside enjoying a beer or glass of wine without freezing your you know what off. It’s actually surprising how much heat this patio heater/fire pit throws out.

Step 1: Have a Look a the Video...

Have a look at the video above to watch how I made this patio heater/fire pit or have a look at my guide below.

Warning do not cut or drill into a gas cylinder unless you are 100% sure it is safe to do so!

Below are links to some of the videos I watched before attempting to remove the valves and wash them out.

Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson3

Lesson 4

You have been warned.

The materials need for this are:

Two propane (gas) cylinders with valves removed, the cylinder washed out and left to air for few days.

Approximately 30inches (760mm)of 4 inch (100mm) steel tube.

1 Stainless steel butt hinge (4 inch)

1 Stainless steel knob

8 nuts and bolts

High temperature paint

Step 2: Cutting the Cylinders.

Making sure the valves are removed and the cylinders are free from any gas cut one of the cylinders in half keeping the top section (There is normally a joint line in the middle of the cylinder so use this as your guide line) then remove the handles from both.

Step 3: Taking Off the Paint.

I decided to burn the paint off the tanks in a small fire as it was proving hard to remove it with a grinder and flap disc. After the fire had done its job and they had cooled down I gave them a quick clean with a wire brush.

Step 4: Welding the Cylinders Together.

On a bench I put the two top ends (where the valves were) together and tack welded them before putting them on their side to finish the welding all the way around.

Step 5: Cutting Door & Hole for Chimney.

At this stage I marked the position of where the door was going to be cut…. Using my grinder I cut the hole (slightly smaller than the size of the tube for the chimney) for the chimney. Before fully cutting the door out mark the position and drill the holes for the hinge! It’s much easier to do this now.

Step 6: Attaching the Chimney.

Attach the chimney by firstly tacking it in place and then welding it all the way around.

Step 7: Fitting Door.

Using the nuts and bolts and hinge attach the door. Everything should line up perfectly. I attached a piece of metal to the inside to act as a stop for the door. I held it place with a vice grips while tacking it.

Step 8: Fitting Door Knob.

Drill a hole for the door knob and attach it. (Remove it again before painting)

Step 9: Cleaning Before Painting.

I gave the whole thing (except stainless steel parts) a going over with a flap disc to clean it up and smooth out any rough bits.

Step 10: Air Intake Holes.

I drilled some air intake holes around the bottom to make sure the fire has enough oxygen when lighting.

Step 11: Painting.

I applied some high temperature black paint using a paint brush. (It fully cures when fire is lit)

Step 12: And That Is It!

All that’s left to do is light it! I use off cuts of wood in it and that works great. It really is a great addition to a patio area. The way it’s designed doesn’t allow for the heat to transfer down to the ground so it can even be put on grass without burning it. An afterthought I had was that if I did a few adjustments I could turn the top of the chimney into a place where I could cook! It’s like a rocket stove.

If you like this project and would like to see more videos from me you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here:Eamon Walsh DIY Thanks.

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34 Discussions

As an alternative to fire to remove the original paint, you could also go to someone who does walnut shell blasting. As part of an apartment renovation, I took radiator covers with 50 years worth of paint for 'air blasting'. This was prep for powder coating. They looked brand new and the cost was very reasonable. This shop uses garnet for blasting areas or parts that are rusty.

1 reply

Great idea Stereosage! I have often thought about purchasing a small sand blaster for such things. It would make the job much easier.

Nice idea..! For the folks that want to make one of these... Be ABSOLUTELY sure, there is no gas in the cylinder..!

Let it stand upside down with the valve demounted a couple of days. Then fill it with water and let it sit for the night. That ensures it's absolutely safe to cut it open.

1 reply

I have to warn you that doing this in the UK is illegal!
We are not allowed to use empty gas cylinders at all for anything but their intended use, if you are found using one a prosecution may be sought against you.

2 replies

Hi Bob, I Live in Ireland so hopefully that doesnt apply here. :-)

If it is N. Ireland then it will and I would suspect that came from the EU too so that would also be Eire.

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Daeras

1 year ago

I would suggest that you make the firebox double skin all the way to the top with large openings to the outside at the bottom for a secondary air inlet and small openings in the inside at the top for secondary air outlet.
This way if the air inside the double skin can get hot enough you will get secondary combustion of the carbon monoxide (smoke) at the small outlets. This way you would need less wood to get the same heat.
Nearly all modern day wood stoves use secondary combustion. Better for the environment and better for your wood pile.

Still as it is it is still a nice idea.

3 replies

that idea sir... needs its own instructable... please

Now we just need eamonwalshdiy to modify his or build a new one ;)

A glass window in the door with an air was system can be a nice feature as well, but it might be to small for glass not to crack. Air washing a window in a stove is very important otherwise the glass smoke up.

Thank you very much Daeras for the great ideas and tips.:-)

Nice looking stove. Just a couple of comments. I don't think burning of paint is a good idea better to use a wire bush on a grinder. Stoves become almost useless without a baffle which could have been made in the flue. A butterfly baffle would allow your stove to burn at slower rates. Also a bit of weld mesh on the bottom in 2 pieces would make a grate which would be a bonus.

3 replies

Thank you cornelius. Great tips!. I had tried to to brush and grind the paint off but it would have taken ages.

perhaps you could try one of those cheap sand blasters from harbor freight tools.

love the project by the way! I totally needed something to use all my extra rusty tanks!

Rather than using a second gas bottle for the base why not make some legs from scrap steel or tubing and use the second gas bottle to make another fire box.

Also consider welding about 100mm of heavy pipe to the top and screw the flue to it so it can be removed for transport or cleaning.