"Knalpot" Fire Pit





Introduction: "Knalpot" Fire Pit

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...)

Step 2: Cut Legs

Cut the galvanised steel pipes in half with an angle grinder (or hacksaw, I just don't have the necessary patience).

Step 3: Add Legs to Drum

Use a round file to enlarge the holes of the drum. Keep on grinding till you can screw in the legs, but don't remove to much! By screwing the legs in, you create much more stable legs.

Step 4: Finito!

Turn the drum the right way round and put it in the garden (away from plants, inflamable stuff, or pets). Get a beer from the fridge, add wood to the drum and...baby, light that fire!

As a bonus: due to all those holes in the side of the drum and the general geometry if the thing, the airflow through it is fantastic. This makes it very easy to light the fire in it.

Step 5: Afterburn

After using it for some time the metal started to oxidize a bit. I like it, but considering I'm a bit biased, I'd love to know what you think. Does it add to the design or is it something to be avoided? I look forward to hearing your opinions and maybe ways on how to prevent it.

As a bonus I uploaded a video of the firepit in action. Nice! :D
Link: http://youtu.be/jmQa2BAdMN0

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96 Discussions

The oxidization shouldn't be a problem. The drum is probably stainless steel.

In California we can't just make campfires. In many places we have to use these (Anza-Borrego Desert State Park E.G.). Also have to keep it covered with a fine mesh screen, so embers don't blow out).

....and SirCooksalot is just a "Grammar Nazi" who feels the need to educate everybody. When I read the "ible", I understood exactly what you meant.


2 years ago

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?

2 replies

Many of the newer front loaders have these drums. Unfortunately I just recycled one just like this before seeing this Instructable. (bummer!) it was a GE machine. Try a metal recycler or some appliance repair places. :)

thanks! Ill have to keep my eyes and ears open for someone dumping one of those Machines!

Be careful with galvanized metal when it's heated. It releases some nasty chemicals

14 replies

Could you suggest an alternative to the galvanized. I am very new to the diy.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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... "Find iron legs, e.g. those on a sewing machine..." I have never used a sowing machine, but it's almost certainly a piece of mobile farm equipment and would likely lack legs.

SirCooksalot: For someone who is picking at another persons grammar you have constructed a very "unique" paragraph to do so. I must say that the author's statements were clear and easy to understand, while yours, I had to read several times to make sense of. While your point is taken that the conventional use of "for eg" is to do so preceding the example sited, the authors statement was still clear and their helpful offering easily understood. So lets stay on point shall we? This is an Instructable (and a pretty good one by all accounts) and not Grammar 101.

When I read the original post, I didn't even notice the "For EG" or "Sowing Machine" I just read it and it said exactly what it said... "For Example" and "Sowing machine" ( said, sewing machine) I didn't even notice the grammar and spelling mistakes. What I am saying was I understood completely what the OP was saying...lol So, is there really a "Sowing machine" as well as a "Sewing Machine"?

Oh no, I wasn't picking anyone's anything apart... I stated at the outset that I didn't want someone ELSE to read that and go forward misinformed, e.g. "Oh, so that's how you use e.g." I agree that this is a pretty good Ible, very good really. There's a difference between sharing info and 'picking apart'. Instructables is about sharing info, and I often find that the comments section makes a great place to do that- sometimes off-topic but always informative and many times humorous. I'm always open to new information, so I suppose I dish it out pretty freely as well. And by the by, the point was that there is no 'conventional use' of the (nonexistent) phrase "for e.g." - we don't say for e.g., we just say e.g. If the poster felt I was being critical, he has my sincerest apology.

Oh, ok. Thanks for clearing that up. I obviously misunderstood your intent. I totally agree that the comment sections can often be as valuable as the content section at times. Lots of minds and experiences working to create the builder community. It is a wonderful time to be alive! Cheers all and happy building.

Just use regular Black Steel pipe, you can paint them High Heat Engine paint that they sell at car parts stores.


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.

Thanks for the tip! Haven't noticed the legs becoming very hot, but will check next time

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.

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.

thanks for saying was just going to make one