This washing machine drum fire pit dates back to my 2006 book, Crafty Chica’s Arte de la Soul. I saw it in the photographer’s backyard (thank you Big Nick!) and HAD to have it as a DIY! Well, recently as I cleaned out some old files, I came across the original photos and decided to share them here with you! The book did not do this project justice, the photo was so tiny! Here is a much bigger, juicier shot!
1 enameled washing machine tub from your local appliance salvage yard
1 pre-made steel, diameter round pot stand, 16-18 inches round, (available at home improvement stores, plant nurseries or Mexican Import shops.
3 cable clamps, 3/8 inches (found at hardware store). These are U-shaped bolts with nuts attached.
6 lock washers for the cable clamps.
7/16″ drill bit
9/16″ wrench or ratchet
Felt tip marker
A stout nail
1. On a level surface, flip the washtub upside down. Flip over the pot stand, and center it on the tub. Use the tape measure to make sure you’re centered.
2. Take one of the U bolts, remove the nuts and use it as a making guide for the holes you’re about to drill. Place the bolts at equidistant points around the pot stand and mark the spots where you should drill your holes.
3. Remove the pot stand. Take the nail and with the hammer, make an indentation in the center of the mark as a starting dimple for the drill bit. Drill out the holes.
4. Replace the pot stand, and insert the U bolts, and carefully slip the lock washers and nuts on the inside of the washtub. At this point it’s OK to keep them loose.
5. Flip over the tub on its new legs, and adjust it until everything is centered, then tighten the bolts with the wrench or ratchet until snug.
Safety Tips: Keep in mind that when you build a fire, the firepot (being metal) will be VERY hot. Do NOT try to move it or touch it while a fire is burning. Keep in mind that ash and small coals may drop out the bottom. Use caution and common sense as to where you place your fire pot. Concrete, bare ground, or bricks are ideal spots. If you place in your lawn, make sure you have bricks or paving stones beneath, as you lawn can catch fire if you’re not careful. Do NOT place it on a wooden deck, do NOT place it under a patio roof, and do NOT try to use it indoors. Do not paint or apply anything to this piece, as the fire’s heat will add a rustic aged look to it. Never leave the fire pit unattended. A Weber BBQ lid, or a galvanized trash can lid from your local hardware store fits perfectly on the top to prevent sparks from flying after you retire from your fire. The trash can lid can be had for $3.00, and old Webers can be found at garage sales for $10.00 or less sometimes.
Take it to the next level!
- If you have a large backyard and are having a big party, make multiple fire pits and place them throughout. Lay down a base of square patio tiles as a foundation to set it upon.
- Instead of making it a fire pit, use it as a planter for your yard!