top of page
  • Writer's pictureDIYTechnician

DIY Simple Homemade Fire Pits and Creative Log Fires

Updated: Feb 27, 2021

The neighbor gave me this old water heater so I decided that it would make a nice fire pit/ring. In order to make a fire pit out of this old thing I sliced the top off of it and pulled the element out of the center. To do this I traced a line around the circumference of the thing I used a hand held electric angle grinder. There were some existing threaded studs along the bottom with some nut on them. This was perfect for the screen I planned on putting there. I happened to have some metal wire mesh screen laying around so I cut out a section of that with my angle grinder as well. I took the cut out section and bolted out down on the underside using the studs and nuts. This worked out perfect because the fire in the fire pit can get unimpeded air flow from the underside. The thing I liked about this project is that the materials were all free and I was able to make a backyard party fire pit for nothing as well as re-purpose some junk metal that would otherwise have been tossed in the landfill.

Adjustable Marshmallow Sticks

Placed a nice metal fire ring inside the brick for easy clean up and decoration. One nice thing about living where I do is that it's legal to have little backyard bonfires. Many good times are had with get togethers around a fire. I needed to move locations of my fire pit so I decided to make a video while I made this new one. To get started I marked a counterpoint in the middle of my rough circle and started over turning the dirt with a shovel and breaker bar as it was very tough and rocky. Then I started digging out the hole in the ground deep enough to accurate the height of my fire ring that I wanted to put in the ground. I decided I wanted to inset this one into the ground for the most part rather than have it be mostly above ground. Once I dug enough dirt out to where I thought it would be deep enough, I started to test fit the metal fire ring for depth purposes but then I also used it as the template for which to create the circular brick portion around. With my digging tools I started widening the circle a little bit to make it large enough to fit the bricks. It was important to keep the bottom flat so the the bricks would be level. Once I got the bottom of the pit level I used my 3 foot level to make sure it was level. I was then able to stack all of the bricks in there in a circular pattern and then add the metal fire pit inside it. It turned out just as I planned and ended up using it quite a bit.

This DIY fire pit welding project all started with my neighbor donating a scrap automotive coolant canister to me. He works as a mechanic so is a great source for scrap metal and parts to make various welding projects from. This project was one of my favorites to make because it has decorative purpose as well as practical use for festive backyard fires. Additionally, it was nice to be able to re-purpose some scrap metal and turn it into something worthwhile. The first thing that needed to be done was just to make sure this was absolutely empty by drilling a hole in the top. I already could tell that there was nothing left in it but hot work such as grinned and welding on a canister can be fatal especially if you are unsure on what was inside. Neve weld or grind on a closed canister that contained any kind of liquid without first making sure that it is 100% verified empty of liquids and especially residual vapors. Using my hand held angle grinder with a cutting wheel I made a circular cut around the top and removed what would be the lid and set it aside. I tried to make the cut as accurate as possible by hand for aesthetic purposes. I then took some flat bar I had laying around and made a circle the same diameter of the lid and actually used the lid as a template. This circle made from the malleable flatcar was trimmed and welded together to become a solid hoop. Using the same flatbar, four 6 inch piece were cut and end-prepped and ground clean for welding. These same four pieces were welded to the bottom portion of the canister. Care and caution had to be exercised so as not to blow holes in the thin canister metal weld welding these. After tacking the pieces it was time to completely weld them on. I tried to make sure to control my heat by applying most of it to the flatbar and slightly washing onto the thin metal for fusion. Once the four flatcar pieces were welded in place, the hoop was welded to the top of the flatbar pieces. The some expanded metal galvanized chicken wire a flame guard or barrier was created and wired into place through holes drilled into the metal canister. What was created was essentially a flame viewing riser to enable a larger fire but also enable a nice viewing window in which to enjoy the piece and comfort of a good outdoor fire. Then it was time to weld the legs and handles to the new creation. The same welding technique was used here as far as controlling the heat and keeping the majority of it on the thicker piece so as not to destroy the thinner metal. Once the legs and handles were firmly welded out it was time to cool it down, primer it, and then coat it with some high heat spray paint. Ended up using this quite a bit before giving it away as a gift.

DIY Backyard Fire Pit built from Re-purposed Dryer Barrel. This was a fun redneck fire barrel backyard project. Keeps the coals in one place and looks cool at night. Also you get some points for repurposing something that may have gone to the landfill if you make one.. It started as an experiment but wound up being a real hit once it got seasoned. The first step was to buy a piece of crap junk dryer for way too much money that doesn't last long. Next is to gut the dryer and yank out the barrel. If you are into metal art and cut outs you can use the sheet metal from the outside of the dryer to cut patterns out of. All you need is some simple tooling to make this. I always find it helpful if I use my cordless drill but it's not a 100% requirement to make this happen. For the legs there was a fixture inside the dryer that worked perfect for affixing to barrel to act as the base to this thing. Always nice to have a fire pit for outdoor backyard fires. I started this fire in this with some cedar kindling and tossed a couple pieces of scrap pallet wood on there to get it going quickly. Then I put on some more dense pieces of firewood for the longer lasting burn.

Make this cool unique rocket stove from a round of firewood adding some uniqueness to your next neighborhood or backyard bonfire festivity. First find yourself a dry round of firewood that is decently seasoned as this will make the drilling and the burning go better. Grab either a long auger bit or hole drilling bit and slap that sucker into your electric drill. The overall goal to achieve is to drill two holes that are perpendicular to each other and meet in the center of the wood round horizontally yet towards the bottom. To achieve this, start drilling from the top of the round keeping it as straight as possible. Try to drill exactly perpendicular to the top face of the round. You'll need to plunge in a little bit then pull out, plunge in and pull out etc. Once you achieved your desired depth which should be about 3/4 of the way down through the log, flip the log on it's side and drill from the side towards your hole that you drilled first. If you did it right, with a little luck your hole meet in the center of the log. Now you are ready to start your fire down in this thing. The idea is that the air will flow in through the bottom hole and feed the fire coming out of the top. Once very cool thing about doing this is that you maximize your burn time. This thing burned for a long time.

In my DIY How to Create a Swedish Fire Torch | Outdoor Long Burning Log Round" video I show you how to quickly and easily make a fire log project. I'm reposting this video after having found it in my archives. I had deleted it from an earlier youtube endeavor a few years back. The idea of a Swedish torch itself was not mine, however, after watching some videos on it back in the day I figured I'd make my own version using my trusty Stihl chainsaw. These are a lot of fun to make and burn for a solid couple of hours + depending on what kind of wood you are burning. This was just a round of fir but I could only imagine how much burning time you would get out of a round of a hardwood like oak or even madrone (I call them madrona). You can use a chainsaw but you could also use a bucksaw or handsaw to make one. You could do this camping or if you are able to, in your back yard.

Amazon Link to Husqvarna Chainsaw:

Woodcutting Safety Pants:


bottom of page