How to turn an old washing machine drum into a fire pit

Build a sweet DIY fire pit on the cheap by upcycling an old washer drum

how to turn old washing machine drum fire pit version 1396677619 screen shot 2014 03 21 at 3 50 28 pm
Now that the weather’s starting to warm up, it’ll soon be prime season for all manner of fireside shenanigans. That means you’ll need a fire pit of some sort, and if you don’t already have one, we’ve got the perfect DIY project to help you make one without spending a bunch of money. All you need is an old washing machine drum and a little bit of elbow grease. Crafty people all across the country are making awesome upcycled fire pits on the cheap with washing machine drums. Apparently, they’re perfect for it. Not only are they an ideal size, but most are spotted with an array of holes, which help to promote good airflow. With a little bit of polish and some heat-resistant paint, it’ll look damn near professional. Here’s a rough guide to making one yourself.

*Note: Working with power tools and tearing apart washing machines are potentially dangerous activities. Digital Trends accepts no responsibility for injuries sustained while performing these activities, and recommends the use of proper safety equipment during all stages of the process. 

fire pit drum 2Step One: Get the Drum

This is definitely the hardest part of the entire process, but there are a couple different ways you can go about it. Some are cheaper/more labor intensive than others, so choose your methods accordingly.

Option A: Tear down an old washer

If you happen to have a busted old washer in your basement that’s collecting dust and wouldn’t get you much money if you sold it, you’re all set. Just grab your toolbox, and get ready to tear it apart. We don’t recommend that you tear apart a good, working dryer that you’re currently using, or could resell for a decent chunk of change.

Option B: Buy a washer to tear apart

No, not a new one. That would be expensive. The whole idea here is to make a fire pit on the cheap, so there’s no sense in forking over lots of cash on a new (or even used) washer. Instead, hit up Craigslist and try to find one that somebody’s just trying to get rid of. You’d be surprised how often people give away old appliances for free just to get somebody to haul them away. If you’re willing to wait for a good deal to pop up, use this IFTTT recipe we made to get alerts as soon as somebody posts an ad for a free washing machine.

Option C: Buy the drum itself

If you live in a moderately populous area, chances are pretty good that you’ll have an appliance repair shop somewhere nearby. Find them online, or hit up your local yellow pages. Search for repair shops, parts stores, and salvage yards. Once you’ve found a few good places, call around and see if any of them have a spare dryer drum. If they do, and they’re selling it for cheaper than what you would pay for a fire pit, buy it.

drum fire pit

Step Two: Modify the drum

Depending on where it came from, the old washer drum you pick up might be rusty, dented, or have sharp edges. Do whatever you need to do to fix these problems. An angle grinder will likely come in handy at this point. Also, if you’re planning on using the fire pit on top of a wooden deck or the grass in your back yard, you might also want to add legs to the bottom to elevate it a bit and ensure that it won’t burn whatever surface it’s sitting on. This admittedly makes the process much more complicated, and will probably require a bit of welding.

Step Three: Painting

Once you take off all the rust and smooth out any sharp edges, it’s time to make the drum look pretty. This is probably the easiest part of the entire process. Just snag yourself a can of heat-resistant spray paint in whatever color you want (we suggest black, since the finish will inevitably begin to blacken over time with use anyway) and give it a couple of coats. It’s extremely important that you use a paint rated for high temperatures, so don’t think that you’ll be in the clear if you use regular paint. Once everything dries, all that’s left to do is sit back and marvel at your new DIY fire pit.

You also might need wood to burn, and if you don’t live near wooded areas, we highly suggest using the same IFTTT recipe to find free wood on Craigslist.

Images via HouseAndFig

News

This hybrid tiny home sauna gives hotbox a whole new meaning

Tiny homes seem to come in all shapes and forms these days, and Igluhuts are no exception. While the homes look more like a hobbit might come out of one on the outside, inside, there's a modern and sleek look aimed at relaxation and…
Gaming

Call up Durr Burger and grab some lunch with our Fortnite weekly challenge guide

The Fortnite week 8 challenges are now available in season 8. One of the big challenges this week has players dial the Durr Burger number on the big telephone. We've got everything you need to complete this weekly challenge.
Smart Home

From the kitchen to the bedroom, here are the best Alexa tips and tricks

Amazon's voice assistant Alexa has plenty of neat skills. So many, in fact, it seems like new ones appear every day. We've rounded up the top Echo tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your virtual assistant.
Smart Home

What you need to know before buying a new washer and dryer

Washers and dryers are big, expensive appliances that you'll want to last for decades. Our buying guide will help you sift through all the options and find the best machines for you.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and others that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Smart Home

Get baked while you bake with these clever cannabis cooking gadgets

Ready to step up your edibles game? Here are the best cannabis cooking gadgets for your kitchen, from an "Instant Pot" for your cannabutter to the best grinders and decarbing devices on the market. Check out the full list for more.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Smart Home

Can new laws protect you from smart home security breaches?

To help combat smart home data breaches, state and federal lawmakers are exploring ways to protect consumers. California, Oregon, and members of the U.S. Senate all have proposals to protect people's data.
Smart Home

Grow it, cook it, smoke it: Marijuana tech gadgets for your home and kitchen

Legal marijuana consumers buy around six marijuana products each month. Some of the products we found look like something out of a stoner sci-fi movie. Check out this collection of marijuana tech.
Smart Home

Power on and off: Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug by TP-Link brings weatherproof smarts

The Kasa Outdoor Wi-Fi Smart Plug grants remote control of two outlets in an IP-64 weather resistant housing. Simple and straightforward, this smart plug is a great fit for summer lighting.
Smart Home

Alexa, how much do you weigh? Questions unlock voice assistant's Easter eggs

Sometimes all we really need is someone to talk to, which is why we've rounded up the best (read: funniest) Easter eggs currently embedded within Amazon's virtual assistant. Apparently, Alexa knows more than you might think.
Smart Home

Virtually walk through dream homes with Zillow’s new A.I.-powered 3D home tours

Home sellers and real estate agents listing properties on Zillow's home marketplace now can add 3D tours for free to their listings. Zillow 3D Home uses artificial intelligence to create tours with 360-degree panoramic photos.
Cars

Where to go when your EV is low: Rich neighborhoods have most charging stations

If you're running low on juice in your electric vehicle, head for the rich part of town. A survey by Realtor.com found median home list prices in the 20 U.S. ZIP codes with the most EV charging stations were 2.6 times the national average.
Smart Home

Google has tips for making your smart home more eco-friendly

Google is announcing new integrations for Google Assistant with energy and water-saving devices for Earth Day. The company is also offering tips on how to cut down on your energy bill.