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

Smart Home

With a simple command, Alexa can arm all your security devices

Alexa customers can query status plus arm or disarm home security systems several companies. New Alexa Guard skills set your home to away mode, send alerts when alarms or sensors go off, and contact home security monitoring services.
Smart Home

Put away that sponge and let us help you pick the best dishwasher for your buck

Tired of doing dishes by hand? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available and let a machine do the dirty work for you. They’ll do a much better job, anyway.
Music

Jam out in style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.
Mobile

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.
Gaming

How you can give your PS4 a fresh start with a factory reset

Learn the many ways you can factory reset your PS4. From reverting your settings to factory to doing a full wipe and reinstalling the latest PlayStation firmware, we cover it all here, step by step.
Smart Home

Voice assistant-enabled Deebot N79S robot vacuum now deeply discounted

The Ecovacs Deebot N79 is more powerful and quieter than its predecessor and adds Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility. Ready to make cleaning easier than ever, this voice-enabled bot will vacuum your home on spoken command.
Product Review

Hue who? Nanoleaf Canvas brings a riot of color and vibrancy to the smart home

Fun and festive, Nanoleaf Canvas feature lighting adds personality and vibrancy to any room. Nanoleaf Canvas features squares that you can connect in any configuration you’d like. Sync to music, play games, or relax in soothing light.
Smart Home

Facebook Portal and Portal+ video-calling devices gain new content and features

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Smart Home

Dog or cat shedding? These vacuums do a great job of sucking up pet hair

Got a pet hair problem? Fortunately, there's help for you and your furry friend. We tested out a bunch of vacuums that promise to remove pet hair. Here are a few of the best you can buy.
Smart Home

Rocco wants to rock out. Parrot learns to use owner’s Amazon Alexa

Rocco, an African gray parrot, fell in love with his owner's Alexa unit and ordered himself treats and other goodies, but mostly uses the smart assistant to rock out to his favorite music.
Smart Home

Find good gift ideas with these small kitchen appliance deals on Amazon

Small kitchen appliances are favorite holiday gifts to give and to receive and that doesn't only mean an Instant Pot. We found excellent deals on Amazon for blenders and espresso makers plus a highly rated sous vide machine.
Smart Home

The Echo Wall Clock can help you keep track of multiple Alexa timers

Amazon just released the Echo Wall Clock that was announced at its September new hardware device event in Seattle. The Echo Wall Clock is an analog clock that also indicates the minutes remaining on one or more Alexa timers.
Product Review

Ring Alarm makes DIY home security simple and affordable enough for everyone

Ring first made waves with its video doorbell, and now the Amazon-owned company is moving on to home security with the Ring Alarm. You can install the sensors and keypads yourself, then have Ring professionally monitor your home.
Smart Home

Espresso On Demand: The five best Nespresso machines

Most people still trek down to their local coffee shop to get an espresso or a cappuccino, but you don't have to. A Nespresso machine can put coffee shop quality espresso on your kitchen counter.