Happy weekend to you. Yesterday Joe and I wanted to do a fun and quick project for the house. We thought a firepit would be fun but didn’t like the looks of the ones sold at Home Depot and this geometric firepit at DWR is out of our budget. Eventually, Joe will design his own and fabricate it himself but since that will take a fair amount of time and energy we decided to make something quick in the interim.

A few years ago while on a trip to Joshua Tree Joe’s friend Jens introduced him to the washing machine drum firepit. It’s a super-easy project and the design of the washing machine drum is perfect for a fire. Its small holes around the drum not only allow for oxygen flow to the fire but also make for a pretty light show. Joe added some welded feet to ours and painted it black but if you omit the extra features you can make this in an hour or less. It couldn’t be easier. See below for instructions.

Materials we used:

1 Recycled Washing Machine Drum (we got ours at a used appliance store for $10)

Angle grinder (optional)

Cup wire brush, Cut-off wheel, and Flap-wheel sanding disc (for grinder, also optional)

Safety Glasses

Angle-stock and Flat-stock steel (optional)

High heat black paint (optional)

When we got the drum home we thought it could also make a fun, diy, side-table with lights inside.

Step One: Strip the drum. Remove all plastic bits including plastic rim (right) and plastic base (left). Clean off any gunk.

Step 2: Remove center spindle. This is optional.

Step 3: Cut off metal lip. Again, this is optional but makes the top look a little more clean. (p.s. gratuitous grinding shot) :)

Detail of removing the top lip. It’s pretty rough when you take it off but then you can grind it down with the flapper-wheel.

Step 4: smooth out the top lip, any metal burrs, or jagged edges.

Step 5: The wire brush made quick work of removing years of soap scum.

Step 6: Joe fabricated some steel legs and welded them to the base so it was off the ground just a bit. This is also optional. Those little square tabs were added so it doesn’t sink in the ground.

Step 7: Paint your firepit. Be sure to use high-heat paint. We chose black matte but something bright would be fun. It looks so pretty at night.

Enjoy your part-modern, part red-neck firepit. You’ll particularly love it at night.