View Full Version : how would you make this?
06-21-2010, 06:51 PM
well my sister wants me to build her this fire pit for her new house. im pretty limited with tools so i thought i would ask you guys to see what we could come up with to make this the easiest way possible.. my blacksmith skills are pretty good but im not sure how smooth that would be ha.
lets hear what you guys would do?
here is the link of the fire pit so you guys can see the multiple pictures.
06-21-2010, 07:03 PM
it looks to me like an upside down circular propane tank cut open - that would be pretty hard to beat out by hand - you would at least need an english wheel to make it smooth, and the thickness your talking about would need a pretty tough machine....
i take the caps off of 250, 300, and 500 gallon propane tanks (the protective cap that covers the valve) and flip them upside down with a simple stand - a little paint later and presto! outside fire pit.... i had a picture somehwere but i cant seem to find it....
you could always just build a simple 5sided square say 18"x18" or 24"x24" and put a small smoke stack on top - shouldnt be too hard if your just getting into welding.
bert the welder
06-21-2010, 07:09 PM
Well.... find a big enough propane or other cylinder to cut the end off. Or, my favorite, go to your nearest China town or kitchen supply store and get a big Wok. Just cut off the handles and you're good to go. Leave'm on if you what transport handles. Drill some small holes in the bottom for drainage. Can fill with some sand too, to protect the metal better.
If you don't want to do it the easy way, you can orange-peel it. But that won't be smooth with out a lot of pounding. If you're a manly man, knock yourself out!!!:D:drinkup:
06-21-2010, 07:12 PM
I know that material is pretty thick for an english wheel thats why i didnt mention it. But i do have experience in the welding field and i have drawn up many other fire pits for her but she wants this one. so far one of my ideas is put the piece over a coal burning forge and let it warm up nice and hot and then stick it over a semi brake drum fire pit of mine and form with using that. then bang out the rest. I am not going to make it that round because she is going to be burning gas anyways. im looking for a 2-3" raise all the way around from the center point. and I was thinking 1/8" material max.
Last year I helped a buddy do a fire pit in a concrete table for a stamped patio he was doing for a customer. I forget the company, but you could buy a basic burner assembly from them complete when I was doing the research for the job. We ended up just buying a finshed product and stripping out what we needed as a patio/grill place near us had some last year close outs cheap.
For the most part all it was was a burner, reg and hose that hooked up to the LP tank, plus an igniter set in a bowl he formed. In the one he built, you filled the bottom of the pit with glass beads and the flames came up thru them rather than an open hole.
We chose to go the premade route mostly for liability since he was doing it for a customer. If I was doing it for myself, I'd probably look at the basic repair parts for a gas grill or scavenge an old grill. From there you can get the reg, hose, valve assembly and posibly the burner, but the burner will need some tweaking. I'd probably dig thru my list of saved sites for one of the propane forge burner designs and use one of those, and just set it rich and low for the orange flame.
06-21-2010, 07:17 PM
the problem with using 1/8" is an on going one in the bbq pit world - its right at too thin if you ask me - the heat after a few hot fires will take away from the integrity of the metal, probably causing it to rust out in a year or two - i would say at least 1/4" or maybe 3/8".
i just looked at the price of the one for sale - $800!! there is definatly some steel in that one thicker than 1/8" -
06-21-2010, 07:24 PM
ya that one is 1/4" I just dont know how to really be bending that one with the tools that I have. my english wheel cant do it thats for sure.
and as the gas set up goes I already have it all, because I have made some gas pits out of used semi brake drums.
06-21-2010, 07:41 PM
I would head to the junk yard and find an old tank and cut the bottom off it.
If you'd like to see how they make the round bottoms this site has a short video that shows how they spin them. http://tankends.com/
06-21-2010, 08:51 PM
well i dont have that type of tooling in my 8x10 shed(my shop) hahaha.
idk im going to play around with somethings and see what happens.
if you come up with some more ideas feel free to share them!
06-21-2010, 09:34 PM
if you can find a pipe fabricator or tank fabricator close to home, brand new tank ends arent really that expensive. (expensive being a relative term)
06-21-2010, 09:39 PM
how thick of material are the tanks?
06-21-2010, 10:05 PM
find a war surplus store that might have some old mines. Smith and Edwards in Utah might still have some.
06-21-2010, 10:17 PM
Could also find some big a$$ metal buoys like pictured here http://dworshak.org/images/buoys/buoys_o.jpg
There are obviously smaller ones and I have seen round ones that are made to split in half.
06-21-2010, 10:50 PM
I'm not sure if it's an old propane tank. I've seen a few come though the shop and they have alot of weld seams. I've been trying to talk the local gas company into selling me one of their 500 gallon ones so I can turn it into a mobile smoker. I dont know how they get it so round other than it must come from a HUGE die. I worked at JV Northwest for a while and they used a very large press to round out bottoms made of 10ga s.s. at the thickest. That does look like a fun project with the right start.
06-21-2010, 11:01 PM
I've met the guy a couple years ago. I know those are salvaged from tanks, I can't recall what he told me, I think some type of water tank. All I have seen from him are the same size, so he has a consistent source.
06-22-2010, 01:38 AM
^^ let me know if you think of any more info ha. im not looking to do a direct copy but a good place to start would be nice
06-22-2010, 08:05 AM
What about using a few pieces of plate? By working with lengths that are 6-12" wide you could form them more easily and then weld them together? The more narrow the plate the easier they would be to form (but of course would require more welding).
06-22-2010, 08:37 AM
Here is a company that makes tanks and tank parts. Here is the page describing the tank ends they sell. They appear to be in Los Angeles, CA.
06-22-2010, 08:41 AM
Here's another company selling tank ends in Ontario, Canada.
06-22-2010, 08:43 AM
Here's another company in Minneapolis, MN.
06-22-2010, 08:47 AM
Here is another tank end manufacturer with locations in California, Texas and Ohio.
06-22-2010, 09:10 AM
DesertRider33: You may have better luck searching for tank heads. Specifically, hemi heads. Like many things, it's one of those "have to know the jargon" for google to work. Most frustrating sometimes.
Here's a list of manufacturers:
Paul Mueller Co. - Springfield, MO - 800.641.2830 - Contact: Rob Idell
Brighton Tru-Edge Heads - Dayton, OH - 800.543.1644 - Contact: Kim Ortman
Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) - Moundville, AL - 205.3712212
Trinity Heads - Navasota, TX - 800.392.3594 Contact: Dave Borski
Be forewarned that I do not think Mueller or B&W will make a carbon steel head. They are included for reference for others who may find them helpful. I hope this helps you with your project.
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