How To Build A Portable Outdoor Fireplace

In recent years outdoor fireplaces have become very popular.

In recent years outdoor fireplaces have become very popular. Backyard enthusiast and campers both find the advantages of having a portable outdoor fireplace. If you have a small backyard and only like to have the fireplace out on special occasions, a portable fireplace is the solution. A portable fire pit makes it easy to move it to different areas of the back yard or even out onto the front driveway and invite the neighbors to bring chairs over and visit around the campfire. If you enjoy camping, a portable fireplace can add warmth and safety to your campsite. For example, if you live where there are fire restrictions in the summer season an enclosed fireplace is often allowed whereas an open fire is not. Outdoor fireplaces are becoming very popular at tailgate parties during sporting events. You can purchase a portable fireplace at home improvement stores but they will cost between 200.00 and 400.00 dollars. In this article you learn how to make your own portable fireplace.

Be creative in thinking of ways to build an outdoor fireplace. If you go to a junk yard you may be able to find a disk or barrel or some other item made of steel that would work well for a fireplace. For the main body of the fireplaces in this article you can use a steel barrel or a steel drum from an old dryer or washing machine. A steel dryer drum is useful because it already has a series of holes in the bottom for ventilation. You might be able to purchase a steel barrel with a lid at any hardware store or you may have to search at a junk yard. You can also get an old steel dryer drum at a junk yard. If you are using a steel barrel thoroughly wash it out with soapy water before using it. If it originally contained a flammable substance it could explode on you if you use it for a fireplace so wash thoroughly! Whether you are using a dryer drum or a barrel you will want to drill 3/4 inch holes around the entire outside, this will provide ventilation. Space them about 4 inches apart and at different levels. Fire needs oxygen so having holes drilled will allow for a cross ventilation and allow the heat to escape to warm the surrounding area.

The first fireplace is the most difficult to make; it is made out of the steel barrel and looks like a pot belly stove when finished. After you have washed the barrel thoroughly and drilled the holes around the entire outside you are ready to start. Keep the lid on the barrel if you want it to look like a pot belly stove. Cut a door into the steel drum in the middle section that is about 10 inches long by 8 inches high. Make the door cut using a jig saw with a blade made for cutting metal. First drill a pilot hole with your metal drill bit and then start with the jigsaw. Be sure to smooth off any sharp edges or metal protrusions with a file so that you won't cut yourself on your fireplace. Take this rectangle out and attach hinges on one side and then attach the hinges back onto the barrel; now you have a door that can open and close for putting in fuel. The next step is to cut a door in the bottom that can be latched shut. This door will be used to empty out the debris and ashes after each use. Use the same steps as above for this bottom door; but only make the door about 7 x 6 inches. The next step is making a stove pipe. Use a steel pipe with a diameter of about 5 inches. Cut a round hole in the lid an inch in diameter smaller than the pipe you are using. The cut is done the same way as the door, by drilling a pilot hole first. You will clip the circle in the lid an inch in length every 1 inch. Fold these back with pliers and insert the bottom of the pipe into the hole. Use screws to attach the pipe to the lid. Making legs for the barrel will make the fireplace more practical. To make the legs for the barrel use the legs of an old round bar-b-cue or steel rebar. Cut the legs to about four inches long and weld the legs to the base of the barrel. This barrel fireplace can be fueled with wood or charcoal. The top part of lid of the barrel can serve as a surface for cooking burgers or warming up a pot of water. Opening the door will allow you to roast marshmallows or hot dogs on a stick.



The next home made fireplace is easier to make. You simply drill holes in an old dryer drum. Be generous in the amount of holes that you drill. This will allow for good ventilation. Dryer drums already have holes on the back end which will be used for the bottom of the fireplace. If you would like to elevate this fireplace you will again need to weld four steel legs on it. This fire place has a large round opening on top. You can leave it open and just add wood and then roast marshmallows and hotdogs down through the opening. If you want a surface for grilling you can purchase a piece of grilling or a steel grid and place it on top for cooking burgers.

Using your imagination and ingenuity you can improve upon both of these basic designs. Take a look at a junk yard and see if you can find some other useful item that can be converted into a fireplace. Remember these instructions are for outdoor fireplaces and are never to be used indoors or even in a tent. Always use caution when building a fire in your fireplace and follow the fire codes for the area you are in.

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