I am going to set fire to a washing machine.
I have wanted a fire pit for some time now but have not wanted to commit to a permanent site. There are plenty of commercial free standing ones out there, but I have been looking for something, robust, mobile and cheap and so far in the looking, nothing has hit bullseye. Time to upcycle. I am going to use a washing machine drum. The drums are perfect, with the holes allowing good airflow, good shape and size plus minimal skills needed, depending on how far you take it. Mine will probably sit on bricks and be used as a BBQ, allowing for toastie feet and marshmallow conversations in the cooler evenings.
I will draw inspiration from these two sources, as they appealed to me, there are however plenty of other options. Get a professional look from house and fig or copy the mobile atomic version shown in the clip at the bottom of this page. Look up fire pit washing machine and be inspired. Everybody’s doing it!
The drum could also make a side-table with lights inside, paint it or cover with fake grass for an outside seat option. The very light modern drums can be made into impressive light shades. Who knew there was so much life left in an old washing machine.
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.