After 16 years or so my old firepit has finally rusted through. The legs pushed up from the bottom and it was time to say goodbye. This provided a nice opportunity for another COVID project and something to keep me busy for a while. After browsing around for a bit looking at designs I turned to fusion360 to design it up. Final design looked like this:
Was trying to make something quite stout, but still composed of straight lines for easy cutting/fabricating. As is my usual, to not-quite overkill it, but still go beyond what necessary I ordered a 4’x8′ sheet of 7 gauge steel (3/16). I ended up using about half the sheet which was $150, so the materials for the project were about $75.
Tooling on the other hand, well… I needed a saw to cut the pieces up. I love my cold cut chopsaw, and found they have circular-saw style ones for sheet goods. I picked this Milwaukee up and it is truly amazing. Its sort of freaky how you can cut steel like a sheet of plywood. Big downside is there are metal shavings EVERYWHERE in my garage. Wear your PPE with these saws. HOT SAWDUST!
In fusion360 I exported the measurements for the side pieces and the ‘feet’. I drew these out on the sheet paper I use to cover my workbench (which I love doing each time I begin a new project – fresh start!). Then I used little magnets to hold the paper down and spray painted around the edges giving me my cut lines. Used a straight-edge the guide the saw and spent a few hours cutting all the pieces out. If you want to build your own, the .pdf dimensions are here (Sides | Feet).
This would have been a quick job with a MIG welder, but all I have is a TIG, so it took a little longer. But my welds got better and I was pretty surprised at how well the fit up was. I used a construction square clamped to workbench to keep the angled sides at 90 degrees.
I did all the welding on the ‘bottom’ so when its in normal use you can’t see any of the welds. Here you can just see the tacks I did to piece it together, but I eventually ended by doing a full bead down those sides. The bottom piece I had to cut a bit with my jigsaw to get the vent holes in. It was way slower than the Milwaukee. Maybe I should have not cheaped out and just got a plasma cutter!
With a little help from the kids I got this beast off the workbench and moved into the backyard. Tonight we test drive it!