How to Build a Fire Pit With a Metal Barrel

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Things You'll Need

  • Metal barrel (any size)

  • Cutting torch

  • Gloves

  • Goggles

  • Grinder

  • Drill

  • ¼-inch drill bit

  • Shovel

  • Gravel

  • Firewood

  • Matches

  • Flat-black, heat-resistant spray paint

There are few things more enjoyable than a summer night full of stars, good conversation and a fire for outdoor entertaining. While there are many methods used to build a fire pit, it's very easy to build one using a metal barrel. Only a few tools and a little effort stand between you and a cozy fire.


Step 1

Cut the metal barrel with your cutting torch. Most barrels have three ridges that divide the barrel into thirds. You'll want to cut along a ridge of the barrel so that the bottom third can be used for your fire pit. Grind the edges of the cut barrel in order to smooth them down, alleviating the risk of cuts and scrapes from it.

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Step 2

Measure the diameter of the barrel, and dig a hole matching the measurement. This hole should only be about 6 to 9 inches deep, as you want your barrel to stick up out of the ground some.

Step 3

Fill the hole with gravel. The gravel will allow any moisture to drain into the ground better.


Step 4

Drill holes into the bottom of the barrel with your drill. Seven or eight holes are sufficient.

Step 5

Paint the cut barrel with a flat-black, heat-resistant spray paint. Many times, barbecue paint or engine paint will work for this. After the first coat dries for eight hours, paint the barrel again. Allow to dry for another eight hours.

Step 6

Set the metal barrel bottom into the hole. At this point, your new fire pit is ready for its first fire.


Trim the outside of your fire pit with curved stone pavers, if you like.


Never leave a fire unattended.


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