Fire features always provide a natural gathering space and focal point to an outdoor space. Whether used for cooking or heat, they are an easy exterior DIY that can extend the enjoyable season. Here in Florida, it will provide an additional place for the daily catch cookout or a soft glow on a starry winter night.
On my first trip to each year’s Blog Cabin, the gears start to turn for what existing elements can be respun and upcycled into new show projects and house decor. So this year when I saw the awesome cast iron floor grate, I knew we had to give it new life. You see, at my first Blog Cabin, Anitra and the MegaDens crew had picked up an antique one at Caravati’s but unfortunately we didn’t find a place for it in that house. (Coincidentally though, it did return this year as a surround for the dart board).
The first thing that came to mind was a grilling surface due to the cross hatched pattern. Plus both pieces could be used with the circular inner portion being removable so the fire could be tended. A fire pit grate it would be! Then we let you decide whether the fire pit would be raised or recessed. And raised won!
Since previous years of Blog Cabin had free formed, stone, and masonry fireplaces, a metal fire pit would be a welcomed change. With only two days for Yard Crashers to complete the entire lake side yard, this had to be a simple yet awesome project.
Why not then make it like a puzzle or kit that could be shipped to site? I sat down in CAD and drew out the top, bottom, and sides. Thinking of construct-ability, I then added tabs and slots to each piece. The top and bottom rings have slots and the vertical pieces have tabs. This way each piece would fit together and need minimal support during welding.
Luckily my friends at Miller Marine in Deltaville, Virginia, have a plasma table they use to build boats. This obviously makes turning a CAD concept into exact pieces quite easy. You, too, could locate a fabricator in your area, or if you have metalworking skills, you could build this with a rented plasma torch like we did for the Yard Core chandelier.
Here’s how we did it. Click on a how-to image below to click through the steps and see the photos in a larger format.