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  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    13

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    Rainy afternoon so the kids didn't have softball or baseball games and I finally got a chance to play metal shop for a couple hours. I'm going to try to build a domed lid for the fire pit. I will be using 1/8" x 2" flat steel for the frame and lining it with expanded metal. I build a jig using 3/4" plywood cut to the approximate shape that I want the base to be. I then bent some of the flat steel around the frame. Since steel has a memory, I used a piece of C channel as an "anvil" of sorts to round the steel into the shape that I wanted.
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  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    13

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    After getting the ends bent to my satisfaction, I had to cut a few filler pieces to make the hoop the overall length that I needed. I welded the four pieces of steel together and had my hoop. A bit of tweaking/stretching with my hands and feet got the hoop adjusted to fit around the pit.
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  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    13

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    After I had the hoop welded up and looking ok, I went back to the bending jig and bent a couple more piece to be the arch of the lid. Once those were bent and pretty similar in shape, I welded them to the hoop. Then it was dinner time and time to get the kids to bed so I'll be revisiting this project as soon as I can.

    Once again, if anyone has suggestions to improve what I'm doing, please throw them out there.
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  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    13

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    I got a couple hours yesterday and today to work on my fire pit. I ground the welds on the dome and installed a couple pieces of 9 gauge expanded metal. It was a bit of a challenge to form. I cut the pieces with an angle grinder and cutoff wheel. I then clamped one edge to the side of one of the propane tank halves. I beat the metal with a sledge hammer and ball peen hammer to the approximate curve of the tank which wasn't quite enough for the dome. To get the metal closer to the shape of the dome, I used a piece of scrap C channel and beat the metal between the edges of that to gradually get the curve closer to the dome shape.

    After I got close, I used vise grips and welding clamps to hold the expanded metal to the dome and welded. It was more of a challenge than I thought it would be to weld the expanded metal. It was kind of tedious.

    Lesson of the weekend came from my aching back...first project should have been to build a tall welding table/workbench. I'm about 6'2" so I typically build all of my workbenches higher than normal to save my back.
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  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    3

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    i would never put a unknown propane tank in a fire. the safest way to make sure you can cut a propane tank is to shoot it from a distance. ive done it before. and no it wont explode.... if you want it to explode you have to cover it in gas, light it on fire and then shoot it from a distance.

    cool project btw

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    13

    Default

    It wasn't really unknown. I had taken the gauge out which left a hole without a feed tube etc. I then turned it upside down for about 2-3 weeks with that hole facing down. I probably didn't need to burn it in the brush fire but thought it would be a good additional step.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    13

    Default Update

    I got a chance to finish the top to my fire pit this afternoon. It isn't perfect, but I'm satisfied with it at this point since it's the first project I've attempted with steel and welding.

    Bending the expanded steel into the corner pieces was pretty tricky. Took lots of hammer swinging, clamping and patience.
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