Fire Pit Welding Project

Fire Pit Welding Project

Hey, it’s Steve from Arc Academy. We have
a fun little project for you today. If you’re like me, I’m from Michigan.
Michigan people know that all seasons really need a fire pit, so what we’re
gonna be doing is we’re gonna be making a very simple 4 panel fire pit for you
today using the MIG and plasma cutting processes. And we are gonna be using the
215 Multimatic and then we’re also going to be using a plasma cutter. Now, we are
cutting our panels with a CNC plasma cutter. It’s just a little faster and we
already have ours pre-cut, but you could use your 625 or 375 XTREME at home. It’s
gonna do fine for you. You’re just gonna want to make sure when you put your
plates together that you even, even, them up with a grinder, so, to have a
little, little, more accuracy. Now these are the plates that we’re gonna have ,and
as you’re gonna see, we’re here in Chicago, so we’re gonna show off our
Chicago pride. A little bit of pride in our city, but for the most part we’re
making a smaller fire pit. So, the first thing you should do when you are doing
any project is come up with a plan. Get your design, get all of your measurements
ready. What we’re doing is a 30-inch top and it’s tapering down into about a 24-inch midsection, then tapering back out the 30 inches for good stability. But, a
lot of great things here. We’re making ours out of 16 gauge because that’s just
what was available in our shop for plasma cutting at the time, but you can
use whatever you like. 16 gauge, eighth-inch, if you want to go a little heavier
duty, if you don’t want to make it so portable, do what you like. Okay? So, what
we’re gonna do first is we’ve already got our four panels cut out, we have to
press break them, and form them into the angles that we want in order to
fabricate them. And after we press break, we’re gonna go into grinding and
prepping the weld areas, so we can get a good, a good, weld in there. Alright, so
let’s go to press breaking. So, when you’re press breaking, what do you want
to do is you want to make sure that you keep your measurements exactly the same
for every single piece. Especially when the pieces have to
match. So, I want to make sure these lengths to the break are exactly six and
a half inches because that’s how long I need to make my my little legs for this
fire pit. And now I’m gonna measure it vertically, because I want it roughly to
bend about two and a half inches. So, now that we’ve bent all four sides,
what we want to go, what we want to do is we want to move on to prepping. Now, I’m
gonna take a 40 grit flap disk on a grinder, a four and a half inch angle
grinder, and this is hot roll steel, so I want to make sure my weld areas are
as clean as I can possibly get, so I get the best weld I can get. I want this to
last for a long time, so I’m going to go through the proper steps. Now, here’s the
deal, if you don’t have a press break a lot of people aren’t gonna have a press
break out there, what you can do if you’re working on thicker metals, even
the 16 gauge, it’s gonna be a really hard to press break 24 ,excuse me, to bend 24
inches of this material by yourself, so what you could do on the back side take
a four and a half inch angle grinder with a cutting disk and you can actually
lightly score the area, the, the line that you’re trying to bend until it bends
easier. Put your piece together and then tack it back together, so it’s a little
bit more reinforced. But it’ll, it’ll, allow you to bend that material much
easier. But for right now what we want to do is we want to prep all our areas. So,
I’m gonna lock each panel down to my table and I’m gonna use a four and a
half inch angle grinder. Make sure you’re wearing your safety glasses and hearing
protection. And we’re just going to take care of this real quick. Now that we’ve prepped all our weld
areas, we are pretty much ready to tack this thing together. And what we want to
do first is we’re going to start corner to corner, and we want to start low, and
the center of each, and then the point where it connects on the bend. Those are
the two areas that we’re going to be concentrating on. We’re gonna get that
all tacked up and then we’re going to move to the top. That way, if we overly
bent one or if we have a little bit of a under bend. If one flex and contorted or
distorted while we were bending it, we can actually pull it and push it back
into shape and then meet the edges together. This is thin metal welding, so
you want the tightest joints you can get, and we’re gonna try to be as tight as we
can get. Alright, so let’s get going. Now that we have a few tacks on the
first corner of our fire pit, what we’ll do is we’ll repeat that process on the
next three corners. We’ll try to square it up as much as possible. We may have to
hammer it into place a little bit, but then we’ll move on to the top, re-square
it and then we’ll weld it up. So, as you can see, we moved all the way
around the piece and tacked all four corners together. Starting with the lower
section and then finishing with the top section. As I moved up through, I moved
about every half. I went every half, so started low, then went middle, then went
high and then, did, went back and forth to the centers, spreading out the heat, so
you don’t have as much conductivity, much heat going into those areas, so you don’t
burn through. Now, another thing, another reason I do that is so I can get the the
best joint I can, the tightest joint I can. Sometimes you may have to take a
hammer or a pair of pliers or something and really squeeze those, that sheet
metal together really tightly, so you can get the best joint you can. Now, what
we’re gonna do is we’re gonna make a bedding for the wood to go into before
we move on and weld the entire thing together, and I think perfect bedding for
this particular project is gonna be half-inch square bar and then we’ll
reinforce 3/8 expanded metal. So after triple checking the interior dimensions of my
fire pit, what I wanted to do was create a frame that would support the logs in
my fire pit. And how I did that is I chopped up some half-inch hot roll
square bar with a chop saw, and then I did about a quarter-inch chamfer on
either end, just to make sure I could good penetration when I’m welding the
half-inch bar together. So, that’s what I’m doing right now. I have the simple
frame already tacked up. I’m gonna put my cross supports in and I’m just gonna use
some simple welding magnets. We have our half-inch square bar and
expanded metal grate all ready to be welded on the interior of our fire pit.
And we want to attack the entire thing together first, and this will help
prevent distortion. Now we have the grate welded into the
interior of the fire pit. Now, what this is going to do is this is going to true
up the fire pit. It’s not going to be able to warp out of position when we’re
moving through of the other weld areas. So, what we want to do now is we’re going
to now weld our corners up this entire corner wants we want a full bead all the
way through this, but this is 16 gauge steel, so we can’t do the entire thing.
There’s gonna be too much heat input, you’re gonna burn through and you have
to put it in the welding position that’s most comfortable, put, position for you.
Now, ideally if we could get this in flat position and we could do a push
technique that would be great, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen. I think
we’re gonna have to do a horizontal position, put it on the ground, still do a
push technique and move pretty fast. Make sure that if you are using auto set on
your 215 that you’re set properly for 16 gauge. Make sure the clamp is on the
material. I do that all the time. Sometimes I leave the clamp on the table
and I forgot to clamp my piece, everybody does it, you may do it too. But just
remember to put your clamp on your piece and set your machine properly. So, that’s
what we’re gonna do now. So, we’re going to move this to the floor and try to do
a little horizontal position outer open corner joints. So there you have it. Your 16 gauge, hot
rolled steel fire pit, made with the 625 Miller XTREME and the Multimatic 215.
Now, all there is to do is find a backyard, grab some buddies and a cold one,
and enjoy. Now, if you enjoyed this video and you want to learn more about welding
and fabricating, go to to learn about our classes. Thanks again and
we’ll see you in the shop.

10 thoughts on “Fire Pit Welding Project

  1. What type of metal did you use; Mild steel or 304? I love these video's that Arc Academy and Miller put out! I like the Chicago Pride on the side too! That Multimatic is next on my list of welders to get. I'm loving my 210 DX!

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