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What do you do when your washing machine breaks down? Well, if it’s irreparable, like ours was, you buy a new one and discover the wealth of cool, salvageable stuff inside the old one! While I would have loved to dismantle the thing into its various components and keep every last one of them, we were getting ready to move house (i.e. not really in a “how can we aquire more stuff??” frame of mind!), so I settled for just removing the drum. Apparently there’s a method for doing this, and a ton of videos out there to show you what it is. I watched a couple on youtube, then forgot everything I’d just seen and ripped the thing apart with a claw hammer. This cost the best part of an afternoon, multiple stubbed fingers and toes, and a sore back for the next three days (I’m sure if I’d just stuck with the video directions the whole process would have been more efficient and less painful). When it was done, I was left with a horrible stale water smell and this:

ImageA little vinegar-and-elbow-grease later, it was shiny and good as new. Our original plan was to make it into a coffe table – I loved the thought of making a dual purpose table-and-light by putting a string of battery-operated fairy lights inside the drum, fitting a rubber rim around the top, and attaching a circular pane of glass as the table-top. The lights would twinkle out of the little holes, and the metal-glass combo would be a cool, modern update from the wooden coffee table we had at the time.

Anyway, once we found the house we wanted to move into, and moved into it, it became apparent that there wasn’t going to be space for a coffee table. (We got around that problem like this.) So the poor drum languished out in the garage for a few months; winter turned to spring, spring turned to summer… and we realised we needed a firepit!

There’s not really any need for a tutorial for this one, beyond “Get a washing machine drum. Clean it out really well. Build a fire in it.”! It is advisable of course to make sure it’s on some kind of a stable base, so as not to be a fire risk – ours is screwed onto the same wheel it was attached to in the machine, which has proven to be pretty sturdy, if a little low. We might raise it a few inches for the sake of convenience, in which case I’ll update the post. But for now it’s perfect for long summer evenings of wine, shisha and marshmallow roasting!

And the best bit? Depends who you ask. I like that you still get the twinkly lights shining through the holes; Adam likes that the body of the drum is wider than the hole at the top so you get a nice jet-engine effect when the fire’s really going 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Firepit from a Washing Machine Drum

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