Want to know how to make a Fire Pit Screen? This article will help you on creating your first fire pit screen.
Enjoying the warmth of an open fire pit or camp fire is something that everyone should be able to experience, worry-free! Whenever you and your family as well as friends are gathered around a fire, you should be doing nothing but relaxing and making fun memories as you share food and make memories. This is why, safety is one of the priorities when it comes to having a fire pit at home or even setting up one in camp sites or in beaches.
Fire is unpredictable and no matter how careful you are, an open fire pit is still very much prone to causing accidents. Sparks can easily escape from the open pit and will most probably cause unintentional grass fires which can lead to bigger, destructive flames which you will be liable. Either way, an accident is something that you will never want to happen since it does not only damage property or its surroundings but can also hurt the very people you have gathered together to spend quality time with.
There are fire safety tips that you can always follow before starting your fire pit but it is always a good idea to reinforce such safety with a fire pit screen. A spark screen can be your shield and act as additional security to contain embers, sparks and even flying ashes and keep them contained within the pit.
The fire pit spark screen is used to cover an open fire pit to keep any unwanted fire starters from escaping. While most fire pits in the market come with a spark screen, you can actually make one for your existing fire pit at home. Constructing your own spark screen can also be convenient since you can be sure that it completely fits the fire pit that you regularly use. Plus, you will feel extra safe knowing that the materials you used in making the cover truly serves their purpose of protecting you and your surroundings.
Here are the basic steps to take on how to make a fire pit screen.
Measuring Your Fire Pit Perimeter
In order to know the size of your DIY fire pit screen project, you have to be able to determine the exact measurement of your fire pit. This should include the circumference and the shape as well since you will want a tight, snug fit. Once you get the size and shape of your fire pit, it is time to measure the size of the fire pit screen for it.
- How to Measure a Fire Pit Screen
Round/Dome Shaped Fire Pit Screen: To determine the size of the screen you will need for your fire pit, measure the inner diameter of your fire pit in inches and then add 4 inches to your calculation.
Choose Your Fire Pit Screen Material
Now that you have measured the size of your fire pit and the determined how large your screen should be, you can now move on to an important part of making one and that is choosing the materials to construct it with. Naturally, you should be making a mesh screen since it ultimately protects you from open flame and embers.
Stainless steel should be your topmost choice when making your own mesh spark screen. It is stronger and can withstand the elements longer than any of the other options. It is rust-proof and conducts heat slower than other metals.
You can opt for the cheaper coated steel but its durability and longevity will depend heavily on how strong the exterior coating is because if it’s flimsy, the exterior can easily be breached and oxidation will start forming, rusting your spark screen. Iron also can be an option but it is easily susceptible to rusting and corrosion plus, it is heavier.
Do not forget to use steel nuts and bolts or washers to put together your fire pit screen that way the entire construct remains sturdy, durable and rust-resistant for a very long time.
How to Put Your Fire Pit Screen: Step-By-Step
After you have considered the measurements and chosen your materials, it time to go into a step-by-step procedure on how to put your fire pit screen together.
Step 1: Base Structure
Construct or buy a stainless steel or iron ring with the same circumference as your fire pit’s measurement as the base of your cover.
Get two 1-inch-wide strips of sheet metal which are 8 inches longer than the ring’s diameter and weld them to the metal ring. Make sure that each piece run perpendicular to one another and form an X at the center of the ring.
Create an arc upward, forming a dome which should be at least, 7 inches taller than the top part of the ring.
Step 2: Covering
Once the frame is constructed, stretch the metal hardware cloth or screen over it. Wrap it around and loop it under the bottom of the ring then back up to the top.
Sew or stitch a fine gauge metal wire to keep the metal mesh in place. Ensure that your stitching joins two layers of mesh along the top of the metal ring, encasing the entire ring with metal mesh.
Use hardware cloth with 1/8 inches of mesh opening at most since the smaller the openings in between the wires, the more efficient it will be at preventing sparks from escaping.
If you have left over window screen that you haven’t used for the windows of your home, you can opt to use it as mesh cloth. Just make sure that it has not weathered or rusted, depending on how long you have them in storage. Otherwise, just purchase brand new steel mesh cloth or screen.
Step 3: Screw and Paint
Now that the mesh cover is in place, screw a metal eye into the pint where the 2 welded 1-inch pieces of sheet metal cross. This eye on top of the fire screen will form the handle to lift the screen off your fire pit.
You can also attach a good sizeable handle which you can grip or be able to fit a fire poker into so you can safely lift the screen if you need to add more wood or tend to the fire. It will also be efficient when you want to clean your fire pit after it has cooled off.
Pain your assembled fire pit screen inside and out with black fire-resistant paint. Do not be stingy with the pain and make sure that you coat your mesh spark screen entirely and thoroughly.
The paint will probably wear off or chip away as you use it over time so keep extra paint in handy so you can recoat your metal construction as often as you need it to protect it from rusting and the outside elements, as well as the extreme heat temperature of a fire.
Other Things to Consider When Making a Fire Pit Screen
Shape and Style
Just because it is a DIY fire pit spark screen does not mean it can’t look stylish or unique. The fire pit screen should be dome in shape however, you can opt to design the dome higher, depending on how you want your entire fire pit to look.
You can also consider the thickness of the frame and whether you want to put any additional designs on them to bring out a more artistic aesthetic to your backyard’s focal point.
Rectangular, circular or square, it does not matter really as long as it efficiently does the job of protecting you from fiery accidents.
Mobility and Weight
One of the important aspects that you should consider when making your fire pit screen is its mobility. You don’t want to have a cover that is difficult to move but at the same time, you do not want a cover that can be easily blown off if the wind is high and strong. A heavier spark screen is surprisingly easier to handle but, you don’t have to pick the heaviest material you can find. Just make sure that you choose a sturdier one.
The general rule is that the shallower the fire pit screen is, the easier it is to control. But to be sure, try picking up your finished product to gauge how heavy (or light) it is. Remember, you need to be able to lift it in order to add more firewood or tend to the fire while you are grilling.
Consider also if you want to place a temperature-shield handle on your spark screen so you can lift it with your hands. Although, this is not entirely recommended since you don’t want to accidentally burn your hands. It is always better to have a screen that you can lift using tools such as a poker or a strong metal rod that can bear the weight of your spark screen.
You want a strong, weighted screen cover that does not get easily toppled over by the wind or when hit by something heavy but at the same time, one that you can reasonably heft without breaking your back.
A Gentle Reminder…
Finally, making your fire pit screen can be a challenge but if you are well experienced in small welding and construction, you can be able to create your very own, customized mesh spark screen.
However, keep in mind that you are doing this to protect yourself and the people around you whenever you are spending time around a camp fire or the fire pit. So, it is more prudent and practical to have someone construct it for you if you are not confident with your construction skills.
You can always find an expert to help you construct or create the perfect fire pit screen for you while keeping your preferences and aesthetic in mind. It might cost a little bit more than actually having to do the labor yourself but if it guarantees the safety of your kids and your home against fire pit accidents, then it sure will be worth it.
Hi, I’m Adam and I’m a HUGE fan of Food and Cooking.
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