Sparks that escape from your open fire can start unintentional forest or grass fires, and if those fires cause damage, you could be personally liable. A spark screen should always be used with an open fire pit to both prevent sparks from burning those sitting around the fire and to prevent escaping sparks from starting unintentional fires. A custom fire screen can be made to fit any fire pit with a few basic supplies from the hardware store.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Measuring tape
- Metal ring
- Sheet metal
- Welding equipment
- Hardware cloth or old metal screen window
- Jeweller's wire
- Screw-in eye bold, 1-inch diameter
- High-temp paint, black
Measure the fire pit's perimeter. It is important to determine both the size and shape of the pit so that your custom screen can be made to fit the pit exactly.
Get a stainless steel or iron ring with the same circumference as the pit's measurement. This forms the base of the pit cover, so the taller the ring is, the better.
Weld two 1-inch-wide strips of sheet metal to the ring. Each 1-inch strip should be eight inches longer than the ring's diameter. The pieces should run perpendicular to one another to form an "X" above the centre of the metal ring. The pieces should arc upward to form a dome that is six inches taller than the top of the ring.
Stretch metal hardware cloth over the frame created by the ring and sheet metal. Use a hardware cloth with no more than a 1/8-inch mesh opening. The finer the mesh -- or smaller the openings between wires -- the more effective the screen will be at stopping sparks from escaping. To make the project more "green," stretch the metal mesh from an old window screen over the frame.
Wrap the metal mesh all the way around the ring, so that it loops under the bottom of the ring, and back up to the top. Use a fine gauge metal wire, like jewellers wire, to sew the metal mesh in place. The stitching should join two layers of mesh along the top of the metal ring so that the ring is enclosed in a casing of the metal mesh.
Screw a large metal eye into the top of the fire pit screen at the point that the two welded pieces of sheet metal cross. The eye hook forms the handle to lift the fire screen off the of the fire.
Paint the final project when fully assembled. Coat the entire spark screen, inside and out, with a black fire-resistant paint. This paint will slowly chip away with use, so re-coat the screen as often as needed to protect the metal.
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