How to build a pipe gas burner for a barbecue

Written by steve sloane
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How to build a pipe gas burner for a barbecue
Tighten the end cap to the pipe using a Stillson wrench. (pipe wrench image by apeschi from

Gas (propane) burner pipes are used in the base of fireplaces or homemade barbecues to allow the flow of gas to exit the end of the gas pipeline and then be lit to heat the room/barbecued food. The pipes can be made from standard 2 cm (3/4 inch) steel gas supply pipe, which comes in various lengths. Holes are drilled through one side of the pipe to allow gas to escape, which can be created with different diameter drill bits to allow for the desired size of flame.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 2 cm (3/4 inch) steel gas pipe
  • Insulation/duct tape
  • Vice
  • Steel brush
  • Threading compound and brush
  • Steel end cap
  • Stillson wrench
  • Measuring Tape
  • Marker pen
  • Center punch
  • Hammer
  • 5 mm (3/16 inch) steel drill bit
  • Drill
  • Reamer

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  1. 1

    Purchase the correct length of 2 cm (3/4 inch) steel gas pipe to fit the homemade barbecue. Make sure the pipe is factory-threaded at both ends. Place a strip of insulation or duct tape along each side of the pipe and tighten the pipe horizontally in a vice (the tape will rest against the vice jaws and prevent scratching).

  2. 2

    Clean both end threads using a steel brush. Use a small brush to apply threading compound around the thread on one end of the pipe. Screw on a steel end cap to the thread by hand. Tighten it in place using a Stillson wrench.

  3. 3

    Measure a series of marks in a straight line along the top of the pipe. The number of marks corresponds to the number of gas holes desired in the pipe. Rest the end of a centre punch on each mark and tap the other end of the punch with a hammer. This creates small notches in the pipe so the holes can be more easily drilled.

  4. 4

    Rest the tip of a 5 mm (3/16 inch) steel drill bit in each notch and drill holes through one side of the pipe. Place the tip of a reamer into each hole and turn it a couple of times to remove any small metal burrs.

  5. 5

    Loosen the vice, remove the pipe and pull off the tape from the sides.

Tips and warnings

  • To install the gas pipe on a barbecue, apply threading compound to the thread on the remaining end of the gas pipe and screw on a steel coupling. Tighten the coupling in place with the wrench. Thread the coupling onto the gas supply line on one side of the barbecue, making sure the holes on the pipe face up. Again, tighten it in place with the wrench.

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