How to Build a Cooking Rack for an Open Fire Pit

Written by jane smith
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How to Build a Cooking Rack for an Open Fire Pit
Tiny racks limit your grilling space. (Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

While you could just lay a grill over you fire pit, a swing-arm cooking rack is more attractive, versatile and easier to use. If you know how to weld, you can make this rack in 30 minutes or less. By making it at least a foot larger than your fire pit's diameter, you have room in the corners to keep items warm without reducing the total area available for grilling.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 100-volt gasless MIG
  • Welding helmet, welding gloves and full leathers
  • 10-foot-long, 1/2-inch diameter rebar shepherd's crook with 2-foot arm
  • 2-foot-long, 1/2-inch diameter rebar
  • Black permanent marker
  • 4 pieces 1-by-1-by-1/8-inch angle-iron, 36-inches long
  • Abrasive saw blade
  • Right-angled grinder
  • 24-grit grinding wheel
  • 36-inch square of expanded sheet steel with 1-inch openings
  • 5 "O" rings, 2-inch diameter, from 1/4-inch diameter steel rod
  • 4 pieces heavy steel chain, 36-inch-long
  • 4 "S" hooks
  • 1.81kg. sledge hammer

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  1. 1

    Lay the rebar shepherd's crook on your welding table with the arm pointing to the right. Measure 6 feet up from the bottom of the shaft of the shepherd's crook and mark that point.

  2. 2

    Don your welding helmet and other protective gear. Weld the 2-foot piece of rebar to the shaft of the shepherd's crook at the 6-foot mark so that it points to the left.

  3. 3

    Mitre the ends of each piece of angle-iron 45 degrees using an abrasive saw blade on a right-angled grinder. Remove any burrs using a 24-grit grinding wheel on a 4-inch right-angled grinder.

  4. 4

    Arrange the four pieces of angle-iron in a square with one leg pointing toward the ceiling and the other leg pointing toward the centre of the square, with the mitred corners butted together. Weld along each seam to create the frame of the cooking rack.

  5. 5

    Fit the expanded sheet steel into the frame and weld it in place. Stand an "O" ring on end at the top edge of each corner of the frame and weld it in place.

  6. 6

    Slide the remaining "O" ring through one end of each of the four pieces of chain and weld it closed. Add an "S" hook to the other end of each chain. Hook each chain to one of the "O" rings at the four corners of the cooking rack frame. Weld each hook closed.

  7. 7

    Drive the shepherd's crook 2-feet-deep into the ground using a small sledge. Hang the cooking rack from the shepherd's crook. Use the 2-foot arm to swing the rack on and off the flames of your fire pit as needed.

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