When I went to clean out our fire pit I noticed there were several holes in the bottom of it in what is called the ash pan. What the heck is an ash pan? I know – I didn’t know the technical term until I started looking for one to replace the rust bucket we currently had. It is the metal bottom of a fire pit that holds the logs. Unfortunately, they are made out of inexpensive sheet metal and tend to corrode quickly. Since we had a square fire pit (purchased at Lowes about three years ago) and purchasing a $20 piece of stainless steel was in the budget we decided to try to prolong the life of our ash pan by just replacing some of the metal. It is a heck of a better deal than spending the $150 to replace the fire pit. Here is what we learned along the way…you can’t find replacement ash pans. I think the fire pit manufacturers are in cahoots making the ash pans wear out quickly so that you have to get a new fire pit every few years.
24” x 24” 26 gauge sheet metal (purchased at Lowes’)
bolts and washers
electric drill with drill bits
1. Taking a piece of 24” x 24” sheet metal we drew this diagram onto the metal with a Sharpie and then with tin snips we cut along the red lines.
2. Next we formed the metal to fit into the existing pan overlapping the corner edges and then marked them and folded one corner edge back and one forward. Note: we snipped the forward edge so it wasn’t so sharp.
3. Using a made for metal drill bit we drilled holes through the sheet metal and our rust bucket and then attached a bolt and washer through it to hold it in place. We ended up adding a dozen screws to keep it secure.
By the time it was all screwed in much of the bottom of the pan had given way with a bunch of the rust just flaking off.
At this point I am in awe of my husband’s brilliance and a little shocked it worked!
4. After it was secure I cleaned it with some Mr. Clean Outdoor Pro and then let that dry. Next I coated it with some high heat spray paint on both the front and the back of the ash pan. I used Rustoleum’s High Heat Spray Paint in black. I also blasted the metal cover with it too.
After I restored the firepit I built a table that fits just over the firepit. This way the wood will protect the new metal pan and will also allow us to get more use out of this area in the hot summer when we don’t make fires.