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6 Ways to Up-cycle Household Items into Fire Pits

6 Ways to Up-cycle Household Items into Fire Pits

If you think the green recycling movement is a recent invention, then you’ve never met a redneck!

  • REDNECK RECYCLING: Consists of recycling, reforming and reusing of everything they get their hands on.
  • Redneck Recycling is not: Separating glass, plastic, paper and aluminum.
  • Reuse, Reduce and Recycle in Redneck terms = Recoup, Rig, Repurpose

Since most rednecks love nothing more than sitting outside after a long day relaxing with a beer next to the fire, it’s no wonder that making DIY recycled fire pits from repurposed scrap materials has practically become an art form in redneck culture. As Jeff Foxworthy might say, you know you’re a redneck when your backyard barbecue is made from an abandoned shopping cart . . . or an old tractor tire rim, barrel, or washing machine tub!

Looking for an inexpensive way to create the perfect DIY backyard fire pit? Learn the redneck secrets for turning junk into one of these backyard gems.

The Barrel Pit

This fire pit is made from an old barrel and old horseshoes. If you have these two redneck staple pieces lying around your yard (or know of a scrapyard where you can pick them up for next to nothing), you’re well on your way to making a portable outdoor fire pit to light up your nights. Find an old grill top in your rummaging? Then get ready for some redneck barbecue!

Materials

Steel barrel

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4 old horse shoes

Salvaged grill top (optional)

Metal saw and welding tools

Basic cleaning solution

How to Make

Once you’ve found the perfect barrel, clean it out before proceeding. Since steel barrels are generally used to carry oil or other gunky stuff, you want to make sure all residue is removed first before lighting a fire in it. Use the cleaner for this and rinse thoroughly.

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  1. Measure 18 – 24 inches from the bottom of the barrel and mark this height at several points around the outside of the barrel.
  2. Cut the barrel using a metal saw and then weld around the rim of the barrel so edges are not sharp. Don’t know a thing about cutting and welding metal, or don’t have the tools? You may want to use the services of a metal welder, hopefully in the form of a redneck friend willing to work for free or for just the cost of materials. A professional welder’s services for this type of project can range anywhere from $20 to $80.
  3. If you’re the one doing the work, next, cut vent openings around the bottom section of the barrel (see image) about 7-8 inches apart. Vent openings release excess heat and help prevent wood pieces from overheating and shooting out too much spark.
  4. Weld around the cuts to soften the edges.
  5. Position horseshoes in parallel pairs around the rim of the barrel and weld each into place to create an imaginary cross.
  6. Fill with wood and kindling and enjoy! If you have an old grill top laying around, once the flames have died down to hot coals, place it on top of the horseshoes for an instant barbecue.

Ah, the simple life!

Source Credit – http://www.fireplacemall.com

The Repurposed Grill Fire Pit

If lounging in a lawn chair under the stars with your feet stretched out before a roaring fire sounds like a little slice of heaven, here’s how to turn this redneck fantasy into redneck reality! Got an old grill tucked away in the back of the shed? Then you’re all set.

Materials

  • Grill bottom
  • Metal Saw

How to Make

  1. Remove grill lid and other attached parts, including handles and legs.
  2. Reattach handles and legs, using each as a leg for the refashioned fire pit. Reattach only end of the handles and turn the other end down to act as a leg.
  3. The fire pit should sit at least 6 inches off the ground. If needed, cut old grill legs to size.
  4. Add kindling and fire starter.

Now, the fun part: Stretch out those tired dogs and relax!

The Wheelbarrow Fire Pit

Got an old wheelbarrow? Then you’ve got yourself a fire pit! Simply add wood and light. If the wheels still work, you can move the fire pit around the yard to keep you warm wherever you go. You can also keep it stationary by blocking the wheels.

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Materials

Old Wheelbarrow

Working wheels (If you want it to be portable)

Cement Bricks

How to Make

  1. Clean your wheelbarrow of any old debris
  2. Check the wheels. If you don’t want your wheelbarrow to be moved around, wheel to desired location and block in place using the cement bricks. A big old rock will do in a pinch, too!
  3. Fill with kindling and scrap wood.

Get ready for a barrow full of redneck fun!

The Shopping Cart Pit

Well lookie here, an abandoned shopping cart with no identifying store name on it whatsoever. Bring it to the dump? Not if you’re a redneck! If you can get your hands on some wire mesh, a little scrap metal, and you have some basic know-how of metal welding, the ultimate conversation fire pit could be yours!

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Materials

  • Discarded shopping cart with chrome finish
  • 27″ x 8′ steel lath (wire mesh) to line all of the four sides of the cart and basket
  • Steel drip edge flashing
  • Steel corner bead
  • 3 cookie sheets or flat scrap sheet metal
  • Hinges (To connect the spark screen to the shopping cart)
  • Handle
  • 1 pr Steel hurricane ties
  • Nuts and bolts

How to Make

  1. Remove all rubber and plastics parts from the cart, including the rubber bumpers on the corners of the basket. This is redneck must!
  2. Using the Steel drip edge flashing, build a snug frame for the bottom of the basket. This will help to keep embers from rolling out of the basket.
  3. Cut the edges off two cookie sheets (or use scrap sheet metal). Measure and cut so they fit inside the frame as a pan on the bottom of the cart.
  4. Line the cart with steel lath (wire mesh). Use large washers and bolts to attach the lath to the sides. For less than $10, a 27” x 8’ sheet will be enough for all 4 sides plus one piece left over to spark screen cover.
  5. To make the spark screen cover, cut to match the top of the cart (as a lid). Frame with steel corner bead, using nuts and bolts on all four sides to keep everything in place.
  6. Attach a handle to the far end of the lid; attaches hinges on the end closest to the basket.
  7. Use hurricane ties to secure the hinges in place.
  8. Pretty cool, huh? Now lift the lid and load your cart with kindling.

If the wheels are still working, this is a completely mobile redneck work of fire pit art. You can even use the undercarriage to store extra wood!

The Old Pot Pit

Grandma’s old cast iron or copper pot not getting much use anymore? Put your inner redneck to work and turn that unused cauldron into a fire pit with lots of charm.

Materials

  • Grandma’s old, large cast iron or copper cauldron or pot
  • Bricks or stones

How to Make

  1. Place the pot on a non-flammable surface. Concrete, gravel or dirt works fine.
  2. Surround the pot with large stones or bricks to prevent the pot from moving around or tipping over.
  3. Load with kindling and light.

If Grandma’s got an old grill grate she’s willing to part with, you’re in business! No more stew, though–get ready to barbecue!

The Steel Roofing Fire Ring

Have some strips of roofing metal left over from your last repair job? Well, don’tcha ya know it, you are in luck. It’s finally time to build that backyard fire ring!

Materials

  • Left over corrugated steel or pole barn roofing
  • Bricks, stone, etc.
  • Metal roofing screws (bolt style with washer)

How to Make

  1. Choose the location in your yard where the fire ring will be permanently installed.
  2. Clear grass from the area to leave level dirt.
  3. Create a loop with the roofing metal in the desired size of the ring.
  4. Fasten with roofing screws and washers.
  5. Stack bricks or rocks around ring high enough to cover the width of the ring.

That’s pretty darn elegant, if we do say so ourselves. If you like the redneck ethos for recycling wherever you can, but don’t necessarily like the redneck “look,” this project may be you!

Use these simple steps to bring out your inner redneck and throw an outdoor party that will wow your friends. Cold beer, warm fire… Ah, the simple joys of the redneck life!

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

Reference

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