Fire extinguishers can be used as a charcoal grill but How?

  • By: Monica Shulz

Do you have an old fire extinguisher lying around somewhere? Don’t throw it away just yet. In this DIY video, the author showcases a simple inexpensive way to turn your old ax into gold. Take a look at the easy-to-understand steps involved.

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Prepare the Cylindrical Tank

Lay your outworn fire extinguisher on your worktop and start fine-tuning it for the real modification. Start by unscrewing the pressure gauge using a standard wrench. That leaves behind the operating lever. Lay the cylinder on its side with the operating lever end slightly protruding from the surface.

Using a blacksmith’s hammer, gently hit the lever in a cylindrical anticlockwise motion to untighten its grip. When loose enough, unscrew it with your hands as you restore the cylinder to its upright position. Remember to allow the dried residue in the cylinder to pour out. With that, your cylinder is ready for further fine-tuning.

Surface Grind the Cylinder

Using an angle grinder sanding disc, sand off the chipped paint on the cylinder’s exterior surface. While at it, smoothen any rough or uneven edges to restore the cylinder to its original shiny metal piece. Because the base of the cylinder is a little bumpy, don’t worry about grinding it too hard for you will end up partially getting rid of it anyway.

Modify the Cylinder Base

Once you have a satisfactory shiny clean piece, proceed to make your initial modifications. Clamp your steel writer marker pen to align exactly with the lower end of the cylinder base. Holding the pen in position, slowly and carefully rotate the cylinder uprightly and allow the pen to mark around the circumference of the base.

With a complete cylindrical marking, clamp the cylinder on its side and let the base protrude from the clamp slightly. Grab your T square ruler and draw a line separating the two halves of the cylinder base. Maintain the cylinder in its clamped position and start angle grinding along the marked lines to cut off one half of the cylinder base. Remove the semicircle metal piece and leave the other half intact.

Prepare the Adjoining Parts

Next, find a sizeable scrap square hollow section, preferably a cubed one. Sand grind the scrap piece with a wire wheel brush to get rid of the overgrown rust. Once the rough sections are out of the way, set the hollow section aside and look for another scrap metal sheet, preferably with the same thickness as the hollow section.

Firmly clamp it on your worktop and return to your normal sand grinder disc to clean a sizeable section of the metal sheet. Once it’s smooth enough, proceed to markings and cuttings. Place the hollow section upright on the smoothened metal sheet and mark all around the square widths of the hollow section.

Maintaining the metal sheet on the surface, grab the extinguisher cylinder and lay it on the sheet surface within the first half of the marked square borders. Ensure the sliced half of the cylinder base is fully covering the metal sheet leaving out the other unsliced half. In that position, make a semicircular marking on the sheet within the marked square borders.

With the two sets of marks (semicircle within square markings), slice off the demarcated lines using your angle grinder, starting with the semicircle piece. The part of the sheet remaining resembles a U-shaped tunnel and is no longer a square. Sliced it off as well to be used in the next stage.

Attach the Extinguisher Cylinder

Grab the tunnel-shaped metal sheet and place it on top of the square hollow section. It will leave behind an open semicircular space. On that space, attach your extinguisher cylinder along the sliced edges of its hollow base.

Hold the cylinder and the metal sheet in place using an angle magnet and arc weld them together along the attached lines. Then, smoothen the edges of the welded sections as well as the edges of the entire combination (incomplete charcoal grill).    

Prepare the Grill Door

Lay the grill on the side of the attached hollow section. Using hollow sandpaper inserted into the cylinder section, mark an arc running from the intersection of the hollow section length on both sides of the cylinder. Do this for both cylinders ends.

Use a square ruler to join both arcs ends along one surface of the cylinder. Clamp the cylinder and grind along the marked line to create a small opening.

Attach the Roller Chain Parts

Find a piece of roller chain scrap and clamp it firmly facing upward. Using a steel nail, gently hit the bearing pins of the chain with a hammer to dislodge them. Target only two interconnected chainplates and dislodge one of their end pins. This should produce two sets of roller chain hinges.

Head back to your cylinder and start attaching the hinges over the small grinder opening made earlier. To make them hold to the metal cylinder, use the angle magnet. Once the hinges hold, arc weld them on the cylinder over the linear opening. Remember to space the two hinges evenly on both ends of the opening.

With the hinges intact, proceed to grind along the entire length of both marked arcs on the cylinder to create a door. Open up the door and smoothen its edges using a rotary smoother. Then, insert a wire mesh sieve over the hollow section connecting the cylinder to the cube.

Design the Chimney

Start by enlarging the hole on the top of the extinguisher cylinder. Measure the size of the chimney over the expanded hole using a small square carton box. Open up the carton box and use its three squares to cut three identical metal sheets to match the carton’s dimensions. Don’t grind the metal sheet completely but only enough to bend it into a U-shaped piece.

Close off one of the openings of the U-shaped piece with another square metal sheet and the top opening with a hollow metal sheet. Then, lay the newly formed metal cube on the top cylinder hole on its hollow face. Hold the piece firmly and arc weld it on the cylinder.

Complete the Chimney

Find a cylindrical hollow metal rod about the same diameter as the chimney hole, sand grinds it, and cut it to a sizeable length. Place it over the chimney hole and arc weld it firmly. Once the chimney is intact, proceed to finish the grill door. Arc weld two sets of metal strip sheets on the cylinder to seal the edges of the grill door for a decent finish.

Create the Grill Stands

Find scrap steel rebar and cut them down to size to form identical lengths. Arc weld them together to form two sets of complete grill stands. Then, attach them to the base of the main body of the grill-the cylinder.

Design and Attach the Burner Door

Get a square metal sheet identical to the opening of the burner and make several identical markings on it to drill aeration holes. Make four identical holes before attaching the sheet to the burner using a pair of roller chain hinges.

Next, insert two identical angle bars into the burner to support the charcoal holder. Close the burner door and drill a smaller hole to attach a spring burner door handle.

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Assemble the Grill

Use smaller steel rods than the rebar for the grill. Sand them properly if rusted, cut them down to identical sizes, and then arc welds them together. With the grill bars ready, use the remaining rods to prepare the grill door handle and attach it. Then, finish by inserting the grill bars inside the cylinder.

The End Product

After all the hard labor, this is finally what your pro charcoal grill looks like. Made from scrap pieces, it features a sleek modern design to afford you the same functionality (or better) as the conventional grill. It is compact enough to fit on your desktop and portable enough to bring along on a camping trip.


Want more flavor in your meat or sausages? Try this DIY homemade PRO charcoal grill for that extra delectable home-cooked flavor. You will be glad you did. Start assembling now and good luck with the measurements.

To learn more about the tools used in the project, subscribe to the author’s DIY projects YouTube channel with a total current subscription of 248,000. If you also liked his video you can also support him at Yandex.

Photo by DIY Projects / CC BY 3.0