Build Your Own Spark Arrestor

Lead Image
  • 2-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 20-50
What You'll Need
Tin snips
Wire cutters
Leather gloves
22 or 23 gauge non-coated wire
8x2-foot metal cloth

If you have an outdoor fire pit, you should install a spark arrestor to ensure that no flaming debris flies out of the fire pit, becoming an airborne fire hazard.

Step 1 - Prepare the Metal Cloth

Wearing gloves, roll out metal cloth and fold a 1-inch seam on all four sides. Lay it out on concrete and use your shoe to tighten up each fold.

Step 2 - Prepare the Fire Pit Base

Make a base for the arrestor by either pulling back the top row of stones, making a lip on the lower row, or ensuring there is room between stones and burn area.

Step 3 - Cut the Wire Fasteners

Using the wire cutters, cut 21 pieces of wire 4 inches long. Bend each into a horseshoe shape and set the pieces aside. Cut one 16-inch piece of wire and bend it into a U-shape. Bend each end into a small U-shape with about 2 inches on each end bent upwards.

Step 4 - Fit the Metal Cloth

While still wearing your gloves, fit the metal cloth into the fire pit, using either the lip made on the bottom row of stones or the ground as the base. Fit the cloth snugly, letting the ends overlap.

Step 5 - Secure the Overlapped Ends

Using six of the 4-inch pieces of wire, affix the overlapped ends to each other, fastening three per edge. Position the U-shaped wire inwards towards the fire pit. Use pliers to twist the ends around tightly.

Step 6 - Make Slanted Cuts into the Metal Cloth

Make 10 equidistant marks around the cloth. Make sure the overlapped area falls in between one of these areas. Remove the metal cloth from the pit. Beginning from the mark nearest the overlap—but not inside it—use the tin snips to make a straight, slanted cut. The cut should end about 6 inches from the bottom and as close to the halfway point to the next mark as you can.

Make a slanted cut from the second mark to meet the first cut. You essentially want to cut out five wedges from the top. Repeat this from the third mark to the second, from the fourth to the third, and so on.

Step 7 - Make Seams for Each Cut Edge

Still wearing gloves, at each of the five wedges, fold a 1-inch seam inward on either edge.

Step 8 - Fold Each Flap Inwards

Reposition the cloth and fold one flap at a time inward, joining it with the next flap. Use the three pieces of 4-inch wire to join each at the seams.

Step 9 - Tighten the Wire Fasteners

Remove the cloth once more. Use the pliers to tighten each of the 15 fasteners. Cut the ends off.

Step 10 - Make the Handle

From the inside out, position the large cut of U-shaped wire in the center. Then turn the arrestor over and tighten the smaller U-shapes to secure the handle to the top.