The Van Der Merwe Custom Vented Copper Fire Pit Cover Details & Photo Page
South Lebanon, Ohio (4/14)
Cost: $2,220.58 - 47.6#

Updated 4 / 2014

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Getting it All Worked Out

This is a custom 51" wide solid 24oz copper fire-pit cover for our client Anton & Annie Van Der Merwe in South Lebanon, Ohio. As you can see this has a hammered curved low profile bell shape to this cover and has 1" type L copper pipe added to the outer rim. There's a 1/2" pipe along the bottom edge of the drop ring riveted and soldered in place. There's a separate collar to help keep the lava rock out of the way of the drop ring to slide down in the burner tray. The center dome is set above the main cover on a 1/2" pipe framework and has stainless steel screen. this is for venting to help minimize condensation inside. This cover is 47.6# in all.

We first had to exchange dozens of e-mails to work out the details. As you see they had a rather specific idea of how they wanted this shaped and shared some diagrams like this with me to demonstrate their needs.

I love collaborating with Clients who have a vision in mind. Anton had diagramed this cover as shown in this fashion. I  was left to design the way we would make this work out, be sturdy, and look good.

 Even before we had fully soldered the top frame together we tested the strength of this frame and the cover it's self with 340# on it (as shown here). I believe it could easily handle more than this much weight, but no need to find out what it's compromising strength would be, since it's not likely to be subjected to more pressure than this.

Getting the main cover formed

I thought we would be able to form this in 2 pieces, but I was in error. At least with the tooling we have access to. We drew them out on the 24oz copper sheet, cut them out, and hammered the texture needed.

When we tried to connect the 2 halves they did not want to go together. We made some modifications and managed to get them together, but when continuing to form this into the desired shape this took and ugly turn.

To recover this metal that got hammered out of shape we had to cut this into 5 usable pieces and remake another 3 sides from scratch. It took some doing to finally get these pieces to all come together to try and match what the client had diagramed.

We were able to strengthen the outer rim with a larger 1" copper pipe bent in a uniform circle to go under this cover.

Now that we had the main cover prepped I was able to determine the width of the upper ring for the derby topper, and lower drop ring at just under 29" wide to rest under the main cover, so it is fairly stable in high wind situations. We finished drilling the slots in the lower ring, filing the irregular edges.The upper ring was formed with a smaller 1/2" copper pipe. Then I was able to position it a few inches above the base to figure out the lengths of the smaller 1/2" diagonal cross pipes.

Then we had to drill out 8 holes near the top edges of the vent hole for the smaller 1/2" cross member pipes. It was rather tricky to get these 8 holes drilled in just the right place at these odd angles and line up just right.

 It was then very tricky to get this all to come together and level after the pieces were made. We covered the hole with a strong SS screen to keep out pests. Then soldered the derby top to this ring, so they could use the big knob on top to help lift this on and off the fire pit grabbing the outer rim with their other hand.

We got the copper cleaned up with polish to get these images. What do you think?

Here is the detailed cost breakdown from the final weights sent to the Clients on 4/4 for their review:

$432 for the main cover in 24oz copper 14.4 sq' X $30 - 21.6#
+ $300 for the hammering and shaping of this main copper cover
+ $125 for the 18" wide derby hat style topper dome - 3#
+ $120 for center SS screened vent built in this cover - 1.6#
+ $163.68 for 1" copper pipe outer rim ring 51" wide 160.14" long - 8.2#
+ $133.40 for 20oz copper drop ring 8" tall X 95" long to be 29.5" wide - 6.6#
+ $40 for 1/2" copper pipe inner rim ring  29.5" wide 92.63" long 1.9#
= $1,314.08 sub total estimated to weigh 42.9#
(current weight 47.4#)
+ $144 for 4.5# more copper used than estimated
+ $62.50 for 1.5" tall 32oz copper liner ring about 28" wide 90" long - 3.1# (not parts of the cover weight)
= $1,520.58 sub total
+ $30 for center SS screen
+ $250 for a custom wood crate 52" X 52" X 24" high
+ $450 for ground truck freight w/residential lift gate service
= $2,250.58 total delivered
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$1,000 today check #5603 paid on 10/18/13
= $1,250.58 balance due with vent screen

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Below is a photo of our
Better Business Bureau's
NW Business Integrity Award
for the year 1998

1999 Better Business Award

We were also a 1997 finalist for this same award. See our referral web page to see how we managed to be honored with this special award

 

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