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Fire ring material

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  • Fire ring material

    Does anyone have an idea/resource for building a durable fire pit? I have a couple guys working on eagle projects of outdoor gathering spots for church youth groups which include fire rings. The Scout who is furthest along proposed building a full-blown masonry fire ring using fire brick and mortar. I'm not convinced that's the best route and building something that looks good is probably beyond his skill level.

    Lowe's has a backyard fire ring made of concrete keystones with a steel keeper ring. It's over $200 and I promise you the concrete block will crack. The rings at our scout camps are what looks to be sections of 24" steel pipe. They work well, but I have no idea where to get it (neither does the ranger as they are as old as the camp and well before his time.)

    Since this is becoming a popular project, I'd like to be able to give the Scouts some better direction.


  • #2
    our local Ace hardware store caried the keystone fireblocks they claimed it to be weather resistant (i'm still not sure on that one)
    as far as metal fire rings have you contacted any metal fabricaters? you would just need the bar stock and a bender to make the ring. (if they have a plasma cutter you can get designs cut in before it's bent

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    • #3
      our local Ace hardware store caried the keystone fireblocks they claimed it to be weather resistant (i'm still not sure on that one)
      as far as metal fire rings have you contacted any metal fabricaters? you would just need the bar stock and a bender to make the ring. (if they have a plasma cutter you can get designs cut in before it's bent

      Comment


      • #4
        Our Council camps use a section of 4 foot concrete culvert buried in the ground - river gravel inside for drainage. They hold up very well. Your scouts could likely get a section from a local contractor that does big drainage projects. The tricky part is safely moving a beast like that. A similar commercial concrete product is called a maintenance hole. It is a short section of concrete pipe that is used to form the structure of manholes and access hatches. These things are available in many sizes and lengths. If a contractor has a chipped one, it is useless for his business but can be perfect for a fire pit.

        The metal fire rings that are common in parks and campgrounds are usually simple rolled steel with a durable finish. Even when the finish gets chipped and rust takes hold, these things will last for decades. There are many sources on line. They are relatively expensive for their simplicity, but the real penalty is the shipping cost since they are heavy. Google www.markstaar.com

        I built a fire pit for the church and troop about 5 years ago. My friend who is a professional mason told me that regular concrete would not hold up to repeated fires and that the inside should be lined with fire brick which is more dense than most masonry products and specifically made for lining fireplaces. The local home store has them, but they're relatively costly and they have to be installed with the proper mortar or they will not hold.

        I could not afford fire brick with my project budget, so I decided to go cheap and deal with the durability problems later. I figured that a fire ring had a lower risk threshold than a fireplace in a house.

        I made my project with an inside diameter of just over 4 feet. The size was determined by the need to hold 5 dutch ovens (1 per patrol). I used basic landscape wall blocks from Lowes - they are available in various sizes so I bought the ones that were on sale and joined them with tubes of masonry bond stuff that fits in a caulking gun. Take the time to dig out the site several inches down to irchor the first row and provide a gravel base for the pit. It took me about four hours to build. The pit gets used often and it is doing fine after more than five years.

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        • #5
          I do not know if this will help you, but I own a R.V. Campground for 13 years.

          We used tractor tire rims for fire rims. We racked each site, and clean the fire rim, wherever the camper left. The incoming camper could move the fire rim where they wanted it.

          I now have a cabin. I dug a hole, put the tire rim inside, and place bricks around it. It is a fairly nice fire rim, at a low cost.

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          • #6
            I do not know if this will help you, but I own a R.V. Campground for 13 years.

            We used tractor tire rims for fire rims. We racked each site, and clean the fire rim, wherever the camper left. The incoming camper could move the fire rim where they wanted it.

            I now have a cabin. I dug a hole, put the tire rim inside, and place bricks around it. It is a fairly nice fire rim, at a low cost.

            Comment


            • #7
              I camped at a county park once, fires were only allowed in above ground fire pits. Of course they would rent you one.....
              So at check in, I gladly paid the few dollars so we could have a camp fire. They delivered it to the site later......

              IT WAS A WASHING MACHINE TUB! You know the thing inside a close washer with all the holes in the side. It came complete with a couple cionder blocks to set it on! Boy, I just had to laugh out loud.

              My point is, take the tractor wheel idea and run with it to a junk yard. They'll probably find somehing you could bury. And maybe even get a donation or a cheap price if they mention what they are doing it for.

              Or visit a local mom&pop type welding shop if you have any around....

              Or another idea.... how about a lanscape stone yard, get a few nice rocks! Unless you live in rocky terrain, in which case they could find some layiing about someplace.....

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              • #8
                Here I passed a construction site that was pulling some old, 36" cast iron water main up and I got to dreaming of the things I could do with it.

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                • #9
                  the dome ends of 500 - 1000 gallon propane tanks work very well. I would contact all of your local scrap yards and let them know what you are looking for and they should let you know if something comes in, at that point I would imagine that they would sell it to for scrap value. Cheap and somebody else does the shopping!

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