Fire pits are often a quaint addition to the backyard. They offer warmth on chilly evenings and a rustic ambience during family get-togethers or barbecues. If you're inventive, however, fire pits can also prove more utilitarian. For example, it's often time-consuming and monotonous to manually remove the nails from old lumber or wooden fence material. Thus, rather than pulling the nails, you can simply burn away the wood that surrounds the nail.
Cut wood containing the nails so that it will fit into the confines of the fire pit. Use a circular saw or chain saw and cut carefully to avoid the nails. If the blade contacts a nail, the blade will immediately dull.
Ensure the area directly surrounding the fire pit is clear of any combustible materials, such as dry leaves, brush or paper.
Start a fire in the fire pit. Use dry, seasoned kindling and a bit of paper to ignite the fire. Add kindling to slowly build the fire. Do not add an accelerant, such as lighter fluid or gasoline, to start the fire.
Place the wood containing the nails into the fire pit once the fire is sufficiently hot. Allow the wood to burn. If you have a large amount of wood containing nails, wait until the wood already in the pit burns up before adding more. In this way, you will avoid overfilling the pit.
Stoke the fire in the fire pit to keep it burning hot. Add more wood (firewood without nails), if necessary. The wood must burn up completely. Once the wood has been completely burned, allow the ashes to fully cool.
Scoop the ashes out of the fire pit with a metal container, such as an old coffee can. Pick the nails out of the ashes and dispose of them in the trash. Sift through the ashes thoroughly to remove all nails. The remaining wood ashes can be used to fertilize a garden. You may also dig a hole and bury the ashes.