Old tire rims can be used to make a cheap and practical fire pit for your backyard. Best of all, a tire rim fire pit requires little or no expense and no construction skills, and it can be made in just a few minutes. With a bit more effort, the tire rim fire pit can also become an attractive permanent addition to your outdoor space.
To make a fire pit, you will need a large tire rim, such as a rim from a tractor or truck tire. These can sometimes be found very cheaply at wrecking yards or auto body shops. Do not use an aluminum rim, because they can melt at high temperatures. You will also need some fire bricks, rocks or stones to go around the rim. If you want to use the pit for cooking, you will also need some metal grating to go on top of it.
Basic Fire Pit
To make the most basic type of tire rim fire pit, simply place a tractor or truck tire rim on its side on a non-flammable surface, such as dirt or gravel. If you are building the fire on concrete or stone, you can place a piece of fire-resistant metal underneath the rim to protect the concrete from blackening. Place stones around the rim to hold it in place and for decorative purposes. Build your fire inside the rim. You can also place a grill on top for grilling food. When not cooking food, a piece of mesh placed on top will prevent embers from flying onto any nearby flammable surfaces.
If you do not like the look of a tire rim in your yard, you can dig a pit first, and place the rim inside. The tire rim will prevent scorching of the earth and create a nice, even shape for the fire pit. Place decorative stones around the outside of the pit and build them up to create a safe area. You can also place railroad ties on the ground around the pit for rustic seating.
You can also turn a tire rim into a permanent backyard addition. Place your tire rim on the ground and lay wall blocks around it. Mark out a circle on the ground the same size as your tire rim and blocks. Dig out this circle to a depth of around 12 inches. Place six inches of gravel into the trench and then use masonry adhesive to attach two layers of wall blocks into place inside the trench, on top of the gravel. Add another six inches of gravel. Place the tire rim on top of the gravel, inside the ring of wall blocks. Build up the wall around the tire rim by adding two or three more layers of blocks, attaching them together with masonry adhesive. Surround the rim with wall blocks and mortar these together. Place capstones, such as flagstones, on top of the wall blocks and attach these using flexible mortar. Wait for the mortar to dry and your pit is ready.
Since graduating with a degree in biology, Lisa Magloff has worked in many countries. Accordingly, she specializes in writing about science and travel and has written for publications as diverse as the "Snowmass Sun" and "Caterer Middle East." With numerous published books and newspaper and magazine articles to her credit, Magloff has an eclectic knowledge of everything from cooking to nuclear reactor maintenance.