How to Build a Fire Pit From a Brake Drum

Updated July 20, 2017

If don't have the vacation time available for a spur-of-the-moment camping trip to a nearby state park or campground yet still want to enjoy the warm weather outdoors, you can create a family-friendly campground experience in your backyard. Gather a few tools and build a fire pit using an old brake drum. Whether roasting marshmallows, hot dogs or sausages on a stick over the open fire, you will create moments to remember for your family and friends.

Clean the brake drum in warm, soapy water to remove any chemical residue. Place the drum on its side to allow for proper drainage.

Place the drum on the ground and trace the outline of the drum by digging in a circular fashion around the circumference of the drum. Remove the drum and place it aside. You should now have a circular outline of the drum in the ground.

Dig inside of the drum's outline to a depth of approximately 1 inch. The object is not to bury the drum in its entirety, but to secure the drum inside of the ground.

Replace the drum inside of the shallow pit and refill the area surrounding the drum with loose dirt, if necessary. Add a nice touch to the fire pit by placing large garden stones around the drum for decor.

Fill the pit halfway with charcoal or firewood, apply a small amount of lighter fluid and light the wood or briquettes. To prevent injury, advise children to step away from the fire pit before you light it.


In deciding where to place your fire pit, allow ample space between your home and the pit.


Check your local zoning laws before building a fire pit in your yard. Keep small children and pets away from the pit and do not leave the fire pit unattended. Extinguish the fire pit before returning to your home.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden stones (optional)
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About the Author

Elizabeth Gresham has been a freelance writer since 2009. Her work appears on several Web sites, including eHow and Break Media. Gresham is studying for a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish at the University of Memphis.