How to Build a Fire Pit From a Brake Drum

Written by elizabeth gresham
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How to Build a Fire Pit From a Brake Drum
Create a campground atmosphere in your backyard. (barbecue image by Tomasz Nowicki from

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.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Garden stones (optional)

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  1. 1

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

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    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.

  4. 4

    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.

  5. 5

    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.

Tips and warnings

  • 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.

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