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Old 05-20-2017, 09:51 AM   #1
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Inground fire pit


I'm kicking around the idea of building that popular hexagon firepit swing set. However, I already have a dirt firepit dug out in my back yard that is about 18" deep and around 10ft in diameter. It's nice and big because I get free pallets from my nephew to burn and I don't have to saws-all them before chucking them in the pit.

Now I want to spruce it up a jiffy by putting in the swings, paving around the pit about 12ft back from it and put in some flowers/shrubs.

I have been trying to decide how to build the fire ring to hold back the dirt because I will have to plate compact the whole area to put down my pavers and any kind of brick structure is going to suffer damage from the plate compactor.

One idea I came up with was to call a buddy who is still on active duty with the Coast Guard (I'm retired CG) and find out who purchases their old buoy hulls that get scrapped. I was thinking I could purchase a 2ft piece of an 8ft diameter hull and drop that down into the ground and backfill to it with some gravel, then plate compact my sand and paver base without damaging the ring. Unfortunately that doesn't seem cost effective as the scrap people want to charge an arm and leg to do precision cuts to keep it square/even on both sides of the resultant ring.

So, I found what I hope to be an alternative. I was looking at 8ft galvanized stock tanks. I see that they are made of 20ga galvanized steel. I could drill drain holes in the bottom (I don't want to remove the bottom and reduce the structural strength). Once the dirt work is done and compacted I don't imagine there would be any additional stressors on the tank and being galvanized should make for a long life.

I plan to run my pavers over the top of the tank lip so the hot steel wouldn't be exposed.

Any thoughts or ideas of whether this would work, or anything that I have missed?

Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:51 AM   #2
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Re: Inground fire pit


I have to admit that I had to Google 'firepit swing set' to figure out what you were planning - my wild imagination was picturing some strange kind of torture or gladiator challenge.

To me it seems excessive to buy an entire stock tank just to cut off the bottom portion. I would think some edge pavers, including ones that are curved and intended for this purpose, would work better. If you set them deep enough they should move with a reasonable use of a compactor. You could also drive down some lengths of rebar on their inside for extra strength.

You will want to set your ring structure for the swings well back from an 8' pit that intends to burn whole pallets, not only for the comfort of guests but also to keep the upper part of the structure well away from the flames. The vertical posts will need to be very well anchored in the ground.

In my jurisdiction, such a structure would require a building permit.
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Old 05-21-2017, 09:41 AM   #3
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Re: Inground fire pit


Ayuh,.... 1 of my firepits is a 2' length of 4' culvert,...

The other is an 18" length of 42" propane tank piece,....

The ole propane tank piece is 5/16" thick, maybe 3/8",....
The culvert piece is probably 1/4",....

I'd think a stock tank, bein' much thinner will rot/ rust out in a couple of years,...

I really like the piece of bouy idea though, as they're also quite thick steel,....

This is the propane tank chunk, my water side firepit, which unfortunately is underwater at this time,...
I don't have any pictures of the culvert piece,...
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