1

I've seen metal rings for fire pits advertised for around 100 dollars on various sites, more or less, and I was wondering what the advantages of having one are? I think one is heat distribution to avoid direct heating of the surrounding rock/concrete, but is there another purpose? Do people successfully DIY their own or is it not worth trying?

Edit: An example of the ring I was talking about

1

(edit Most barrels...) won't last very long as fire pits. I know this from burning trash when I was a kid. By the time the barrel was full it was falling apart. I never counted, but I would expect it to work well for about 10-20 burns and maybe 50-60 burns before its paper thin and falling apart.

Edit: The thickness of the metal is what matters. 18 gauge drums are what I find to be the industry standard; 18 gauge won't last very long in my opinion. A thicker drum would last longer. I personally own a fire pit object that is very thin, which probably would not last more than 10 burns. So it goes to show that any ol' manufacturer may not necessarily make a decent product.

I have seen barrels converted to wood stoves. I have seen some of them fall apart and I have seen some stand for decades. This is due (primarily) to the thickness of the steel.

Edit2: Product reviews are probably important when you can't get the actual specifications. Amazon has reviews for the example product that you linked... 3.5 stars is not so hot.

enter image description here

  • So the metal rings they sell have a much longer life to them? If so, I guess that would be true because they are galvanized steel. – saigafreak Apr 22 '16 at 18:09
  • @saigafreak I'm not sure what product you are looking at exactly, but galvanized means zinc coated, which is not ok to burn. Galvanized steel releases poisonous gas at 392 °F (200 °C). Wood burns between 500 °F and 1100 °F. So that would be bad. – Ben Welborn Apr 22 '16 at 18:14
  • 1
    @saigafreak I honestly wouldn't expect a company to care about the quality of a fire ring (from what I've seen), it all depends on the thickness of the steel. I have seen several barrels converted into wood stoves. Just look for something thick if you want it to last. Most barrels are 18 guage (= 1.2mm)... but thicker ones are out there. I have also seen thin fire rings and fire pit-like objects (one was given to me; I hate to knock a gift, but it's actually kind of garbage). – Ben Welborn Apr 22 '16 at 18:25
  • I used a 55 gallon drum for a fire pit, lasted a couple seasons before it was literally falling apart. Once the paint burns off, it starts rusting away to nothing. They make metal fire pits which last a bit longer. Agreed that its mostly the thickness of the steel. Any steel around a fire bit is going to rust. – rpmerf Apr 22 '16 at 18:39
1

"what (are) the advantages of having one..." "to avoid direct heating of the surrounding rock/concrete"

Yes, the advantage is to reduce direct conductive and radiant heat transfer to the surrounding material. Heating clay bricks, rocks, stones, concrete, decorative bricks/pavers, etc. will cause them to crack and crumble. Sometimes immediately, sometimes over a period of time. Sometimes explosively and dangerously, due to moisture in the stone/clay/concrete (unless you use special refractory brick).

I agree with other comments and posts, a DIY job is fine but thicker steel/iron is the key to good performance. I would say 12 gauge would be minimum thickness.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.