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Picture of $50 fire pit using concrete tree rings.
We recently moved from the remote north-woods of  Wisconsin where large lakeside fire pits were simply dug into the ground and lined with large rocks creating great campfires.  We now live in a residential neighborhood in  the Central Valley of CA.    Campfires here are confined to  well defined containment systems and  small controlled fires which can be easily extinguished with no sparks or embers that can continue to burn or blow into neighboring combustibles when the fire is left unattended. 

Even with these restrictions, our family still loves to sit around an evening fire.   But we didn’t want to spend a small fortune on a pre-manufactured fire pit or a contractor built unit.   We were also not sure where we might permanently want the pit located.  So we needed  something we could take down and move to a different spot without a lot of trouble or expense..  

Fortunately, while cruising the isles of Home Depot recently, we saw concrete tree rings on sale for $2 a section.   We borrowed a tape measure and quickly determined the rings might make a dandy low cost fire pit that would incorporate a small Weber grill (which we already owned) as an inner firepot, allowing a very controlled burn and positive air shut off to extinguish the fire when we were ready to call it a night.

Materials:

    Weber Smokey Joe Portable charcoal grill or equivalent 14" diameter grill. ($30 new)

    4 sections of 14" inside diameter concrete tree ring ($2 to $3 each = $8 to $12 total)

    6 sections of 24" inside diameter concrete tree ring ($2 to $3 each = $12 to $18 total)

    2 cubic feet of small stones, pebbles, road gravel or decorative rock ($0 to $20 depending on how fancy)

     Total cost $50 to $80 depending on your taste in stones.



   
 
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Dana MaeE2 hours ago

We just finished ours yesterday. We also could not find the inner rings, so we decided to fully modify ours based on HlHall's modification. We used crescent bricks for the entire project. Buying an equal number of red and grey stones for a checker board look. We used 14 crescent bricks/layer (5 layers all in all) for the inner rings & 28 crescent bricks/layer for the outer rings which creates a 4 inch gap for the crushed stones. We decided to only make the outer ring four levels high to have a stepped look, but can be built to five layers for the flat look. Also with the five layers the pit sits higher than the original tree rings. Total for the build in cost was around 140$ including the grill, ( there are alot of cresent stones needed instead of a few tree rings), still not too bad on cost and still cheaper than buying a fire pit kit, and more original looking as well.

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Jrt1015 days ago
How tall are these? We can only find 6" tall ones. Not as easy as it seems.
dewey302 (author)  Jrt1012 days ago

The rings used in this instructable are 6" tall. So hopefully you have the right ones.

I can't seem to find the supplies? Can anyone help me

Hlhall made it!1 month ago
I just finished mine. Very excited. I couldn't get the smaller tree ring so I figured something else out. Did u put sand in the bottom of the grill to keep it from melting?
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dewey302 (author)  Hlhall1 month ago
I have not put sand in the bottom of the grill but I do leave in the smaller grill plate which keeps the wood/fire about an inch above the kettle itself. Once the fire gets going, however, the hot coals do fall down and sit on the bottom. But I haven't found that to be any sort of a problem in terms of melting or warping the kettle. BTW, your pit looks great with the modifications you had to make.
clsnx6 months ago
These tree rings are no longer available anywhere but Canada or California. I found 24" tee rings at Menards in Ohio, but they aren't curved enough to make a round circle. The 14" tree rings might still be available in California but no other state that I could find, so it is impossible to duplicate.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Unbranded-1-1-2-ft-Concrete-Tree-Ring-Section-100002704/100426893

jcrow3969 clsnx2 months ago

Available in Maryland.

They have these in our state, Fl. At every garden center or stone store here!

We have tons of these in Lowes all over eastern NC. I am sure other places have them too. For many stores they are seasonal, so they will probably start to come out in late March. Our store happens to sell them year round.

ksdulany1 year ago
I loved your idea and wanted to do something similar. Since I live in Spain, those tree rings are hard to come by and a bit expensive, however, terracotta planters are in abundance and relatively cheap. So, I took and modified your idea and I think it turned out really nice.
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bciocco ksdulany6 months ago

I like this. It is very portable.

Really?..how much do the cement tree rings weigh?

dewey302 (author)  ksdulany1 year ago
Just wondering if you intend to use a "fire pot", like the Weber grill, to slip into the inner planter? Also, let us know how it holds up to the heat of a fire. It will make for a nice alternative to the tree rings if the terracotta can take the heat. And you are right, it looks terrific.
Teracota will have no problem handling the heat. Keep in mind that it is used for chimneys all over the country.

It's not terracota, it's a cement tree ring.

yes they can they are made from a type of ceramics

Very nice! May I ask what size of planters you used here?

I really like your benches, too! :-)

Brilliant!

I like this even better because the
exterior is smoother. How does this hold up with the heat. It also
looks more portable. We have this custom one out in our woods

http://www.thefirepitstore.com/fire-pit-art-asia-3...

But these terracotta ones would look nice closer to our patio and would have less smoke as well.

mfeelinz ksdulany10 months ago
awesome
I think it would be worth it not to have the tree rings to be able to have terra cotta planters in abundance! How awesome for you! I think I like your fire ring better.
odellkevin3 months ago

It's not so much a "fire pit" as it is more of a "weber holder", but it is still really nice. Also, you can still put charcoal in it and use it as a regular BBQ grill. I recently bought a house and while clearing out brush/weeds around the back property, I found about 15 - 20 of these pieces that, I'm assuming, a previous owner threw out there because they didn't want them and they were too heavy for the trash. So, it looks like I'm going to be making one for free.

klw2995 months ago

The tree rings used in these pictures are HUGE!?!? Where do you find them? Share a link - or be very specific about the dimensions of the tree rings.

The dimensions are in the description. The inner ring has 14" and the outer ring has 24" rings
dewey302 (author)  klw2995 months ago
I think you will find everything you are looking for in the original post and comments. As noted in paragraph 3 of the introduction, the source of the rings was Home Depot.

As noted in the materials list the smaller inside ring has a 14" inside diameter and the larger outside ring has a 24" inside diameter. They are identified this way at the store. Step 2 notes that each ring section if 2" thick thus making the completed outside diameter of the pit 28"

When reading the other comments you will also find that the rings are pretty scarce in some parts of the country while readily available in others (at Home Depot, Lowes, or other gardening or big box stores). Commentators have also offered up a variety of optional ways to build tree rings or use alternative materials for building a similar pit.

klw299 dewey3024 months ago
I've never gotten so many passive-aggressive responses to one comment. Whover said that the rings described in the post are only available in limited areas (CA & WA) year round was dead on. I live in Georgia and a call to Home Depot requesting a site-to-site transfer was declined. Don't worry, I built my own firepit with some repurposed brick I had at my home and it looks great!
Klw299. If you would of read the instructions you would of seen they did add dimensions for users. Also where to purchase the materials. HOME DEPOT & inner rings are 14" and outer is 24" tree rings.idk if your not able to see the instructions or what. But they are helpful to have.
perez5520 klw2995 months ago

You will quickly notice that when the 14" rings are stacked inside the 24" rings that there is a 3" gap between the inner and outer rings. You will also notice that each 14" ring is a

What are you using to start the fire and to keep it burning?
Huh? Um, wood..... annnndd, wood.
helzerr1 year ago
Does anyone know of a source for these Basalite tree rings in the southeastern US? I've searched my local home centers, Amazon, eBay, but none have rings quite like these.
Any home Depot or garden center at Walmart, would have them delivered to your store!

Home Depot will not deliver these to the local stores in OK or TX, we are just out of luck in this area and Walmart seems to be no go also. At this point I am looking for a manufacturer locally. You are very fortunate in FL to have more options.

I live in Texas and I have absolutely no issues with getting tree rings at Lowes.

bullseye75910 months ago

Hi-I'd really like to make this but I can't find anyone who sells the concrete tree rings. Any suggestions or alternatives?

Thank you

Dean

look up block manufactuers, also check out places that sell landscaping rock

bitchydabitch4 months ago

To answer the question of the availability of the tree rings:
My husband use to work for Valley Block company where they manufactured the big rings. Companies like Home Depot get stuff like this from local manufacturers. If there aren't any block companies near by that make the size then you probably won't find it.
Valley Block no longer exists so all the supply stores around here only have Pavestone's smaller ones. Get creative with what you have...
Lucky me we still have a bunch of left over blocks from his time there. My tree rings aren't red but natural grey... will work perfectly with my landscape.

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