Picture of Sand Fire Garden
So many people have hung out with the warmth and played in the sand of my wonderful Fire Gardens have asked me how they could make one of their own.
This instructable will walk you though the basics of building your very own Zen Fire Garden.

I’ve taken the guess work out of all the fittings and sizes and put together a few kits that I use all the time in my work. You will need to find or make your own container, and build a stand or a base.

Step 1: Plumbing Parts

Picture of Plumbing Parts
You will needs some basic off the shelf parts to make a fire pit:

1) Regulator/hose 30 PSI (not a BBQ regulator) and a needle valve to adjust the flame size. I use brass 3/8 45deg flair fitting for the hose ends and the attachment at the fire pit.
2) Fire ring. This is the distribution system that is below the sand for your gas. If you have the ability to weld and make rings you can make your own using a 1/2 weldable (not cast iron) coupler in the center,  5/8 thin wall tubing and drilling 3/32 holes every 1 1/2". The ring should 1/2 - 1/3 the size of your container diameter.
Stainless steel will prolong the life of the ring especially during the winter when you forget to cover your pit in the first rain.
3) Fittings. A 1/2 NPT coupler (weldable), Brass1/2 to 3/8 45 deg flare (for attaching the hose to)(not used in this build), brass 1/2 NPT nipple (to attach the the ring to the coupler welded to the container)(not used in this build), brass1/2 NPT lock nut
4) BBQ sized propane tank.

I've put together an affordable kit of the basic plumbing supplies you'll need to build your own fire pit.
I offer several sizes of rings, stainless upgrades and fully auto systems for high end remote controlled fire pits.
Fire Pit Kit link

I now offer a new bulk head coupler that works in materials upto 1" thick. No welding required! see the last 2 photos on this page

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pfsounder8 months ago

Could someone frame the containers outer edge with wood to make a resting spot for plates,cups, marshmallow sticks. Or, would the container get to hot for the frame.

mommywoman1 year ago

I know this ible is old but I'm wondering if I could gel fuel cause I'm kinda scared of gas. I know it wouldn't it would throw off any heat. Also could u use glass marble-like stuff instead? With the gel fuel it wouldn't get so hot.

kchapman82 years ago
You still sell those kits, correct? Looking to order one next week.

My project pics below, first pic of the fire pit when I got it. Second pic is of my modifications to make it propane
furthuron3 years ago
i love this, is awesome for a porch or deck to set the mood right. i will definitely be making one myself in the near future hopefully. thanks a bunch for the ible!!
I'm looking to build something a little similar. I'm trying to make a propane fuels fire extinguisher training system.
I envisage this consiting of a stainless steel 'tray' with 'sparge pipe'. Water covers the sparge pipe and a piezo ignitor lights the propane after it bubbles through the water.
I'm just wondering about controling the propane with a 'deadman's switch' type valve in addition to the regulator & needle valve so if I released it the gas shuts off.
This intructable has helped me start my plan as it uses some of the same ideas.
Very clearly put togehter too.
very creative use of materials. Love your website.
Thank You. I took some of your ideas and using some 1/2 conduit bent a round ring and tig welded it to make my burner. Using a standard BBQ regulator from a scrap BBQ I made a nice patio feature out of an old concrete planter.

Next I'm moving onto making a sand feature out of a Square Fire Pit.

Cool Work!
21bose3 years ago
Just FYI, the kits sold from Form and reform have the holes facing up, and need to be changed with an allen wrench, however, I have not encountered any problem with the sand yet, except for people receiving 2nd degree burns from the flaming sand, lol.
What about using a different medium for the filler? Instead of sand, maybe glass cullett... The propane shouldn't get hot enough to cause any melting, etc...
mlacerda3 years ago
I'm sorry if this has been already answered but, you said "Sand should be 3-4″ above the ring" How do you do that? Isn't the sand going to obstruct the ring'holes?
Great instructable, im gonna make one
dmiles33 years ago
This is incredible great build, what was the cost?
Algag4 years ago
Are you able to cook on this? Didn't see it anywhere and wasn't sure if the sand would give off some kind of cancer causing chemical *rolls eyes* or something of the same nature? If it is said somewhere, sorry for the comment.

P.S. Great 'ible !
H3xx Algag4 years ago
I wouldn't cook with it because, well, sand burger. Howver a portable unit to take to the beach would be sweet. Though wind could be an issue.
Algag H3xx4 years ago
I was thinking about this and then I started to wonder if you understood that i mean to cook something like hotdogs and marshmallows as if a campfire
H3xx Algag4 years ago
Oh. I thought you mentioned actual cooking like grilling. :) As long as your sand isn't treated with anything, and you've kept the cats away from it it should be fine. Just make sure not to get any sand on anything you cook and don't drip anything into it. I'm quite sure a sand filled grease fire would be very unpleasant.
djenjen H3xx4 years ago
Yeah, end Zen fire pit... commence gurgling spitting oil slick. Tho' ain't wood burning fires Zen in and of themselves? Just sayin'....
djenjen4 years ago
I lived in Nepal for a time and they just burn small pieces of wood (any wood really; scrap tree branches etc) in steel bowls without anything else to gizmo it up. Burn the wood to create nice hot coals (where most the heat comes from anyway) and set grill top over it to cook stuffs. Propane is way too expensive in developing countries (here as well) tho' this fire pit ya made looks perty. If you're worried about a burn mark on concrete and don't wanna build a custom metal wrack to hold the bowl then I s'pose you could set the bowl atop a cinder block or two perhaps even with a piece of sheet metal to absorb some of the heat. I'm goner do that and set some really nice large stone chunks like quartz around the blocks to conceal the cement and the lower edges of the bowl itself then plop a bunch of tree roots around the makeshift fire pit n call it home for the winter! ;D
Electorials4 years ago
In the video it looks really cool ;-)

I've never seen anything like this, it's awesome :D
onemoroni14 years ago
What about using natural gas running a line from the house? I've repaired gas fire places by just using a six inch nipple, drilled holes and appropriate pipe fittings to connect it.
I literally just finished making a natural gas fire pit in my back yard by running pipe under the ground to it. It seems to be working just fine! :)
sciman14 years ago
Turns out, you can actually use a bbq grill regulator, the adjustment is under that cap. better off having it lit without sand while adjusting SLOWLY, if you adjust it without it lit you run the risk of damaging something when you do light it. just FYI
jyoung-14 years ago
Could you use a standard burner from a bbq grill?
You could use the burner where the flames come out, but for the hoses from the BBQ grill, those will probably get you a different result than this setup, but thats just based on my observations, I have not tried this out myself so don't take my word for it.
gjm4 years ago
I bought this kit a few months ago and finally finished building the bowl last week but I think I have a problem.
When I use it the regulator and hose get so cold that within a few minutes the regulator and hose get completly covered in frost.
I have a propane grill, mosquito magnet, and propane turkey fryer and none of these exhibit this so it doesn't seem normal to me.
Anyone have any idea why this is happening? I stopped using it because I don't know what's going on with it.
Thanks all.
jonsarriugarte (author)  gjm4 years ago
Did you recently fill the tank? it's freezing because you have liquid propane in the lines that's boiling. Make sure the tank is level and not over filled.

Hi again,

You are correct, it was the full tank causing the hose and regulator to freeze. I used a bit of the gas cooking a meal on my grill and tried it again and it's fine.
Actually this is a brand new tank I just bought because my old one had expired.
I have another older tank that was just filled also so i'll try that and see if I get different results. I'll put the new one on my grill and use some of the gas too.
Thanks, I'll let you know what happens.
johnatwork4 years ago
What keeps the flame from igniting in the hose and getting back to the tank?
jonsarriugarte (author)  johnatwork4 years ago
gas pressure and the lack of oxygen. Not something you should worry about.
Thank you for your reply. Nice instructable!
Exact same thing as every propane bbq and blow torch, it's quite safe actually. Nice Ible.
nitsuj10984 years ago
I can't seem to find the burners you use at any local place. Is there something similar that is locally sourced that will work? Does the burner have to be round?
jonsarriugarte (author)  nitsuj10984 years ago
You won't find the parts locally. After a lot of people asked me where to get them I decided to offer a kit of the basic parts you will need.

eulaliaaaa!5 years ago
errmm.. Zen? What is that? I just think that this is a cool fire pit thingy. Great instructable by the way!
Although I am guessing that it is some sort of religion...
Not even close to a religion. (Unless, of course, you don't understand it.)

The fire garden, however, is very zen for those who want to take it that way!

I'll be building several as gifts.
Kruegem4 years ago
very nice. very mellow looking. i makin it
ajohnson1535 years ago
Wonderful Instructable. Two questions 1) Could one just use one of those firebowls you can buy at the home depot to keep from having to fabricate a base?
2) Also would it be possible to somehow connect this setup directly to a Natural Gas line for a home. Most of the homes in our area run on NG so it would be ideal to have it set up so we would not need a propane tank. Ok, So I lied about only having two questions the third question is how long can you usually run this setup on a single tank. I was thinking of doing this on a covered patio in order to prevent there from being a lot of smoke buildup.
I just finished one of these out of a standard cheapo copper firepit - works great! Already had the fire pit, bought recently from Academy Sports for ~$30 on sale. FYI - with respects to originator, my goal was to build from big box hardware store parts (Home Depot / Lowe's), i.e. no internet or specialty plumbing parts. - copper firepit is about 30" OD, 26" ID - distributor is soldered 3/4" copper tubing, about ~ 11" square and all T's and elbows (I'm bad at bending tube). Works fine with round firepit - copper tube through bottom is 1/2". Used electrical conduit fitting (kind with rubber grommet inside) to pass through bottom of pit, and 1/2" was largest they sell. Also used large conduit washers and plumbers putty to seal. - only component I had to buy online was regulator. I live in a big city, but NO ONE sold the recommended 30psi regulator. Online wasn't too bad $$$, and came with needle valve already installed. P.S. suggest trying a 20psi regulator, as my 30psi doesn't have much adjustment range before regulator shuts off gas (not enough back pressure).
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