Introduction: Backyard Campfire = THE BACKFIRE

About: I'm the typical maker/DIY/nerd dad.

So, this is probably more of a reuse Idea-structable than an actual Instructable, since the chances of you having the exact same pieces/parts taking up the space around you are slim.

We had a trampoline that didn't fare very well after being exposed to a few years of Colorado Front Range sun/snow/wind/etc. We did manage to get through those few years without any trampoline related trips to the ER, so I didn't feel so bad making the decision to take it down (as opposed to trying to repair it).

Of course, I couldn't just get rid of all of that material... there was so much potential for SOMETHING!

A few more years passed, and various ideas came and went. I think the final inspiration came from my neighbor's outdoor wood fired pizza oven project... why not try and make some sort of backyard fire pit thing? Ya know, a campfire for the backyard.

I would call it The BackFire.

I figured/hoped it would be neat looking, cheap, easy to clean, and portable. As far as an overall goal, I decided to try and get through as much of the project as possible using only materials I already had in my possession.

Here's what I did...

Step 1: I Can't Believe I Saved the Whole Thing...

Dig out the old trampoline parts.

That was it for the first step.

That was it for the first day, to be completely honest.

Step 2: The Lower Support Is Connected to the Other Lower Support...

I fiddled around with putting the pieces together different ways.

For some reason, I didn't want this to end up being a regular old square-ish kind of thing. Squares are cool and all, but I just wasn't feeling it.

I also didn't want to drill/cut anything if I didn't have to... most of the pieces already had tapped holes, why not try to leverage them?

Initially, the base started off in a concave configuration, but I ended up going convex after soliciting the opinions of some FB friends.

You can see in the one picture that I did have to drill a few holes... that's not so bad, I guess.

Step 3: Here an Extra Piece, There an Extra Piece...

The outer base.

Once the inner base was put together, I attached some additional pieces to the top... this was an attempt to make the structure more sturdy and look cooler... or something like that.

Again, I tried to use as many of the existing tapped holes as possible. Figuring out where to drill new holes that matched up with the existing holes wasn't too hard, since I simply scratched a line in the lower piece using a screw in the upper piece as a scribe.

Then, out came the automatic center punch.

Then, out came the Unibit; those things are AWESOME!

FULL DISCLOSURE: This is the part of the project where I had to get some extra screws from the hardware store.

Step 4: The Foundation of THE BACKFIRE

This is how the inner base and outer base pieces ended up looking once everything was tightened down. Your trampoline pieces/parts may line up differently... which will probably end up looking pretty cool!

Step 5: Something to Hold All That Hot, Hot Heat...

This is where my participation in the anti-square rebellion came back to haunt me.

It's one thing to try and rig something up that is squarish when using pieces that are already squarish.

But taking squarish things and making them into triangle things is another barrel of fish entirely.

I played around with some scrap pieces of stainless steel I had, and came up with these rough pieces that were cut/bent/drilled by trial and error.

Step 6: Triangle Man, Triangle Man...

Surprisingly, the trial and error effort produced some decent results.

Step 7: BASE, How Low Can You Go?

I took another piece of stainless steel (restaurant equipment auctions are one of my bad habits) and beat/bent the heck out of it to get another triangle.

You can see that the bottom piece of stainless had been used in an earlier The BackFire proof of concept phase.

This step resulted in The Container of Fire.

Step 8: Get Yourself a New Grill

The other thing I have a lot of (again, curse you restaurant equipment auctions!) is wire shelving. Some of it is in good shape. Some of it is in bad shape.

What I did with a few of the pieces that were in bad shape was to make a grill... well, actually, it's a grate, but I wanted to use the word grill in the title of this step.

One more time... I needed to make triangles out of square things. D'oh!

The Grate of Fire

Step 9: On Your Mark... Get Set... Iginition!

Here are two shots of the finished product.

Well, mostly finished. I'd like to do something with those exposed corners... I know, for a fact, that I'm going to knock my shins into them more than once.

A friend suggested trying something with oven bake clay, and that seems like an awesome idea.

The outer pieces of the frame don't seem to get hot, and the inner frame pieces get fairly warm. Of course, the Container of Fire gets hella-hot. I'll probably put some spacers in-between the Container of Fire and the inner frame in an attempt to limit the amount of heat transferred.

Let me know your thoughts!

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Epilog Challenge VI

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Epilog Challenge VI