How to Make a Fire Pit Out of a Semi Wheel

Myra Smith

The outdoor season is finally here, time to get ready for those backyard gatherings and cookouts. An added element for these good times is a fire ring to gather around for roasting hot dogs or marshmallows, or just relaxing and listening to the sounds of nature at night or your favorite tunes.

Roasting marshmallows

A semi wheel makes a long-lasting fire ring. Semi wheels can be purchased reasonably from a junkyard or any garage that services the big rigs.


Check local regulations about a burning permit.


Wear eye protection when drilling or grinding. Follow all safety guidelines if a cutting torch is used.

    Semi rim with open center
  1. Purchase your semi wheel. It does not matter if it is rusty or dinged up. Try to find one that does not have a center section.

  2. Semi rim with center
  3. Remove the center section, cutting as close to the outer section of the rim as possible. Grind off any rough edges and sand rusty places. If a cutting torch is not available, drill interconnecting holes around the outside of the center section and remove.

  4. Fire Ring with cooking grate
  5. Drill several holes 3/8 inch or ½ inch in diameter into the outside parameters of the semi rim approximately halfway between rim edges. This allows better air circulation and the fire to burn evenly.

  6. Spray or brush on fire proof paint purchased from the hardware store. Allow to dry thoroughly, following guide lines on paint can. The semi rim should be repainted once every season.

  7. Prepare the area for placement of the semi wheel fire ring, removing any grass or sod in a circle a few inches larger than the diameter of the semi rim. Spread a layer of gravel for drainage and place the semi rim in the center. If you prefer decorative rocks can be stacked around the fire ring.