How To Build A Fire Pit
How To Build A Fire Pit
A step by step video demonstrating how to build an outdoor firepit by the experts in country living at Progressive Farmer magazine, sponsored by John Deere.
Step 1: Project
Hi, I'm Dan Miller. I'm Senior Editor for "Progressive Farmer Magazine". We've got a great one day project here for you, it's to build this fire pit. You can start it in the morning and have dinner by night.
Step 2: Materials & Tools
The grate, steel rings and stones are part of the kit, but if you can't find the kit, the stones are just regular landscaping blocks and you can have the ring and the metal grate made for you.
You'll need about one ton of gravel for good drainage and one ton of sand for a firm foundation.The tools you'll need to build this fire pit are pretty basic. A couple of shovels, a pick-ax, a tamper, a rake and a level.
Step 3: Location & Safety
First thing to do is find a location for the fire pit. Some things to think about are: clear an open area at least 50 feet from any building, watch for trees that have over hanging branches and don't forget the brush, it can catch fire from the sparks.
Step 4: Fire Pit Construction
Dig out twelve inches of soil, shovel in four inches of gravel and then four inches of sand. Tamp each layer flat.
To keep a good fire burning, we've learned that you want to have your fire pit no more than twenty inches tall, that's five courses of stone and we use about fourteen stones per course.
The stone we're using to build this fire pit is angled on the side. It's also rough cut on the front to give it a more natural appearance and then right hear you have a line that helps you offset the stones as you build the pit.
Step 5: Foundation
This first course is important. It's the foundation for the rest of the fire pit and it has to be level all the way around. To lay in our second course of blocks, we're going to start overlapping one course over the other. That's what these score marks are for, they help you line up the blocks for the next course.
Here's a tip and I learned this the hard way. I built this fire pit once before and I built it this high before I put in the gravel in and you need gravel in the bottom.
It's a lot easier to do it now when you only have a couple of courses layed down. Here's another tip. Every once in a while you want to hang a string over the edge with a weight on the bottom to make sure that your walls are perpendicular to the ground.
Step 6: Air Flow
Periodically you'll leave gaps in the stone and we do that for a reason. The gaps allow for better air flow into the fire.
You're going to want to stablize your bottom course of stone. To do that we're taking some of our extra gravel and putting it around the bottom and you put that in all the way around.
Step 7: Fit The Ring
We use this steel ring to make sure that each courses style is round and that the ring will fit in it. Now that we have all our courses built except for the last one, we put this ring in place permanantly. It's in and it fits perfectly, now we put our last course on and we're done.
Step 8: Finish
Well, we're at the end of our day. This has been a great project for a single day. All we have to do now is put the grate in and it's time for dinner. We've got a nice fire going and we're cooking dinner.
A couple of tips before we go. One, always keep a bucket of water and a shovel near by. Two, never use river stone, it can explode. If you're interested in doing this project and want more information go to www.progressivefarmer.com