Home made fire pits can go with accessories collected from home improvement stores. But there is nothing like building it in the original way. Here are some steps/tasks to do that:
Select stones for your pit
You can use simple landscaping blocks here. Field stone or other similar kind of materials will do. It is suggested to avoid stones that have remained submerged in water for very very long time- say a hundred years. Stones of this type tend to explode when put to the heat of the fire. Some place prefer to use concrete blocks. But these tend to get deteriorated with heat, but worth using as replacing them is not expensive.
Drainage is an important part of home made fire pits. You can dig a a fencepost-sized hole 2 feet deep. Then fill it with gravel. This hole needs to be dug right in the bottom center of the pit. It should work like a sump and let the water drain.
Use of adhesives
You should dry-stack the stone first. This will make the process consumer more time. The dry-stacking is also helpful for replacing cracked or broken stones. Some prefer to cement the courses by laying cement around the outside half. This is considered effective for protecting the cement from heat. Apart from this some people try to use adhesives here, but they tend to melt in heat and fume. So using them is not recommended.
The fire pit we are talking about here is meant to be made around wooded area. It is a good preventive tactic to soak the area around the pit with water before you start the fire. On an average you will need 7-gallon buckets of water. 5 for soaking and 2 set aside to put off coincidental fires. Keep a shovel handy as well as you can put sand and soil on the fire if it gets rough. Here are some other things needed here:
· Retaining wall blocks
· Steel pit ring with tabs
· Metal grate
Ring and grate are indispensable items while building a fire pit at home. This can be found a home improvement stores or near garden stores. Sometimes it becomes difficult to purchase these online. So it is comparatively easier to weld your own or make some at a nearby local welding shop.
The wideness of the wall blocks used here can be 12 inches wide, 4 inches high and 8 inches deep. Get ready to put a considerable amount of sand and gravel in the pit.
Digging a hole
Dig a hole now. This hole should be 2 feet wider than the fire pit. Dig the whole around 7 feet across the fire pit. The hole should be round. To make it so you can hammer a stake into the center of the fire pit area. Now, 3 string (0.5 inch length each) should be looped over the stake. Then mark the circle. Dig out 12 inches of soil. Then dig for four inches of gravel plus four inches of sand. That layer should be tamped flat.
Now to work with the base course of blocks. It has to be laid down and you should carefully make the course level at all direction. The space out of the blocks have to be filled. You can fill it with gravel. The first course will be almost buried this way. This in tern will reinforce the stone base.
Courses of Stone
Now the pit builder will concentrate on laying more courses of stone. Here you will use the steel ring. The ring is supposed to keep the grill intact. This is done to make sure that each of the course is round with exact diameter. The ring has to be made perpendicular to each other as well as to the ground surface. If you see that the middle of your pit is around 32 inches in diameter- you will know you did well.
Stacking additional layers
Before you start here, clean debris from the surface of the last layer. Use a brush here. Now you can overlap the stone layers. In each of the courses, you should leave 3/4 gaps (do it randomly) between stones. The gaps are meant to allow air to flow in and help the fire burn. Dry-stack the stone for better results.
Put the steel ring
As all the tasks are done- it is time for the builder now to lay the final course of stone. Before the final course is laid, the steel ring should be set in place. As a normal statistics, a fire pit built this way can have 7 layers- each layer needing 14 stones. Your pit built this way should be 24 inches tall this way. For getting a better burn from your fire, you can remove a layer or two.