During the warm weather seasons and into the fall, it is nice to have an area designated for outdoor relaxation. A fire pit creates a cozy or romantic atmosphere in your yard during cool crisp nights with star-filled skies. Makes a great place to enjoy a book or cuddle with someone you love. Though heavy lifting is required, it is not hard to build your own outdoor fire pit over the weekend.
You will need:
- Cast-concrete wall stones
- ¾ inch drainage gravel
- Steel campfire ring
- Patio base (stone dust)
- 40-pound bag of ready-mix mortar
- Masonry adhesive
- Concrete bonding additive
- Brick hammer
- 3-inch cold chisel
- Steel rake
- 2-foot level
- 4-foot level
- Caulk gun
- Tape measure
Step 1: Lay out the ring of blocks on the site of the pit. Place these end to end, making a perfect circle. Use the cold chisel and brick hammer to cut any blocks. Do this by scoring the block where the cut is needed and then use the brick hammer to hit the chisel until the block splits.
Step 2: Mark out a circle in the earth one inch larger than the ring perimeter, using the spade.
Step 3: Dig a trench with straight sides, using the spade. Make it 12 inches in depth and one block wide. Within the area the trench encircles, dig 6 inches.
Step 4: Lay the blocks in the trench and make sure they fit. Dig to widen trench if necessary. Remove the blocks.
Step 5: Fill the trench with ¾-inch drainage gravel, 6 inches deep. Compact this gravel with the hand tamper. Add gravel if needed to make the trench even and level.
Step 6: Place a block in the ring and use the 2-foot level to make sure it sits level front to back and side to side. Tap down with the rubber mallet if too high. If too low, use some patio base to shim it.
Step 7: Continue laying blocks, lining up edges and butting sides together. Level each block. Check level across the ring using the 4-foot level.
Step 8: Load masonry adhesive into the caulk gun and squeeze it in a zigzag beading across two of the adjacent blocks. Lay one block on top, centering it on the seam of the two lower blocks. Continue until second level is finished.
Step 9: Fill the pit using 6 inches of the gravel.
Step 10: Glue and then lay the third and the fourth levels, continuing the joint staggering pattern.
Step 11: Put the campfire ring into this circle. Make it rest even with the top of the wall of blocks. Fill spaces between the block wall and ring with gravel.
Step 12: Place cap pieces on the top of the wall, then glue them on. If natural stone is being used, combine dry mortar and bonding additive. Wet the wall with bonding agent, then apply the mortar to the blocks and lay the capstones on top.
Step 13: Do not light a fire for two days.