Sunday, April 28, 2013

Building a Fire Pit

I've had it in my mind to make myself a little fire pit for a while now.  Not a large project, but still it took months before I actually got around to doing it.  In the end, I did it all in about three hours counting the time it took to drive to Home Depot, buy the stuff, place it and clean-up.  A small project, but a rewarding one.
So far as it appears, I can't tell the difference between a construction project and a hole in the ground

I dug a pit in my backyard, maybe 8" deep.  I tried to keep the bottom level, but since the ground slopes slightly I imagine the result was less than perfect.  Still it was close enough, and after about 15 to 20 minutes I had a roundish, 3.5 foot diameter hole.

Fire pit parts: some assembly required

I went to Home Depot to acquire supplies.  I actually had to buy a wheelbarrow as I had not gotten one previously.  Which meant attaching my trailer to my car and getting my usual angst as I drive around the very bumpy local roads.  But I got the trailer to the store and ended up with 64 bricks, a pitch fork, some "leveling sand", a 5-gallon bucket and some mortar with a bin to mix it in and the trowel to place it.

A wonderful day to do the work

I placed the leveling sand around the edge of the pit as well as in the pit.  Then it was time to really get going.  I had bought two, 60 lbs bags of mortar, but I only needed one.  I mixed in one batch and started applying it.  It was obvious I wasn't much of a mason, but this didn't exactly need to withstand armageddon  so within the hour all the bricks had gone up and all the mortar had been slathered around between them.  I had guessed on the number of bricks and by sheer luck: gotten it exactly right.  I used every one of them, and they were placed perfectly to allow for three courses with a small opening in each one to let some air move through.

The mortar is applied and is beginning to set

I cleaned up as best I could: removing excess mortar and ensuring the bricks were placed where I wanted.  Then nothing to do but clean-up and wait for the right time to put my creation to use.

I invented fire!
 When night came, I started a fire up and made smores.  Yum!  Day well spent.

1 comment:

  1. so you know, the deeper the pit, the larger fire you can create. This is because deeper pits allow better circulation and provide more space for wood and other things to feed the fire. Charles A. Hones, Inc.