A fantastic "do it yourself" project, the folks at Progressive Farmer magazine show you how to build a fire pit in just one
day. Clear step-by-step instructions and material lists help make this project both fun and easy.
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Hi! I am Dan Miller, I am Senior Editor for Progressive Farmer Magazine. We have got a one day project here for you. It is spelled, this fire pit. You can start in the morning and have dinner by night. The great steel rings and stones are part of a kit. But if you cannot find the kit. The stones are just regular landscaping blocks and you can have the ring and the metal grate made for you.
You will need about one ton of gravel for good drainage. And one ton of sand for firm foundation. The tools you will need to build this fire pit are pretty basic. A couple of shovels, a pick axe, a tamper, a rake, and a level. The first thing to do is find a location for the fire pit. Some things I think about are clear and open area at least 50 feet from any building. Watch for trees that have overhanging branches and do not forget the brush, it can catch fire from the spark. Dig out 12 inches of soil, shovel in four inches of gravel and four inches of sand. Tamp each layer flat.
To keep a good fire burning we have learned that you want to have your fire pit no more than 20 inches tall, that is five courses of stone and we used about 14 stones per course. The stone we are using to build this fire pit is angled on the side. It is also rough cut on the front to give the pit a more natural appearance. And then right here, it has a line and that helps you off set the stones as you build the pit.
This first course was important, it is the foundation for the rest of the fire pit and it has to be leveled all the way around. We will go a hit. To laying our second course of blocks, we are going to start overlapping one course over the other. That is what this scar marks are for. They help you lining up the block for the next course.
Here is 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. You need gravel in the bottom of the pit. It is a lot easier, do it now when you only have a couple courses laid down. Here is another tip. Every once and a while, you want to hang a string over the edge with a weight on the bottom to make sure your walls are perpendicular to the ground.
Periodically, we leave gaps in the stone and we do that for a reason. The gaps allow for better air into the fire. You are going to want to stabilize your bottom course of stone. To do that we are taking some of our extra gravel and putting in around the bottom and you put that in all the way around.
We use this steel ring to make sure each course of stone is rounded that the ring will fit in it. Now that we have got all our courses built except for the last one, we put this ring in place permanently. It is in and it fits perfectly, now we put our last course on and we are done.
Well worked on the end of our day. This ahs been a great project for a single day. All we have to do now is put the grate in and it is time for dinner. We have got a nice fire going on and we are cooking dinner. A couple of tips before we go, one, always keep a bucket of water and shovel nearby, two, never use river stone, it can explode. If you are interested in doing this project and you want more information, go to www,progressivefarmer.com.