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Old 03-22-2009, 06:35 AM   #1
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Fire Pit Block


Can one use normal Concrete Blocks as the interior lining of a fire pit or does one need to find block that is rated for high-temperature use?

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Old 03-22-2009, 06:43 AM   #2
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don't see any reason why not, i've seen it done plenty of times. blocks, bricks, rocks, etc.

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Old 03-22-2009, 07:58 AM   #3
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no. if you do get a hot fire going these may explode. Use fire bricks for the inside and use fire rated mortar. DangerMouse used to blow up frogs also.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:39 AM   #4
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ok, so i misread.... i was thinking a ring of blocks around a pit... we have that out back, never seen one explode yet!
i also watched a basement fire take down a home, and didn't see any exploding blocks there either, and THAT fire was way hotter than any bonfire!

exploding frogs? send me some of whatever it is you're smoking!

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Old 03-24-2009, 02:33 AM   #5
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no. if you do get a hot fire going these may explode. Use fire bricks for the inside and use fire rated mortar. DangerMouse used to blow up frogs also.
Where can one find "fire rated mortar" and "fire bricks"? It appears HD or Lowes does NOT carry any such thing. Even the local quarries do NOT carry such items.
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:51 AM   #6
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look in the yellow pages for 'bricks' and also check fireplace stores.
and refractory cement can be bought at lowes/menards/etc. (for setting/repairing firebrick)

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Old 03-24-2009, 08:11 AM   #7
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We used an old smelting pot for our fire pit. I just threw in an old grill grate at the bottom so that oxygen would get underneath the wood to build flame. It works great. Very easy and low maintenance. Don't know if you have an existing pit or you are putting one in. Definitely listen to DangerMouse though and don't use regular brick or concrete. I had a friend in college that did and it was a disaster.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:27 AM   #8
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actually, i had misread and was wrong! (at least i'm man enough to admit it...*blush*)

we have a burn pit out back that's ringed with blocks, but they never get THAT hot as it's more of a campfire/bonfire pit, and they're at least a couple feet from the fire.

perhaps another source for bricks would be a ceramics shop that sells kilns? THOSE are for sure hitemp!

and i got a tub of refractory cement at menards (to patch a hole in my firebrick in the woodstove) for $8.89 so you should be able to find it at lowes/HD as well. it worked just fine for me.

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Old 03-24-2009, 08:30 AM   #9
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addon--------

the RUTLAND brand refractory cement (menards) is rated to 2000 degrees.

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Old 03-24-2009, 08:33 AM   #10
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This cement is fine. Any mason supply will have firebrick.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:19 AM   #11
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The depth & diameter have a lot to do with concrete block being sufficient for a fire pit. About 10 years ago, I built a small deep, rectangle fire pit/grill for a customer with brick/plaster inside. It failed on the first good fire. I lined it with firebrick, & it lasted for years.

If you go the firebrick route, I would use a hydraulic set fireclay like Heatstop II, as it is non-water soluable. The "old" style fireclays (air-sets) will eventually wash-out in an exterior application.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:27 AM   #12
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uh-oh, i'm kinda wrong again. the tub (RUTLAND) says NOT for outdoor use. sorry.....
tnkx 45, for making me read the label!

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Old 03-24-2009, 09:35 AM   #13
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uh-oh, i'm kinda wrong again. the tub (RUTLAND) says NOT for outdoor use. sorry.....
tnkx 45, for making me read the label!

DM
No problem DM,

The hydraulic sets are preaty new in masonry terms & the code was changed 5-10 years ago (I think) to require them for external use. I still see masons using the old fireclay outside. The old fireclay is also why alot of masonry chimneys go to heck.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:01 AM   #14
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Concrete is not acceptable for direct flame contact, period.

This is what happens when you use concrete block or SRW for a firepit:


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