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em07 06-08-2011 09:50 AM

Firepit - hole dug, need thoughts on bricks/rocks and liners...
We're making a fire pit. There seems to be a lot of redundant and somewhat unclear advice on the web for making one.

We dug about a foot into the ground, and it has about 4 ft diameter. Our ground is very sandy and drains well so we're planning to leave the base as just that.

What I can't find on the web is the WHYS of using brick or rock, and when a liner is or isn't needed. And whether to mortar or just stack. I wanted this to be simple - like a campfire. But I know it's wise to build something that lasts and works well too.

Do I just stack wedge shaped bricks I can get at a home depot garden section around it and call it good or do I need to get special bricks, liners etc. I don't think we'll be using it to death - just occasional fun use and maybe even get a grate and do some bbq if we desire once in awhile.

Thank you so much for your time and thoughts.

HomeInsulation 06-08-2011 04:16 PM

Hey em07,

I think the solid landscaping retaining wall blocks designed to create curves and circles will work for your occasional use firepit. They sell them at the HD and Lowe's for $3-4 a piece.

They make a special landscaping stone glue used for these blocks that binds them together. I'm not sure how much heat it can take, so I'd read the label. But I've tried to break the glue bond between old retaining wall blocks and it's pretty tough stuff.

I would dig a circular trench about 12 inches deep and fill it with clean stone or a crushed gravel to make a base for the wall. Tamp it down with a metal tamper to compact the gravel. Then build the wall. It will help keep your heavy wall from sagging and warping.

Best of luck.

em07 06-09-2011 01:53 PM

Thanks for the tips.

Anyone here made a rock firepit? does it need mortaring or will a fire ring/insert inside suffice?

brcocar 06-10-2011 08:57 AM

wedge shaped blocks
In my limited experience you need something to contain the heat, either fire brick or a metal ring. At our camp someone installed a fire pit like you've stated, just bricks dry stacked in a circle. It's been three years since that was done, and the bricks are literally crumbling. I don't know if there are higher quality bricks, but it seems to me they are not made for that purpose and break down easily. Just a thought since you said you wanted to build it well to last. I'm of the same mindset and don't want to see my projects fall apart the next year.


rollinastang 06-11-2011 09:09 AM

i found bricks at my local lawn and garden store that were made for a kiln able to take high heat for extended periods of time...not sure what they were called they were only a few cents more per brick but the guy said they would not crumble over time...i laid them on the bottom as a patio with no hole dug at all so i could just shovel out the ashes as needed and not keep making the hole this helps keep the ground dry so u can have a fire anytime. i did not uses mortar i thought that may break down over time i just stacked them in a circle...if they fall down i just put em back up.

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