Q:

How do you build a stone fire pit?

A:

Quick Answer

Build a stone fire pit by constructing a short stone wall lined with fire brick, building a cement footing and using mortar to hold the stones in place. The project should take about three hours to complete.

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Full Answer

  1. Plan the project

    Decide on the location of the fire pit and its height, width and depth. Go to a stone retailer and select the type of stone you want for the project. You also need firebricks to line the face stones.

  2. Make the base

    Pound a length of rebar into the center of the site. Cut a string that is half the length of the fire pit’s diameter. For example, if you are planning a finished fire pit that is 6 feet wide, cut a string 3 feet long. Tie a loop at one end of the string, and place it around the rebar. Tie the other end to a can of landscape spray paint. Mark the perimeter of the circle, and dig the area inside of the painted circle 6 inches deep.

  3. Pour the footing

    Cut a second piece of string the length of the first piece minus the thickness of the fire pit wall. Fasten the string to spray paint and rebar, and inscribe a second circle inside the first. Make premixed cement according to instructions on package. Spread the wet cement between the two marked circles, leaving the middle free for drainage. Add cement until it reaches about 1 inch below grade, making sure it is level. Hammer 24-inch-long rebar into the wet cement until it is completely immersed. Allow the cement to harden.

  4. Build the first layers

    Place one row of stones around the outside edge of the cement. When that is in position, put mortar along the inner perimeter of the stones, and push a fire brick into place. Apply mortar to the end of the next brick before placing it against the previous one, and press it in place. Check to make sure the brick is level, and remove excess mortar as you go. Continue this process until the initial circle of fire bricks is in place.

  5. Complete the wall

    Continue building until the desired height is reached. Always apply a layer of mortar on top of each earlier layer before placing the next. Stagger the joints between each layer of stone or brick. Fill the gaps with mortar.

  6. Lay the capstones

    Apply mortar to the top of the wall, covering both the stone and brick. Set the capstones into the mortar neatly, selecting flat stones that fit together. Make sure the stones are level. Fill the joints with mortar, smoothing as you go. When the mortar is almost dry, use a stiff brush to scrub off extra pieces of mortar.

  7. Finish the fire pit

    Rinse the fire pit to eliminate any dust or dirt. After it dries, spray the inside surface with black stove paint.

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