How do you make a bonfire pit?


Quick Answer

Building your own bonfire pit takes about two days. The supplies you need are a shovel, a metal stake, scissors, string or twine, a can of bright spray paint, water, rebar, a bucket, a trowel, concrete mix, mortar mix, a jointer, a chipping hammer, a stone rasp, wall stones, firebricks and capstones.

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Full Answer

  1. Choose a location

    Pick a location that is more than 25 feet away from buildings and trees. Verify that your location complies with local building regulations before you begin construction.

  2. Mark the perimeter

    Drive a metal stake into the middle of your chosen location. Tie a string around it and cut the string so its length is half of the pit's circumference. For example, a 6-foot pit requires 3 feet of string. Hold the string horizontally and walk around the metal stake, marking your path with spray paint.

  3. Dig a shallow pit

    Dig inside the spray painted circle to a depth of 6 inches.

  4. Mark the interior pit wall

    Shorten your measuring string by 12 inches. Stretch it horizontally and walk around the metal stake, marking your path with spray paint. This circle represents the inner circumference of the bonfire pit.

  5. Mix and apply the concrete foundation

    Mix dry concrete with water until it has the consistency of thick peanut butter. Use a shovel to place dollops of concrete between the painted circles. Smooth the surface with a trowel, leaving 1 1/2 inches of space between the concrete and the surrounding ground.

  6. Strengthen the foundation with rebar

    Insert rebar into the fresh concrete. Let it dry for 24 hours.

  7. Build the outer wall

    Apply 2 inches of thick mortar over the concrete foundation. Cover the mortar with stones, then add more mortar and a second tier of stones.

  8. Line the pit with firebricks

    Spread a ring of mortar inside the stone circle and place one layer of firebricks on top. Spread more mortar on top and add a second layer of firebricks.

  9. Level and finish both wall layers

    Examine both walls for gaps, unevenness and loose stones. Fill the gaps with mortar and use a rasp or chipping hammer to correct uneven areas. Continue adding layers of mortar, stone and brick until you feel satisfied with the height of the wall.

  10. Remove excess mortar and cap the wall

    Remove dabs of excess mortar with a jointer. Spread mortar on top of the wall, and cap it with flat stones.

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