DIY Brick Fire Pit Made With Leftover Bricks
This brick fire pit made with the leftover bricks from my fireplace turned out to be easier and stronger than I expected.
We've always had a burn pile in this location. We have a heavily treed acre of land, and yard waste is abundant, so we burn a lot of it. This area can sometimes get out of hand with the piles of tree limbs, leaves and weeds. And since this is the view of the lake I see when I look out of my sliding glass doors, I figured it was high time to clean up the messy burn pile and make things look a little more pleasant.
I used some of the brick from my fireplace project.
The first step was to remove all the ash and dirt from the location. Then I dug about two inches below grade, and made a circle about 6 inches bigger than my desired 48" diameter brick ring.
I used a garden stake with a piece of rope nailed to the stake and a pry bar tied to the other end to mark out a circle on the ground. Very high tech..JK. Then I placed the bricks just inside the circle I carved in the ground with the metal pry bar. I didn't concern myself with level at this point, only that my bricks were in a perfect circle and not egg shaped.
You could use any object to mark the ground, like another wood stake or a screw driver. I tied my pry bar 24" from the wood stake because I wanted my fire pit to be 48" diameter. Most fire pit kits are 36" round, which isn't large enough for my space.
After the bricks were in a perfect circle, then I started to level each brick to the adjacent brick.
I used a straight 2"x3" board to level the bricks across from each other. The leveling process is slow but worth the time. And the first level of bricks is the most important layer to get perfect.
Once the first layer of bricks was perfectly level and circular I poured Quikrete fast setting concrete around the base of the bottom layer of bricks. I filled in the trench around the bricks and covered about 3/4 of the height of the bottom bricks to hold the bricks in place. Then I dry fitted the bricks to see how it would come together and be sure I had enough bricks.
Then I mixed some mortar to start assembling the brick wall of the fire pit. I used strong mortar specifically made for wall building. I found the easiest way to do this part was to wear a rubber glove and just pat the mortar onto the bricks and push it into the cracks and crevices. I show this part in detail on the video below.
One very important aspect of cement...the bricks need to be wet. So before starting, hose everything down. And make sure to keep everything wet as you work.
After all the bricks were stacked I tucked more mortar into any cracks or crevices left between the bricks with a gloved hand, I filled the cracks and crevices on inside as well . The I used a large tile sponge to wipe the bricks and smooth out the mortar. Just like tile and grout. I just kept hosing off my sponge and wiping the brick until I could sufficiently see the bricks.
Since this area is so shady it doesn't grow grass really well, so I dug out the grass surrounding the fire pit and made another ring of bricks to edge my pea gravel fire pit surround.
I laid weed blocking fabric before pouring and spreading the pea gravel.
So far our fire pit area has served us well. It's still too hot here in Florida to burn a fire but this shaded area has been a nice respite for some outside socially distant visits with friends.
I really didn't have a clue if this brick fire pit would be strong enough to stand on it's own with just mortar and no metal supports like rebar or anything. However this thing is really, really, strong and I think it could be here a while. I'm really happy with the result, and since I already had the brick this project was super affordable. I only had to buy the cement, pea gravel, and the weed blocking fabric. Stay tuned for the Adirondack chairs build next week.
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