- Joined Sep 25, 2007
Fire Pit Deconstruction - Reconstruction
September 15th, 2019
For at least the last 10 years I have had some type of fire pit in the back yard (well at least that's how far my pictures go back), the first 5 years the fire pit was a seasonal fire pit, every year I would remove the bricks, stack them on the back hill, put away the fire ring, rake up the area real good looking for nails, then install an 18" pool.
2014 was the last summer I put up the pool and concentrated more on gardening throughout the summer.
The fire pit has seen some serious fires and abuse, from making Bio-char with pallets to making Lump Charcoal in steel drums.
I started out with a 24" fire ring, I think it was 10 block's around, totaling 30 blocks. After a few years the blocks all cracked and I just used the steel fire ring.
In 2014, IIRC, a friend was getting rid of their Fire Pit, this was a 30" ring with 36 blocks, they delivered... awesome!
The same year we built a Schwenker for the pit.
A few of the problems I faced with the fire pits with landscape blocks was the concrete blocks cracking due to the extreme heat (my fault), there have been times where red coals completely filled the pit and logs were just tossed on top. I have burnt pallets in here as well, it's actually a tradition to toss on pallets at the end of our Manday parties in December.
I have tried a double ring for insulation which I think helped insulate the blocks a bit, see 2nd pic from 2017 and first pic from 2018.
Another problem was the blocks turned red from the heat, I'm not too worried about cosmetics, I guess that is the natural color of the blocks.
I have tried to come up with ways to insulate the landscape blocks but the blocks were no match for the pallets.
I do a lot of outdoor cooking and use the fire pit on occasion for cooking. We like to cook over the Fire pit with the Schwenker, I also have a swing grate we use.
This year I decided to Deconstruct and Reconstruct a new fire pit with a few new rules, no pallets and nothing gets burnt unless it fits inside the pit. The pit will be designed with cooking being the priority.
So this is what I plan on doing for the 2019 fire pit, but first a disclaimer here, this is NOT a tutorial, there are a million ways to skin a cat, this is the way I decided to do my Fire pit based on the last 10 years of using a fire pit..
Priorities for this redo are, air circulation, insulation (somewhat) and focus on it being primarily a cooking pit.
I done some research on how to vent the fire better, and was on the fence with using an underground 4" vent, sort of like a Dakota Fire. I decided against that due to a million other possible negative factors, so I went with vents on the side of the Blocks.
I increased the height another block because of the vents.
I also ordered another fire pit insert with no lip, this is 12" deep and I will be mounting it to the existing fire ring that has a lip. This insert will be secured directly under the lip of the existing fire ring ring giving me 12" deep steel insert that will cover three layers of the blocks.
The insert will be drilled with 2" holes for ventilation.
A fire grate will sit in the center of the air vents or level with the bottom of the vent, I am still undecided on this.
A 36" piece of black pipe will be pounded into the ground and secured to the installed fire pit insert with stainless steel screws, this will be for the swivel cooking grate.
I was a bit unsure about the next part but decided to give it a shot anyhow. The grass dies around the pit from debris and such and gets weedy so I wanted to come up with a neater look.