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How are we today?

My wife and I are doing some landscaping upgrades and have decided to install a permanant fire pit. I would like to do it in concrete and then stain it. I was thinking about doing it in the square bowl shape:

SquareSoupBowl7inF9.jpg

Dimension wise I am thinking 3' by 3' at the top and 2' by 2' at the bottom and a height of 2'. These are approximate measurements....

My questions is how thick does it have to be to support itself? I will probably end up making it thicker anyway for aesthetic purposes, but just curious. My other questions is reinforcement. I know a couple pieces of rebar into the ground and some mesh would be good practice, but are they required? Then I just have to spend a weekend making the inner and outer forms of plywood and 2 by 4s.

My only other though is to be sure I put a drain in the bottom so it does not turn into a bird bath. Anyone have any other thoughts?

Thanks,

John
 

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I would question if this will work as the concrete has to expand and contract, thus I would think crack. Also, if it has moisture in it, it can "explode". Not a boom, but parts can go flying or crack off.
 

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I am fairly certain that concrete can handle the heat of a small wood fire... Putting the rebar and the mesh in would hopefully prevent the cracking... And yes the concrete would certainly have to dry before use. :lol:
 

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I would question it as well. The rebar is just going to hold it structurally together but wont stop the flying chunks when the concrete explodes.

I have seen this personally.

I am sure you can find a special mix with more clay or something that would be OK. Something suited for that task.
 

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Are you sure it didnt have a liner in it? Either steel or firebrick?

I have been hit by flying concrete when using a cutting torch and hot slag drops on the floor even.

One of the guys on the workshop forum recently posted a picture of exploded concrete after he had set one of those charcoal chimney's on it. It actually tipped the unit over and caught the fence on fire.

Picture attached.
 

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Yes, Firebrick in one and metal in the other. I was leaning towards firebrick as I can do that myself where as I would have to get the metal one made.

That is crazy....
 

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Well I think as long as you line it you are good.

I have seen concrete pits that they fill with rock and then set a metal bowl or box in. Those look pretty nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll probably do rock in the bottom, as it is good for drainage too. Fire brick on the side. I suppose if I could find a premade bowl I could use that. I just don't see myself getting one made...
 

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Find and old 55 gallon drum and cut the bottom 12" off it !
 

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I would make the concrete part about 12" bigger than a 55 gallon drum. Fill the pit with river rock. Will protect the concrete and make a nice look.

Below is a picture of something similar that is poured concrete I found on Google.
 

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I'm in the Fire-Brick camp........

People say "I just want to have a little campfire" then things get bigger, and bigger and if you have teenage boys, I'd say BIGGER, AND BIGGER! Flying concrete is nothing short of stone schrappnel! Just be careful! We need you back here in the 'fold' with no horror stories........! There's got to be tons of info on the web about this stuff. ~Scotty
 

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We have a concrete fire pit, its round, sand bottom. It's 5 years old. Other than a few hairline cracks its held up fine and we have had some big fires in it.

A cutting tourch is much hotter than a wood fire.
 

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Fire Pit

Ten years ago, I got a 16" tall concrete sleeve and lid, that they make for the 1,000 gallon septic tank (they make the sleeves in different heights). I used that for a wood fire pit for years. As time wore on, it developed small cracks in it, but still was useful as a fire pit. The wife wanted to move it (don't they always) to another location, so I rolled it to the new location. That caused the cracks to widen but we still used it for another couple years without any problems. The lid allowed me to cover the ring, smother the fire and save the wood for the next fire. I had a small patio poured and bought a SoJoe fire pit. I placed it on the concrete lid to protect my patio from the heat and surrounded the base with river rock. This has made a great fire pit for cooking or just enjoying an outdoor fire. It's made of very heavy gage steel and well worth the cost. It's not the one season, cheap tin ones you see at Lowes or Home Depot. We have had it outdoors for six years and it's had countless fires in it. Another nice thing about these SoJoes is you can move it, take it camping, to the beach or whatever. Here is their website: http://www.sojoe.com/
 

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Ten years ago, I got a 16" tall concrete sleeve and lid, that they make for the 1,000 gallon septic tank (they make the sleeves in different heights). I used that for a wood fire pit for years. As time wore on, it developed small cracks in it, but still was useful as a fire pit. The wife wanted to move it (don't they always) to another location, so I rolled it to the new location. That caused the cracks to widen but we still used it for another couple years without any problems. The lid allowed me to cover the ring, smother the fire and save the wood for the next fire. I had a small patio poured and bought a SoJoe fire pit. I placed it on the concrete lid to protect my patio from the heat and surrounded the base with river rock. This has made a great fire pit for cooking or just enjoying an outdoor fire. It's made of very heavy gage steel and well worth the cost. It's not the one season, cheap tin ones you see at Lowes or Home Depot. We have had it outdoors for six years and it's had countless fires in it. Another nice thing about these SoJoes is you can move it, take it camping, to the beach or whatever. Here is their website: http://www.sojoe.com/
Barry, thank you for the tip. I have been wanting to get something like this for the back yard. I found you can get the animal one here for a 25% savings with free shipping and a good amount of the goodies. http://www.patiocomforts.com/sojwilfir.html
 

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SoJoe

Barry, thank you for the tip. I have been wanting to get something like this for the back yard. I found you can get the animal one here for a 25% savings with free shipping and a good amount of the goodies. http://www.patiocomforts.com/sojwilfir.html
The items you get with the basic kit are all heavy duty and well built. The cover is thick and has an elastic skirt which fits the pot perfectly and keeps the snow/water out of it during winter. The other item, I like about the fire pit, is the screen cap. It keeps popping embers in the pot. The inside of the pot is also lined with the same thick screen. It's a quality product and we sure enjoy it :)
 

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I took and purchased it from Patio Comforts and it ships directly from Sojoe which is nice. They figure it will ship maybe even today and if it does I should see it by next Friday. Thanks again:thumbup1gif:
 
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