Were Building a Fire pit

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Lionrose, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. Lionrose

    Lionrose Well-Known Member

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    In just the short couple months we've been here, we really have gotten a lot done. Won't bore you with all that now.

    Current project under construction is a Fire pit.
    I was wondering if you have one or if you want one what size would it be?, and why. What shape square or circle? How deep should your average all purpose fire pit be?
    Just so ya know: I did do a search read some nice threads seen some nice pics. But still had the above questions.

    WARRNING: Rose has a tendency to ramble on forgive her. :eek:

    I have never really built one before just know I want one. My daughter and I and Callie too (granddaughter), started working on it today. I decided where it would go then I decided it should be at least 6' across and circle in shape. We then marked the ground with black spray paint (cause its what we had on hand) and then dug out the perimeter a bit to give me a line to go by while tilling up the ground inside circle. I tilled it about 8" deep then my daughter shovel it out into the cart behind the lawn tractor. Then I'd go dump it where it was needed in other spots around the house.

    Intermission from the story:
    (OK I’m and idiot here’s why) :bash:

    While she was working on getting the lose dirt out of the pit I was looking at the tines on the tiller. Remembering what my oldest daughter had said after borrowing it. I had asked if they got it done and they said finally with son-in-law’s dad’s help and his tiller too. The she mentioned something about his being sharper or something. (they were trying to level ground for a pool) I was sitting there looking at the tines and noticed the two on the end were on backwards dull side down. Dadburnit I use that tiller all the time and haven’t had the tines off in probably two years. Before we moved my garden spots were very established and I guess I just never notice. So I preceded to take them off and turn um around. No :nono: not that simple nothing ever is. Dadburn pins were seated and it took motor oil and about an hour and a half of hitting on um with a hammer and a punch. Finally after much labor and sweat determination got um off. :bouncy: Went over the shaft and pins with sandpaper put the tines on the right way! Man that was harder than making the danged pit. :stars:
    End intermission:
    By this time kids long time done waiting on me to empty cart of dirt and till again. So back at it we are its late evening now. I empty cart and till again and man what a difference it made lol what an idiot. I think hands down that is the stupidest thing I have ever done.
    The ground is so dry and hard when it is tilled it turns to powder like substance. I tilled inside the circle another 8"-10", deeper I go, easier it seems to till. Haven't hit any big rocks or the likes yet :dance: is a miracle in itself. Kid got that all shoveled out into the cart. I emptied it and tilled another 8” or so ran out of gas left tiller where it dyed.
    By this time its getting pretty late. Kid done abandoned me, don’t blame her Callie needed tending to bath and bed. She was right in there helping us I have never seen that child so dirty she was so cute. Man what a helper she was in it from the word go helping mom shovel the dirt she has her own little bucket and shovel. :hobbyhors
    I stayed outside sitting near our soon to be fire pit had the tyke torches lit so I could see to till earlier. While I was sitting there I started pondering weather or not it is big enough. I plan to line walls with rock and put bed of pea gravel form creek in bottom. Drag up a couple HUGE rocks I have eyed on the property that will make very nice fire side benches. Anyways tomorrows another day we will be back at it probably not till late afternoon when the spot is in the shade.
    Will be interesting to see what distractions oh aaa I ment progress accrues tomorrow.

    You were warned about Rose’s rambling disorder wasn’t you?

    Rose
     
  2. stars01

    stars01 Well-Known Member

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    I just wanted to say the story went well with my coffee. I won't give advice on the fire pit, ours is just a wheelbarrow bucket in the ground with a large metal screen over it for cooking. Yours sounds like it will be very nice!

    Paula
     

  3. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    My redneck fire pit is a buried bathtub w/ a grate over one half for cooking lol Yours has me beat! lol enjoy
     
  4. happybluebird

    happybluebird Well-Known Member

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    Ours is a circle about 6 or 7 feet around. We didn't dig it out or anything, just surrounded the area with decent size rocks from the fields around the house. It is not too far from the house...I'd guess about 50ft. (we just watch the wind direction before we light it up) And I have to tell you it is one of the most valuable tools here. We do not burn trash with the exception of carboard boxes, it's main function here over the years has been a place to put fallen tree limbs. I don't know what we would have done without it during the ice storm a couple of winters back, and we would never have been able to get this barn (the one that was destroyed in the bad storm June 22nd) cleaned up by ourselves without it either. We have piled and saved any "good" wood, but there has been lots and lots and lots (LOTS) of that old barn that has gone straight to the burn pit. Talk about some big bonfires! Anyway, after years of using it to help you regain control of things - put them back in order, you almost have a connection to it. Not to mention the nights sitting around just enjoying it and lookin' up at the stars...and the roasted marshmallows! We've even heard coyotes calling back in forth while sitting back there....creepy LOL but cool! Enjoy your new fire pit Rose! May you have many future memories that include it!
    [​IMG]
    Jamie
     
  5. Shadow

    Shadow Well-Known Member

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    We have three on our place. One 8 ft in diameter down on the overlook on the cliff we use it when ever we have guest or just want to spend the evening or day carving setting watching the wild life and the creek. We have several get togethers and roast weinies and marsmellows down there . The other two are small about three ft in daimeter, both down at the pond where I like to set and fish. If it gets chilly or mosquitos are bad I lite up a small fire just for me.
    All three are rock walls with gravel bottoms, if you use certain types of rock they will crack sometimes even pop or explode with intense heat from a real hot fire
     
  6. Tau

    Tau Member

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    We just returned from camping in Michigan. They had the absolute best firepits I've ever seen. I'm not entirely sure what materials they used, but I'm bound and determined to have one just like it in my backyard someday.

    Here's a picture:
    http://www.studiotau.com/lj/wd062.jpg

    There seem to be two layers of circular corrugated metal. The space between is filled in with cement. It was a terrific surface to lay hot pans on and they even had spots to anchor our iron tripod!

    We had a great time camping, by the way - even cooking over and open fire during a record heat wave was fun. :)
     
  7. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    I want one too. We have tons of rock so what to make it out of won't be hard.
    BTW, won't creek rocks explode if they get too hot?
     
  8. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    We have 2, one by each pond. The one by the back pond is just an old barbeque cylinder-shaped thing we burn back yard trash in. It may be small, but it sure comes in handy at clean-up time.

    The front pond one, we built over spilled gravel. I just made a big rectangle about 8' x 4' using cement blocks turned with the holes facing up. We filled the holes with dirt from the bottom of the pond. It makes a nice place to put candels, lanterns and cooking stuff. We put our feet up there to keep our toes toasty in wintertime. I also laid a row of patio stones along the sides where we sit so the ants and whatever don't get us in the dark. During hurricane time, it is our cooking area (we have a cast iron tri-pod, skillet and dutch oven, grill, long roasting fork, etc). The kids like to make smore's and roast hot dogs, too. I burn a ton of trash regularly then put the cooled ashes on the compost pile or future garden areas.

    I would like a cement picnic table there eventually...and maybe even a campsite to pitch a tent for sleepovers.
     
  9. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    all i did was make a 3 foot circle dug it out about 1 foot taperd towards the middle put 10 inch stones around the edge nothing fancy works well
     
  10. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    I have been wanting to build one of these for a long time..........we use an old tire rim off of who knows what. The reason DH likes it is because when it's windy, he can move it to a protected area of the yard.
    I want something a little nicer to look at. LOL

    Rose, take pictures for us! :)

    mtman, that sounds like what I would like to make. :)
     
  11. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    Don't use pea gravel from the creek!

    Rock that has been sitting in a waterway for a long time accumulates moisture and can explode when heated. Just like popcorn, only it doesn't hold together.
     
  12. Michael W. Smith

    Michael W. Smith Well-Known Member

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    Why must it be a pit? Around here as far as I know, the only thing I've ever heard of is a fire RING - usually made out of an old tire rim or a circle of rocks. With the rim, if it's held up off the ground with posts, cleaning up of ashes is easy - just shovel them out from under the ring.

    I'm confused what the benefits are of a pit. I would think it would be a pain to clean out having to climb down into to clean it.

    Could somebody please educate me on the benefits of a fire pit over a fire ring?
     
  13. RedTartan

    RedTartan Icelandic Sheep Supporter

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    I'm planning a fire ring too. Like Michael, I don't understand why you would want a pit. Isn't it harder to get it to burn in a pit because of lack of oxygen? I was planning on using those trapezoid bricks with spaces left between them for air circulation about three levels high. Right on the ground, no digging.

    What's the deal, guys?

    :) RedTartan
     
  14. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    My outdoor fire place is a ring of mortared rocks with some air holes. The rocks are to confine the coals, & I have a screen to put over the rock edge to cook on. We enjoy it when we don't have a burn ban!
     
  15. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    I like this for nice Big Fires.Now as far as cooking over its too Big.Plus I've been thinking about putting one at the Cabin,but while I'm at it I might make one here.

    [​IMG]

    big rockpile
     
  16. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Unapologetically me Supporter

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    I use a pit because I don't have anything to make a ring out of, plus, We cook in it occasionally.
    We get a bed of hot coals, put our hunks of meat in it (Wrapped in foil or wet burlap) and them bury it.
    Probably depends on needs and peference.
     
  17. dustyacres

    dustyacres Well-Known Member

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    I have been looking forward to having a fire pit also, I wanted to build one right away for clean up and a weinie roast for the kids, we have just been getting moved to our 80 acre farm. I had a pretty simple design in mind and have already hit my first major snag. I have no rocks!! We are from Wisconsin and are familiar with rocks everywhere, where we are here in Iowa, I don't think they exist. I have searched the property for rock piles or bricks, no luck. We have tons of scrap and junk so I hope this thread will give me some new ideas. I have a few old metal horse tanks (small holes in bottoms), maybe one of those wil be part of the new plan.
     
  18. Muskrat

    Muskrat Well-Known Member

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    If the intent is for cooking, then my suggestion would be to have a somewhat key-hole shape, a circle with a rectangular trench leading from it. In the round section, wood is added to the fire to form coals, which can then be raked into the trench section where actual cooking can take place. Adding wood underneath food you're cooking makes for uneven cooking. It's also much easier to reach the food because you can work closer at the trench, and the guests can sit around the round section watching the flames and telling stories without interfering with the cooking.
     
  19. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    Lots of good ideas! I like the keyhole shaped one Muskrat, that would be handy.

    Nice picture Rockpile! :)
     
  20. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    I saw one inside a steakhouse that had a little shelf all around the outside edge to use as a tabletop. It was so wonderful to sit around that pit!