Fire pit, start to finish

Whether you have a patio or just a nice piece of lawn, you can build a sweet fire pit with concrete blocks. I used the Rumblestone system, manufactured by Pavestone and sold at Home Depot, among other places, but any blocks will work. It matches my patio, and I bought all the stones for both at the same time.

The two main keys are locking the blocks together with construction adhesive (it comes in tubes like caulk) and installing a steel insert of some kind. You can use galvanized steel panels or almost anything. I used the insert sold by Pavestone to fit the design I built.

Unlike real stone, concrete can crack in very high heat. A loose-fitting steel liner shields the concrete and provide an insulating air barrier. Old-school technology that works.

Check out the pics for the step-by-step, and build your own. Then stare into the flames and discover the mysteries of life. Or just drink good beer and talk about dumb bullcrap.

aplans
Pavestone.com has easy plans you can print out.
abaseglue
Construction adhesive comes in a tube, like caulk. Put it under and between each block.
abaseblock
Push the blocks down and wiggle them a bit.
asecondglue
By the way, I built most of this design dry first, to be sure it would work, before applying glue for real.
asecondlayer
The dry run let me know I could space everything right as I went along.
alastlayer
The top layer goes on like the others: glue under and between every block.
aclamps
I was a little worried about the top blocks tipping if someone sat on the edge, so I used some clamps to pull them together as the glue dried. I also weighed down one section with a cinder block.
aextrapavers
I dropped in some extra pavers to raise the fire to just the right height.
ainsert
Then I bolted together the insert and dropped it in.
agrate
I had an old fire grate, which turned out to be awesome for getting air under the fire.
abeauty
A thing of beauty. I like the way it ties into the patio, which I built with the same block system.
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