Broken Road Farms

The Fire Pit

Start with a strong stick or rod and about 8 feet of string.  Drive the stick into the ground leaving a portion where you can secure your string.  Make a loop on the string and place over the stake.  Measure 3 feet of string starting from the stake and while holding the string at the 3-foot mark circle the stake and mark the ground so you have a circle.  Then do the same thing using a 4-foot mark.  This should give you two circles 1-foot apart.  Dig down about a foot between the two circles.  We used the dirt from the trench around the outside of the pit to slightly raise the ground level so any rain would move away from the pit.


Once you have dug the entire 1-foot by 1-foot trench, which is about 18 feet in length take a break…usually a week is enough time for the aches and pains to go away…it may take a little longer for your blister to heal. 


Fill in the trench with rocks/stones.  Because we made our pit near a slope we dug an additional trench leading down the hill about 5 feet and filled that with stones as well.  The idea is…if it rains the water will have some place to go instead of getting trapped in the pit itself.  Now get some DRY play sand and dump over the stones...the sand will sift down between the stones locking them in.  You may want to walk around on the sand and stones to make sure the sand sifts down all the way.  (We used a total of 2,000 lbs of sand in and around the fire pit.) 

At this point you will want to make one last circle…using the stake and string measure about 7 feet and make another outer circle…this will be the outer edge where you will put in the flat patio stones.  If you are doing this over sod you may want to spray the area with Roundup to kill the grass.


Now place firebricks on inner-top part of the circle that contains the rocks and sand.  The sand should be about ½ to 1 inch above the stones. 


So basically you will be building the wall portion of the fire pit on top of the 1-foot by 1-foot hole you dug and filled with rocks and sand.  (We used 75 firebricks…25 bricks per row…3 rows high.)


Next we started to place flat stones around the outer part of the firebricks until they were even with the top of the firebricks.  As we built up along the firebrick we added sand to fill any voids or cracks.  Finally we put larger “cap rocks” over the firebricks and the flat face rocks.


The remaining circle was raked as necessary to get it as even as possible…again trying to give it a slight slope away from the pit.  Put down about an inch of DRY sand…then start placing the flat rocks for the patio area.  The last step is to pour DRY sand over the patio rocks to fill in the voids between the rocks and to lock them in…sweep with a broom and you are almost ready.  We poured the remaining two bags of sand into the pit…and on July 4th we had our first fire.  


By the way the reason we used firebricks…they tend to hold up under the various weather conditions and they shield the field rocks from the intense heat that can cause them to EXPLODE!  We know this from experience.