Dagan's DIY Fire Pit

How you relax when the work is done
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daganh62
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Dagan's DIY Fire Pit

Post by daganh62 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:24 am

A few Christmases back my wife got a really nice custom fire pit (I will post pictures of it later). At our old house we put it on the patio because our back yard was only 500 sq. ft. and had grass. Last year were moved into a new house with a 7500 sq. ft. backyard. I've decided to dedicate some of that extra space to a nice fire pit space. I'm building a 20 ft. diameter space that will be level and have a short retaining wall. I'm chronicling this so that others can see and hopefully copy the process.

Items needed:
Survey stakes (5 is recommended)
Nylon String
Line level
Hammer or mallet
One small nail
Oil base marking paint
Shovel (a back hoe or front loader would work even better)
Garden rake
A pick and/or garden hose to help soften hard spots
Tamper

Step 1: hammer a stake in the middle of the designated area. Put the nail in the top and measure out ten ft of string and tie it to the nail. Using the string as your guide walk around the edge of the fire pit spraying a circle with the paint.

Step 2: Put 4 stakes evenly spaced around the fire pit. It's recommended to put them at hitch and low spots directly across from each other. Tie some string on tight. Put four line level in the middle and move the string up and down the stairs until even. Measure the distance from ground to the string on each side. Subtract the lower number from the higher number and this is how far you need to dig.

Step 3: Start digging.

Step 4: Keep digging.

Step 5: Use a hand trowel or shovel to get excess dirt off the wall.

Step 6: Work on leveling the area. I would recommend pushing a shovel so that it misses the ground but will scrape high spots. Next lightly wet the dirt and push it around with a garden rake using the flat side and spiked side. Add dirt where necessary and tamper down.

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Last edited by daganh62 on Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ware
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Re: Dagan's DIY Fire Pit

Post by Ware » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:32 am

Can't wait to see this! :thumbsup:

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Re: Dagan's DIY Fire Pit

Post by TN Hawkeye » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:46 pm

Very interested in the process for this. Please keep us updated.
I may not have the best lawn and I may not have a clue what I’m doing but that’s pretty much all I have to say.

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Re: Dagan's DIY Fire Pit

Post by massgrass » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:04 pm

/subscribe

Last year I built a fire pit in the back yard out of retaining wall blocks from Lowe's, although I didn't use any block adheisive since we would potentially end up moving it elsewhere. I look forward to see how you approach this with regard to tools, materials, etc.

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Re: Dagan's DIY Fire Pit

Post by daganh62 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:15 pm

Day 3 or 4 (idk I'm tired) of digging came to an end and I'm 96.3% done with the digging. I ran into some hard dirt today and hard to use water and a pick to get it loose enough to dig. I've got about 4 yards of dirt some which will fill in low spots in my lawn.

Tomorrow I will finish digging and go back and smooth out the area. Then lay the 1st round of of retaining wall blocks.

daganh62
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Re: Dagan's DIY Fire Pit

Post by daganh62 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:55 am

Image

daganh62
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Re: Dagan's DIY Fire Pit

Post by daganh62 » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:55 pm

I went to dig the trench for the first course of blocks this morning and hit the pipe that pumps water from our septic tank. As a result I had to put gravel on top of the dirt. I leveled the blocks on the dirt and will backfill behind the blocks with gravel and dirt. From there wtill add dirt back in front of the blocks to get the bottom half of the first course buried.


Image

daganh62
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Re: Dagan's DIY Fire Pit

Post by daganh62 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:13 am

A big thank you to my wife for helping me finish the retaining wall today it took 139 blocks.



Image
Last edited by daganh62 on Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dagan's DIY Fire Pit

Post by jonthepain » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:30 pm

Looking forward to seeing the finished product

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Re: Dagan's DIY Fire Pit

Post by RUBZERK » Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:15 am

Is there a finished product?

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Re: Dagan's DIY Fire Pit

Post by daganh62 » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:36 pm

So a little up date. The fire pit project got pushed aside because im a coach and football season rolled around. Ive spent some time building the front edge back up to put in edging to hold the gravel in. Everytime I do we get a big rain and it gets washed out. I put rye seed down and it helped some. I went back and built it up to what seemed to be excessive but, I put the edging in today and I could have went higher. It's going to rain for the next two days so I'm hoping the high build will hold against the wash out. I still need to finish level all the edging. Once that is done I will wet and rake the dirt inside the pit to distribute it more evenly and take away the lows and highs. I will also go back and add some dirt to the outside and smooth it out then put down new rye seed to hold it until spring rolls around and I can get some good grass around it.
Last edited by daganh62 on Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dagan's DIY Fire Pit

Post by 440mag » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:02 am

Hey, the IMPORTANT thing is, you got the obligatory cameo appearance of the family pet into the pics, early on! :thumbup: :lol:
When it comes to everything, anytime I edit anything it is always because I forgot something! ;)

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Re: Dagan's DIY Fire Pit

Post by mrigney » Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:26 pm

@daganh62 Any updates on this? Would love to see a finished product!

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Re: Dagan's DIY Fire Pit

Post by daganh62 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:30 pm

I have gotten side tracked but getting close to done I will try to post some progress photos soon.

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Re: Dagan's DIY Fire Pit

Post by 440mag » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:17 am

Very much looking forward to it!

Kind of ironic but, I am looking at doing “a pit” something on the order of 1/10 the size of yours; we had several HUGE (90’, 100-foot plus) pine trees topped out and, once I got the logs stacked and racked the amount of wood stretches along a rack that is 32’ long and 4’ to 5’ tall!

Anyway, much of it contains such large amount (literally “gobs”) of sap exuding from the logs and I am very hesitant to burn that kind of sappy wood in our whole house heat wood stove so, what’re we gonna do with all this cut wood? :mrgreen:

The twist for me is that the only suitable location is a hillside out back that is probably between a 20^ and 30^ degree grade. Ha, nothing like a challenge!

I did just get this arched footbridge put in immediately above where I envision the pit going so, hopefully I’ll get the digging done while that fun is still fresh in my mind! :lol:

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Last edited by 440mag on Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
When it comes to everything, anytime I edit anything it is always because I forgot something! ;)

daganh62
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Re: Dagan's DIY Fire Pit

Post by daganh62 » Sun May 05, 2019 6:25 pm

Hoping to finish up by mid June. I have a few projects going at once. Trying to finish getting grass in the yard while getting rid of tree stumps and finishing the fire pit. That being said here is the latest.
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The rye that is on it is dieing. I just need to level the inside and put gravel down. Then get bermuda going on the outside so it can hold the ground.

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