Okay, here it is, the construction side of me took over and decided to put my paint brush down for a bit and pick up a masonry trowel. I have this obsession with building structures with concrete block and cement, it is just as enriching as finishing a painting to me. I been wanting to build a fire pit for some time however, I did not want to build one as big as the one I had built-in my Miami home so, after doing some research to freshen up my skills I came up with this…
I already had an area with concrete pavers layed – I opted not to do a framed concrete pad – hopefully the pavers will hold up. I did reset all the pavers, compacted the ground and used paver sand to stabilize them. This is what I purchased:
28 but only used 26 fire resistant Cap Concrete Blocks 4x8x16 – this is the only place I found the fire resistant blocks because HD had it but were not label as fire resistant 😦
1 bag of Type S Mortar – 80 lb. bag
1 bag of Type N Mortar – 60 lb. bag
2 bags of red lava rocks – found in the garden area at your home improvement store
1 – 20 lb. bag of fire clay – got mine on ebay
I had slate tile from a previous project laying around so I used those to decorate the pit.
The first this I did was to do a dry fit and take measurements and made sure it was center and all that good stuff. I opted to leave gaps between the gaps on the bottom first layer for air circulation for the fire (I hope it works :?) hopefully the fire will not only burn on the top and have a nice steady flame. I only have 2 levels displayed here the next pic will show the 3 level. Once I dry fitted and new how I was going to lay the blocks I went ahead and mixed Type S Mortar to a nice consistency and used it to adhere the blocks to one another.
So after attaching the base bottom to what I call the 2nd layer of blocks, I added the 3rd layer. The adjoining seams are staggered from one another between the layers (very important otherwise the structure will not be stable and strong).
Once I layed the blocks I waited 24 hrs. to do the stucco on the outside with Type N Mortar (I could call it a scratch coat but since I did not use the notch trowel, I kinda just did a rough stucco). Then waited again this time 48 hrs. misting with water those 2 days. I did not stucco the inside because for the inside I wanted stucco with refractory cement and I was waiting on the clay to be delivered.
Final stucco coat and added tile decor and slate mosaic on top border. Once again notice that the inside does not have stucco.
Finally the clay arrived and I mixed 5 parts Type N Mortar to 1 part fireclay (hope it works), I got this refractory cement recipe online, I used another recipe in the past with perlite but didn’t like it that much.
Stucco is complete, lava stones poured in the inside and placed log grate, now time to wait. I am going to wait around 28 days to cure before the first firing, meanwhile I will work on the slate, cleaning it and water sealing the outside.
I will post pics after the sealer has been applied and post an update of the first firing.
Nothing fancy, just a simple fire pit that I’m playing of buying a grilling grate and perhaps use it as an open pit.