Building a Stone Fire Pit

| 10/29/2010 11:44:19 AM

Tags: fire pit, landscaping, rock, mountain,

A photo of Allan DouglasMy wife and I live on the side of a mountain.  Being on the side of a mountain does have some drawbacks.  I’ve found that we must be careful not to walk the same path the same direction all the time or one leg ends up shorter than the other.  When it rains hard, bare top soil washes away, so things like gardens must be terraced to keep them as level as possible. And when “flatlander” relatives come to visit, we must be careful to say off the more “adventurous” roads or they leave fingernail prints in our dashboard.

However, a mountainside with natural rock outcroppings can make for some pretty fun adventures in landscaping.  This past weekend Marie and I built a quick and simple fire pit in one such outcropping.

This rock formation was a crescent shaped collection of small boulders protruding from the ground.  The largest is about waist high.  Smaller rocks poke up from the soil in the “elbow” of the formation leaving a hole or open spot in the middle, thus giving Marie the idea that it would make a good fire pit.

The stone formation before conversion to fire pit 

The formation itself is in an area that was once cleared, but some brush and saplings have grown back.  But cutting those out was not a big chore, and no large trees overhang the proposed pit, presenting the possibility of turning an oak, hickory or dogwood tree into a towering inferno.  That would be bad!

I dig down inside the center of the formation another 8” or so to provide a deeper pit where the fire goes.  This produced some extra rock but mostly just dirt.
5/15/2018 9:41:53 PM

I used the plans at WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG to build my own – I highly recommend you visit that website and check their plans out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling… there’s like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha Go to WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG if you want some additional plans :)

Allan Douglas
11/18/2010 7:39:00 AM

Yessir… I mean; having to leap from the seat because the wheels one side come up off the ground and just keep going. I’ve done it twice on my lil tractor, then got rid of it. I bought a self-propelled walk-behind model for mowing. It takes me a couple of days to do the portion of our property that is “lawn” (and I use the term loosely as it’s mostly weeds!) but it’s better than being mooshed. Someone told me that I could have helped the situation by half-filling the tractor’s tires with an anti-freeze mixture to increase weight in the tires. I think lead shot might be better :-) Thanks for stopping in Dave.

Nebraska Dave
11/5/2010 4:27:04 PM

@Alan, if you mean by rolling a tractor down a slope, by tipping it over sideways, then the answer is nope. I did have my first driving experience at the age of about four with my dad's tractor. He kept it on a slope because it didn't have a battery and he would coast it down the slope to get it started. Well, one day I decided to coast it down the slope just like Dad. Unfortunely or fortunely however you look at it before it gathered up too much speed, I hit a tree smack in the middle. My driving skills have improved quite a bit since then. I too have relatives in Lincoln and Crete. Let me know if you ever get back through Omaha and we'll have lunch. Have a great day.

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