More in Outdoors
With the foundation set, it's time to lay the stones. Mix mortar and then shovel about 2 inches of it on top of the concrete base. Working in small sections, lay the stones on the mortar (image 1).
If you are using natural stone, mix the sizes and colors of the stones, and choose stone faces that are attractive and match the slight curve of your outline. When necessary use a chipping hammer to shape individual stones (image 2).
As the first few levels of stones begin to take shape along the outside edge of the fire pit, begin to lay fire bricks to form the inner wall of the structure (image 3).
Level each brick, then fill the gaps in between with wet mortar, scraping away any excess (images 1 and 2). Make sure to measure the inside and outside edges of the wall periodically to maintain the wall's thickness and circular shape.
Continue to raise both the bricks (against the inside circle) and the stones (against the outside circle), filling in any gaps in between with stones and mortar as the wall grows (image 3). Staggering the seams of the stones and bricks makes the structure more stable and gives it a nicer look. Use a jointer to remove excess mortar from between the stones (image 4).
To finish the structure lay a cap of pre-selected flat fieldstones on top of the wall.
Add about an inch layer of mortar and then begin laying the stones, making sure the tops create a flat, even surface along the entire circumference. Add more mortar between these capstones (image 5) to complete the fire pit.
With the basic structure complete, you can now focus on a few finishing touches.
Using a standard paintbrush, brush the exterior of the stones to remove loose debris. Then, lightly spray with a garden hose to remove any leftover mortar.
To give the fire bricks on the inside of the structure a uniform finish, spray paint the bricks black using a high-heat stove paint (image 1). Fill the pit with a base layer of river rocks.
For our project, we dug out the area surrounding the fire pit. Filled it in with landscape fabric to prevent weeds (image 2). Then covered the space with crushed stone (image 3).