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How to Make a Concrete Fire Feature (page 1 of 3)

Instead of throwing out an old fire pit, reuse the metal bowl. By creating a square concrete frame and filling it with gravel, you can set the bowl in place, surround with decorative rock, and enjoy a beautiful new fire feature.

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These homeowners had an old metal fire bowl that was headed for the trash. Instead of throwing out the entire thing, they decided to reuse the metal bowl. By creating a square concrete frame and filling it with rock, they set the bowl in place and surround with decorative rock, hiding the outside of the bowl completely. Add a little flagstone or slate to cap the concrete frame, and this fire feature is complete.

Step 1: Grade Area

Make sure you have a solid foundation. Add base rock or sand to make area level.

Step 2: Build Concrete Exterior Form

Nail together four 4-foot lengths of 2x12 Douglas fir boards to make a square. Set on the graded area. Build a second square out of 2x6s cut at 4-foot lengths (Image 1). Set one square on top of the other, and secure them with 2-1/2'-long forming stakes set on the outside of the form. Use two stakes per side (Image 2). These will also secure the form to the ground, keeping it from shifting. Make sure the square sits level.

Step 3: Build Concrete Interior Form

Repeat same steps for the inside frame, but make it 8 to 10 inches smaller (Image 1). Set inside the exterior frame, making sure it sits even on each corner, creating a 4- to 5-inch gap (Image 2). Stake in place, installing the stakes on the inside of the frame. Make sure the entire frame is level.

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