How to Create a Sugar-Kettle Fire Feature
Fire bowls don't have to be ordinary. Add height and interest to your yard by using an authentic cast-iron sugar kettle as the fire bowl for a raised-stone fire pit.
The outside edge of the base is made up of 2" x 6" boards. Screw the six outside boards together using 3-1/2" screws to form the hexagonal shape (Image 1). Attach the six inside joists to each corner. Raise the joists at the center of the base, slide in the core block (Image 2), and pound it into place. Drill pilot holes and secure the joists to the core block. Screw shorter joists into place (Image 3).
Place building blocks at each corner plus the center, making sure the gazebo base is square and level. The blocks should be hidden under the joists. If the base is not level, the decking and wall sections may not fit properly. Attach the anchor cables to the joists and secure tightly.
To keep out insects, lay fiberglass screening over the base and staple it down. Lay deck boards from the outside in. Line up the outermost row of boards and screw the corners together. Walk around the base to make sure the deck boards overhang the rim joists evenly. Secure to the frame with 2-1/2" deck screws. Lay down the next circle of boards and fasten them with screws. Continue this process with each circle of deck boards.
Attach the 1" x 4" bottom brace into the dado with four screws. The kit will come with spacers that show you where to attach the spindles to the fillet. Attach the second fillet to the other end of the spindles. Stand it up and put the spindle section onto the 2" x 4" base, line it up and staple it down. Flip the spindle over and staple the rail cap to the other fillet. Assemble the upper baluster sections.
Attach the corner posts to the end of the railing sections with screws. Be sure to put two screws into the bottom rail, one screw into the bottom brace and two screws into the top rail.
When all the wall sections are assembled, it's time to raise the walls. Stand two walls up and attach them to each other with five screws in each corner. Continue attaching the rest of the wall sections. Make sure the walls are 1/2" in from the perimeter of the floor. Screw the corner posts into the deck boards. Corner posts should line up where the deck boards meet.
Lift headers onto notched corner posts. Screw the headers into the corner posts using two screws for each 2" x 4".
To form the roof, the ends of six corner rafters are joined to a core in the middle. Screw one rafter onto the core block and then another one on the opposite side. Once you have two opposite rafters attached, raise the rafters and block into place. Attach the rafter’s pre-cut bird's mouth where it meets the header. Put the remaining corner rafters up one at a time by first attaching to the core block and then to the header board. After the corner rafters are attached, fasten the six middle rafters in place.
The kit includes 12 short rafters that are pre-cut with the correct angle to meet the other rafters. Two are attached to each corner rafter. They have a bird's mouth fitting as well on the header with the tail at the end. Attach the short rafters to the corner rafters with deck screws.
Once all the rafters are in place, you'll need to make sure the gazebo walls are square before proceeding. Next, attach 1" x 4" fascia boards to the ends of the rafters all around the gazebo. They come a bit long so that you can trim them to the exact length needed.
Start at the bottom of the gazebo with the longest batten boards and work your way up. Assemble one pie wedge at a time, making sure the outside board is flush with the outside edge of the fascia board. Work your way around, securing the boards to both the main and middle rafters.
Work one pie wedge at a time, starting at the bottom. Double up the shingles in the starter row to provide the angle for the rest of the shingles. Work up to the top. For the first section it is okay if the shingles hang over the corner rafters. Make a chalk line from the peak down to the center rafter and use a circular saw to make a shallow cut all the way down. For the remaining sections shingles will need to be cut to match the roof angles.
Make 15 piles of four shingles each, lay your cut shingle on top of a pile, mark it and then use a saw to cut through all four shingles at a time.
Cover the seam between each pie section with ridge shingles. Use double-ridge shingles on the first row. Continue doing this all the way up and around the gazebo until the shingles are attached.
The cupola comes in six sections that have to be pre-assembled. To install, drill down through the shingles into the rafters. Check to make sure the cupola looks centered from the ground.
Butt the baluster up against the header and attach with three screws at the top and two at the bottom. Attach the corner brackets with a staple gun. Pre-drill four holes in each one and screw them into place. Screw in the 1" x 4" kicker board. Pre-drill and use four screws in each.