Prepare the base by digging a hole between 6 and 12 inches deep. Set the first course of stone into the hole. Many types of stone can be suitable to make a fire pit, but to simplify your choice, home centers typically stock manufactured stone designed specifically for fire pits. Level the first course using a 4-foot level, making certain that each stone is set securely on firm ground (Image 1).
Set in as many remaining courses as desired, using masonry adhesive between the stones for strength (Images 1 and 2). Consider carefully how many courses to add: too many courses will make it too tall to for you to sit beside it and enjoy the warmth of the fire; too few could present a potential fire hazard. With the size stones used for this project, three courses made for a good height. If using a metal fire ring in the pit, be sure to check the fit periodically while working through the courses. This will help ensure that the ring will fit the overall structure correctly.
After the last course is in place, set the fire ring inside the circular pit and fill the pit with 4 inches of 3/4-inch gravel to allow for proper drainage. Finally, attach the capstones using masonry adhesive (Image 1).