Cast Iron Fire Pits are Better than Steel Fire Pits
Cast iron fire pits are better because they don’t rust. They have a longer lifespan than steel fire pits due to their high melting point (around 600 degrees Fahrenheit). Cast iron fires do not require frequent cleaning like steel ones. There is no need to use any chemicals when making your own cast iron fire pit. You just need some basic tools such as a hammer, chisel, drill bit and sandpaper.
The most common type of fire pit made from cast iron is called a “cubic” firepit. A cubic fire pit consists of four parts: the bottom part, which is usually made out of wood; the top part, which is made out of concrete or brick; the middle section, which is made out of bricks or stucco; and the roof, which contains tiles or other materials. If you want to make your own firepit, then here’s how:
1. Choose Your Material
The first thing you need to decide is which type of material will go into your fire pit. You can choose from different types of wood such as pine, spruce or ash depending upon what kind of fire pit you plan to build.
There are many advantages of using a cast iron fire pit over a steel one. These include:
No rusting – Steel fires will rust if left outside for long periods of time. Rusting means that the surface becomes discolored and eventually cracks and falls apart. When you place your fire inside the ground, it doesn’t get exposed to rain water or other elements that cause corrosion. Choosing a hardwood such as oak or fruit wood can give your fire a more intense flavor. You could also use a stone or brick, either natural or man-made.
A concrete fire pit is another popular choice, but if you decide to do this then you’ll need to add some kind of roof (a canopy, tile or metal sheeting) to protect yourself and anyone else from getting burned.
2. Excavate Your Fire Pit
You need to dig a hole in the ground that is slightly wider than your firepit base and around three times as deep. You don’t want the pit to be too deep, otherwise it will take up too much of your garden space. Excavate the ground around the pit to the depth you think is right for your fire pit based on your preferences.
3. Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials
Other than the type of wood you’ve chosen, you’ll also need to gather the necessary tools and materials to build your fire pit. You should have these on hand before starting since you won’t want to have to make return trips to the hardware store!
The tools you’ll need are: a utility knife, socket set, tape measure, shovel, hammer, broom and chisel. The materials you’ll need are: bricks or concrete blocks, metal rods and a fire-resistant canopy.
4. Create Your Foundation
This part of the process is pretty straightforward; just lay out your metal rods around the perimeter of where you want the firepit to go and then pour concrete around them to a depth of 4 inches. This will give your fire pit a strong, stable foundation which won’t sink or settle as the ground around it changes.
5. Create the Outer Walls
Next, you need to create the walls of your firepit. These can be made out of bricks, stone or concrete blocks. You need to create a square or rectangular hole that is slightly wider than your base. Leave enough room around the edge for a border, which will become the lip of the firepit. It is this lip that prevents people from falling into the firepit itself so make it at least an inch wide.
Leave a 1.5 inch gap between the walls and the base for adding your mortar and cement.
6. Add Border and Mortar Mix
Mix up your cement and then apply a 1-inch thick layer of mortar to the lip of the firepit, followed by an equal layer around the inside of the walls. Scatter metal rods around the inside of the walls and then place your bricks, blocks or stone around the inside to hold them in place. Make sure you leave an equal gap between each piece so that the cement has enough room to set.
7. Let it Cure
Leave your new firepit to dry and cure for around a week before lighting a fire in it – you don’t want it to fall down on your head as soon as you light your first S’more!
8. Add a Canopy
If you want to use your new firepit at night then you’ll need to add a clear canopy overhead to stop anyone getting burned by the embers or hot ash. This doesn’t have to be expensive – you can usually pick one up for around $40 from a local hardware store. It just needs to be big enough to cover your firepit and preferably made from heat-resistant material such as glass or metal.
9. Sit Back and Relax
With the final touches complete, you can now sit back, light a fire and enjoy your new addition to the garden. This is a great spot to enjoy the warmth of a fire on those cool summer nights and will look great lit up with some candles after dark.
If you enjoyed building this firepit as much as you’re going to enjoy using it then why not try building a tree house next? It’s a great way to spend time with the kids and can be a wonderful place to read, relax or sleep.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Outdoor grill, oven and fire pit unit (NL Pothetes – US Patent 9,351,607, 2016 – Google Patents)
- Assemblable fire pit and outdoor grill from concrete based artificiall stone (HM Howe – 1916 – McGraw-Hill book Company …)
- … to be Converted Into Good Steel, and the Method of Refining that Bar-steel by Fusion… With an Account of Mr. Reaumur’s Method of Softening Cast-iron: and … (W Love – US Patent App. 12/454,932, 2009 – Google Patents)
- Effect of microstructure on impact fatigue resistance and impact wear resistance of medium Cr-Si cast iron (H Horne – 1773 – books.google.com)