DIY FIre Pit

Note: I have seen our fire pit on other sites linking back to ours. Some sites state that the base is a wooden base. Nope, the cement bowl is really heavy. The base is 4-inch square steel tubing welded and cut to cradle the cement bowl. We bought an ordinary but HUGE steel wok to burn in. The steel has weathered into rusty patina. We have had parties in the summer where we remove the wok, fill the bowl with ice and sodas and plant a solar pathway light in the middle. The fire pit makes a great drink station too!

Love - love - love our fire pit.

When we were laying the patio brick, we decided to make a special place for a fire pit. The idea was that we would make built in benches around the keyhole shaped area with pillars on either side. One pillar would hold a propane tank that we would plumb up through the brick and through the base of the fire pit into the bowl.

We found a cement bowl second at a cement foutain retail outlet and paid very little for it. It was loaded into our van by forklift and unloaded by willing young men with strong backs onto a furniture mover thingy. We found a LARGE wok at a restaurant supply store set it on a few small bricks that sat within the cement bowl. It worked perfectly and we sat around it all the time enjoying the fire and talking about how we would eventually make a permanent base for it.

It sat on the furniture mover for at least 2 years before the platform became weathered and sagged so bad we were afraid it would collapse.

 Last year Bob went to work welding a base for our fire pit. He also devised a harness contraption and had the boys lift the heavy monster onto the base. We sometimes still talk about a propane pit but we don't really mind burning wood except on no-burn days which are a bummer.

Wow looking through the pictures for this post made me realize how far the yard has come.

Here is the northeast corner of the yard fall 2009

Almost the same view late June 2012

If you like this post, you may want to read A Thanksgiving pit turkey story with a surprise ending


  1. can you build the fire in the cement bowl and not use the wok?

  2. Dena, I think you could leave out the wok. Our cement bowl was a second and has a couple of hairline cracks in it. We were afraid the direct heat would cause these cracks to run. We also like the wok as it makes it easy to dump the ash out. I would love to see a picture of your firebowl if you make one.

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    1. If your making a fire bowl yourself, use refactor, which will not crack with the heat of a fire. Home made refractory is :- one part Portland cement, one part vermiculite and one part Bentonite clay. This last item is cheap, scent free cat litter. Soak. the litter in water to get a thin slurry. then add the vermiculite and the Portland. The end mix should be a thick dough like mix that is easy to form. and is workable for an hour or more.