Henriette Firepit February 27th, 2018 - 11:16:54
Procedure: First, we excavated a pit approximately 1metre (3 feet) in diameter and 800mm deep. The ground we were working on was very rocky so we used a backhoe and it was difficult to carve a smooth hole as you can see by the photos. Next we dug a drainage channel from the bottom of the hole to a lower point beyond the extent of the fire area. This was essential in this circumstance due to the heavy rainfall and the heavy soil. If your soil is porous it may not be necessary to provide drainage to the pit. In the channel we laid the plastic drainage pipe and covered it with gravel. Because we wanted to line the pit with the 600mm granite slabs we placed extra gravel in the bottom of the pit to set the stones on upright in a circle.
Its a bit tricky to get the heavy slabs in an exact circle with a consistent height but its best to prop them up and backfill with the gravel so that each stone is buried 150mm leaving a 450mm deep pit. The top of the granite should be 200mm above the surrounding ground level to allow for the concrete slab and paving. You could cut each stone lengthwise along one edge to make them fit flush with each other but it isnt necessary. The bottom of the pit was then paved to make shovelling out the ashes easier.
Another thing that you will want to consider after you have bought your new copper firepit is a grill or a grate. Check your instructions before purchasing a grate, if your firepit wasnt made for cooking then you wont want to buy a grate. It doesnt make any sense to take chance with something like fire. If your firepit is made for grilling, your instruction manual will tell you the right size grate for your particular model. There are a couple of other things that you might want to consider buying to also go with your copper firepit. If you bought a set it should come with tools for the fire, but if it didnt you will probably want to purchase tools. You will want something that you can use in the fire if you need to stir the wood. Another nice accessory is a cover. Copper can withstand the elements, but wet ashes can be very messy and a cover can save you that hassle. Finally, some people like to have a rug to place their new firepit on. If you decide that you want to use a rug, make sure it is fire resistant. You dont want to take any chances.
There are other safety issues that you also need to consider when lighting a fire in a copper firepit. Never, ever leave a fire unattended, even for just a moment. Also make sure that any children that are with you keep a safe distance from the fire. Do not allow children to put anything into a burning fire, even if they claim that they know what they are doing. Dont allow children to stir the fire or to add wood or charcoal. Also keep a bucket of water handy in case you need to put the fire out quickly. With a few precautions, you can happily enjoy your new copper firepit for years to come. A little bit of common sense goes a long way. Remember that if something seems like a bad idea, it probably is. Fire can be dangerous, but it doesnt have to be. Use care and make sure that you dont get too close. Follow all directions that came with your firepit. Youll be glad that you did.