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  1. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Bet that topic got a few people nervous...

    Well, the other day it was kinda chilly here, around 60, and the kids decided to go in the pool. (amazing eh?) I figured it was a good time to get a fire going in the outside fire pit, plus I had a fair amount of waste wood I needed to get rid of. Pine sticks 1-2" and 5' long, and some pine rounds that I think might have some nails in them, so off goes a fire. Just for kicks in the past I wanted to see how fire tolerant some patio blocks were, so I put them in the fire...about 20 minutes and they would crack in many places.

    Just for the heck of it I decided to toss in a couple bricks the other day, to see how long they would last in the middle of a roaring fire. They went the length of the fire...about 6 hours. No ill effects. So the question is...

    If/when I eventually get around to building a fire pit outside for my evening summer fires, does it really need to be made with a firebrick interior? My Plan is to make it quite large like 3-4' square so I'm less limited in size of logs that can be tossed in.

    I know I've kicked this around some before, but what the heck...It's only Craig's disk space we're using up.

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  2. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Messages:
    413
    Loc:
    Eastern Ma
    Once the fire bunt out, did you take the bricks, wrap them in a towel & put them at the foot of your bed, like they used to do in the Old Days? :)
  3. brian_in_idaho

    brian_in_idaho New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
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    Loc:
    Jewel Lake (Sagle), Idaho
    What kind of structure are you thinking about? Are you looking at more of a fireplace/stove type construction, or just an open fire pit?

    For an outside buring pit, I don't see any reason you'd need firebrick. A circle of rocks or bricks seem like they would work fine. What I have seen done is to set the bricks into the ground upright or at a slight angle, tall direction up. I think the bigger issue than the type of brick would be how high you go with your "walls" to contain your fire.
  4. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Warren common bricks were used for years in fireplaces One reacon fire brick is used is it allows a 2" reduction of the solid mass of masonry supporting the fire box Plus the hardened properties that resist more heat before breakdown.

    Hell if you have stones laying around you could build it with stones . This was real popular in the 50's and 60's to build outside fireplaces of stone and bricks. Put a grill in it ( or provisions for a grill) and there are very few governing codes applicable. The only thing that might kick in, are zoning codes putting a structure too close to a lot line or within a setback distance
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    A couple hints. Dig down deep enough to clear any roots away from the pit and set the bottom with a double layer of brick, stone, whatever. And try not to use river stones. They can trap moisture in them. As that moisture heats up and turns to steam, the stones can shatter, sometimes quite violently.
  6. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
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    609
    Loc:
    Bristol, Connecticut
    I had a friend who took a 500 gal. oil tank, cut it in half, buried it half in the ground, then put flagstone around the exterior. It came out realy sharp looking. He even took a piece of industrial grate and made a grilling surface for it. We used it for the first time on the 4th of July. We were able to cook 20 burgers, 5 steaks, a ton of hotdogs and chicken stips at the same time!!!! He just threw scrap lumber in there to get a bed of coals, then threw some midsized maple rounds into it.

    I'll see if I can get a picture of it.
  7. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
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    605
    Loc:
    Rutland, VT//Southern Quebec
    You can also use a 55 gallon drum, need to cover because she will fill with water. about 14 inches high..also have 35 gallon drum cut lenghtwise on a rack with a old hinge and a handle and we use that once in a while instead of the weber
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
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    26,321
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    My plans have always been that when I retire the big Sierra insert it goes up on blocks in the back yard with a brick surround. Stainless steel box on top with a flue connector to the box. Five racks inside the box and a door.

    One hell of a meat smoker.
  9. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
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    This is great guys. My plan is for an open fire pit, but I'll probably add a chimney to direct smoke a bit. I was planning on a 3 sided arrangement with the back and sides tapering inward towards the chimney, with a chimney to direct the smoke up. I want is large enough to toss large scrap peices in plus push long peices of brush in. I was thinking of pouring a 4x4 concrete slab, then put the bricks on top of that.

    What I have today is simply a circle of stones (yes river rock) that's like 4' in diameter. The stones are always cracking and crumbling. I also know of a place locally where a lot of scrap brick has been tossed. It's a lot of work to clean brick, but for the amount I'm going to need, it would be like splitting wood...a few each day, and soon you have a hell of a pile.

    I think it would be a fun project, and since I like a "camp" fire in the summer from time to time it would get used too.

    Building in a grill option seems like a cool idea if I wanted to have a big bbq, it would be better than the gas grill.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It's taken us about a minute per brick on average to clean and stack the bricks from the old fireplace. My son has done a couple hundred so far. Old mortar comes off pretty easily on most of the bricks. Newer bricks and mortar are another story. Tools of choice have turned out to be a hammer (for big chunks of mortar), a stiff 4" scraping blade and a wire brush. Now they're being recycled for steps and landings.

    Attached Files:

  11. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Bristol, Connecticut
    BG, I love that look. Those bricks definitely add character! Plus you didn't have to pay for them ;)
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Thanks, though to be honest my son is getting .25 per brick. But we do like the look. We wanted to do something that looked like it had been around awhile.
  13. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Bristol, Connecticut
    Hey, need some more help??? I gots a wedding I'm trying to save for ;)
  14. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Warren a long time back I moved a home to another location but the last 4" of the existing foundation was 3 rows of bricks.
    Instead of bull dozing them, I made off with a couple dump truck loads., My front walk and patio area has the used brick I cleaned I also had enough To face a chimney on a house I was building I saved some $$ there

    BTW nice looking brick work
  15. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
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    Wow BeGreen, the house is looking very nice. Never would have guess it was up in the air and had no foundation a while ago. Walk is really nice. The use brick is great.
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