I've been tossing around the idea of an outdoor fireplace in my head now for a while, and have been burning some logs that aren't woodstove foder recently in a big fire pit made out of loose piled rocks. First problem is that I think it's against town ordinance to so this, but it's also against the law to drive more than 45 mph on the road that borders my property too...umm...I never exceed 45 on that road. %-P Secondly, it smokes like mad, third, the rocks always crack during a burn, fourth, a pile of rocks is kinda ugly, fifth, I'd (and this is idealism at it's best) like to incorporate a copper manifold that would funnel pool water to heat the pool, and last even if # 5 doesn't pan out, I feel like I just want to build an outdoor fire place for the heck of it. In looking at designs out there, I'm thinking a large rumsford type design might be sort of cool, or I'm thinking of a unique design where It's a 360 view fire pit with a chimney centered over the pit, that's supported by brick stilts maybe 4 or 5 with the chimney portion sitting on top of the stilts. If the stilts were about 3 feet high, I could toss in some pretty big logs (stumps?) and burn them. Any experience out there with this kinda thing? Any useful links? I'll certanly take ANY input I can get on this. Low budget is also the order of the day.