How to Build a Half-Moon Outdoor Fire Pit
In-ground fire pits come in all shapes and sizes, such as the half-moon shaped fire pit. It is built just like the traditional round fire pit with one exception: it has one flat side. Half-moon fire pits are ideal for smaller areas, and take fewer bricks to build.
Lay out your fire bricks in a half-moon shape in the area where you want to install your pit. Lay down one row of bricks.
Insert the edging shovel along the outside edge of the bricks, and dig the blade into the ground about 3 inches. This outlines the area where you will begin digging.
Excavate the area you marked with the edging shovel. Dig out 1 foot of soil, forming a half circle shape. Then lay down a band of gravel about 1 foot wide along the edge of the half-moon. Lay the gravel on all sides and all the way around the curve of the fire pit. Tamp this flat with a tamping tool.
Lay the firebricks around the edge of the half-moon shape on top of the gravel surface. The gravel will provide drainage for the pit. Place the bricks in an overlapping fashion (in the traditional bricklaying style) and build them all the way up to the top of the hole and level with the soil. Use a carpenter's level to make sure they are straight. Tap the ends with a rubber mallet to adjust the bricks and make them level. Apply adhesive to the tops of the firebricks in between each row.
Lay a trowel full of cement on top of the fire bricks just along the curve. You may leave the straight edge open, as this allows more air into the fire pit and keeps your fire burning nice and hot. Set capstones into the mortar and tap them in place with the mallet. Set these capstones any way you like; they provide a wind break and a barrier between the fire and surrounding grass.
- Place the fire pit with the curve facing into the most common wind direction. A strong wind blowing right into the fire pit will blow sparks and smoke all over the yard.
Steve Smith has published articles on a wide range of topics including cars, travel, lifestyle, business, golf, weddings and careers. His articles, features and news stories have appeared in newspapers, consumer magazines and on various websites. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from University of New Hampshire Durham.
- fire image by Fotocie from Fotolia.com