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Old 07-02-2010, 08:33 AM
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White Gardens White Gardens is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bloomington IL
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Originally Posted by Summit L & D View Post
I would have gone with larger flagstone for the cap. To me it looks disproportionate to the limestone and circle. The circle looks good though. What is going around it?...hardscape wise?
Maybe out of proportion, but it looks good in person. Around the pit is that Arizona sandstone that I laid in the rest of the project. I was going to use it as a cap but I felt the sandstone was too "soft" and wouldn't hold up on the top of the fire-pit. The flagstone for the top is a fondulac flagstone and came in two big sheets. I started to break it with a hammer, but it broke in smaller chunks than I wanted. I tried to use a chisel, score it with my diamond blade, and chip it with a rock hammer and it was extremely hard to control the breaks. That's why there are more smaller pieces in the top than I intended. The only bonus is that flag won't crack from the heat or at least it will be resistant. I went back and forth on what to use for the top and this flag was harder than any other product, including the wall stone that I used.

Originally Posted by Bird21 View Post
Is the fire pit built on a footing? Is there a drain system within the center? Are there weep holes for air to keep the fire from burning itself out? I agree larger stones for the cap would have looked better. What mortar did you use to keep it from cracking with the heat from the fire?

I am only asking to help you out, I have done dozens of these and there are a few simple extras that will make you stand out from the other "contractors".

When the fire gets hot I have noticed that the mortar joints will crack. Mix Type N with some fire clay and that seems to help that from happening.

You seem to take alot of pride in your work and in this industry that will set you apart. I am more of a lurker that a poster I will ahve to post some of our hardscape work soon.
It's on a 3 inch concrete footer with 40 ft. of 3/8th re-bar in footer. The fire-brick in the center was built with Fire-mortar that was 70dollars for a 50 pound bag. The mortar on the flag is type S mortar with the fiber reinforcement that I use for a lot of stuff for the strength value. The mortar for the flag towards the center fire-brick is a fire stop-mortar, but the rest is type S.

The center of the pit has a 6 inch wide, 18 inch long piece of PVC that is capped on both ends, and multiple holes are drilled in it. It is also filled with washed gravel, and I glued some thin landscape fabric around the pipe to keep the silt out of it. It's basically a void to get the water below the hard-pan.

The void between the fire-brick and outside stone is filled with a combo of type S and concrete along with a ring of re-bar around the middle course.

The wall of the pit isn't high enough to warrant any "weep" holes or air holes to fuel the fire. I discussed that with the HO as they were worried if it was too tall, if the wood on the bottom would burn without proper air-flow.

Any more questions, keep them coming. .

Thanks for the compliments guys.

I also want to add is that if the the flag ever starts to pop on top, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to repair it and make it blend in to what is already there.
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2005- Completion of University of Illinois Master Gardner's Program.
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