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How to cut caps for a fire pit?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by westernmdlawn, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. westernmdlawn

    westernmdlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    I have recently consructed a circular firepit using EP HENRY's Coventry Garden Wall blocks. The outside diameter of the Coventry fire ring is 60 inches. I am trying to figure out the best method to measure and cut the 3 inch decorative caps so that I have about 1 inch of overhang.

    I was thinking that the angles would be the same as the coventry blocks, thus making the cap cuts very similar to the sizes of the blocks. I was also thinking that I could lay out my angles with a few pieces of string that I would stretch over the fire pit all of which would intersect the centerpoint of the firepit.

    I sent my guys to do this last week thinking they could figure it out, I guessed wrong. they wasted $140 worth of caps and a days worth of labor and a day of saw rental fees. Ouch! So now I'm going up to do it.

    Any help here would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Hardscaping

    Hardscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 359

    well you have 188.5 inches of outside circumference according to your 60 inch diameter

    Now you take the length of your block and make it divide evenly into the 188.5 inches

    now you find the inside diameter of the circle and find the circumference by multiplying by 3.14 this will give you the circumference then divid that number by the total number of blocks you found in the first calculation. this will give you the amount of inches for the face of each block to be cut to and the back of each block should remain the same initial size.

    If you don't understand i will make a diagram
  3. Hardscaping

    Hardscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 359

    so if you can tell me the exact measurements or provide me a link to the exact product you are using on the ep henry website. I can figure this out and tell you the face dimension and the back dimension.
  4. westernmdlawn

    westernmdlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    Hardscaping, I actually went up there yesterday and got the caps done for the fire pit. It worked out pretty good. Basically, I just transferred the same angles that the EP HENRY Coventry Garden Wall blocks were cast in onto the caps and made the caps the same dims as the blocks, except the caps were deeper for the overhang of course. I will try to post some pics of this job!

    Pics 014.jpg

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  5. westernmdlawn

    westernmdlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    This was my first fire pit construction job. If I had this job to do over I would have recessed the fire pit into the patio, paving up to the coventry blocks instead of having them on top of the patio. Then I would have ran a buff colored border around the fire pit on the patio, probably soldier course. I think that would have made this job look a little better. At the time though, EP HENRY reps informed me that either method (on top or in the patio) would be acceptable. All in all, the customer is absolutely thrilled and I learned a good bit too. I wish EP HENRY would put together an actual fire pit kit for us contractors. I had to use "barrell blocks" for the liner. These are pre-cast concrete blocks designed to be formed toghther in a circle of a certain diameter. They were intended for use as a manhole riser. I think a pre-cast solid concrete collar with 3" thickness would have been much better, but I couldn't locate one when I needed it. The liner is disposable as far as I am concerned anyway. There is a 1" gap between the liner (barrel blocks) and the coventry garden wall blocks. This 1" space is filled with course concrete sand 75% of the way up. Caps are just barely glued in place so they will be easy to remove if necessary in the future for liner replacement. The inside is filled first with 6" of #57 clean limestone, and then with 3-4" of course concrete sand.
  6. GILLS

    GILLS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    They do make a 3' ID manhole riser that fits perfectly inside of a COV GW firepit.
    Any precaster who makes manholes should stock them.

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