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Best stones to surround a fire pit?

Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by Infi-del, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. Infi-del

    Infi-del

    Apr 6, 2009
    Hey guys. I'm clearing out a small area on my property for a place to have fires for when friends come over. I don't need to dig and actual fire pit. I just want to mark the area with a circle of stones and lay down a layer of sand so that the fire will be less apt to spread or escape. I've tried bricks and concrete blocks and both just fall apart in short order. Was wondering what's the best type of stones to surround a fire pit with. I'd like them to be heavy and roundish is possible. Thanks.
     
  2. Spark

    Spark HPIC - Hatas gonna Hate Staff Member Administrator Super Mod Moderator

    Oct 2, 1998
    River Rock. Most landscaping centers will have it in big wire barrels.
     
  3. fixer

    fixer Banned BANNED

    Mar 9, 2000
    used brake drum from a semi truck. you can probably score one free from the scrap metal dumpster at a local truck dealer that does a bunch of service work.


    do NOT use rocks "fresh" from the river... they need time to dry out or things can happen! :eek:
     
  4. Codger_64

    Codger_64 Moderator Moderator

    Oct 8, 2004
    I second Fixer's suggestion for property you own. Old semi split rims work well too. Also I second his caution about some types of stones. Some absorb and trap water inside and become steam powered grenades when heated. I've even had this happen with rocks that had not been in a stream in years, just exposed to the weather.
     
  5. jds1

    jds1 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 9, 2007
    I fussed around with rock surrounds but settled on a section of culvert. This one has been in use for ten years.

    [​IMG]

    Jeff
     
  6. thebrain

    thebrain

    Dec 12, 2007
    I would also say go for a section of culvert or a large rim also some washer/ dryer tubs can be used they even come in stainless .You can put rocks around it then I have heard of problems with just rocks and steam.
     
  7. Quirt

    Quirt

    Oct 10, 2005
    To piggy back on what thebrain contributed; be careful with any rocks from streams or rivers that are saturated with moisture. Upon reaching the ideal temp these rocks can and will explode sending jagged shards and rock splinters everywhere.

    Don't ask me how I know.
     
  8. Codger_64

    Codger_64 Moderator Moderator

    Oct 8, 2004
    A good local stonemason who does fireplaces can direct you to the right stone if you have your heart set on that. They know their rock, and where to find it. Might even have a large enough pile left over from a job to fill your needs.
     
  9. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Cool, I'm glad this post popped up. I just built my daughter's swingset/fort thing out back and now I have to relocate my fire pit. I was just going to clear more area and then move the mountain stone pit. This has given me cause to pause and think if I want to use the same stones I've used for the last decade or so or...if I want to take a different approach and do something completely new.
     
  10. siskaholic

    siskaholic

    500
    Oct 23, 2001
    sweet set up,too bad they don't allow that in my coop apts.
     
  11. hiwa

    hiwa

    Jun 7, 2009
    I'll try to do pics tonight,but the truck wheel idea is great. I found mine in a scrap yard. The big bonus is that the top is flat , so grates ( old wire fridge shelves make great grates) fit on top , perfect for roasting stuff. I surrounded mine with small stones so the grass doesn't catch fire. I even made a cover for it when I'm not using it ,so it stays dry ,ready for the next fire.
     
  12. wwilson

    wwilson

    78
    Feb 8, 2006
    An old 55-gallon drum will work if you are somewhat skilled with a recip saw...
     
  13. 555

    555 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    In an area of Lime and Sand stone and seeing first hand, stones exploding by a campfire, I like the looks of stone but I have been using Cinder Blocks for years now. I can go to the block plant and get blocks for free from their dump. They are whole blocks that are seconds or defects. My pit I built which has lasted years is roughly 4 X 8 with one end open to feed in the large stuff.
    The best part is what blocks that do fail, I can recycle and reuse them by working the pieces into my road base. :D

    Only if I could Find a REAL, Becker Necker at these prices. :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  14. Infi-del

    Infi-del

    Apr 6, 2009
    Thanks guys. Lots of good ideas here. I didn't know rocks would explode. I know concrete will though LOL.
     
  15. Diomedes Industries

    Diomedes Industries KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 19, 2007
    Let me throw out one last thing.

    Rocks and fire rings are nearly worthless when stopping the spread of fire. It is rising and traveling sparks that do the most damage in fire spreading. So - use rocks if you want (dry ones like said above) - but just know that they are simply demarcating the spot to have fire - as opposed to providing protection. Clear the ground - be sure you have no underground roots or peat that can catch fire and light it up.

    TF
     
  16. bulgron

    bulgron Platinum Member Platinum Member

    May 19, 2005
    Yeah, but I'm guessing that failed REAL, Becker Neckers that get worked into your road base will cause you problems. Better just to pay the going rate and then have a REAL, Original Becker Necker with a thing on the end of the Handle that opens all sorts of bottles and that is of really good quality so it won't Fail.

    The money is in the boxcars, right? :D
     
  17. 555

    555 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    On the other hand, if I could find enough (you'll ship to me) FREE REAL, Original Becker Neckers with a thing on the end of the Handle that opens all sorts of bottles.
    I could Weld them together to make a Fire Ring and they already have air holes in them to boot. It's a win, win. :cool: :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::D

    (555: Waiting by the roadside, for the UPS Truck. :D)
     
  18. jds1

    jds1 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 9, 2007
    Thanks. I spend a LOT of time back there. Sitting in front of a fire for a few hours is like taking a short vacation. :)

    [​IMG]

    Jeff
     
  19. pict

    pict

    Jan 7, 2003
    I've seen rocks explode twice in campfires. The first time was as a kid and we didn't know any better. The rock was taken from a stream side and it blew up like a freakin' grenade, scattered the fire everywhere. The second was high on a hill and there was no reason to think it would have retained that much water. Mac
     
  20. Watchful

    Watchful

    Dec 8, 2004
    And make sure there are no overhead branches. Generally, a fire is three times taller than the flames you see. In other words, if you have three-foot-high flames, the fire is capable of starting branches on fire only nine-feet above you. And that of course assumes you don't have still-burning material rising up on the heat. Folks who burn paper and leaves (and you can do this, don't worry) must realize that rising embers can catch on tree branches quite a distance up above your fire. If you're doing this (and I repeat you can), make sure your firepit is in a clearing where nothing overhead (or as Talfuchre says, nothing below!) will catch fire.
     

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