Step 1: Lay Out the Blocks

lay out the stone blocks for fire pit
Photograph: Kolin Smith
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Dry-lay a ring of blocks on the fire pit site, placing them end to end until you have a perfect circle positioned where you want the finished pit to be. To adjust the size of the circle, you may need to cut a block. Hold the block over the gap it will fill, then mark it on the underside at the proper width.

Using a 3-inch cold chisel and a brick hammer, score the block on the mark, and continue the score all the way around the block. Place the block on a hard surface (flat rocks or gravel). Hold the chisel in the score line, then hit it with the brick hammer until the block splits.

Clean up jagged edges with the tail of the brick hammer. Place the cut block into the ring.
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    Tools List

    • brick hammer
      Brick hammer
    • cold chisel
      Cold chisel
    • square spade
      Spade
    • masonry hoe
      Hoe
    • metal garden rake
      Steel rake
    • tamper
      Tamper
    • two-foot level
      2-foot level
    • four-foot level
      4-foot level
    • mallet
      Mallet
    • caulk gun
      Caulk gun
    • brick trowel
      Trowel
    • angle grinder
      Grinder

    Shopping List

    1. CAST-CONCRETE WALL STONES

    2. CAPSTONES

    3. STEEL CAMPFIRE RING
    The one we used here is from MARKSTAAR

    4. 3/4-INCH DRAINAGE GRAVEL

    5. PATIO BASE
    (stone dust)

    6. MASONRY ADHESIVE

    7. READY-MIX MORTAR
    (if needed) to cement a natural-stone cap onto the wall. A 40-pound bag is enough.

    8. CONCRETE BONDING ADDITIVE
    (aka "milk") to make the mortar more flexible.