Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed




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  1. #1
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    Default Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed

    Greetings guys,
    So after a few days of building I have decided to put my pride aside and ask for advice / suggestions / input on my next step.
    I need to build, construct a decent comfortable seating area here?
    My first thoughts were to do it out of brick, but that is becoming more and more impractical and complicated as I look at where I now am.
    Wooden finish? Tiles? ……… this is where your collect creativity and practical experience are sorely needed.
    Don’t be shy and any existing fire pit pictures will possibly help me?

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    Roy


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    Default Re: Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed

    That looks very nice so far. Well done!

    Do you mean you're looking for something to cap that curved 'bench' now?
    Using big paving tiles, normal tiles, or bricks is going to be a mission with the curve I think.

    Maybe just smooth plaster, and moveable cushions?
    Graham Robertson
    Nissan Patrol 4.8

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed

    Thank you Graham,
    This was my initial idea but I am rethinking the backrest at a 90 degree angle?
    I am thinking that it will actually be quite uncomfortable?

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    Roy


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    Default Re: Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed

    Is that a semicircular bench? If so, I think it is way too far from the fire which would make the fire pit a very cold one when winter braaiing.

    I would not have a ridge around the firepit for the same reason block the heat. I would have a larger flat topped fire pit, if it get too hot the coals can always be moved backwards. A flat top is also very appropriate for a griddle, a pot or two simmering, potatoes in the coals and it does not trap water.

    My bench seats are concrete tops with loose cushions.

    Due to location I could not make a round pit so mine is oval. Affectionately know as the Grave Stone, potjies are done there as one can attend to the potjie without getting up and warming fires are also made there. Mine is under roof however.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed

    Thank you Andrew,
    Point taken about the distance from the fire. We discussed it as a family and felt it was not too far, we can always just stoke the fire up a bit more in winter for the warmth, too close and we can’t move a solid structure backwards.
    Any pictures of your setup?
    Your comments much appreciated.
    Roy


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    Default Re: Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed

    Is your pit not going to be used for cooking?

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    Default Re: Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed

    Andrew,
    We also as a family, mainly my resident adult sons, decided if we want to lift the fire bed we can just infill it with some river sand to raise the fire surface.
    Seemed like a good idea at the time, but it the practice will be the test.
    Roy


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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Leigh View Post
    Is your pit not going to be used for cooking?
    Yes and no, I have an old Webber that the legs packed up, so we are thinking of making a separate sunken section and just ‘drop’ it in there?
    Main braai area is under the patio at the house area.
    This is mainly for the kids to ‘kuier’ and roast marshmallows, can be used to braai if needed.
    Roy


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    Default Re: Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed

    I am in the process of designing my own seating area around an existing fire pit. Although mine is more "L" shaped and not circular, here are some of my learnings thus far:

    • Agreed with the distance between fire and seating. You cannot move back, but you can always add to the fire to make it warmer/bigger. The trade off is that you will go through more wood (not always a bad thing)
    • flat top is best, or just allow for a little drainage if there is a lip. I have a small 2 brick lip, so I have made a plan for drainage. Works well.
    • After much deliberation, I have decided on a plaster type finish for the seating surface, with bought/made cushions. Plaster will get very cold and hard so a blanket/cushion is very much needed.
    • Heat will eventually destroy bricks and the crack tiles. Plaster will also get damaged overtime, but seems the easiest to 'replace'. (This of course all depends on how hot the surrounding areas get)

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    Default Re: Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed

    It being a curve the easiest is to make concrete seating level as per your pic you are working to.

    But me being a wood guy I would like to soften it with a slatted 'seat' from Teak or Balau. (Concrete is so cold....)
    I did a 'curved' seat for a shower/spa bathroom
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    Last edited by Prof; 2021/12/08 at 05:18 PM.
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    Default Re: Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Juddvdb View Post
    I am in the process of designing my own seating area around an existing fire pit. Although mine is more "L" shaped and not circular, here are some of my learnings thus far:

    • Agreed with the distance between fire and seating. You cannot move back, but you can always add to the fire to make it warmer/bigger. The trade off is that you will go through more wood (not always a bad thing)
    • flat top is best, or just allow for a little drainage if there is a lip. I have a small 2 brick lip, so I have made a plan for drainage. Works well.
    • After much deliberation, I have decided on a plaster type finish for the seating surface, with bought/made cushions. Plaster will get very cold and hard so a blanket/cushion is very much needed.
    • Heat will eventually destroy bricks and the crack tiles. Plaster will also get damaged overtime, but seems the easiest to 'replace'. (This of course all depends on how hot the surrounding areas get)
    Judd, are you doing training at Discovery?
    After I started I considered rather an L shaped setup but it was too late for that.
    Roy


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    Default Re: Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Prof View Post
    It being a curve the easiest is to make concrete seating level as per your pic you are working to.

    But me being a wood guy I would like to soften it with a slatted 'seat' from Teak or Balau. (Concrete is so cold....)
    I did a 'curved' seat for a shower/spa bathroom
    Hi Prof,
    My wife is keen on wooden finish like yours.
    I am a pro with wood so am concerned about the curved aspect?
    Roy


    Beneath every ‘Majestic Oak’ lies a ‘Tuff Nut’ that refused to give up!!

    Daily Drive : 2010 Discovery 4 SE
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    Default Re: Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by royjacobs View Post
    Hi Prof,
    My wife is keen on wooden finish like yours.
    I am a pro with wood so am concerned about the curved aspect?
    Roy
    Should be NOT A PRO


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    Default Re: Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by royjacobs View Post
    Hi Prof,
    My wife is keen on wooden finish like yours.
    I am a pro with wood so am concerned about the curved aspect?
    Roy
    Curves are problematic, but with judicious use of glue-ing parts you can cut wastage. All will have to be in sections that follows the curve.

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    Default Re: Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed

    I might of done a few before . Started off as a December project.

    1st of done at my place with a normal cement floor. Screeted it with coloring. Could of done a better job I guess.

    2nd one done at a mate with old blocks taken out and thrown away by local shopping center.

    3rd one at my brothers place with just grass.
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  18. #16
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    Default Re: Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Prof View Post
    Curves are problematic, but with judicious use of glue-ing parts you can cut wastage. All will have to be in sections that follows the curve.

    Once made shelves for a desk in rondawel....
    You are right regarding the curve being problematic, hence my asking for advice.
    Also agree wholeheartedly that concrete is hard and cold.
    Trying to get a happy medium and the best of both worlds.
    Roy


    Beneath every ‘Majestic Oak’ lies a ‘Tuff Nut’ that refused to give up!!

    Daily Drive : 2010 Discovery 4 SE
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  19. #17
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    Default Re: Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by pase4x4 View Post
    I might of done a few before . Started off as a December project.

    1st of done at my place with a normal cement floor. Screeted it with coloring. Could of done a better job I guess.

    2nd one done at a mate with old blocks taken out and thrown away by local shopping center.

    3rd one at my brothers place with just grass.
    Wow, yours looks really great.
    Still got a few days work before I will be finished and able to enjoy the cold evenings by the fire.
    Roy


    Beneath every ‘Majestic Oak’ lies a ‘Tuff Nut’ that refused to give up!!

    Daily Drive : 2010 Discovery 4 SE
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  20. #18
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    Default Re: Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by royjacobs View Post
    You are right regarding the curve being problematic, hence my asking for advice.
    Also agree wholeheartedly that concrete is hard and cold.
    Trying to get a happy medium and the best of both worlds.
    Roy
    Jammer jy is so ver weg....
    Robert van den Berg

    '98 Daihatsu Rocky 'The Kitty'
    '02 Daihatsu Rocky 'The Bully'

  21. #19
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    Default Re: Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed

    I will go take a picture but it will not assist you much. To unpack the cushions out for the photo is a major mission so will drop the cushions.

    I had custom cushions made for the seating area and then matching scatter cushions for the rear. My rear back rest is dead vertical and not a problem for us. The bottom cushions are very important.

    My conversation pit is an extension of my Lapa.

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    A glimpse of the cushion arrangement.
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  22. #20
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    Default Re: Garden Fire Pit - Advice Needed

    So before you ask, the builder got the drawings wrong. It started as a round pit and then he realised that there was not enough space to do what I wanted. The upright poles has already been planted so we have to build around that. The entire place was already fully thatched and the Lapa is by no means small. I was furious but should have measured checked the drawings myself.

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