How to Build a Gas Fire Pit Coffee Table

How to Build a Fire Pit

Make your own fire pit in 4 easy steps!

Keyword fire pit

Prep Time 1 day

Cost $600

Ingredients

marking spray paint gravel to fill your pit shovel mattock, or other digging tool concrete landscaping stones and metal firepit ring optional masonry adhesive rubber mallet

Instructions

OUTLINE YOUR FIRE PIT. Lay out the bottom ring of your stones in the grass where you want the fire pit to be. If you are going to use a metal ring, like we did, you can use that to build a few stones around to find your circle.  Remove a few stones so you have space between them, and use the spray paint to mark where the outside of the stones would hit. Remove those remaining stones and complete your painted circle. DIG YOUR FIRE PIT. Use a shovel, mattock, or whatever other digging tool you need to dig out your circle 6” deep. Depending on where you live, this will be an easier or more difficult task. Our Missouri grass has crazy strong roots and we have lots of giant rocks in the soil, so this was quite an arm workout for us!  FILL YOUR FIRE PIT. Once you have a 6” hole dug, you’ll want to pour your gravel into your hole until the gravel is level with the ground. The gravel will give your fire pit an important drainage area when it rains. BUILD YOUR FIRE PIT. Place your first ring of stones around the edge of the gravel circle and use a rubber mallet to tamp the stones flat and even with each other.  Again, if using a metal ring you can keep that in the middle to make sure you are fitting your stones right up against the ring. When placing the second row of stones, place some masonry adhesive on the bottom of each stone and stagger the placement of the second row (the middle of each stone should sit on the end seams of the row beneath it). Use the rubber mallet to even and tighten the stone placement. Repeat the process with the third row. 

Caulk and apply finish

Apply caulk (that matches the finish) on the sides

Apply caulk (that matches the finish) on the sides and the back where the tongue-and-groove planks meet the corner posts. Apply caulk to the top side of the trim board on the door. Don’t caulk the tops of the other three trim boards. That way, if water does get behind the planks it can escape at the bottom.

A couple coats of an exterior-grade stain/sealer will add some color to your project and protect it from damaging UV rays.

Video

Build the door frame and install the ball catches

Cut the door frame sides (F) and door frame top an

Cut the door frame sides (F) and door frame top and bottom (G). Assemble the door frame with two 2-1/2-in. screws driven through predrilled holes in the sides into the top and bottom. Dry-fit the door frame in the opening; there should be about a 3/16-in. gap on each side and a 3/8-in. gap above the top.

Predrill a 1/8-in. hole through the sides of the frame 1 in. below the bottom of the top frame board. Using that hole as a guide, drill a 3/4-in. hole (confirm this size with the installation instructions). Either a Forstner or a spade bit will work, but drill in from both sides to avoid a nasty tear-out.

Slide the ball catch into the hole and hold it in place with the retaining plate. The plate can sit on the surface of the wood; no need to cut in a mortise.

DIY Square Fire Pit

Deals, Steals, and Heels

Costing well under $100, this square DIY fire pit developed by the blogger from Deals, Steals, and Heels is a stylish and straightforward backyard design element constructed from cement wall blocks laid in a bed of sand. To prevent the sand from shifting, dig a 4-inch-deep hole in the grass with a spade, remove the turf, and fill the hole with paver sand. Just add firewood and bring a supply of marshmallows to roast.

Upcycle a Beer Keg

Tony Whiston

It probably doesn't sound pretty retooling a beer keg into a fire pit, but it can be. It depends on your skills and how much time you want to invest in this project. As long as you know how to use a welder, an angle grinder, circular saw, drill, or Dremel, you can cut down these steel receptacles (either vertically or horizontally) and add vent holes. Also, stainless steel beer kegs can be sanded and polished to a mirror finish: you only need time and a little bit of elbow grease to class up these simple containers.

Step 4: Mix the Concrete

Once the silicone was dry, I mixed my concrete until it was a peanut butter-like consistency and then shoveled the concrete into the mold with my hands. I also added wire remesh to strengthen the concrete table.

I made sure to bounce the mold up and down a few times and run a sander along the sides to vibrate some of the air bubbles out before covering the concrete with plastic and allowing it to dry for a few days.

Fire Table Building Materials

You can get creative building your fire table. Stone, paver blocks, and concrete are just a few of the popular options. We’ve also seen tile and metal fire tables before. All of these can look very impressive when done correctly.

Above all else, just be sure to use only non-combustible materials for your fire table. Wood framing is not allowed due to the heat generated by the burner. Exposure to heat can lower the flashpoint of wood over time and could potentially turn your fire table into a fire hazard.

Fire Pit Build Safety Tips

Building a fire pit, while it indeed can be a fun weekend project, is also a serious undertaking with high stakes for the safety of your friends and family. It’s imperative that safety is top of mind through each step in the process to ensure a final product that offers not only fun and beauty, but a safe environment for all involved.

Start by ensuring that your fire pit is built in a safe area, away from flammable structures and plant life. Ensure that every material used in your pit is fire-resistant and safe for high-heat situations. This includes the stones, adhesive, and mortar you use to construct the fire pit. Build the pit carefully and solidly, and when enjoying an evening around your pit, always have a fire extinguisher or water source close at hand in case things get out of control.

  • Do not use regular bricks to build a fire pit. They may crumble and degrade or, worse, because they may contain trapped water and gases, they can explode.
  • Do not use river rocks as the base layer of your pit. They, too, can contain moisture that can explode.
  • If possible, have a second human on the premises when you’re constructing your pit. If a heavy block lands on your foot or if you get carried away with the rock chisel, it’s good to have someone nearby to render first aid.

How to make a fire place in a brick basket

Another idea is to build the gas fire pit in a low brick wall. You can use a part of the wall to sit on and you can use a part as a fire pit.

How do you proceed?

  1. First, determine the size of the wall and make a galvanized construction steel mat to measure the size. You can make this at a local hardware store in your neighbourhood. If you are handy with a grinder, then you can grind the wall parts to size.
  2. Attach the parts for the top, bottom and sides together with a ring tong.
  3. Fill the brick basket with lava blocks, stones or whatever you like.
  4. Make a recess for the burner at the top.

The advanced brick basket builder can also place the built-in burner in a niche in a high brick basket wall. You create space for the built-in burner halfway the wall. Finish the niche with material that can withstand heat well. Ensure that the fire can be seen clearly from eye level. Make an extra space for wood storage if necessary. This way the fire seems completely lifelike!

Did everything succeed? Then enjoy the fire, the warmth and the beautiful fire element that you have made!

Fire Tables Provide Aesthetics and Heat

Before you begin building, it’s important to consider how you’ll be using your fire table most often. Normally, you’ll want to give yourself at least 8”-10” inches of ledge space for drinks or small plates. If you’ll be adding a glass wind guard, this space will be reduced further. In this case, you’ll likely want to extend your ledges out to approximately 10”- 12” inches to maintain your 8”- 10” inch ledge spacing.

With ledge spacing in mind, you should next consider how large you want your center opening to be. For more heat, you’ll want to have a larger center opening in order to accommodate a larger burner. In most cases, the larger the burner, the larger the BTU output. This, in turn, means more heat. Round and square shapes are best for this, but keep in mind your gas supply. If you go too large, you may come up short on fuel supply, resulting in an inadequate flame and poor performance.

If aesthetics are your primary concern rather than heat, consider going with a more contemporary design. This can often be achieved by using a single linear burner with a center “line of fire.” This often looks best in a large rectangular fire pit. While you will sacrifice some of the heat output, you can give yourself more freedom to create an impressive appearance.

3. Building the Fire Pit Table

Once you have your design and materials ready, you can begin building your DIY fire pit table. The exact building process you follow depends on whether you are building from scratch or using an existing piece of furniture.

At a basic level, you want to build a reinforced table structure and ensure it meets the aesthetic you desire. Next, insert your fire pit insert and burner. Ensure it is connected to your gas source correctly. Then, insert fire pit fillers like fire glass or lava rock to cover the burner. You can now test your fire pit.

Step 12: Party Away!

Want to use it as a cooler? Add some ice!

Want to use it as a fire pit? Add some lava rocks and wood!

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