There are several reasons not to burn wood in your backyard: the smoke is an irritant and a pollutant, storing firewood takes up space, and burning wood throws off embers and sparks that can be dangerous. Instead of lighting your fire with wood, use clean burning alcohol fuel in a sleek burner, surrounded by an attractive, tumbled concrete block fire pit, built with your own hands.
Step 1 – Pick Your Spot
The ring of stones will be about 3 feet across, so you need at least that much level ground (better to have more for safe and easy access) with no overhanging trees or construction. Because you’re not burning wood, you don’t need a deep foundation, but you may have to clear some earth and level it, so the blocks have an even surface to lie on.
Step 2 – Lay the First Course
Step 3 – Lay the Next Courses
Step 4 – Set the Capstones
This is the one layer that will be glued down. Gravity won’t hold the lighter capstones in place so use a masonry grade construction adhesive. With a caulking gun, spread a bead of adhesive on the top of the upper course and the bottom of the capstones. Set the capstones in the adhesive. Allow it to dry and cure for the time allotted on the label.
Step 5 – Install the Grate and Burner
Step 6 – Light it Up
Pour the alcohol fuel into the burner as directed in the instructions. It’s the fumes that ignite, so stand back and light the fire with a metal rod dipped in the fuel. The fire burns a brilliant orange and gives off a good amount of heat, but there are no sparks, no smoke and no smell. And check the label to be sure, but most fuels are food safe, so you can roast some marshmallows too.
Via Justin DiPego, DoItYourself.com