concrete coping on firepit


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Old 10-02-18, 09:40 AM
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concrete coping on firepit

I am in the process of building a paver firepit with a steel center ring. I want to cover the top of all the pavers with a single piece of coping. I am thinking about casting a piece of concrete to do this. Will I run into issues with the heat from the fire on this or should I be ok?
 
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Old 10-02-18, 09:55 AM
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If you have bonfires like I do the concrete won't last very long. I've had concrete blocks (not CMU) and rocks crack and pop from a fire's heat. Occasionally they pop pretty violently spitting out shards hard enough to hurt.

I've never used concrete landscaping blocks near a fire so I don't know how they will react to the heat. I've seen promo photos of them used for fire pits so I hope they are OK. Even if they don't like fire your ring should be OK for smaller fires for a hour or so but bigger and longer duration fires will eventually heat the blocks. Better would be if you had an inch or more air gap between your steel liner and the concrete blocks to further protect them from the heat.
 
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Old 10-08-18, 07:00 AM
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Dane,
Thanks for the response. I've got about an inch of gap between the steel and blocks currently and am considering adding sand to the gap to further help prevent the heat from reaching the wall blocks.
 
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Old 05-15-24, 06:38 AM
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This is an old thread so I am hoping someone is still here but……

how did the ~1 inch gap between the steel liner and bricks work?

I'm building a fire pit now and thinking of going the steel liner route but I don’t know how much of an air gap is really needed between that and the blocks.

thanks!!!
 
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Old 05-15-24, 06:48 AM
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Don't hold your breath... the op hasn't been back since Oct 2018.
 
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Old 05-15-24, 08:05 AM
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Much has to do with the fires you build. A raging inferno going for hours is much harder on a fire pit than a small marshmallow roaster for the kids that you only burn for an hour. The steel ring and air gap helps but if you burn a hot enough fire for long enough the heat will get through. The good thing is the steel ring and air gap slow the process quite a bit so any stones or concrete block warm more slowly. This gives time for any moisture in the rock/block to evaporate away and for the stone/block to gently come up to temperature minimizing the chance of breakage.
 
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Old 05-15-24, 12:54 PM
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I'm on my 2nd firepit. My first did not have a steel ring but I didn't have any heat problem with the blocks. I used concrete retaining wall blocks from HD. Mostly because they were cheap and available. It lasted for 15 years before we decided to move it. I used some of the same blocks in the new firepit, a work in progress that I'll probably finish up this summer. I have a 30" steel ring with a gap around 1/4". I capped the old one with 2" retaining wall caps cut to fit with just a bit of an overhang. I plan on using the same blocks as caps. Cutting them is time consuming but the end result looks good.


 
 

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