How to Build a Brick Barbecue Pit Pt. 2 How to Build a Brick Barbecue Pit Pt. 2

What You'll Need
Spirit level
Dry cement
Sand
Water
Cold chisel
Trowel
Mallet
Chalk

In building a brick barbecue pit for you home, you will first need to plan for space and size, then build it's base. Once that is finished, you can begin with the bricking. If you are an experienced brick mason, you'll have no trouble completing this portion of the barbecue pit. If you are a handyman with no masonry experience, you will probably need a few tips about materials and tools you'll need, as well as information about the actual brickwork.

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Tip 1 – Soaking Your Bricks

There is an important relationship between bricks and the mortar that holds them together. In order for the mortar to adhere to the brick surfaces, these surfaces must contain the right amount of moisture. If the moisture content is too low, the bricks will draw moisture from the mortar, preventing proper adhering between mortar and bricks. Bricks with a excessively high moisture content will result in unwanted staining from the masonry. To avoid either one of these problems, soak your bricks in water overnight before laying them, but do not begin laying them with mortar until you've removed them from the water and allowed them to dry for about 2 hours (depending on temperature and humidity).

Tip 2 – Forming Your Brick Pattern

Before mortaring your bricks into a permanent form, lay them out in several trial patterns without applying mortar. One shape that works well for barbecue pits is a "U" shape that is about 33 inches square. Once you've found a pattern you like, mark its outline on the concrete base with a piece of chalk. This will give you a line you can follow when you begin laying your bricks with mortar.

Tip 3 – Laying Your Bricks with Mortar

Mix 3 parts sand with 1 part cement, then add water and mix it with the sand and cement that will hold its shape when applied to your bricks. Then, begin laying your bricks with mortar, keeping the mortar off exposed brick surfaces to prevent them from being stained by the mortar. In laying each course, apply the spirit level to be sure each course is straight. Use a mallet to tamp down bricks that are raised higher.

Tip 4 – Cutting Your Bricks

When alternating brick joints, you'll need some half bricks. You can cut these pieces by marking a cut line with chalk on the brick, then striking the brick on this line with your cold chisel and mallet. Place uneven edges where they will be less conspicuous. Continue with your brick laying until you have finished the "U" form you initially designed.

Tip 5 – Create a Ledge for Your Grill

When you've finished your "U" shape, you'll need to build the shelf, or ledge, where your grill will sit. Build a second wall up from the base and inside the "U." This wall will need to be wide enough that it will hold your grill and the rods that support it.

Tip 6 - Finishing

When your mortar has cured enough that it is nearly dry but still somewhat moist, use a brush on the brick and cement surfaces to create a more finished appearance.

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