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Fire pit

Keep warm in the cooler weather with this easy to build fire pit – and with a simple circular cover it’s converted into a handy outdoor coffee table when not in use.

Make a fire pit and outside coffee table

You will need: 7 x 1.2m fence palings, 40mm exterior screws, 48 x Sedona straight face retaining blocks (ours came from Mitre 10), 50mm x 25mm treated timber (approx 5.5m), concreted area, garden broom, gravel, jigsaw, paint stirrer, paintbrush, pencil, Resene Waterborne Woodsman tinted to Resene Tiri, sandpaper, scissors, screwdriver, string, tape measure.

Safety tips: Take great care when operating a fire pit, burning wood in the centre of the pit only. Supervise children and pets at all times and never leave a burning fire pit unattended. Thoroughly extinguish with water when finished and do not place the timber circle back on the fire pit until extinguished embers are cold.

To get the look: Mark placed a layer of fine lime chip mulch around the fire pit.

As seen in kiwigardener

Step 1 Step one
Thoroughly sweep the concreted area where you will be building the fire pit.
Step 2 Step two
Arrange 17 retaining blocks on the concrete to form a circle, as shown. Ensure the ‘lip’ of each retaining block is face down.
Step 3 Step three
Place 16 retaining blocks on top of the first circle, as shown. Again, ensure the ‘lip’ of each retaining block is face down.
Step 4 Step four
Locate the section in the two Layers of blocks where the joins directly align and place a singleblock across this, as shown.
Step 5 Step five
Place the remaining 14 retaining blocks on top of the second circle, as shown. Again, ensure the ‘lip’ of each retaining block is face down.
Step 6 Step six
Place the fence palings on a stable flat surface, as shown.
Step 7 Step seven
Partly drive in a 40mm screw in the centre of the middle fence paling, as shown.

Step 8 Step eight
Cut a piece of string and tie one end to the protruding screw and the other to a pencil. Use this to draw a circle with a 1m diameter, as shown. Remove the central screw.
Step 9 Step nine
Using the pencil line as a guide, cut out the circle using a jigsaw and smooth any rough edges with sandpaper.
Step 10 Step ten
Lay two lengths of 50mm x 25mm timber centrally across the circle of timber, spaced approximately 160mm apart. Fix these into position using 40mm screws.
Step 11 Step eleven
Lay two more lengths of 50mm x 25mm timber across the circle of timber, spaced approximately 120mm from the previous battens. Fix these into position using 40mm screws.
Step 12 Step twelve
Lay two more lengths of 50mm x 25mm timber across the circle of timber, spaced approximately 100mm from the previous battens. Fix these into position using 40mm screws.
Step 13 Step thirteen
Trim the overhanging ends with the jigsaw taking care to follow the arc of the circle. Smooth any rough edges with sandpaper.
Step 14 Step fourteen
Carefully stir the Resene Waterborne Woodsman tinted to Resene Tiri.
Step 15 Step fifteen
Apply two coats of Resene Waterborne Woodsman tinted to Resene Tiri to both sides and the edges of the timber circle, allowing two hours for each coat to dry.
Step 16 Step sixteen
Place a 25mm layer of gravel in the bottom of the fire pit. When not in use, place the timber circle on top of the fire pit to turn it into a handy outdoor coffee table.
Fire pit Fire pit finished
Coffee table Coffee table alternative

Words and photos by Mark Rayner

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