It's been a while since I posted the article on building my backyard fire pit. A good portion of the traffic to this site is because of the fire pit, so I thought I'd post an update with some new photos and tips on how the fire pit has been improved since it was built. Here is the completed fire pit sanctuary in the back yard, complete with 400-lb. steel pergola and new fire rocks:
The pergola comes from Lowe's. I can't find it on their website anymore, sorry. As you can see, the outhouse is still in one piece, even after several good parties and the Arizona weather being what it is, good and bad.
We've since replaced the cool glass beads with feather rock lava stones:
These are purported to not explode when heated while wet. They do certainly crackle a bit, but they've stayed intact through all the burning we've put them through.
These not-so-heavy rocks radiate heat WAY, WAY, WAY better than the glass beads. Glass bead look awesome. They DO NOT radiate heat at all. Since this fire pit sits a little higher off the ground, we wanted the heat to radiate more sideways. I took out the beads and piled on the feather rocks and BOOYA! We very definitely have noticeable heat coming from our fire pit.
Here's how I have them stacked (remember that I have a dual ring under them that has a 12" center ring and a 24" outer ring to lick the rocks from below):
The bonus of having better heat radiating material in the fire pit is that we can turn down the flames a bit and keep the fire burning longer without having to switch out the tanks. Score!
Here's a closer look at the official DIR paver fire pit area of the official StuffAndyMakes.com backyard:
The screen doesn't really do much, other than give it a kinda finished look. The rocks make the screen not fit. :) We also have a rain cover for it. No, really! Arizona does occasionally get rain! Water in the gas ring sounds gurgly and seems like a bad idea, since the ring can rust.
Note: The original article has been updated to include the manufacturer and part number for the high-pressure LP regulator (Marshall-Excelsior MEGR-6120-100).
If you've found my DIY fire pit articles worthwhile or you've actually used them (for inspiration or otherwise), please let me know and please send along some photos so I can post them to show others!