Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Fire Pit Project [Day 2]





On Day Two we woke up with a little less skip in our step, but were ready to tackle masonry for the first time. The first thing we did was to layout the fire brick on top of our now dry concrete ring.
 Here we weren't quite pleased because we realized that our Masonry Supply Company shorted us a few fire bricks. Then we realized that the masonry cement that they sold us required 4 bags of sand to mix each bag with. Wait. FOUR bags per bag! At this point we realized that this would be enough cement to construct a brick house and made our way back to Home Depot.
Ahhh, that's better. Manageable Quikrete (the bags are still heavy though!) and a few make shift fire bricks for the overhang sections. Not ideal, so really try to get the correct amount of fire brick in the first place.

With supplies on hand, we finally got to get down to business. The refractory cementing was actually pretty easy. In the instructions, the consistency of this product was described as "peanut butter-like" and it was! It was smooth and easy to spread on the concrete ring and the sides of the brick. It was a little trickier to get the cement between the bricks, but nothing compared to our experience with the mortar.

 Next up, time to mix some mortar and get cementing. I have to admit that I though this would be the most enjoyable part of our project.. Matt and I mixed our Quikrete and buttered up a brick. The second I tilted that brick to get it into place- all of the mortar slid right off into the pit. Damn! I tried it again with nearly the same results. At this point we realized the the consistency of the mortar wasn't quite right so we added some water. Ahhh, much better! Still not as easy as it looks, working with mortar and bricks went more smoothly once the consistency of the mortar was workable.
 Around and around we went, hours later we finally finished. What you can't see here is that by the time we were laying the last few bricks, the mosquitos in our backyard went on a rampage and tortured us in the precious moments we were 1. trying to finish the last overhand (not an easy task) and 2. losing daylight by the second!



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