Out with the old and in with the new. That’s how the saying goes.
For us it was just a matter of preference. You see, when we built the Bott Lott all we had available was a standard fire ring. A small old car rim that was the standard campfire ring for the campground and that just wasn’t what we wanted. Sure we tried to dress it up with rocks around the outside but it was still too small for our taste. We would prefer to have a nice, large fire pit. In this case, size does matter ;)
To be able to stack a bunch of wood in there and just let it go for hours is great! No…I will not start singing, “Let It Go” here. I will not do that to you.
So David started his search. At first we thought, why not just get a tractor tire rim? That would be big enough. And let’s face it, the campground that we have our seasonal site at is in the middle of all these farmer’s fields. So finding one shouldn’t be an issue. But then the wheels kept turning in David’s head. See what I did there…wheels turning :) Ha!
He scoured the web and found this really awesome company, Earth Stones, Inc, that recycles granite from countertops and such and makes rounded blocks out of them, for giant fire pits. Perfect!
Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!
Recycled granite fire pit it was. After all, we like to be different and we loved the fact that it is all recycled material and the people at Earth Stones, Inc really take the time to match granite pieces alike and make sure everything lines up and builds out properly before it ships out.
Once our order arrived, all 1000lbs of it, our first order of the day was to spread all the stones out and figure out which ones we wanted on the top ring. The owner, John, had already marked a couple layers he thought we might like for a top….and he was spot on.
Once we picked out our top layer, David got hard to work at leveling the area. This is the most important step that should not be skipped nor rushed. Of course, leave it to David to borrow a laser level and two 4-foot levels. Just to be sure everything, at every angle, is level. Once you start laying your stones, if you are unlevel in any way, it will be all that more pronounced when you build up and up and up.
Once he was happy with the leveling of the area, it was time to get to work of stacking the blocks. However, it’s not a good idea to just stack them all willy-nilly. There must be an order. Colors need to be considered. And yes, making sure that every block is level front to back and side-to-side is important. I say this because as a reminder, this is all recycled material. So one color may be a little thicker than another, some may fall a little differently so that their edges won’t line up just right. It’s not the manufacturers fault, it’s just the way natural stones can be and when you start mixing and matching colors, variations will apply. They are rough-cut, rough edges. The only polished parts are the tops. And that is the real beauty of these. Not every fire pit is going to look the same. They are all unique and different. That’s what we love about it.
Once David had everything stacked the way we both agreed upon, colors matching, spacing considered and such, it was time to take it all down.
Yup…he spent this whole time constructing the fire pit, only to take it all apart again.
But there’s a method to his madness. One of the things that the company, Earth Stones Inc, includes in this fire pit “kit” is some high heat silicone. Think about it for a second. What do people naturally do when they are around a fire pit?
Sing? Make S’Mores? Cook hot dogs? Tell jokes?
Well…yes, but one of the things that comes naturally to people is they lean back and put their feet up on the edge of the fire pit. Hopefully not melting his or her shoes at the same time like someone who will remain nameless. (Mike)
This is very common and with this being a granite fire pit with the tops of all the blocks polished to a nice gleaming shine, they can slip and move very easily. Yes, each block weighs around 6lbs but you put your feet up to rest and it’s very easy to move them. You certainly don’t want your blocks falling into the fire and you certainly don’t want to deal with rebuilding your layers if they happen to shift.
So the solution…high heat silicone. A little dab will do ya. No need to glob it on. We were able to secure all the layers with the one container of silicone, with some to spare.
So time to deconstruct what David just built. We very carefully and methodically took the blocks off, one by one, layer by layer. Laying them out all around us in a pattern. So every layer that we constructed in the beginning was the same layer that we put back, in the same order. Dabbing a little bit of the silicone on every block, every end, so that the next layer would adhere to that previous layer. Making sure that the silicone would tack up. Which was also important because if you moved too fast, the block would slip around when you pushed down on it. Then giving it a full 24 hours to completely cure and secure.
All these little things we learned along the way of building our fire pit. All these little tips that hopefully will help any of you if you care to build your own.
We’re very happy with how this fire pit turned out. I feel that David did a wonderful job on building it (I was just the helper) and picking out the colors and such. Even thinking so far ahead that he put a line of black blocks in the middle of the circle. A great stand out design.
Now everyone that comes to our Bott Lott loves the fire pit and we’ve had some wonderful memories. Watching movies and concerts on our big movie screen with a great fire, enjoying a cocktail with friends or just sitting around it telling stories. The spacing between the blocks really gives the fire a lot of breathing room and airflow. Once a fire is lit, it just goes…and goes…and goes.
A big Thank You to John and the guys at Earth Stone because they were so helpful with the questions we had etc. BTW…If you like what you see here and you think a recycled granite fire pit might be a good addition to your property (which in my humble opinion it totally would be), just mention that you found out about them here on this blog or mention the “Bott Lott’ and you will receive a $25.00 discount on your order. Thanks again John for this opportunity for our OOBies!
We have not received any compensation for this. We just like to highlight a great company that really has some great customer service and is trying to truly do good by recycling what they can into some really beautiful products. John liked our post and thought he would offer the discount to our readers. (Darn it, we paid full price! :))