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Fire pit

fire pit diy

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33 replies to this topic

#1 Denny

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Posted April 09 2016 - 07:33 AM

Always thinking ahead to future projects, I'm looking for feedback or experience in regard to designing and building a backyard fire pit. My particular question is about venting and preventing the smoke out effect. I saw an ad for a Zentro smokeless fire pit which got me thinking about altering a design to a standard fire pit made of stone. Would including small gaps lower in the fire pit walls increase air flow to improve the efficiency of the burn? Would this decrease smoke, improve heat production, be useless, etc.?

I'm interested in your thoughts and more so any experience if you've built a similar design.

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#2 warmnfuzzyar

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Posted April 09 2016 - 07:42 AM

me , I just dig a hole and stack some rocks around it .
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#3 Tom Mac

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Posted April 09 2016 - 07:51 AM

I built the last one with trapezoid shaped landscape blocks... dug about 6 inches deep inside and added crushed stone for drainage. Its about 4ft across and didn't make any diff as to vents as it is big enough for the air to get in....

PS ; sit upwind

#4 mickeyblueyes

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Posted April 09 2016 - 07:55 AM

It has no bearing on me ,but I just happened to be at a meeting and a fire commissioner was there and was asked the legality of patio fires, in store bought containers. The answer was surprising. Any open burning is illegal in Brookhaven, if you have one of those store bought fire pits or chimineas , AND your neighbors complain about the smoke, the FD will come and extinguish the fire.

From personal experience, I had a fire in a 55 gallon drum ,covered with a top made for it. A neighbor called because they saw smoke, The FD showed up with a full regalia of apparatus and huffed and puffed and blew out my wee little fire. Now I just wait till I get up state so I can sit and relax and enjoy.
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#5 warmnfuzzyar

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Posted April 09 2016 - 08:06 AM

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It has no bearing on me ,but I just happened to be at a meeting and a fire commissioner was there and was asked the legality of patio fires, in store bought containers. The answer was surprising. Any open burning is illegal in Brookhaven, if you have one of those store bought fire pits or chimineas , AND your neighbors complain about the smoke, the FD will come and extinguish the fire.

From personal experience, I had a fire in a 55 gallon drum ,covered with a top made for it. A neighbor called because they saw smoke, The FD showed up with a full regalia of apparatus and huffed and puffed and blew out my wee little fire. Now I just wait till I get up state so I can sit and relax and enjoy.


did brookhaven make corruption illegal yet ?
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#6 Paté

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Posted April 09 2016 - 08:14 AM

Automatic message - This topic has been moved from Chit-Chat to DIY - Home Improvements - More

#7 scottzilla

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Posted April 09 2016 - 08:41 AM

The more you vent a fire the faster it burns. In theory, a hot fast burning fire will smoke less but you will be using a lot more wood.

#8 brirodg

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Posted April 09 2016 - 08:47 AM

It has no bearing on me ,but I just happened to be at a meeting and a fire commissioner was there and was asked the legality of patio fires, in store bought containers. The answer was surprising. Any open burning is illegal in Brookhaven, if you have one of those store bought fire pits or chimineas , AND your neighbors complain about the smoke, the FD will come and extinguish the fire.

From personal experience, I had a fire in a 55 gallon drum ,covered with a top made for it. A neighbor called because they saw smoke, The FD showed up with a full regalia of apparatus and huffed and puffed and blew out my wee little fire. Now I just wait till I get up state so I can sit and relax and enjoy.


Really? Is that same fire still a problem if it's in a Weber kettle grill with a steak on top of it? Have they banned BBQs in Brookhaven town too? And if BBQs are still OK, can I toss a few charcoal briquets into my fire pit to stay legal while my kids are roasting marshmallows? What a bunch of nonsense.

I regularly remind myself how unbelievably lucky I am to have really, really good neighbors.
  • Tonto, muskoday, bigbore44 and 3 others like this

#9 Denny

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Posted April 09 2016 - 08:50 AM

Looking to make a taller thinner fire pit rather than the wider open pit. Agree more oxygen equates to hotter, quicker burn with less smoke. I'm looking for this and can cover the vents on the outside to regulate air intake. I was even thinking of using piping closer to the bottom with grates to prevent clogging as a possible design.

#10 CaptainMitchell

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Posted April 09 2016 - 08:53 AM

Recently had the same argument in Lindenhurst. Check your local town codes, then say "screw you (insert town here)" and light your damn fire. So tired of living in the land of "no".
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#11 ChiefSailer

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Posted April 09 2016 - 08:54 AM

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Build your fire pit and have a grate close by with pack of both dogs and a tong. Anyone complains just say you are BBQing.
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#12 MetalHead

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Posted April 09 2016 - 09:04 AM

It really depends how high you make the walls of the pit. Low walls you won't need to do much altering to get air at the base of the fire, high walls and you'll never get it going with out air at the base. That zentro is pretty cool and looks like it solves the problem of high walls and low airflow. You could probably make one that does the same thing using a drum as a liner ( cut shorter) and surround it by stone with some space between the metal and bricks. You'll likely be changing that drum out every few years though
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#13 JustPractical

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Posted April 09 2016 - 10:07 AM

did brookhaven make corruption illegal yet ?

Still legal in all of New York, and... No one is coming to put it out.
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#14 rubbermittens

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Posted April 09 2016 - 10:17 AM

It has no bearing on me ,but I just happened to be at a meeting and a fire commissioner was there and was asked the legality of patio fires, in store bought containers. The answer was surprising. Any open burning is illegal in Brookhaven, if you have one of those store bought fire pits or chimineas , AND your neighbors complain about the smoke, the FD will come and extinguish the fire.

From personal experience, I had a fire in a 55 gallon drum ,covered with a top made for it. A neighbor called because they saw smoke, The FD showed up with a full regalia of apparatus and huffed and puffed and blew out my wee little fire. Now I just wait till I get up state so I can sit and relax and enjoy.

You may want to check into that, open burning is Legal until someone complains

#15 Aquabach

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Posted April 09 2016 - 10:25 AM

It has no bearing on me ,but I just happened to be at a meeting and a fire commissioner was there and was asked the legality of patio fires, in store bought containers. The answer was surprising. Any open burning is illegal in Brookhaven, if you have one of those store bought fire pits or chimineas , AND your neighbors complain about the smoke, the FD will come and extinguish the fire.

From personal experience, I had a fire in a 55 gallon drum ,covered with a top made for it. A neighbor called because they saw smoke, The FD showed up with a full regalia of apparatus and huffed and puffed and blew out my wee little fire. Now I just wait till I get up state so I can sit and relax and enjoy.

Learn how to say," This is private property. There is no fire but my BBQ. You are trespassing. Go away or I'll call the police."

Looking to make a taller thinner fire pit rather than the wider open pit. Agree more oxygen equates to hotter, quicker burn with less smoke. I'm looking for this and can cover the vents on the outside to regulate air intake. I was even thinking of using piping closer to the bottom with grates to prevent clogging as a possible design.

It's most likely what people are burning. green wet wood smokes.
Look at a wood stove. the idea is to comntrol the amount of oxygen you allow in so the fire burns longer.
Most people burn green or wet wood. The onkly way to lower the smoke of that is to burn it hot and fast.
get better wood. Keep it dry and you shouldn't have a problem.

Build your fire pit and have a grate close by with pack of both dogs and a tong. Anyone complains just say you are BBQing.

I hate this liberal sinkhole.
  • spider, Tonto, Barnslayer and 1 other like this

#16 Tonto

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Posted April 09 2016 - 10:29 AM

I've been wanting to build one in my backyard, for just sitting around with a few friends & enjoying a cigar or 3. I just want something "low cost".

I've been looking at the store bought kits & the do-it-yourself ideas. Saw this one recently on Facebook: https://www.facebook...33/?pnref=story
I'm not sure of the cost of this vs a store bought kit.


On a different note, I'm here in Levittown & have seen some a******s with big fires. My old neighbor behind me (he's since moved out) used to build fires that had flames 8'-10' tall, about 10' from his house too. His fire pit was less than 2' high.

One night, our upstairs smoke alarms went off at around 3:00 am. Not a false alarm. My wife & I were going nuts, checking to see where the fire was & getting the kids out of the house. Couldn't find the source...until we looked out an upstairs window & saw that the neighbors bonfire had reignited after he went in for the night. Smoke drifted right over to us & set off all our alarms.
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#17 Tonto

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Posted April 09 2016 - 10:31 AM

Then there was the new neighbor, who left his grill lit...right next to his house & went inside.....

#18 JustPractical

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Posted April 09 2016 - 10:32 AM

When the burn goes wrong (from last week). Here's what happens when there is no cover on a burn barrel and it's windy...
[attachment=77410:fire.20.jpg]

I blocked out the human with the hose. Note how far from burn barrel. Spread faster than you would ever imagine. Very bad scene.
Keep any fire pit contained (and covered if you can with mesh).
Nothing like a nice fire...until you're standing in the middle of it..
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#19 LongIsland Guy

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Posted April 09 2016 - 11:07 AM

did brookhaven make corruption illegal yet ?

I hear it's in committee.....LOL
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#20 Yanke1624

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Posted April 09 2016 - 11:53 AM

It has no bearing on me ,but I just happened to be at a meeting and a fire commissioner was there and was asked the legality of patio fires, in store bought containers. The answer was surprising. Any open burning is illegal in Brookhaven, if you have one of those store bought fire pits or chimineas , AND your neighbors complain about the smoke, the FD will come and extinguish the fire.

From personal experience, I had a fire in a 55 gallon drum ,covered with a top made for it. A neighbor called because they saw smoke, The FD showed up with a full regalia of apparatus and huffed and puffed and blew out my wee little fire. Now I just wait till I get up state so I can sit and relax and enjoy.


I live in the town of Brookhaven and have a fire pit. I had a pain in the butt neighbor once who didn't like it so he called the town to complain and made up a story about me burning garbage in it. The town came down and checked it out. They said I was fine and it was legal since I was only burning wood and had a source of water not far away.
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