Introduction: Garden Fireplace With Bench

Picture of Garden Fireplace With Bench

How to build a fireplace with a bench for your own garden.

Working time approx. 2 days.

Step 1: Digging In...

Picture of Digging In...

Use a pole to establish the center of the fireplace. This will be a reference point so make sure to use a long pole. Use a string and some spraypaint to mark the edge of the fireplace.

Then you can start digging... To find the right height you can add sand and some cobbles. Make sure the height is approved by apropriate authorities (wife, girlfriend, whatever) and then make sure this stays where it is as this will be another reference point for you.

Step 2: Adding Gravel

Picture of Adding Gravel

Use at least 5-7 cm of gravel and stamp it firmly.

Step 3: Adding Sand

Picture of Adding Sand

Then you can add some sand. Use your 'cobble reference' to determine the amount of sand. I suggest at least 10 cm of sand. Do not stamp it but make sure it is evenly allocated according to your spirit level.

Step 4: Laying Cobbles

Picture of Laying Cobbles

Use your spirit level and your 'cobble reference point' to make another two or three reference points at the outer perimeter of the fireplace.

Then make the inner perimeter. Again you should use a string on the reference pole with your chosen radius.

In order to keep the right level at all times you should lay down a few 'spokes' of cobbles wich will turn out helpfull when laying the rest of the cobbles.

You should use a rubber mallet when laying the cobbles.

Step 5: And More Cobbles

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Use your reference points and take it away!

I suggest you start from inside and out. Make sure not to add sand between the cobbles yet.

Step 6: Checking Your Own Work

Picture of Checking Your Own Work

Use something long and strait to check if you have done your work properly. As long as you did not add the sand you can easily move, lower or raise each cobble.

Step 7: Tadaaa....; Fireplace!

Picture of Tadaaa....; Fireplace!

Add sand on top of the cobbles, water it down and repeat and repeat. Hope for some rain and then you can walk on your new fireplace.

And now on for the bench...

Step 8: Preparing the Posts

Picture of Preparing the Posts

As you can see the bench has 4 parts therefore I need 10 posts. These are approx 100 by 100 mm impregnated.

I wanted the height to be 40 cm above the cobbles so I have made each post 1 meter.

I used my router to round off the edges before painting them.

It is not nessesary to use cement or similar when digging them in as the battens will stiffen the entire construction.

Step 9: Mounting the Battens

Picture of Mounting the Battens

I used two screws in each end of each batten

Step 10: Gables

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Just for the looks of it I made a small gable in each end, and when ever I look at it I am happy I did.

Step 11: Placing the Hard-wood Rods

Picture of Placing the Hard-wood Rods

Use your reference pole again.

I made this batten my own tool for placing the rods right. Take a good look at the photos to see how it works.

Step 12: Mounting the Rods

Picture of Mounting the Rods

I used stainless steel screws to mount the hard-wood rods from below. Make sure you pre-drill!

Step 13: Done!

Picture of Done!

That is it!

Invite your favorites and enjoy the fire and their admiration!


Tias20 (author)2017-07-22

Thanks for sharing this great design! I have a few questions about it though. How did you attach the rod to the stake in the center of the pit. Also, how did you screw on the seat boards from underneath at the points where they sit directly on top of the posts?

AllanS1 (author)Tias202017-08-08

Glad you like it!

Screwing the seat boards where they sit on top of the posts was not easy. But from an angle I could predrill through the post and into the board and I had to use an extra long screw.

The rod is attached to the center stake with an old rubber band I had layin around (see img1993). The purpose is simply to keep the rod attached but still so loose that it can rotate a bit when placing the boards.

Tias20 (author)2017-07-21

Thanks for sharing this great design! I have a few questions about it though. How did you attach the rod to the stake in the middle of the pit? Also, how did you screw the hardwood boards in from underneath at the points where they were directly on top of the posts?

KyleH102 (author)2017-06-14

What size were the hard wood rods for the top of the bench? Looking to re-create this and was just wondering about thickness/width and length for those

AllanS1 (author)KyleH1022017-06-15

Hi Kyle

They are 22 by 45 mm.

dinsen (author)2017-05-19

Hi Allan

I work on a danish handyman magazine and we are interested in showing your fireplace with the bench in our magazine. Is it possible that we can lend the fotos from you and show your fireplace, including pictures of the proces, in our magazine Gør Det Selv?

Best regards

Lene Dinsen

AllanS1 (author)dinsen2017-05-21

Hej Lene

Det må vi kunne finde ud af, skriv til mig på

allans0311 [a]



pyroneko (author)2017-03-14

just wondering but how many 1x2's did you use and at what length would you propose for a curve bench

RAnnandale made it! (author)2016-12-24

With a picture this time...

RAnnandale (author)2016-12-24

Made it with the vent at the bottom as proposed. Works a charm! Thanks for the idea!

Mindscry (author)2016-05-17

Just don't make me sit on the side hiding all the spiders.

BenD4 made it! (author)2016-05-13

not a fire pit but still did it around a tree. thanks for the idea. still finishing bench.

ogrossman (author)2014-08-28

I did a similar project except with an above ground fire pit. We used limestone gravel as a base. When I was done laying the pavers I screened some of the gravel and used the finer material to fill in the cracks (instead of sand). The lime stone dust reacts with moisture to form a hard crust. That way it won't wash away with the rain and the ants have a harder time digging in it.

jaymaker (author)ogrossman2016-04-27

Great idea -- I think I will try to include limestone for base and cracks too.

lkaplan2 (author)ogrossman2014-09-11

This looks great. Instructable please!

Bredeweg (author)ogrossman2014-09-01

Awesome firepit. You cannot post an awesome picture like that without an Instructable! Looking forward to seeing something. Thanks for sharing.

bd5 (author)2016-04-26

If you added a 4" pipe underneath the the fire with a clean air source, the fire would burn much more efficiently. The pipe could run somewhere inconspicuously from underneath the chairs. A grate at the bottom above the pipe would be necessary.

dmclauchlan (author)bd52016-04-26

How would you go about doing this. It would be great if you could upload a quick sketch.

bd5 (author)dmclauchlan2016-04-26

Without a sketch, let me try words. Have a tunnel which is deeper than the base of the fire pit. One end is at the fire pit, the other could be wherever you like. Search for "Dakota fire pit" and see how well they work. The tunnel would be out of whatever material. There just has to be an air source. The fire pit would work much much Much better. If that doesn't make sense, I could (but not today), upload a sketch.

PhillipS1 (author)bd52016-04-27

Most permanent firepits don't use the dakota system because it requires a lot more hardware to keep water from flooding into your pipe/tunnel when it rains. Even if you put a sealing door on the intake side of the tunnel you'd have to somehow deal with sealing the exhaust side that the fire is drawing air from. A better solution perhaps would be to have a grate on legs that you can remove to occasionally clean ash and debris from.

bd5 (author)PhillipS12016-04-27

The pipe does not have to be 'sealed' from the earth. If it was, that would be a bad idea as the water would never drain. Having an air intake source would make the fire burn much better, there is no comparison to not having a tunnel. The grate with legs in addition to a tunnel would be best. The ashes could be removed and the fire would burn cleanly.

swimspud (author)2016-04-19

what hardwood did you use for the bench top? Did you cut these yourself on a table saw? Any treatment applied?

AllanS1 (author)swimspud2016-04-26

There are many types of hardwood. I don't remember the exact name of this wood but it was something exotic. It was cut by a carpenter who was familiar with this type of wood. I noticed that he changed the sawblade in the tablesaw before cutting the hardwood.

In order to keep the brown tan of the hardwood you would have to apply some sort of oil once or (in rainy Denmark) twice a year. I never did because I have read that it should'nt affect the lifespan of the wood. The hardwood is now mousegrey.

swimspud (author)AllanS12016-04-26

thanks for your reply! I think I'm going to have to go down to the lumber yard and see what they have. Or I can always use our local cedar/redwood, However it might not be strong enough. Always fun figuring these things out. Best of luck building

norm_aroundthehome (author)2016-04-22

Burning wood on paver stones creates dark stains that will not wash out. even with chemicals and scrubbing. Does anybody have any ideas how to avoid this problem?

Use a fire ring.

sixty7flh (author)2016-04-26

This caught my attention as I have a fire pit but it is just a pit. Yes a source for underneath oxygen would be nice, but I have never had a problem burning before. Have had many a fire out here. Maybe as mine are either bonfires or even if they are small I imagine they are still 3 times this in area? It is a great idea although. Just don't want the readers to think it is absolutely a must. I am going to use this template to pretty mine up. Thanx a million!!

spiritwalker6153 (author)2016-04-18

This is a really cool project and since I just moved into a new house that has absolutely no real recreation area in the back, this seems to be the perfect project for me this summer. The biggest hurdle is going to be convincing my bride that this will be money well spent. I like it and if I get it done, I will definitely post pictures. Thanks for the inspiration.

AllanS1 (author)spiritwalker61532016-04-18

Go for it, Spiritwalker! If you can use this as an inspiration, go ahead. Then you should add your own personal flavour and ideas and make sure you take some photos along the proces, so you can make your own instructable when your done. And it is really not that expensive...!

spiritwalker6153 (author)AllanS12016-04-19

It is only a matter of convincing my bride of its usefulness.

We've all been there! I had a fire outback with her and she really like it. Then I told her we could make it better and "pintresty" she was hooked and even helped!

swimspud made it! (author)2016-04-19

Allan, I am in the process of a (very) similar project but got stuck on the bench. to many ideas floating around in that head of mine. I really like what you did here and am thinking that will be my bench bottom! I have to come up with some sort of a back as there would be a 3-4 foot fall behind the bench. Thanks for in advance for helping get my project done!

I'll be posting my instructable once its finally done (a year in the making..) hope you check it out!

Ahomer55 (author)2016-04-16

hello, my husband and I are planning on starting on this project soon. Can you give me the dimensions of the finished fire pit area, fire pit itself and seating area? Thank you!!

AllanS1 made it! (author)Ahomer552016-04-18

Hope this is useful. Good luck with your project!

Ahomer55 (author)AllanS12016-04-18

thank you!

Ahomer55 (author)AllanS12016-04-18

thank you!

morglew (author)2016-04-17

I'm just curious about the last 2 photos in Step 12, Is that a landscape fabric of some sort being laid under the small gravel? Is that just to prevent weeds coming through? I really like this Instructable, it's definitely inspired me to do something similar (once I've finished my other projects....). Great job!

AllanS1 (author)morglew2016-04-18

If you find it inspiring I am glad. Yes, the black fabric is just there to keep gravel and dirt sperated.

cplace1 (author)2016-04-17

As a family that has had a couple fire pits this has to be by far the best instructable that I have seen!! I like the fact that you explained in minute detail each step with corresponding pictures. Great Instructable and Awesome pit!!

AllanS1 (author)cplace12016-04-18

Thank you very much, cplace1!

LisaB12 (author)2015-05-03

I would love to make the bench for our pre-existing firepit, but we live in Michigan, so I'd like it to be portable so I can store it inside over the winter. Is it possible to make this without burying the poles or will that compromise the stability/solidness of the structure?

JimTheSoundman (author)LisaB122016-04-17

If you were to sink some galvanized steel tubes into the ground, then encase them in pressure treated wood sleeves, and then fit some round stainless steel pegs into the bottom of the bench, then you would be able to remove the bench top and store it inside in the winter. You could remove all the wood sleeves that surround the poles and store those inside also. You would be left with ten short metal poles sticking out of the ground, but the winter weather would not damage those.

AllanS1 (author)LisaB122015-05-04

I think you will experience some stability issues if the poles are not burried.

semielfo (author)AllanS12015-06-26

Why not use some screws for the fixation? Just cut the legs in half (a little longer legs) so it can be attached/detached as needed.
More work every time, but the bench can be stored.

lconstructo (author)2015-09-06

Wow. That's a good looking area to relax. love it

glogothetidis (author)2014-11-01

Nice one !

EMARZANO (author)2014-10-17

very good

Goatherd1 (author)2014-08-29

What was your overall cost? Breakdown?

AllanS1 (author)Goatherd12014-09-11

Bricks: 450 x 3,50 = 1575

Wood for poles: 500,-

Boards (hardwood): 500,-

Cutting boards: 300,-

Sand, gravel: 100,-

Totally: about 3000,- DKK wich is approx 520$

sandy h (author)2014-09-03

how many bricks did you use to make the fire pit. It is really cool

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