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When I first saw one of these hanging fire pits, sometimes called a porch-swing fire-pit, I just knew I had to build one. I had a large level area in my lower back yard that was a perfect spot. My kids are a little older now and like to spend time outside with friends, so I knew it would get plenty of use. It does.

A gentleman that goes by the name of Chenango Dave on bowhunters.com provides a basic tutorial, but I wanted to build a structure that was a little larger. I'm sharing the details here for anyone else who wants to build one. I might not include every last detail, but I'll try to include all of the important bits and throw in as many tips as I can think of.

Step 1: Picking the Site

You will want to start with a level area that is maybe 5 feet larger than the structure you intend to build in every direction, or about 25 feet across if you stay close to the dimensions here. If it isn't perfectly level, that is OK, but you will want to level it AFTER you build the structure. It makes no sense to level first only to have to dig deeper holes for the posts.

In my case, I had a giant old swing set that I built about 14 years ago when my youngest daughter was born. Thanks to Craig's list, it was gone in 3 days and I got a little cash to use towards this project.

Keep in mind that, depending on where you put it, this structure can be used year round and it will only be used with a fire for a fraction of that time. My teenage kids wander down to sit on the benches during the day with their friends and sometimes even go down there just to study or read. Fortunately, we have trees to create both morning and afternoon shade, but no trees immediately over the fire pit.

So if possible pick a spot that gets shade for much of the day but it cannot have tree branches directly overhead.

<p>This is just what I've been looking for!!</p><p>For a while now I've been trying to figure out the perfect fire-pit with seating setup. This combined with ideas I've already had is perfect!</p><p>Let me share my idea.</p><p>First, I'd take this project in it's entirety. Then I'd add a roof / rain-shelter as follows.</p><p>Look at the frame from the top view. It's a hexagon. Now imagine building a smaller wooden hexagon shaped frame. Say 25cm in diameter. Now use some 2x4's to connect the corners of the main frame the the corners of the small frame. These 2x4 rafters will be of a length to form a 60 degree angle from vertical and support the small hexagon like the peak of a roof. The rafters will also be long enough to extend past the corners of the larger hexagon of the frame like eaves of a house. Roughly 20-30 cm out from the vertical 'wall' created by the frame. Next get 6 heavy duty waterproof tarps, poly or canvas, your choice as long as it's waterproof. Personally I'd choose poly as it will shed snow and water better. These tarps should be slightly wider than the width between the bottom ends of the rafters and slightly longer than the length of the rafters. Next take the tarps and lay them on the rafter/roof one at a time and draw a cut line with a marker on the bottom side on the outside edges of the rafter set they will cover. Once you've got them all marked, use that mark to mark another line a few cm outside the original line. You'll use this line to cut the tarps. Then fold over the cut edges to the original line and either stitch them or use appropriate tarp glue to glue them down. Now take these folded edges and sew them together with heavy waxed poly thread where the folded edge stops, so you're oversewing the seam of the folded edge. Then seal the edge with tarp glue on the top side and glue the two downward folded tarp edges together on the bottom side. Do all six pieces until you have what looks like a hexagonal Tepee. Get a friend(s) to help you slide the Teepee over the rafters. You now have a four season, covered fire-pit with a draft hole for the smoke to exit. If wind is an issue, you can put rings in the corners of the tarp Teepee bottoms and hooks at the ends of the rafter bottoms to hold the Teepee in place.</p><p>I hope this makes sense without a drawing. It's actually pretty simple design wise and shouldn't be that hard to build.</p>
I built something similar once, until I swung too hard and launched myself into the fire! Sadly I lost both of my legs. Needless to say I was pretty drunk that night lol.
Man... are you kidding? What a sad story
<p>Awesome build - well done!</p><p>However, I see very green grass meaning, lots of water? Are you not worried placing the posts direct into the ground are going to rot in the near future? </p>
<p>The posts are set in concrete which ends right below grade. There is 2b cut granite stone under the posts so any water should drain off with a minimum of contact. The concrete is sloped away from the posts to promote runoff. We have a very clay-like soil here and there is still some direct contact with the ground, so it is always possible that there will be some rot. The alternative would be to pour footers and anchor the posts above ground, but that would probably have a negative impact on the rigidity of the structure, requiring braces on each post. It's been 2 years now and the thing has held up very well, so rot is not something I'm going to worry about too much. For comparison, the swing set pictured in the project was 14 years old and several of the base timbers from that were just buried in the dirt.. When I disassembled it, all the timbers looked pretty good and nothing had to be replaced. </p>
<p>Awesome! Good thinking all round! :)</p><p>I am in the process of building a patio / pergola (will be my first project post on Instructables!) and was just thinking of all the issues raised my side!</p>
<p>LOVE this project....BUT... PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENT OR MARSHALL before building the fire pit part. BLOCKS around the pit are ILLEAGAL in some states. CERTAIN BLOCKS CAN EXPLODE WHEN HEATED BY FIRE. PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH FOLKS!</p>
<p>Its ok. Some people are able to think for themselves and do not need any aspect of the govt involved in common sense decisions. but thanks.</p>
<p>Some people don't have the convenience of living so far in the sticks the news is a few months old and don't have to worry about local concordances . Last thing any one wants is a letter from the local government telling you to pay a large fine and then face criminal charges (it's a misdemeanor in most places to violate building/zoning/fire codes). Nobody wants to waste 300+ dollars in wood and the days it too to build it when ordered to remove it and then have pay more in fines. Make a phone call, spend the hour getting the paperwork and know your safe from pesky court summons. <br><br>I know this because I found out the hard way with a small shed I built. I needed a zoning clearance permit, and didn't know about it. The Violation notice, the threat of several hundreds in fine and a court summons if I didn't get it fix was a little wake up. Having to remove the $800+ I had invested would have sucked. </p><p>The permit was a 20 minute ordeal, cost me nothing. Plus side is I got approval for a second shed I'll be building next year with the same permit. </p>
<p>kinda my point, this is a great small project, not a community center or event location whereas you encounter undue risks to your community. the threats from your local ordinances is ridiculous. Especially if you consider we as citizens have (had) property rights.</p><p>Regardless, this is a great project, glad you got your aspect of it cleared.</p>
<p>I see you've recovered from your recent trip to Oregon.......</p>
<p>Never been to Oregon, is it a nice place to visit?</p>
It has nothing to do with Govt. intervention, even though I totally agree with you on the ever expanding Big Brother. I'm glad kandr put that in there. Can you imagine a loved one or anybody especially a child getting hurt or blinded by a common oversight?
<p>Backyard burning isn't an anti-Big Brother, freedom thing, it's a smoke nuisance for others. If you want to cook a hamburger in the daylight that's okay, but when the sun goes down, burning is alcoholism. </p>
Thats Nice!
<p>I'm not trying to name drop,but when it comes to augers,for what it costs to rent one,you can just about buy one from Harbor Freight(Sometimes cheaper thana rental !).And if you do like I did,and wait until it's on sale,and use a 20-25% coupon available nearly all the time,you will have it to use for other projects.I also got a different arbor that HF didn't carry on sale at Rural King.Hope this helps someone save some $$ :)</p>
<p>Very good point. I spent way too much money renting an auger and probably could have bought one. I have bought tools in the past with the ideal of selling them on Craig's list when I'm done but most of those tools are in my attic or garage instead. </p>
<p>buying tools as you need them (within reason) is a great way to build up a large tool inventory over time. My dad always said to buy cheap tools, and then replace the ones that break with quality tools. Saves money on tools you hardly ever use, gets you good tools for the ones you use a lot.</p>
Watch Craigslist or Offer Up to look for tools!
I guess I'm not that smart,lol.I was raised to never charge my friends and family to let them borrow stuff as long as they return them or help pay if they damage them.I've gotten stung a couple times,but then they get moved to the &quot;naughty&quot; list,and get cut off(kinda like Santa),lol.I'm definately not rich(disabled,and fixed income),but sleep better at night.I have 1 aquaintance(notice I didn't say &quot;friend&quot;)who has actually charged(I found out after the fact), an old lady,something like $30 just to go out to her house and change a light bulb and fuse!Don't understand how he does it.He has lot's of money and brags about it constantly.Oh,well,if there is an afterlife,bet I'll be richer in the long run :-)
Me too,but I'm a tool/equipment hoarder(6 car garage,4car garage,a 12x24,8x10 and (2)10x14 sheds,full,lol),so I didn't worry when I bought mine.How close are you to St. Louis,MO area?I'd be more than happy to clean your attic ;-) ?Just kidding.Showed wife the project awhile ago,I'm in trouble now,lol.Also,went to that swing site.Loved the bed swings!But at $475 a pop,Gonna make my own.Have a stack of white oak slabs stored in barn,so now I'm scanning Craigslist for a used thickness planer.Thank You again for sharing a wonderful project!
<p>a guy in my neighborhood was like you! he turned himself into a tool rental service for the rest of the hood - pretty smart.</p>
<p>There's no such thing as having too many tools.</p>
I want to make 2 or 3 sides with cinderblock benches, and attach the planks for the back of the benches to the posts. <br>Use boards for benchs but put batting on one side and staple a durable fabric over the batting to the underside.<br>Then attach to my fire pit hex, a rectangle area with picnic benches and partial latticed enclosure.<br>Somehow i want to make a slate or decorative edge around the fire pit for a &quot;coffee table&quot;. <br>Put the round potted climbing plants on outside of the hex beams and dont plant in ground. Also hang sm string light around top of the hex.
<p>This is such an amazing DIY project! Thak you! </p>
<p>Anyone know where to get the pre-bent steel connection plates? The steel plates so I can bolt the girders to the posts? I'd rather have these plates than just using deck screws to secure the girders. </p>
<p>The beams are secured to the posts using 1/2 inch x 8 inch lag bolts. The deck screws are only for pulling the beams tight and securing the crossbraces. </p>
<p>Beautiful!</p>
<p>That is great-- pass the marshmallows</p>
Would you mind listing the firepit dimensions or distance from the beams to the center and outter edges of the firepit? I plan to start this project this week. Thanks.
Could you provide me with instructions on how to do this with hammocks?? How wide would each section be?? I would like to ve able to switch between swings and hammocks...thanks for any help!! Love the idea :)<br>Michelle
<p>I priced this whole project out online with the home depot (minus the chairs) and am sitting at $700, which is awesome. After looking at the site that was mentioned for the chairs - if you purchase 5 chairs w/ water seal you are looking at $950, 4 chairs = $760, 3 chairs = $570, 2 chairs = $380, 1 chair = $190. That is shipping to Virginia. If you do not want the water seal subtract $20 per chair!</p>
<p>Great idea, and beautifully done. The only thing I would add is climbing vines at each post, wisteria, rose, clematis, something nice and fragrant. Because your braces are still outside of the heat circle, they'll stay out of range of the heat, providing a little more shade, ambiance and fragrance to your lounge. </p><p>I want an invite! I'll bring cheese..... :)</p>
<p>That is an excellent idea! The only possible problem is that we are partially under the canopy of a black walnut tree. Black walnut roots secrete a toxin that kills off most other trees and bushes (which explains why the row of lilacs withers under the tree). Might not be an issue for shallow vines, though. I'll talk to my wife about it. Thanks! </p>
<p>We have black walnut trees all around our yard, one actually has a trumpet vine growing right up it, so I would say trumpet vines might be your best bet, plus the humming birds go nuts for them.</p>
<p>Yes, black walnut trees are tough on other plants, but they are pretty trees, and if you can deal with the mess, the nut meats are great eating!</p>
<p>Vines will build up dead layers after a few years. The house i purchased In AZ had Cat Claw Vines on the block fence 2 feet thick with dead and dry vines, only the outer part had life. if a passing car had tossed a lit cigarette butt into it...........</p>
<p>Something to consider. Here in Minnesota, most of the vines get cut back to new growth each year, some all the way to the ground, so build up isn't an issue.</p>
<p>Great idea yourself!Perhaps add a say,12&quot;(or more if headroom permits)ring of lattice around the top perimter.Already planning on adding to my build when I get a &quot;''round tuit&quot;,lol</p>
<p>You mentioned that you bought your hardware online, what site did you use? Did you order your lumber as well or did you get that locally? How much did you spend?</p>
<p>I think I ordered the hangers from swing set mall online. They are 6&quot; galvanized shaft-style hangers. I got all the lumber locally at Home Depot. I bought the springs locally as well as I wanted to be able to return them if I did not like them. By the time I was done, including the swings, I think I spent about $1200-$1300. I did not tally everything, though.... </p>
I am very interested in doing this bit I only want two swings and I will put my chairs and my own fire pit in there but I really want to know how much this cost? Is the any other way to make it budget friendly? Thank you and you did an amazing job!
Does anyone know about how much this project costs.
<p>Oh WOW!!! That is awesome, the only bad part about it is now I want one. </p>
You said that right. My kids used their swing set twice last year. Highly considering this!
<p>Beautiful! Great instructions. I can certainly see where you would use it year round.</p>
<p>Good idea. I consider to copy your idea to build a beautiful garage. is it good idea? Just a problem.. How can I build the middle of garage to support roof?</p>
<p>The angles are actually 60&ordm;. There are several ways to do the geometry to figure it out (below). This means you can set the saw at 30&ordm; and &quot;cut out &quot; a thirty degree section and be left with 60&ordm;.</p><p>Geometry: Each exterior angle of the hexagon is 60&ordm; (360&divide;6). 60&ordm; is supplementary (adds to 180) to 120&ordm;. The 120&ordm; angle is what is cut in half to give 60&ordm;. I hope this helps to clarify. Great project too.</p>
I was going to suggest putting a hammock into the blank spot, I think someone mentioned that.<br>Vines/plants=flowers=bees and wasps=not relaxing by the fire pit IMHO. Shrubbery goes elsewhere.
<p>a hammock would be great. Heck, I can even see removing one of the swings and doing a roasting pit! </p><p>Ok, maybe I should stick to drinking decaf... </p>

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