This is the second article for our fire pit project. At this point in our article we have designed and cleared out the area in which we want to build our fire pit.  We also have put down slag on the outer edges and set our patio stones. Everything is lining up nicely and looking square! That is if you are building a square! LOL


Tools we are using on this job:


Shovel                         Pick axe                       Branch Clippers                      Slag

Pea gravel                    Fire pit ring                 Long straight edge                  Lg. Square

Rake                            Patio stones                 Level                                       Gloves


At this point we need to measure the size of project to find out how much cubic feet of slag we will need. I found it much easier and cheaper to just have it delivered than to pick it up in bags from the store.


Here are some simple measuring tools


Cubic Yard = 27 Cubic Feet; 3 Feet = 1 Yard; 144 Square Inches = 1 Square Foot; 9 Square  1 Cubic yard will cover 162 square feet if spread 2 inches thick.



  1. Length x Width = Square Feet
  2. Square Feet ÷ “X” = Cubic Yards (to find “X,” match depth with number at right –on page below)
  3. To convert Cubic Yards to Tons*: Cubic Yards x 1.4 = Tons
  4. To convert Tons to Cubic Yards*: Tons ÷ 1.4 = Cubic Yards


1.4 is a rule of thumb that will work for most sand and gravel products (1 yard = 2,800#). Some products such as soils and mixes may vary due to their different bulk densities (weight per cu. yd).


Example 1: 2,000 Square Ft. bunker at 6″ deep
2,000 ÷ 54 = 37 Cubic Yards Bunker Sand
37 x 1.4 = 52 Tons
Example 2: To cover cart path 1,200′ x 4′ x 3″ deep
1,200 x 4 = 4,800 square feet
4,800 ÷ 108 = 44.5 cubic yards gravel
44.5 x 1.4 = 63 tons

































I hope this chart is useful. You can also find a calculator on line and just plug in the numbers and it does the work for you.


Next we need to put our fire ring in place. I basically centered it by measuring from the ring to the inside of the patio stones and kept adjusting it till I had it completely center. Change up your design if you like. I set my fire pit ring about 2-3 inches above where my patio stone would lay. You can make it flush but I wanted a little height to mine. Next I laid a two by four across it because it is so wide and checked it in several directions for levelness. Once this is in place go to work and start filling in the remaining area with slag.


Definition of Slag: It is a partially vitreous by-product of the process of smelting ore, which separates the desired metal fraction from the unwanted fraction. Kind of cool they found a use for this by-product!


There are two different grades one is what they call “foundation” slag which has more stones in it.  The other is a “finishing” slag which is usually used in between the patio stones. It just sweeps right in place and acts kind of like cement keeping the patio stones from moving once in place. Slag also is a great weed preventer and does a better job than sand will.


It is important to use slag as a foundation f you have to worry about frost in your area. Slag may not be necessary in warmer climate areas.



I used a rake and started spreading it around leaving about an inch below the surface of the retaining wall blocks. This way when I start laying the patio stones they will be nice flush with the out side border. Definitely use your legs for lifting….I know you have heard it a thousand times.


As you can see I started going across the shorter edge first going from corner to corner and then I went up the left side. This gives me reference points for putting in the next stones. I left about ¼” in between the patio stones. It is very much like laying tile. You need to lay the stone then check for levelness and move on to the next stone. I found my self going back and making adjustments as I went and tapping them into place with my palm to make sure they don’t move after I have finished the project.


Don’t know why but I find it really relaxing and I just take my time enjoying the work and my surroundings. I hope you find it therapeutic as well.



Stay tuned for the next article. We will put the final touches on this project. I couldn’t wait to get this finished for fall festivities.


Have a blessed week!

Mischele Makhlouf


One response to “FIRE PIT II

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