Fire bowls contain and hold open flames just like a fireplace or fire pit. The biggest difference between a fire bowl and a fire pit is that fire bowls contain the flame on the bottom of the bowl itself. Fire pits and fireplaces contain a flame burning on raked soil or a clay base. For this reason, fire bowls must be stronger and more heat resistant than ordinary fireplaces and pits. Heat refractory concrete provides a strong, sturdy container that won't chip or crack in extreme heat.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Crushed firebrick
- Calcium aluminate concrete
- Large plastic tub
- Cooking spray
- Rubber gloves
- Disposable plastic bowls
- Large rocks
Shovel three trowels full of crushed firebrick gravel and two of calcium aluminate concrete into a large plastic tub. Mix these two dry ingredients together with your trowel.
Add about 6 cups of water to the concrete and mix it in with a hoe. The concrete should be the consistency of very thick, clumpy oatmeal or gravelly sand. There should be no dry powder left; if you see some, drizzle in water a little at a time until it's gone.
Spray the inside of a large, disposable plastic bowl with cooking spray. This provides a releasing agent for the concrete bowl.
Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands from getting concrete stuck to them. Scoop handfuls of heat refractory concrete into the bowl, pressing and forming it to the inside to create a 1 inch layer. The layer must be totally smooth, even and solid. You must have no holes whatsoever in the concrete.
Spray the bottom of a second bowl with cooking spray and sit it down into the concrete, pressing to form the inside of the bowl. Smooth down the edges of the concrete with your finger.
Load the second bowl up with rocks to keep the bowls tight around the concrete in the centre. Allow the concrete to cure for about 48 hours. It will turn light in colour around the edges when the concrete is dry.
Remove the rocks one at a time, then gently remove the top bowl. Tilt the second bowl upside-down and lift it up. You should have a smooth, sturdy, dry concrete bowl ready for containing summer fires.
Tips and warnings
- Wearing gloves while handling concrete prevents the wet concrete from sticking to and drying on your hands.
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