Materials Needed:

  • Quick mix concrete
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • Damp Rag
  • Bowls for molds (one bowl needs to fit inside the other such as 22” and 18”)
  • Wire Mesh
  • River Stones, Fire Glass, or Fire Beads
  • Long Lighter
  • Drill
  • ½” Masonry Bit
  • Mixer
  • Bucket
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Dust Mask
  • Goggles
  • Mallet
  • Orbital Sander
  • 220 Grit Sanding Block
  • Canned Gel Fuel

 

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  1. Prep your working space. Put down some tarp or scrap cardboard. This project can be messy
  2. After prepping your work space you will need to prep your molds.  The larger bowl is going to create the fire bowl exterior.  Take a rag and coat the inside of the large bowl using the petroleum jelly (vegetable oil can be used as a substitute).  Then, coat the outside of the smaller bowl.  The smaller bowl is used to create the interior of the fire bowl. THIS STEP IS VERY IMPORTANT.  If you skip this step and don’t “grease” the molds you are going to be in for a headache later when it is time to remove the molds.
  3. This next step is where is can get messy so again make sure you have a tarp or cardboard down.  In a bucket, mix the correct portions of concrete to water.  Follow the recommended proportions listed on the packaging of the concrete.  What you are looking for is a consistency of pancake batter.  Once you obtain the correct consistency, you will need to quickly and carefully our the mix into the large bowl until it fills the large bowl about halfway.
  4. Immediately after fill the large bowl halfway with the concrete, you want then press the smaller bowl in to the mixture.  You are makign the center with the smaller bowl. Lightly push the smaller bowl until the mixture reaches your desired height.  After reaching your desired height, place weights into the center of the small bowl and leave in until the mixture is fully cured.
  5. This next step is very important.  You concrete mixture is going to have air bubbles in it.  These air bubbles can create a rough surface so in order to create that ideal smooth surface we need to eliminate these bubbles.  The first this you want to do is take your mallet and lightly tap the outside of the large bowl.  Do this around the entire outside of the bowl.  Once you have done take out you Orbital Sander. For this you will NOT need sandpaper attach to it.  Put the sander on low and use it to gently vibrate the outside of the large bowl.  Work evenly around the large bowl a few times.  This process will help remove any air bubbles that are left and create a nice smooth finish.
  6. Allow time for the mixture to cure.  The concrete package will have a cure time listed.  The longer the mixture is left to cure the stronger it will be.  Keep in mind that this is going to be exposed to a high heat and potentially different environmental elements if you plan on leaving it outside on a deck or patio.
  7.  After this mixture has fully cured you will be able to remove the molds. Make sure that when you are doing this you are careful not to chip the lip of the fire bowl.  Remove the inner bowl first.  Then flip over and remove the large bowl.  Once you remove the two bowl molds you have you concrete fire bowl! (To note, if you applied the adequate amount of petroleum jelly and followed the instructions in step 2 then getting molds off should be a breeze.  If you didn’t then this might take some slow and meticulous “picking” so to speak as those molds are likely going to be stuck to the mixture).
  8. After you have released the fire bowl from the bowl molds it is time to sand it down to make it smooth.  Use 220 grit sand paper or a sanding block and sand the entire bowl until it reaches the desired smoothness.
  9. After sanding the fire bowl down, you will need to add drainage.  This will allow water to leave the fire bowl and help with air circulation.  You do this by flipping over the fire bowl and drilling a howl in the center of the bowl.  You do this using the 1/2″ concrete drill bit.
  10. Flip the bowl back over.  In the center of the bowl place a can of your gel fuel. Make sure to remove the lid.  I didn’t remove the lid the first time, and I sat there for a good 10 minutes trying figure out why the darn thing wouldn’t light.
  11. Next you need to cut the wire mesh so that is is circular and fits over the can.  This is going to be your grate that fits over the fuel can.
    Firebowl 2.JPG
  12. Next add you fire rocks, fire glass, or fire beads.  Depending on what you plan on using you may need to get wire mesh that has smaller holes.  Do not over pack the bowl. Spread out the rocks or glass so that it is less dense in the center.

    Firebowl 1.JPG

  13. Light the canned gel fuel with a long lighter and enjoy.

 

NOTES:

  • You can purchase concrete stains and dyes to add color to your fire bowl.  I would recommend sealing after. You can also seal a non stained fire bowl.
  • To remove a used up can simply remove the grate and rocks.  Replace the can and recover with the grate and rocks.
  • Fire is dangerous! Be careful when using this!

 

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