Do you remember the days when everyone gathered around the warmth given off by those dancing flames in a camp fire? Those were the days, but do you really want to build a wood fire on your deck or patio? If you are like me, you might prefer the convenience of a propane fire pit table on the patio during cool nights. Little did I know it would take me a few months of research and work to spark the flame for the first time.
Not long after finishing our raised paver patio, I started searching the web for a fire pit table. I found dozens and dozens but none stood out as “that’s the one.” In addition to that, the fire tables I did like cost over $5,000 (yeah, a bit much). Fortunately, while searching I read several blog posts about fire pit table DIY. Although it appeared a bit complicated, it didn’t turn out to be all that hard to build – it just required a lot more time than I initially anticipated. Below are a few resources and tips for those interested in building a fire pit table DIY.
Stainless-Steel Fire Pan: First, you’ll need to decide what size fire pan you want. I found several propane fire pans online. I purchased a 12″ x 36″ stainless-steel fire pan after searching on Amazon and other websites. It is a rather large fire pan but the size works well with the patio furniture we purchased.
- Fire Pan: 12″ x 36″ with propane tank hook-up kit, hoses, shut-off value, and electronic igniter (battery operated).
- Top: 3′ x 5′ (granite purchase from local shop)
- Table Base: 2′ x 4′ built using 4″ x 4″ treated lumber (legs), 1″ x 4″ treated lumber (frame), 1″ x 4″ cedar boards, plywood, and reclaimed scrap wood (side panels)
- Adjustable feet
Propane Supply and Shut-off Valve: With respect to the propane supply, I embedded a propane gas line under the patio so I can hook-up the fire table to a larger propane tank in the future. Currently, I am using a standard 20 lb. propane tank stored in the fire pit table itself. For a remote propane tank, I needed propane gas lines and valves which I purchased from our local Lowes.
I also purchased a 100 lbs. propane tank which will last a lot longer than the 20 lbs. tank used for outdoor grills. Lowes had most everything you need to hook-up a remote propane tank. The stainless-steel fire pan I purchased came with the hook-ups for a standard grill-type propane tank as well as a shut-off valve. I installed that shut-off valve on the side of the fire table (see photos).
Table Base: I used treated lumber and reclaimed wood to build the fire pit table-base. This is what took so long to build. Lots of design time, cutting and assembly for sure.
Tip: Don’t make it too tall. Tall enough to fit a 20 lbs. propane tank inside is all the height you need. If you make the fire table taller, you won’t be able to put your feet up on it while sitting in a chair; a must to keep those toes toasty on cool fall days.
I purchase reflective blue glass from HomeDepot.com. They had the best price per pound by far. When I was searching for it, they didn’t sell it at our local store so I ordered it online (delivered within a week).
Tip: Propane Gas Line (flexible): 30″ Whistle-Free Flex Line, stainless steel, for use indoors/outdoors, staggered pitch every 2 inches to eliminate the nuisance of whistling found during some installs.
[Updated December 2020]
Step-by-step process for building a fire pit table: Family Handyman – How to Build a Fit Table article.
Landscaping: if you have a great fire table, you’ll likely want to landscape as well.