Now I live in the city of Minneapolis proper, which doesn't allow for really big lots, and there is not a whole lot of outdoor fireplace activity beyond that of the portable firepit, which I just did not have.
What I did have however was a bunch of leftover concrete block, some rebar, and a handful of other scrap materials.
An hour or so of yard cleanup and rum-fueled activity resulted in the Firepit of Memorial Day '07:
The overall view, so you can see the basic piling of concrete block that resulted in the final beastie. It's all dry-piled, so it can come apart easily as needed.
Yes, it looks like it's awful close to a wood fence, but it's about a foot away with a hell of a lot of insiulation between.
The back of the firebox is a sheet of formed galvanized steel about .050 thick, spare from an old oven; behind that is dirt and more concrete block, and in back of that is an old steel foam-core door.
The top is a plate of 3/4" aluminum that is scrap from a project at work; it makes a wonderful heat sink and evens out the heat in a completely lovely manner. On top of that is an old aluminum-frame steel screen with another close-mesh steel screen on top of that for spark and ash supression.
The chair-on-a-dolly is a leftover prop from a show that I was in quite a few years ago. It was supposed to be an electric chair, and it's withstood the test of time to be a pretty damn stable outdoor chair that's really easy to move around.
The duckbill shovel makes for an excellent fire-maintaining device.
The firebox in action. The first level is divided by some 3/4" rebar that I cut up to make a fire grate. The main burning log is a Duraflame log I had left over from the winter.
A bit later in the evening. Bits of the Duraflame log fell into the lower cavity.
A bit more distant. It looks more furious than it really is because of the time lapse.
Sadie is not particularly impressed with the whole fire thing, but she's happy to be outside and with.
I have a whole lot of wood left over to burn.
This certainly isn't a permanent addition to the yard, but for small get-togethers on coldish evenings with a few friends and more rum, it's a welcome bit of warmth.