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I have a pretty large hearth on my fire place, and I typically just stack my chopped fire wood on it and call it a day. However, I have really been wanting to make something that would be a little more prettier so I decided to sketch something up to build.

I wanted something that would hold a lot of wood, but I also just didn’t want to throw together a big rectangle. I also wanted a spot to store my fire starters as well as separation between my kinlin and larger wood. This is what I came up with!I built in two shelves on the sides that are wide enough to hold 13 starter bricks each, and the two dividers you see allow me to put the bigger stuff in the middle with the smaller stuff on the outside.Here is a video showing the build process:

Drawing the Curve:

1) The first thing I did was take measurements of my spot. My area is: 60″ wide, 35″ tall, and 20″ deep so I decided to make my holder 55″ wide, 30″ tall, and 19″ deep. I grabbed a sheet of 3/4″ plywood and marked off my parameters.2) Since I wanted to incorporate storage for fire starters, I measured two together to figure out how wide and tall I needed to make the side pockets. I decided to make them 3″ wide and 7″ tall. So I laid out those marks.

3) Then I figured out how wide I wanted the flat bottom. I thought an even 1′ would look fine so I found the center of my board and made a mark, then went 6″ to the right and left and also made a mark.
4) Since I decided the frame was going to be 3″ wide, I mark three more marks 3″ above each of them then make a straight line.

5) Now with all my marks laid, I was able to free hand a curve that will make up the shape of the bowl. I started from the top right and just curved down until I hit my marks that make up the bottom.

6) Once I liked the shape, I used my tape measure to measure off the line 3″ in several spots then went back and connected them to make up an identical second curve.

I was left with the shape below.

There was no way I was going to be able to free hand the other side of this curve and get it to be identical. Or anywhere close to identical, so instead I only drew one side and did the following steps to make a copy.

Making the Frame:

1) I used my jig saw to cut out the curve, cutting it off in the middle at the bottom. Then I used my belt sander (turned upside down in my vise with the lock on) to sand it down until I happy with the shape.

2) Then I traced it out on the plywood and cut out another one. Note: I only rough cut it out.3) Because next I came back with a flush trim bit in my router and made this second side an identical copy of the first. Note: If you don’t have a flush trim bit or router then just take your time cutting your piece out.

So here are the two pieces after. 4) To join them I drilled two pocket holes, using my pocket jig then screwed them together.5) Then I repeated the above steps to make a second. I first traced it, then rough cut it out with a jigsaw, then clamped them together and used a flush trim bit to make them identical.6) Next I cut a bottom plate that is 14 7/8″ x 17 1/2″. Drilled a few pocket holes on each side then screwed it in place. Before attaching the second side, I needed to make sure both curves were lined up with one another, so I marked a center line in the center of each curve to give me a guide. This allowed me to measure from the edge of the board to that line and match up the curves. 

7) To add support, I cut four braces that are 2 7/8″x 17 1/2″ each. I placed the first two 7″ down from the top of each curve. This creates a shelf for storage on each side. Then the remaining two supports, I just eye balled where the middle of the curve was then screwed them in.Since I planned on using 3/8″ plywood for the decking, I went ahead and added in another board for additional support.

8) So I cut another piece at 10″x 17 1/2″, drilled some pockets, then attached it flush with the top.

Adding the Side Dividers:

Note: In the video, I first laid down my decking then added the side dividers, but to keep you from having to back track, I’m writing it in the correct order.

1) To first decide where I wanted my dividers, I grabbed a scrap piece of wood and just played around with different spots until I liked one. Once I had it picked out, I marked the inside of the curved frame and screwed in another support but this time vertical. This now gives me a brace to screw my divider into. Note: Make sure you get this brace level and plumb or your divider is going to come out wonky.2) Once the brace is in, then I took a measurement from the bottom side of this brace all the way up to the top of the overall unit, since I want these dividers to be level with the two sides. Tip: I laid a scrap piece of wood on the top of the side to give myself an exact place to measure to.

3) With that measurement, I cut two dividers, squeezed them in place, then attached them using 1 1/4″ screws.

Laying Down the Decking:

1) Now it was time to start decking it. I grabbed my scrap 3/8″ boards and started cutting them up. I first cut them to be 19″ long, then ripped them down to be 1″ wide.

2) I then just started gluing and nailing on the strips until the entire top was covered.3) Once the top was done, I repeated the steps and decked the bottom.


1) I started by brushing on two coats of primer. I couldn’t reach all the places on the inside of the divider with the brush, so I didn’t worry about it.2) Then I came back with my spray gun and sprayed on a coat of dark green that would match my living room.: ) Yay.

Now just to move it inside then load it down.

Total Cost: $0!! I was able to use only wood I had already in my shop, so I didn’t have to spend a dime on this project. Way too cool.

Stay warm this winter!

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