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Help Selecting A Quality Stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by RossB, Oct 4, 2013.

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  1. RossB

    RossB Member

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    So once I had the right consistency of mortar and I was able to thrown down these these little turds with some accuracy and consistent size, the blocks were so much more cooperative. I dropped them into place, and with a few smacks of the hammer, they were level. IMG_1161.JPG
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  2. RossB

    RossB Member

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    This is as far as I got with 1 bag of mortar. Everything seems level and secure. The next batch of blocks will require some cutting and then I hope to try actual bricks. Fingers crossed. IMG_1162.JPG
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  3. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    A cricket probably would have saved my neighbor's chimney. Great idea with the metal bars - kind of a snow and ice brake.
  4. cableman

    cableman Feeling the Heat

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    Looks great! Im glad i have a tile friend to help with mine! He floats mud like no tomorrow lol. How bigs that hearth 50, 60"s?
  5. RossB

    RossB Member

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    I think I'll be at 52" square when done
  6. RossB

    RossB Member

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    Spent last night cutting bricks at 22.5 degree angle for my hearth base. I had bought a 14" masonry blade (abrasive disc) for my Milwaukee metal chop saw, but it cuts sloooooooooooooooow. Must have taken me 2 hours to cut 6 bricks. It cuts a perfect angle and leaves a nice clean edge, but it takes forever and I blew the circuit breaker every time I got a little anxious and tried to apply some actual force to the cut. I'm not willing to buy a 14" diamond blade. I'm hoping to have all my bricks cut for the base by tonight so I can get back to mortar on Friday.
  7. RossB

    RossB Member

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    OK...if you're going to cut bricks or blocks, and you're going to use a circular saw, please buy the diamond/steel blade. You cannot believe the difference between using an abrasive cut-off type of blade vs. the steel/diamond blade. The diamond blades cut through like a hot knife through butter...no struggle...no force...no wiggling around as you try to follow the line...just smooth, clean cuts. I used one blade in my 7 1/4 saw to cut cinder blocks and I was so impressed that I bit the bullet and bought a 14" blade for my chop saw. Bricks don't stand a chance now. It's like cutting pine 2x4s.

    So anyhow...back to the project...

    You may recall that the room initially looked like this...lots of tongue and groove pine and 3 skylights

    IMG_1052.JPG

    The skylights came out because they leaked occassionally and, facing south, they just let in too much light...the glare on the television was irritating and the sun beating on my bald head was never enjoyable. I also need to relocate the baseboard heating to accommodate the increased floor height.
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  8. RossB

    RossB Member

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    I tore out half of the ceiling when I removed the skylights. That way I can use 16' boards to fill it back in and I can salvage some boards to patch the walls where I removed the slider and the window. Otherwise, it's impossible to match up the 20 year old boards that were originally polyurethaned and then aged in the sun.

    IMG_1177.JPG

    We decided to pain the ceiling, but since the original half had a shiny coating of poly on it, I'd hae to sand the entire thing...:suck:
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  9. RossB

    RossB Member

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    This weekend the ceiling went back up and I started priming the original boards...

    IMG_1188.JPG
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  10. RossB

    RossB Member

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    Once the ceiling went up, I started cutting up bricks and dry fitting my hearth...focusing on symmetry as you look at it from the front.


    IMG_1182.JPG
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  11. RossB

    RossB Member

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    Time for some mortar. I started off with the cinder blocks which went together pretty well with some mitred cuts.

    IMG_1194.JPG
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  12. cableman

    cableman Feeling the Heat

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    My old heath was brick and blue stone on top, the guy filled under the blue stone with sand, i took out like 12 spackle buckets of sand! You bricking the back also?
  13. RossB

    RossB Member

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    Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures for the next phase. Mostly because it was an abject failure and my hands were far too coated in mortar to even attempt to use a camera. I was probably cursing a lot too. The short story is that while riding high on my success with the cinder blocks, I decided to take a crack at the first 3 courses of brick. It was a train wreck. I couldn't get the right consistency to "butter" the ends of the brick and I was having a hell of a time filling all the spaces between the bricks. My initial bed or mortar was too thin so by the time I got the 3rd course in place, it was half an inch shorter than the cinder blocks. I made a mess of the brick faces and it wasn't exactly level either. It was a mess. I spent a few minutes trying to figure out if I couldsalvage my work and then I conceded failure and tore it all out...doing my best to salvage as many bricks as possible in the meantime. It's my own fault. I knew I should practice before attempting the real thing, but my childhood Lego building skills made me arrogant...I was flying high on wings made of Jenga blocks...and I crashed and burned.

    So back to YouTube videos and I'll try again. It's a good thing that bricks are relatively cheap.
  14. RossB

    RossB Member

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    Yes sir! I've got 350 bricks stacked up in the room; just waiting for me to figure out how to lay them. Incidentally, there's a good reason why shaking a brick mason's hand is a lot like slamming your hand in a car door. Forget the fact that they're carrying brick and stone around all day...just work the trowel for a couple hours and your forearms start to feel like Popeye's. This is physical work.
  15. cableman

    cableman Feeling the Heat

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    Ya i suck a masonry! I was good a ripping it down lol
    Keep up the good work!
  16. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    Do you think you will be needing that electric baseboard ever again? :)
  17. RossB

    RossB Member

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    It's hot water, but I do expect that we'll still be using it at some point. I'm not sure how often the stove will be running and the room gets pretty cold with no heat at all. If nothing else, I'll need it during the early winter/late spring seasons to maintain the room. I may get too lazy to burn wood some day. Besides, I already have the baseboard so there's no cost to reinstalling it. I'll spray paint it brown and sweat it back in place.
  18. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Man, if I only had a dollar for every time I did that. I feel like the king of do-overs sometimes. Don't let it bother you - you're making great progress IMHO....

    That sanding must have been a b*tch - but your refinished ceiling is going to look nice - the primed area kinda reminds me of my stove room ceiling (a "blue stain" t&g pine with white pickle stain finish). The notion of sanding a ceiling is exactly why I'm not putting a clear coat on my current project (plywood ceiling with battens) - I'm good with "rustic" and I plan to re-stain / re-paint it in the next few years.
  19. RossB

    RossB Member

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    Sanding poly off of a ceiling is definitely high up there on my list of sucky things I've done...second only to cutting through an overhead sewer line that was full or emptying the bag house dust collector for a zinc arc spray process. ( :
  20. RossB

    RossB Member

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    Ceiling is primed and painting is under way...not so sure about the color though...I'm hoping it will look better with crown mouldings, ceiling fans, and a couple faux beams. DSC06093.JPG .

    It's a kind of sand/tan color. It's tough finding something to go with the pine boards on the wall.
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  21. RossB

    RossB Member

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    Today I'm working on the Outside Air Kit for the stove.

    DSC06096.JPG

    DSC06097.JPG DSC06098.JPG
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  22. RossB

    RossB Member

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    I'm not a brick mason, but I play one on the Internet...

    IMG_1200.JPG IMG_1201.JPG
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  23. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    That looks awesome! Are you putting anything on top of the brick/blocks?
  24. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

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    The bricks look great. What did you use to color the mortar?
  25. RossB

    RossB Member

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    IMG_1218.JPG

    Just picked up the slab of bluestone today...fresh from a quarry in Pennsylvania...now I just need a few friends to help carry it into the house and drop it into place.

    IMG_1218.JPG
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
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