Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Fireplace Remodel Day Fifteen

Finally it's Saturday! Time to get serious! First things first - we installed a new dust barrier in the hallway; this will enable us to generate dust at the lightwell and around the shoe rack without spreading it around the rest of the house....hopefully.

Next up was sanding the recently skimmed drywall to the right of the fireplace and re-filling the low points. 

Same again in the lightwell...

It came out nice:

And...finally back to the reason we're all here: The fireplace!  The top section of the firebox, and the part to which the glass fire doors attach consists of a length of three (3) inch steel angle. It was set into the brickwork that we bashed out on day #1, but without it the firebox is several inches taller than the doors. A set of replacement doors is over $Grand.00, so I had to figure out a way of re-installing the existing piece of steel.

A fair bit of head scratching went into the how to securely attach the steel. Eventually I shelled out a measly 30 bucks for a six inch ferrous-unfriendly blade for the cordless circular saw and chopped the steel down to 42 inches so that it fitted snugly into the top of the firebox. Here it is resting on a couple of scrap pieces of lumber:

After the test-fit, the steel angle was taken down to the workshop and subjected to the drill press which was armed with one of your finest 5/16th drill bits:

I also knocked up a bunch of spacers from some two inch wide steel bar I happened to have kicking around in my welding bay. I drilled the spacers out to 7/16ths to give me plenty of wiggle room.

The angle beam was then bolted to the brickwork at the top of the firebox with way more concrete anchors than were necessary.

The "finished look":

The steel was not in place more than ten minutes before we installed some timber forming around the firebox to support the thin set mortar.

It took us a couple of tries to get the consistency right, and then the brickwork surrounding the firebox was covered with the first layer of thin set. It will take several layers, but untimely we are aiming for a completely flat wall that we can (easily) tile over.

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