Building My Own Fireplace

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Tango, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Can someone advise me on a very good book to help me learn to work with stone? I will need to build my own fireplace before winter and need to get a move on it now. I already have the insert and flue liners so I don't want to go with a woodstove unless I find I can't build it myself. Thanks :)
     
  2. FolioMark

    FolioMark In Remembrance

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    Tango: I found these books in our library and they all seemed pretty useful. The best one with step by step instructions was:

    Building A Fireplace: Step-by-step Instructions For Contemporary To Classic Styles by Bernd Grutzmacher

    These all looked pretty good. Charles Long and his wife have written a lot about amateur stone building.

    # The Stonebuilder's Primer: A Step-By-Step Guide for Owner-Builders by Charles K. Long
    # Building with Stone by Charles McRaven

    You might want to consider a masonry stove instead of a fireplace. Check out this book and website which is full of how to pictures of all kinds:

    # The Book of Masonry Stoves: Rediscovering an Old Way of Warming by David Lyle

    http://mha-net.org/ Make sure you look at the projects page.
     

  3. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Mark! Thats the second recommendation for Charles McRaven I have gotten so that is a getter. I also came across -once more- Helen and Scott Nearing's The Simple Life. Seems I keep bumping into the Nearings :) I'm going to start collecting stone today and will look into the masonry stove but my log wall already has a hole in it. But I 've heard good things about masonry stoves so if I can do one, I may. Thanks again:)
     
  4. FolioMark

    FolioMark In Remembrance

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    Most masonry stoves are built in the middle of the house but you could put some french doors in that big hole in the wall and build a stove instead.

    The Nearings are quite well known and I recommend their books. I read them years ago and found their slip form method of stone building very interesting and fairly simple to do if you had the time, muscle and basic materials.

    Good luck with your projects. :)
     
  5. Farmer Willy

    Farmer Willy Well-Known Member Supporter

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  6. Gercarson

    Gercarson Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Let us know how it goes - I would love to hear about the progress and maybe even slip in a photo of your handiwork. Is Tennessee really better than Florida?
     
  7. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    This is more than you asked for Gercarson but you know, I had a beautiful place in Florida. It was part of the Kissimmee Prairie of south central Florida where Saw Palmetto reigned and alligators played. It was gorgeous and I loved it. But within four years land prices sky rocketed and I could no longer afford anything but my 7.5 acres - not all in a perfect square. Additionally, in the short time I was there I stopped seeing deer and the gopher tortoises declined tremendously. People boasted about killing the native pygmy rattlers and yellow ratsnakes like it was something to be proud of. Recreational weekenders that had heard of the place or had bought 1.25 parcels in tax sales took to noise-making and mudding. Mud trucks got stuck on my private property. So many people were riding their ATV's there on weekends the Sheriff's Office staked it out Friday through Sunday. It was like living in the middle of a race track for three days out of the week. People were moving in everyday, with their minivans (that got stuck in the sugar sand roads everyday) and their suburban mindsets.

    Tennessee is beautiful too. I have woods, creeks, springs, see deer, quail, coyotes, turkey, box turtles, copperheads, and ratsnakes. There are hills! It is cooler at night and just as hot and humid during the day in summer. I have much more land and much less debt. It isn't perfect but nowhere is perfect. Neighbors recently got ATV's :( I would go back to Florida in a heartbeat. I grew up in south Florida and my children were born there. All of myfamily still lives there- in the 'burbs. But as long as the migration of snowbirds remains and its destruction continues so rampantly, I will remain in my newfound paradise. Florida had its day. I was fortunate to have grown up in a time where one could still find oysters in the Intercoastal and the Keys were very much like Flipper showed it to us as kids. IMO that many people living in that much heat and humidity is a tragedy in the making.
     
  8. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Excellent references thank you! :)
     
  9. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    I checked out the stone working 'bibles' from interlibrary loan at the library, and have read thru the MHA site for over a year...

    Lots of good advice... the mha site has every imaginable idea/style you'd ever want.

    I'm building a stone house right now. And, nothing beats actually doing it. The main thing is overlapping stones, so vertical seams don't pass from one layer to the next. Keep grout lines cleaned...wait too long and it's chiseling time. A mixer sure makes things go faster. I'd lain stone, in small batches over the years... before I started on the walls that'd be seen everyday, decided to work out the 'kink's' on a storm cellar/basement/frankensteins dungeon... so by the time I get to the good stuff... I'd have my technique down... some sections in the basement are truly ugly>>>but functional...

    My advice, go slow, and if lifting large stones, be careful of your back... two differing techniques...a massive stone and mortar system, or a stone wall on a wood frame, extruded metal, mortar buttered on the metal to hold the stone in place...

    good luck
     
  10. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Texican. I have an electric cenemt mixer :dance: one of the few things I kept from my previous life on grid. I can connect it to the generator :) Thanks also for the advice of starting elsewhere and small. I have been wanting to build a solar oven and an outdoor fireplace so I will start with those two and see how my "technique" develops. I hope I don't mortar a goat or dog in my first practices :)