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Old 06-29-2008, 03:00 PM  
daleslad
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Default suggestions for fireplace

Hi, I would like to improve the looks of the fireplace in my cabin the mortar is falling out and the rocks are smoke damaged,
I have tried cleaning the rocks but it didn't do a very good job.
What I would like to do is to remove the mortar, get rid of those metal ventilators in the corner.
Try removing the rocks and turning them around if the other side is clean and then putting them back and re-mortaring them.

Would also like to build a few extra rocks inside so that it eliminates the spaces on each side of the stove.
I would like to do this without removing the stove.

I'm open for any suggestions.

I have attached a couple of photos of the fireplace.
One shows how it is now with the ventilators and the second one with a bit of fiddling in Photoshop shows what I would like to do with some extra rock



old-fireplace.jpg   fireplace-new.jpg  
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:42 AM  
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Nice job with Photoshop.

The stove is an add-on to a wood burning fireplace. I think the smoky rocks look fine and do not detract from the look. Its part of the charm. There are specially made cleaners for the discoloration.

Also - No way would you have good success in turning around the rocks. Filling in the vents may be easy enough but what if someone wanted to convert back to a traditional fireplace? They would loose the airflow that those vents supply (Albeit very limited in my experience). Same goes with filling in behind the stove.

If you really wanted new faces where you have dirty rocks, fill in the vents and fill in behind the stove...

I would either demolish the thing and start over or I would apply lath and a stone veneer. Either of those would involve removing the stove to do the work. Removing the stove should be relatively easy. It is very heavy though, could be 500lbs.

I'm not sure this qualifies as a DIY project regardless unless you have masonry experience.



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Old 06-30-2008, 08:32 AM  
Daryl in Nanoose
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As mentioed there are special cleaners for the smoke damage and turning the rocks around wouldn't work.
Is there fans behind those vents or just fresh air? You need a little fresh air coming in for the stove but to much defeats the purpose. If you do fill them in then I would incorpriate a little rock mantle shelf on each one ( not all the way across) but like I said you need a little fresh air coming in.

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Old 06-30-2008, 11:11 AM  
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Well thanks guys for the advice , not what I wanted to hear though. It raises a whole bunch more questions.
I did use the special cleaning stuff for smoke damaged bricks and it did remove a lot of the damage but I couldn't budge what you see left there.

I'm curious though as to why I can't turn the rocks around ?
Also why I need the ventilators now that the chimney is no longer used , by the way Daryl there are no fans inside
I didn't mean to entirely close in the fireplace opening just put another column of rocks on either side to make it look like it was closed.
There would still be some airflow that is if the chimney is not sealed around the top of the pipe from the stove.
Daryl were you thinking of the rock mantle for decorative purposes.

Handyguys converting back to a traditional fireplace would not be an issue. I intend it to stay just like it is and it will not be sold at least not by me. Actually the way the political climate is out here in this loony state I wouldn't be surprised if open fireplaces would be declared illegal in the next 5 or 10 years. They are already clamping down on burning wood.
I am not about to remove the stove so whatever I do will have to be with the stove in place.
Thanks again for the help.

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Old 07-01-2008, 05:32 AM  
Daryl in Nanoose
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I must of been blind as I did not even notice the wood mantle. Scratch that idea. The problem with flipping them over is all the adhesive that will be on the back.

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Old 07-01-2008, 01:07 PM  
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I guess that could be the case Daryl but I'm not sure just how it was constructed until I can take one of the rocks out.
I was thinking (hoping) that the inside of the chimney would have been constructed with regular fire bricks and that the rocks were just a fascia.
Just looking at the rocks near the bottom they look to be about 6 inches deep. I am going up to the cabin for the 4th of July and if I get a chance I will try to remove a one near the mantle shelf to see what I have.



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