Monday, 20 April 2009

Here’s hoping we don’t find squirrels again!!

The madness has officially begun... we are renovating again. We love everything about this house... except the living room. At one point, it was two 12' x 12' rooms - as evident from the poor patch job on the walls and ceiling. Now we have a bowling alley, with a horrible & inefficient fireplace in the corner. The white oak strip floor cannot be sanded down any further - basically everything has to go.

Jill and I took off the trim this past weekend. It came off well... but removing the nails was another matter. I am hopeful we can still use some of it.

I have to admit, I took great delight in the thought of removing this fireplace. We have only had a few fires in it (we were advised it is not “safe”) and regardless of how much hard maple we piled into it - it did not give off any heat.

It was a somewhat slow and meticulous deconstruction process... I don’t like to rush things I don’t fully understand (like how a fireplace is built and if it is integrated into the chimney). It was a pretty amazing experience though - and there were several points where I felt a little bad about undoing someones work. That is until Riley noticed this charred flare on the wall...

... the big black spot on the right. There are several big cracks in the plaster, and 3/8" away... dry as a bone lathing. Now I am really glad we took this out!

Roy Orbison - aka Riley, was my big helper with the fireplace - he was a real trooper and I could not help but think back to when I was his age and just starting to help my Dad with this sort of thing. It was a pretty cool moment to see it come full circle. Anyway - the fireplace now sits outside on a tarp waiting to be taken away.

Monday is tentatively set up for tearing out the plaster and lathing ceiling and walls - and if time permits - the floor too. Then we will have a nice clean shell to work with.

Oh, and in case anyone is worried - I am still “working”... I finished this Rosewood A1 panel before Riley and I finished the fireplace.


Blogger Aled said...


How do you do it, a nice thread about renovating the house, and then bang, you just blow us away with a stunning plane just at the end.

Keep em comming



26 April 2009 at 15:29  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Aled,

I am trying to squeeze in the renovating between holes in my schedule. So far - it seems to be working pretty well... I am getting a lot of work done and managing to pick away at the room.

Another post (and plane) to follow shortly.


27 April 2009 at 19:05  
Blogger tomausmichigan said...


My grandpa was a mason and always said a corner fireplace was the most efficient. That said, his chimneys exited the top rear of the firebox, not down at the side like yours. SO glad the house didn't burn down!

Great panel plane!


28 April 2009 at 11:08  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Tom,

I am curious if corner placement changes with inside corner vs outside corner? Or if as you suggested the exit hole has more to do with it. There was a mountain of brick in this fireplace and I would have thought the radiant heat would have been tremendous... but no such luck. All the heat went up, up and away.

thanks for your post.

28 April 2009 at 11:14  
Blogger Albert A Rasch said...


That fire brick might be of some value to a fellow building a forge. You could put it on craigs list or something and get it carted away for free.

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles.
The Range Reviews: Tactical.
Proud Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit.

29 April 2009 at 12:51  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Albert,

Don‘t worry... we recycle everything we possibly can - and in this case, our neighbour took most of the brick for his own fireplace project. Thanks for the advise though - it is good to know people are thinking about “re-use” as opposed to just contributing to the landfill.


29 April 2009 at 12:58  

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