Sunday, 27 January 2008

Infuriating arch

So, building an arch should be really easy if you plan it right. So, I mocked it all up on fibre board, marked all the bricks, cut it to size using a saw, and went to use the cut board as a prop to hold all the bricks in place. Did it work? No.After I couldn't get the last brick to fit (three assembly-disassembly cycles, two hours work...) I lowered my support by about 1/2 an inch, then used bits of wood to hold everything in place. Jamming lots of broken brick into the big mortar gaps helped too. The arch itself took 4h, and was the single most infuriating bit of building I've ever done.The arch is 1/2 a brick wide, and is separated from the brick ledge behing it by a gap of 1/2 inch, which I'll fill with an insulator later on. The ledge behind will support the chimney, and sits on two sections of angle iron which rest on the surrounding brickwork. A second angle iron supported ledge sits about 8 inches behind this first ledge, which you can see best from behind...
That gap in the middle will form the chimney, hopefully. I'll fill the second ledge in next time.
You can see the front ledge is lower - hopefully this will encourage the smoke to go up the chimney, not out the front arch. The angle iron was the only recycled bit here - from an old bed frame which I salvaged a few lengths from. All that surrounding brickwork will vanish soon, so I've only bothered cleaning up the bricks on the front.

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