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Old 06-12-2010, 01:31 AM   #31
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Stone Veneer Firepit


I want to see a fire. Now if you could only make some sort of an oven out of it. Looks great, dorf dude...

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Old 06-20-2010, 02:43 PM   #32
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Sorry for the delay guys, it had been raining a lot here and it finally stopped. Just as the rain stopped though, I got the flu! I'm getting over that now and will hopefully finish this thing up sometime this week. Then I got another small project that I'll be posting up.

Quick Question: Will it be necessary to apply a thin scratch coat before placing the veneer on since the wall is already kindof rough?
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:22 PM   #33
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Opinions needed!

OK, so I probably should have started laying out the pattern a little sooner... it seems as if they purposely manufactured this veneer so that NONE of the sizes will fit together without having to cut them! I managed to get a small section laid out today without cutting... yet... but I need opinions.

Should I try and lay the veneer so that they fit tightly (like the right portion of the pic) or should I allow for a small space between the pieces so that grout/mortar can be added between (like the left portion of the pic)? Also, any opinions on the pattern so far? Good variation? Bad variation?



One plus for laying them with space between is that it will give me more options/freedom in the placement of the pieces since they dont have to be the EXACT same size. Some pieces will lay and will literally be off by only 1/8-1/4" from being tight. Another benefit will be if I have to cut a piece, grout/mortar will help cover and blend the cut end. I'm just not sure which will look best as I've never done this type of thing before. Thanks for any opinions!
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:34 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by eemichael83 View Post
One plus for laying them with space between is that it will give me more options/freedom in the placement of the pieces since they dont have to be the EXACT same size. Some pieces will lay and will literally be off by only 1/8-1/4" from being tight. Another benefit will be if I have to cut a piece, grout/mortar will help cover and blend the cut end.

Those are all great reasons why I would lay the stone with about a 1/2" joint. Plus, with the outside radius of your firepit, you don't really have an option. If you fit the stone tight at the back, you will end up with a substantial joint no matter what.

Don't be scared to cut the stone with a grinder from the front side, it is done all the time professionally. Just be sure to smear the cut end with mortar to hide the aggregate.

BTW, there are very few stones/patterns that are actually modular that wouldn't require cutting to fit in a small area like your's. The few that are out there would be too big for your proect anyways. Don't be second guessing your stone selection, it will look fine, unless of course you end up going with the black grout..............
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:43 PM   #35
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Made a tad more progress today. I laid out the pattern that will cover about half of the pit (~8'x1.5'). All I'll need to do, is trim a few of the tops and bottoms of some of the pieces with the diamond blade as they are applied.



I should hopefully be able to get this applied tomorrow. I also picked up a 75# bag of 'Light Buff' Brixment B-10 mortar for use on the veneer and as a grout. While I was there, I checked out the brown flagstone that they just got in. I was impressed! It has a nice marbling look with some varying swirls and shades... I think it will look very nice once I lay it :D
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Old 06-22-2010, 11:14 PM   #36
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...more progress...looking good!

I like the way the layout looks as you're doing it, and I'm intently listening to what jomama says in case I end up doing anything like this in future.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:33 PM   #37
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I feel it necessary to say that I have a whole new respect for what masons do! This is some hard work! Well here's the progress I made today:


Not nearly as much as I'd hoped to get done, but after dragging all the tools and materials out, and then having to clean up afterwards, I only had about 2 hours worth of work put toward it after my day job. I think part of what took so long was making sure that the first few stones in place were 'perfectly' level so that all the work from then on would be right. The biggest reason, though, was my insecurity with the work. By this I mean that I keep fearing that the stones are not going to hold. I had a similar fear when building the block wall, and then again with the firebrick and those both came out very strong. I just can't help but be unsure about my work since I've got literally zero experience with it.

Other notes about the work... before applying the stones, I wet them and the block that they were applied to so that the block wouldn't suck out all the moisture of the mortar too quickly and it could cure properly. I also found that when applying them, it helped to 'wiggle' them just a bit as I pressed them against the wall... once they were in place, I continued to press VERY firmly for a good 10 seconds or so. If I did this, they seemed to 'bond'/hold much better. Before I figured this out, I had one stone that would move pretty easily even after it had set for about an hour and a half... I had to pull it and the stone above it, scrape off all the half dry mortar and reapply with the method above... it seems to be holding MUCH better than before. I guess I'll have a better idea of how well my work will hold tomorrow after they've had time to set.

One other thing is that as I applied the stones, I tried to keep the space between them free of mortar so that it will be easier to apply the mortar/grout later. I figured if I tried to apply stones AND work the joints at the same time, I wouldn't leave myself enough time for tooling them later and they might set before I had time to clean them and make them 'pretty'. So I'll just apply the mortar between the stones on a day when I have a full day, and I can let if set partially and then tool before it gets dark. Hopefully this is a good way of going about it. <fingers crossed> Oh and I kept the spacing a little tighter than 1/2", hopefully that wont bite me in the rear later when trying to squeeze mortar in there.

Last edited by eemichael83; 06-23-2010 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:48 PM   #38
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More progress (just under 1/2 way with the veneer)...





I sat the caps on top of the pit to see what they might look like... I think I may be returning them and trying to use the same flagstone that will be used for the 'patio' also for the caps. Reason being, the caps have a completely un-natural finish. The color matches the stone veneer fairly well, but every one of the 12"x14" caps has diagonal lines across them with the color. Kinda hard to explain but I'll post up a pic of them later.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:13 AM   #39
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That looks really nice... You are doing a Great job!!!
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Old 07-03-2010, 03:50 PM   #40
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Very nice!!
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:07 PM   #41
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OK, finally finished up with the veneer. Just have to fill it with the grout. Next up will be purchasing the flagstone for the caps and patio area.




^The small gaps under some of the stones (to make level) will be covered later with the 2" thick flagstone.

This is the backside where everything met. I was a little worried about how the pieces were going to work out once the two sides came together, but I think they came together pretty well. The only part I'm not thrilled about are the 2 'L' shaped pieces that I cut. If I hadnt cut them that way, I feel like the pieces would have been too small though. The top 'L' shaped piece probably won't even be visible when the cap is on, but the other small 'L' piece will be.



And here are the completely un-natural looking caps that I will likely be returning.



I also purchased 5 of the wood adirondack chairs to go around it
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:34 PM   #42
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Very nice work Michael!

I'm, looking forward to it grouted, as well as with the flagstone caps.

Just a note, you're going to spend a lot of time fitting flagstone on that thing, so be warned.....


One other thing, I think you need to do something about propping the one section of railing on the deck, it's drawing attention away fron your firepit......
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:30 PM   #43
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Worked on it for a few hours today, got about 1/3 of it grouted and tooled. Its more difficult to get the mortar through the grout bag than I thought it would be. I started to get the hang of it though. The grout really makes a big difference... to show this, I took the pic so that ungrouted is on the left half and grouted is on the right half.



I also sprayed some round up on the weeds that started to grow in the area and cleaned up the unused stones. I'm really thinking I'll have the flagstone next week. I also received a 12" x 1/2" masonry bit to drill a hole through the wall on the low side for drainage.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:50 PM   #44
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It's looking great! Can't wait to see it finished.
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Old 07-11-2010, 12:49 AM   #45
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Mix the motar thinner. It should flow out like Cream of Wheat. Let it sit for a little while then tool it in. Looking good, . dorf dude...

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Last edited by shumakerscott; 07-11-2010 at 12:52 AM.
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