samedi 7 juillet 2018

Fireplace stage 2

I last worked on the fireplace in 2008, when I discovered the volcanic cill that rears up like a wave out of the floor. The micro granite is incredibly hard and last time after " days of hammering, chiselling and disc cutting I conceded partial defeat and enclosed the remaining rock in a 15cm high timber surround and filled the rest with concrete.

The floor in the living room (the original part of the house which I didn't build) has no concrete slab beneath, just clay and rock - so slowly it is rotting at the edges. Re building the floor needs to start with the fireplace where damp and water seep in, prevented from downward progress by the cill.

I can't afford to hire a compressor and pneumatic drill, so the hammering and chiselling re-commenced. No room to properly swing the sledge hammer so 3 more days of seemingly fruitless effort were required. I can appreciate why convicts were sent to break stones with sledge hammers - nothing is more soul destroying. Despite hours of bashing the same piece of rock with all your might, there are sparks, some splinters of rock and the constant rebound of the sledge.

Eventually of course it succumbed, little by little and the height of the hearth after concreting and eventually tiling will be just 4cm.  The hearth is now straight rather than bowed giving us more space in the living room...once I've filled the gap now devoid of floorboards!

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