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 Post subject: Open fire identification
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:24 pm 
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I've recently bought a Victorian terraced house and have been in the process of doing some minor redecoration and renew in various rooms. In the back room the chimney breast was plastered over leaving just a blank wall. I've toyed with the idea about opening this up, not necessarily to put any sort of fire/ stove in but just a a feature.

I bit the bullet last night an took a hammer to the vent and slowly started to remove the plasterboard. I was expecting to find either a fire place or a void behind the plaster. The plan was depending what was there to either cleaned up the brickwork or if there was just being a void, plaster and paint it.

However, this doesn't look as straight forward on first impressions. Any ideas?


Attachments:
File comment: Metal shelf with ash piled on top. When looking up through the gap, you see right up the chimney as expected.
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DSC_0127.JPG [ 282.11 KiB | Viewed 550 times ]
File comment: Where you see the angled brickwork, there is a slab which I thought was sandstone or something but it feels more like iron. Perhaps some sort of tank? Doesn't echo when hit with a hammer but also doesn't chip like you would expect with stone.
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DSC_0126.JPG [ 379.78 KiB | Viewed 550 times ]
File comment: As you can see, no heath and a load a brick that seem to angle out. There seems to be metal shelf which has a load of ash piled on top.
DSC_0125.JPG
DSC_0125.JPG [ 272.76 KiB | Viewed 550 times ]
DSC_0124.JPG
DSC_0124.JPG [ 181.39 KiB | Viewed 550 times ]
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:56 pm 
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That could be an old cast iron boiler tank, and the plate above would have been to control the flames to draw behind the back boiler to heat the immersion heater, pulled forward to direct flames to the front.



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:05 am 
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theres a conc front hearth in front of the opening, maybe the fire opening had a brick hearth. ci back boilers usuly sat on the hearth. you might be showing a throating plate.
usuly you can take out all the internal stuff anthroating etc an get a free access to the flue.sweep the flue.
if you knock off higher plaster youl probaly see a brick arch.
if you open up more then we can see what youve got an you can see what you might want to do?
is the external chimney breast an stack in good nick



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:34 pm 
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Thanks. Further chipping away hasn't revealed an arch or lintel. Would you expect to find it higher and perhaps the bricks have been a later addition?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:39 pm 
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Here's 2 I opened recently. They were behind plaster and bricked up. The larger one had a back boiler in it which was removed.ImageImage

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:49 pm 
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Thanks. Out of interest, if I was to have the fire open purely as a feature like the photo below. Would I block it off from the top with some wood or plasterboard and have a vent in it?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:19 am 
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Martyn1 wrote:
Thanks. Out of interest, if I was to have the fire open purely as a feature like the photo below. Would I block it off from the top with some wood or plasterboard and have a vent in it?

Image
Yes. Vent for airing the room and board sturdy enough to tolerate any falling debris - exterior ply would be a good start rather than plasterboard, it may need to tolerate moist air.

It's worth checking the chimney in the attic for damp too, unused chimneys can allow damp penetration from rain, I'm getting a cowl fitted to unused pots when my stove flue gets fitted.

Similar to the photos posted earlier my arch was much higher than anticipated, get your hands dirty and feel up the inside of the chimney if you really don't want to remove more material.

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