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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:48 pm 
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Hello, first time posting here but long time reader.

I have a chimney breast that for a while I've wanted to take back to brick to expose it, as well as removing the awful fireplace someone had stuck over the top....

Image

I've successfully taken it back to brick and removed the vile pink bricks but it seems that when the brickwork was added, they hacked the original bricks to pieces on the insides, rebuilt the arch and added a a random concrete block (maybe half a lintel...?).

Image


So I'm looking for help with how I can best repair the arch and the insides, remove that concrete block and newer bricks. I would like to add a wooden lintel if possible and rebuild the newer bricks with reclaimed brick to match existing. I don't plan on using it to put a fire in, its more decorative. I am planning to repoint everything as well.

RHS:
Image

Inside RHS:

Image

LHS:

Image

Inside LHS:
Image

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Swarbs


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:18 pm 
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Just a thought but you could look at covering the whole thing in brick slips, there are plenty of images on google.

Mike

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:58 am 
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first thing is to figure out how high and wide you want the opening to be?
most projecting c/breasts are built into the backwall and will give good support but your opening cheeks look v. thin an shakey.
you could insert a bigboy acrow higher up and then saely remove and rebuild stuff below.and remove individual damaged bricks but replace with used bricks not new if the brickwork is goin to be left exposed.
using a wood centre you could form a new brick arch. arches look better.

as said brick slips can be used but the finish look can sometimes be a disapointment.
its best to move the outlets to the back wall an check for any cables or redundant gas pipes that might still be live.
sweep the flue and wire brush fire back bricks.
its good to point because smoke/fumes has escaped from the flue


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:03 am 
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Brick slips are ok to use on fire places. I have done many of them using brick slips and to be honest they looks better than old brick. Just use brick slips from top range and from good supplier.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:21 pm 
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I agree with Wes that the reformation of the existing hole with a brick arch would probably
be what had been there originally and would look best.
As regards the reconstruction, my thoughts are as below:

Firstly, take some more photos, preferably full frontal and square on. Then blow up a couple of prints
which can be drawn on in pen to define the bond etc. of the side piers and the arch.
You also need to establish a source of reclaimed bricks which match the original ones in both size and colour.
Fit a couple of Acrow's with Strong-boys to support the chimney breast.
Remove initially the central blockwork area.
Then working on one side and completing it, the side piers.
Looking at the photos, these side piers look to be one brick wide.
Assuming you are a non-bricklayer, it may prove easier to lay a setting out course
plumbed down from the masonry above. Then when set run a couple of vertical lines which
will define the front corners of the pier.
With both side piers completed you would then position a timber center which would be propped in position.
The brick arch then constructed over it and bricks cut to suit the void above. Then left for 3 days minimum before striking.
These arches were often walled as two courses of 'brick on edge headers'.
Setting out of the arch can be predetermined on the timber centre with pencil marks.
Pointing. On old distressed bricks like these, flush pointed lightly brushed off (use an old 2" paint brush) when semi dry
looks good.

Anyway, good look with it, should look splendid when complete.

Davyp1



For this message the author davyp1 has received gratitude : swarbs
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:40 pm 
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We see this lots of times. Any brickwork that was to be covered in plaster was quite often quite gash in these (it looks like a 30's home) and it is always a disappointment when revealed. I must say that the fireplace you ripped out looked horrid but I feel it would look a whole lot better plastered back up rather than with slips. Fit a nice feature fireplace and it will look stunning. Feature walls are so passée.

Just my view.

DWD

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:23 pm 
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Thanks for the responses and advice all.

So far I've fitted some strong boys and will be removing the broken bricks next weekend once I get to the local brickyard. I've decided not to rebuild the arch as I thought it would be a bit much for someone who's not laid bricks before, so instead i'm going to install a concrete lintel and secure a piece of timber/beam over the front as a shelf. I will probably also build up the back wall in reclaimed brick in front of existing, up to a level where the viewer can't see the top of the new "layer", as the bricks at the back don't even look like bricks anymore!

Cheers,
Swarbs


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:59 pm 
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swarbs wrote:
Thanks for the responses and advice all.

So far I've fitted some strong boys and will be removing the broken bricks next weekend once I get to the local brickyard. I've decided not to rebuild the arch as I thought it would be a bit much for someone who's not laid bricks before, so instead i'm going to install a concrete lintel and secure a piece of timber/beam over the front as a shelf. I will probably also build up the back wall in reclaimed brick in front of existing, up to a level where the viewer can't see the top of the new "layer", as the bricks at the back don't even look like bricks anymore!

Cheers,
Swarbs


Don't be in such a hurry to give up on the arch mate; you can do it. Just need a bit of practice that's all!
Make up a timber Centre )Turning piece) from some 4x1 . Cut two pieces to same length as the width of the opening and measuring 1" up at either end bend the thin lath so it tuches both marks either end and also the top of the 4x1 in the middle. Draw a pencil line to follow the arc made by the lath and cut the timber on this line with a jig-saw. Mark the 2nd piece from the first.
Cut 3 bits of 2x2 to 6" long and nail the two arc former's to these, one each end and one in the middle.
This will now be the centre to sit the bricks on forming the arch.
Now before you go any further set up your arch in the garden and using a few stacked bricks either side (as temporary sides)
mark out your centre allowing say 73mm for each brick and approx 6mm between for the joint. If it don't work bricks first time, open up the joint a little untill it does. Unce you have done that, knock up some mortar (Building sand mixed @ 4:1) and have a go.
Even if it takes all day to get the hang of it, does it really matter.

Your brick skin to cloak the crap bricks is a good idea. If you are tight for room, this could be wallled in 'Queens' (a brick cut down length-ways so it only takes up 50mm when laid instead of 100mm)

Davyp1


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