fireplace repair


Old 04-24-00, 02:01 PM
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My fireplace and chimney are faced with stone up to the ceiling ( approx. 14'). The bottom stone ( the one across the top of the firebox opening) is one large stone approx. 4.5' across. This stone is cracking and needs to be repaired. I have considering putting a steel plate across the opening below the stone to support it. I will need to cut two slots ( approx. 1/2" wide into the stones at each side of the fireplace opening so that I can slide the plate into them. The question is does this seem like a good solution and how can I cut these slots?
Old 04-24-00, 03:05 PM
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Your idea is ok. The whole idea of a signle stone, "lintel" , is to be able to avoid additional support, in your case the addition of a flat steel bar.

Normally a lintel is made of angle iron. The shelf or bottom of the angle provides a supporting shelf to set the material on, and the top or vertical angle provides flexural stiffness and strenght so the bar does not sag over time.

Cutting a notch to slide in a piece of flat bar can be done using a large diamond saw, or you can jackhammer out some of the surround and drop in a piece of angle iron.

If you are concerned with being traditional, use a new single stone lintel piece. Take out some of the surround over the openning and place your new lintel stone instead of just a piece of steel. It will look better, but it may cost you more money.

You can take out the support and some of the surround if you are careful and if the overall surround is sturdy and of sound material. Beware of taking out too much of the surround though, it could weaken it.

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