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Old fireplace/chimney are a mess! Help!

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  • FreeBearFreeBear Forumite
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    Btw, is the lintel strong enough to attach an oak fascia to it, rather than replacing it with an oak beam mantel?

    Do not go replacing the lintel with an oak beam. One, the work would need to be approved by building control (as would the stove installation). Two, any combustible material must be at least three times the diameter of the flue away from an uninsulated flue. So if your liner is 150mm dia. the oak beam would need to be a minimum 450mm away. Mounting an oak fascia to the lintel would be OK.
    Her courage will change the world.

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  • Ahhh good call, FreeBear. Thanks! I'm glad I'm the type to check these things first.

    Did some more work today. My arms and hands are dead. Wish I had £1 for every strike of the cold or bolster chisel with my lump hammer! And some of that old cement rendering beneath the plaster does not want to move!

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    I take it that slanted infill crap isn't the gather, especially since it's below the main lintel right? It can all just come out?

    I have no idea what this molten metal crap is wedged into the right edge of the lintel

    mEjtLsU.jpg

    And I'm alarmed at how thin the lintel is. I thought it would be twice the width of a brick, but it's like 2/3 the width of a single brick!! :eek:

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  • pmartin86pmartin86 Forumite
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    Freebears advice has been excellent and I wont even try to add to or contradict that advice, but you mentioned a dead arm/hand from the bolster/chisel - if your tacking a house renovation, quot that now and invest in a decent SDS Hammer/Chisel drill - I've done up an 1930s house and I swear to god after doing half a room by hand it was the best £200~ I've ever spent!
  • pmartin86 wrote: »
    Freebears advice has been excellent and I wont even try to add to or contradict that advice, but you mentioned a dead arm/hand from the bolster/chisel - if your tacking a house renovation, quot that now and invest in a decent SDS Hammer/Chisel drill - I've done up an 1930s house and I swear to god after doing half a room by hand it was the best £200~ I've ever spent!

    Thanks for the advice.

    Funnily enough I was thinking I probably needed one because I tried using my normal Ryobi drill with masonry bit and hammer action to help get through the old mortarted joints of the bricks, and it barely got an inch into it.

    I was also thinking of getting an angle grinder!
  • FreeBearFreeBear Forumite
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    The gather will start around where the lintel is. The sloping section that is currently exposed is infill from when there was an open fire. It can be safely removed. As for the lump of concrete you have there, I'd be tempted to remove it and install a new lintel the full width of the chimney breast - You would want a minimum of 150mm of supporting brickwork either side, so to go a full brick width saves on trimming them down.

    The glob of metal is possibly lead hammered in and originally used to fix a surround or mantle to.
    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
  • FreeBear wrote: »
    The gather will start around where the lintel is. The sloping section that is currently exposed is infill from when there was an open fire. It can be safely removed. As for the lump of concrete you have there, I'd be tempted to remove it and install a new lintel the full width of the chimney breast - You would want a minimum of 150mm of supporting brickwork either side, so to go a full brick width saves on trimming them down.

    The glob of metal is possibly lead hammered in and originally used to fix a surround or mantle to.

    Thanks FB!

    So it’s to the BCO then to get approval to fit a new lintel ?

    I seem to have got my lengths, widths, etc. mixed up. By how thin the lintel is I now know I meant the depth is very thin.

    But the width is actually thin? So replace it with one that spans the full width of the fireplace? And it does not need brickwork either side of it?

    Also, regarding SDS drills, I was looking at this Bosch one.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007P15NU4/

    Why is the 110v more expensive than the 240v? Wouldn’t the 240v be more powerful?
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    A 110v drill is a professional tool, only usable with a suitable step-down transformer. They don't always cost more, but if they do, it'll probably be because there aren't the volume sales that standard tools achieve.


    Don't forget you need different bits for a SDS drill.
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  • FreeBearFreeBear Forumite
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    So it’s to the BCO then to get approval to fit a new lintel ?

    I seem to have got my lengths, widths, etc. mixed up. By how thin the lintel is I now know I meant the depth is very thin.

    But the width is actually thin? So replace it with one that spans the full width of the fireplace? And it does not need brickwork either side of it?

    If the opening is say, 900mm wide, you have 200mm of supporting brickwork each side for a total width of 1300mm. The existing lintel is supported by approx 100mm of brickwork either side - Rule of thumb for lintels is 150mm of support either end. I'd be tempted to knock out a brick either side, remove the existing lintel and fit a 65mm x 100mm x 1500mm reinforced precast concrete lintel (cheaper sources available) and cut to length. Depending on the state of the brickwork above, an acro and strong boy may be needed when removing the old lintel.

    When the stove is fitted, building control will sign off the work which will include the lintel, If you use a HETAS registered installer, they will self certify the work and do all the BCO paperwork for you.
    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
  • edited 15 August 2019 at 12:14AM
    GloriousEuropaGloriousEuropa Forumite
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    edited 15 August 2019 at 12:14AM
    What a day. Never been so exhausted and aching in a long time. Really went for it today and removed the lot, as well as clean up with 10+ rubble sacks.

    I went for the advice and got an SDS drill and without it I don't know what I'd have done.

    Got this monster

    gPszqIb.jpg

    Here it was at the midway point of removing everything. You can see the streak lines where the chisel went through the old cement render.


    H0Zej7Y.jpg


    I don't know how I'm going to get rid of what's left because it is like diamond. I guess I just painstakingly chisel by hand bit by tiny bit?


    b6dJoQE.jpg


    As you can see I attempted to clean the fireplace with a scrubbing brush and soapy water, but it hardly made a dent and just smeared black soot everywhere.

    It was at that point I was just too worn out and called it a day.

    Anyway, FreeBear, sorry if I'm being an idiot and misunderstanding your idea, but do you essentially mean have a new lintel like this?


    yP7t8IR.jpg


    Edit:

    And sorry to ask too many questions, but is that perfectly square hole in the left fireplace left by the old back boiler pipework and infill being removed, perfectly fine to fill back in with some decent bricks? Do I need a special heat proof mortar?

    Added more pics for clarity

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  • FreeBearFreeBear Forumite
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    Anyway, FreeBear, sorry if I'm being an idiot and misunderstanding your idea, but do you essentially mean have a new lintel like this?


    And sorry to ask too many questions, but is that perfectly square hole in the left fireplace left by the old back boiler pipework and infill being removed, perfectly fine to fill back in with some decent bricks? Do I need a special heat proof mortar?


    A 65mm x 100mm x <how ever wide the chimney breast is> would be just one brick high. But yes, most of what you have outlined in red would be replaced by a new concrete beam. In the process, you'll gain another 75mm or so in height on the opening.

    Ordinary cement mortar will be fine for any brickwork you need to do. It won't be subject to extreme heat, nor do you need (or want) a fine finish. That said, if it is an old property, a lime mortar would be more in keeping.
    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
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