Fireplace Prep

Mother Nature is making up for the mild, snowless winter by pounding Northeast Ohio this weekend with snow.  There is still a lot to be done at the house so no one is really letting the weather hold us up.  Saturday I slated my time to work on the fireplace. I’ve never done any stone work before but I was looking forward to the task.  With all the snow I decided to take the Wrangler; packing it with some tools and a couple more light fixtures to drop off at the house. I swung by Lowes on the way out to the house to pick up some metal lathe. I’d never worked with this material before, but knew it’s pretty nasty stuff.  Basically welded metal that comes in sheet form, it’s sharp as a razor so work gloves are an absolute necessity at all times.  It folds easy, which is exactly what I had to do to the three 2×8 foot sheets I bought, to squeeze them into the Jeep.







Arriving at the house, I parked and got to work unloading everything.  I was working solo so I’d be getting the walk through via phone to my brother if I had questions.  First order of business was to get the fireplace covered in the metal lathe. The rough framing was covered with 1/2 inch OSB previously.  Upon further examination of the Quadrafire EDGE60 I tried to figure out what the three bent steel trim pieces were for.  Not surprisingly we’d taken the installation manual home so I had to call the wife and she talked me through it.  The fireplace needs 1.25″ of air space between the door front and the protruding stone, so these metal flanges will provide just that.  I took a marker and plotted out where the flanges would go.  No need to lathe these areas.

Marking out the space for the metal flange around the Studio front of our EDGE60. These areas shouldn't get metal lathe.










I started by cutting 13″ wide strips for the sides.  Using regular tin snips it was fairly easy to cut the mesh to size. It’s imperitive to wear work gloves; like I said, it’s razor sharp.  I then tacked it up on top of the OSB using simple roofing nails; trying to hit studs as best I could, and nailing into just the OSB if I had no other choice.  I’m pretty sure it’s important to keep it all flat against the plywood.  It was slow going, but really just because I don’t work very quickly and take lots of breaks.

Metal lathe on fireplace, attached using roofing nails.

The direction of the lathe doesn’t matter.  I basically worked from top to bottom; flattening out the lathe where I’d bent it to fit into the Jeep.  At the corners I hammered it so it wouldn’t stick out too far.  Notching it or removing wires before or after installation is super easy with a pair of pointy tin stips.

Using a hammer to knock down the corners of the metal lathe.

After all the wire mesh was on the fireplace, I noticed the fireplace pitches or leans forward a fair bit.  It was out about 5/8″ at the top vs. 1/4″ at the bottom.  This meant the metal trim pieces for the EDGE60 fireplace couldn’t just be fastened to the plywood.  I’d have to fir them out a fair bit.  I cut and mounted a wood block for the top flange spacer.  The two side flanges would require an angled shim, about 35″ long.  I’d leave those two for more skilled hands on Monday.  I cut the upper shim and screwed it to the plywood.  I then marked and fastened the steel spacer flange.  Predrilling the holes in the wood assured nothing split when I drilled in the fasteners.

Wood spacer above fireplace for mounting the 1.25" metal flange to.


Flange attached to spacer. We'll just have to notch the stone work around all this mess to make it all look pretty.

That’s about all I got accomplished.  I continue on with the first skim coat and then the stone eventually later this week hopefully. 
Beyond that, we cleaned up some more today, Sunday.  Trying to get everyone to migrate into the studio to work so we can control the mess.  The painters continue to fill nail holes and sand.  Monday should start a very busy week.  Christine and I are trying to wrap up ordering stuff like the towel bars and door knobs.  One interesting thing I saw the other day was it looks like the HVAC guys did install the geothermal loop for our hybrid heating and cooling system.  I didn’t take a pic but there are two new pipes protruding through my formerly pristine Superior foundation walls.  Exciting.
Anyway, here are some more pics.  As always, more to come.

The wife calls this my "Caveman iPad". Hey, all I had was a piece of drywall to write down electrical notes.


Master bath cabinets are in.


Jeep in snow

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