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Please help with design/build

Posted by bigbob7777 (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 8, 11 at 12:51

Hi all,

I have searched everywhere and can't figure this out. I want to build an outdoor fireplace out of cinderblock, with a stucco exterior.

My question is this: I build the 3 walls for the firebox (not a pre-made insert). Now I want to bridge the top/front (no brick, only cinderblock). How do I cover the top of the firebox with cinderblock and have it hold up under the weight of additional blocks on top for the chimney?

I understand I can build a "form" and lay the blocks on top of the form; then remove the form. However, will the blocks stay up on their own? How about the weight of additional block above? These will NOT be supported by the walls.

The box will be about 36" wide; which means there will be blocks that are totally suspended over the opening of the firebox - and over the box where the chimney will rise.

I am stumped.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Please help with design/build

I don't really know the answer to your question but will offer the following: I was at the brick yard ordering a bluestone mantel and they had some outdoor fireplaces built in the yard as examples (along with paver walkways, retaining walls, outdoor kitchens). Maybe you could find somewhere that has one built where you could examine it.
Also, my fireplace has a piece of steel (about 1/8" thick) that spans the top of the firebox opening. It was set in the mortar of the brick facade and holds up the weight of the brick above. It's sort of like a steel lintel. Maybe get a piece of 1/4" steel and so the same.


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RE: Please help with design/build

You will require metal reinforcement.
Here is a link to a fireplace project. You'll see a lot of the steps involved in building the fireplace.
You may also want to go to the Rumford fireplace web site.

Link _

Oranje project

From Oranje project


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