So I got my act together and went full speed ahead on the fireplace. The feeling in the air has shifted to a feeling of fall and the daylight hours are getting fewer so it is time to get the summer project done while it is still summer. With the stone work complete it was time to move onto the cap stones and stucco.

Swapped a 10″ masonary blade onto my chop saw, it sliced the stone like butter.

I wanted to break up the lines of the fireplace so I opted to separate the stone from the stucco with a line of cap stones. They are not intended to be a mantel they are simply there to help add another texture, color, and dimension. The cap stones were cut and mortared into place with the same technique as the lower stone.

The color and texture worked out well considering my experience.

It was time to then see what I could accomplish with the stucco. I have respect for the trades’ people that can handle mortar and lay that stuff on like its art. To watch me trowel the stuff on is like sitting through a very bad live comedy show, it’s rather awkward. However by the time I was done I had developed a bit of a wrist flip technique and felt more at home with the direction the mortar wanted to be handled. The finish texture was one that I did not choose but instead it was the one that chose me. As finishing texture techniques take time to master the one that I ended up using was the one that seemed to flow from my trowel movements. I was able to gain consistency and in the end I think the texture lends itself well to the project.

Fired up the plasma torch to slice up the 4 x 8 sheet of 10 gauge.

Ring rolled and welded the hoop shut that will be used to prevent water from entering into the fireplace structure.

The stucco color turned out to be a bit darker then I had first anticipated. This was okay and I liked it however my concern now was that the black pergola and the planned black roof cap would make the top end of the structure have no contrast and would simply look like one big black box. So instead of using metal, which was the initial plan, to trim the sides of the roof I opted to use Smart Trim. The Smart Trim was the same trim I used to finish the gazebo off with. The trim is a composite wood with a manufactured grain in it. It is super tough and durable and if I paint it grey, the same as the gazebo, it won’t only add another dimension to the fireplace but it will also tie it into the rest of the yard. So I pulled the table saw and chop saw out from hiding and sliced up the trim. Once installed the trim got 3 coats of deck paint to make it feel at home with the other colors in the yard.

2 coats of high heat Tremclad brushed on.

Preheating the sandblasted pergola bolts that are being prepped for powder coating.

So I making good progress and I can’t stop now. Off to the metal yard I go to pick up a 4 x 8 sheet of 10 gauge mild steel to be used for the roof. Now that I didn’t need to contend with any sides, thanks to the Smart Trim, the roof could simply be a flat sheet with a hole cut out for the chimney. I am not too concerned about not having a slope on it for drainage as the surface area is small. I ensured that I cut the roof to allow for ½ inch overhang around the perimeter which will act as my drip cap. The chimney cap has a section of flashing that helps seal the chimney to the roof however there is still a chance that water could seep by and drain into the inside of the fireplace structure. To battle the potential water seeping I ring rolled some 1” flat bar and tacked it on the steel roof to allow for water blockage. A bead of silicone sealed it up water tight.

Dusted the mattte black powder onto the bolts.

I opted to go back to my trust worthy Tremclad for the finishing of the roof. Some High Heat Tremclad flat black will work perfectly. As much as I wanted to spray HVLP I opted to brush the paint on therefore recoating it for maintenance purposes in years to come will be easy and keep the finish consistent.

I had previously fabricated the pergola however I still needed to address the hardware that was going to hold the structure onto the front of the fireplace. I sandblasted the heads of some ½” x 2.5” bolts and then gave them a coat of matte black powder coating to ensure a tough, durable finish.

So what is left? Not a whole lot except to piece all the components together. First the pergola gets hoisted up and bolted on from the inside of the fireplace. Next up is the steel roof and it gets screwed down to keep it from shifting. Next on was the chimney flashing and a bead of silicone to help seal it to the roof. And lastly the top chimney cap gets snapped into place. Finished!!! Not a spec of anything left on the list, no undone jobs, no little items that still need to be addressed. Complete! So now what? Light it up, kick back, and relax.

  1. TheFonz says:

    the fireplace came out awesome Gord. I really love the stones and stucco color combo.

    Question on the bolts that you powdercoated, how well did they hold up at installation? Did you have any chipping or marring from bolting them down? As i work on some of my older cars i always wondered how well the powder coat would hold up on fasteners when assembling..

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hey Alfonso, thanks for the comment. I try and stay focused on how well the finished project turned out based on my skill level that was used to complete it. In the case of the fireplace I am happy with the result. The main thing is that my wife is pleased.

      As far as the powder coated bolts go I have the same concern as you. When I coated the pergola bolts I laid the powder on heavy. There was little chance of damaging the coating since the pergola bolts had nuts securing them from the inside of the fireplace therefore I was able to torque up the nuts from behind. All I did to hold the bolt heads was use an open end wrench 1 size up and wrapped the head of the wrench with electrical tape. The coated bolt heads suffered no marring.

      I am not sure I would powder coat bolts that would see a regular amount of wrenching. I live by the “function first” or the “function over fashion” philosophy. The stuff needs to work before it looks good. I know that lots of people coat fasteners however there is definitely a certain amount of care that would be required when wrenching them.

      As always…thanks!

  2. If Miller is on social media they should get a look at that top photo. Cool work and blog!

  3. Scott says:

    Looks “the balls”… coming from WW

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