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The infamous "stacked" fireplace

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  • #46
    Re: The infamous "stacked" fireplace

    Originally posted by GrandTradition
    Nevertheless, there's a fantastic resource in England for fireplace surrounds, mainly antique I think - http://www.westland.co.uk. The best way to understand how to build a wood surround, IMO, is to study the way fine surrounds were constructed in the past
    Gregory-

    Great link...thank you.

    I also agree with your above opinion.

    Welcome.

    Cheers, Wm.

    Comment


    • #47
      Re: The infamous "stacked" fireplace

      Growing up in older homes and being around historic architecture all my life helps me to keep my carpenter from doing the ridiculous. I don't think I'm a snob, but some some consideration for balance and dimension -- with just the one peice as well as how it fits in the whole room/house is important and that doesn't necessarily come with pure carpentry skills alone.

      I try to instruct customers as well.

      But alas, sometimes my assistance falls on deaf ears. Like the woman who wants us to put colonial style doors with the half oval on top on her sixties all rectangular contemporary house.

      We just finished installing kitchen cabinets for a couple that own a late victorian/mission style house. Her husband fashioned himself a "finish carpenter" and I won't get into his carpentry problems, but I will say that corinthian columns, fluted moldings and pediment heads don't belong in that house and look like so much silliness.

      He also proudly showed us the bathroom he finished with a "chair rail" along the wall -- 3" window mould from Home Depot.

      They tore out a built-in in their dining room and had us put in a new prefab cabinet with formica counter and all. The customer wasn't happy when in the end it didn't have the same depth as the old, nor did it look like it truly belonged there.

      I told them all that ahead of time, but they conveniently forgot. I should put in my contract a clause entitled, "When Modifying Historic/Handbuilt Features"

      Also, often we come across the problem that lumber and moldings are not the same dimensions or styles as is available now. Often custom turning or shaping is required and the customers stop breathing when you tell them how much the "real thing" will cost.

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      • #48
        Re: The infamous "stacked" fireplace

        Originally posted by Dick Seibert
        I don't know what's worse, that or the baseboard in a $1.1 million dollar tract house I was in yesterday. The tract house was built in '96 and had 3¼" casing run as baseboard.
        You mean something like this? I get to tear this out in a circa 80's 6600 Square foot house starting Monday. Their seems to be alot of this around town in early 80's homes. Hideous...
        Last edited by davenorthup; 06-15-2007, 12:53 AM.
        “Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.”
        Abraham J. Heschel (Jewish theologian and philosopher, 1907-1972)

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        • #49
          Re: The infamous "stacked" fireplace

          Dave:

          That's exactly it. I thought this was the only one, what are people thinking?
          You will ask what goal the U.S. is pursuing? .... their external debt is huge, and ruining other countries is their customary method. Even ownership of the global 'printing press' is no longer helping. Nor is full control over NATO, None of that if enough for the 21st century colonizers. They don't just need to preserve the dollar as the only global currency but also to get their hands on the economic wealth of other large powers and regions. - Sergei Naryshkin

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          • #50
            Re: The infamous "stacked" fireplace

            You guys! You ain't seen nothin'. Here's just ONE of the better slides from my seminar. Yes. If you're lookin' close, that's a self-return.
            Gary
            Last edited by Gary Katz; 09-09-2007, 08:56 PM.

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            • #51
              Re: The infamous "stacked" fireplace

              Originally posted by Gary Katz
              You guys! You ain't seen nothin'. Here's just ONE of the better slides from my seminar. Yes. If you're lookin' close, that's a self-return.
              Gary

              That is a sweet stain choice however. ;-)


              (Tile looks a bit off perhaps also?)


              Cheers, Wm.

              Comment


              • #52
                Re: The infamous "stacked" fireplace

                Gary:

                The owner of the million-dollar tract house I mentioned told me the name of the production builder who built the houses in the small tract. The corporation is family owned and the founder sits on a very important board in our state. I am not going to reveal any more because the owner could be wrong about the builder.
                You will ask what goal the U.S. is pursuing? .... their external debt is huge, and ruining other countries is their customary method. Even ownership of the global 'printing press' is no longer helping. Nor is full control over NATO, None of that if enough for the 21st century colonizers. They don't just need to preserve the dollar as the only global currency but also to get their hands on the economic wealth of other large powers and regions. - Sergei Naryshkin

                Comment


                • #53
                  Re: The infamous "stacked" fireplace

                  Gary I remember that slide from your class... You have some pretty good ones.

                  Dick I saw some last evening at a New Years Eve party in Anchorage, anyways the stuff in the photo is gone in the morning. I do not understand...
                  “Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.”
                  Abraham J. Heschel (Jewish theologian and philosopher, 1907-1972)

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Re: The infamous "stacked" fireplace

                    Gary,

                    If you have time could you look at this picture and describe how to do it correctly? This is an example of how I tried to do the right thing but my lack of knowledge is the problem. It would help me and it might help the people reading to see what is wrong and suggestions on how to do it better.
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by Trim Carp; 01-02-2006, 04:23 PM.
                    "We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are" -Talmud

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                    • #55
                      Re: The infamous "stacked" fireplace

                      What a good and gutsy question. Encourages me to think that this site isn't so intimidating. I sure never mean to be. I've been on the wrong end of that too many times.

                      TC, I think your design is REALLY close. Here's what's good about it:
                      The lower mantel is broad and heavier than the upper mantel, so it seems to support the upper one, like a tree is thicker and broader at the base. The lower mantel also has a heavier look because of the tall entablature (that whole section of the frieze, crown, and mantelshelf). That's another reason it looks heavier and capable of supporting the upper mantel. The entablature on the upper mantel isn't nearly so tall, which is also as it should be. That gives the 'attic' or upper part of the overmantel a lighter appearance, and it also provides a transition from the upper entablature to the cornice of the room--if you decide to include one. The picture frame in the upper mantel is perfect, a good choice and one seen frequently in Georgian homes. Many of those really cool Georgian mantelpieces didn't even have pilasters or columns in the lower mantel. Instead the lower mantel was supported by brackets or corbels. But they had very cool frames, called architraves, in the upper mantel. If you make that frame with extended corners, with ears (crosette corners), you'll really improve the look.

                      Here's what could be improved: The fluting shouldn't be on both the upper pilasters and the lower ones. In fact, the upper pilasters should be a little smaller, more delicate, than the lower ones, again, like a tree, or the human body. I'd think about putting panels in the lower pilasters and smaller flutes in the upper ones, or wide flutes in the lower ones and delicate reeds in the upper ones. I'd also wouldn't use the same crown in both entablatures. Use something heavy in the bottom, or build it up with a bed mold beneath the crown, then use a different crown in the upper entablature. The endblocks on the pilasters shouldn't be the same size, either, but that would be resolved immediately when you change the pilaster details.

                      Listen, there are a lot of things we Can't do as finish carpenters. I mean, stuff we can't afford to do, like carve guilloche moldings (those entertwined circles), or deep egg-and-dart details (but we can buy that molding and apply it beneath a bed mold!). But if we watch the proportions carefully, our simple designs, borrowed from those we find in historic homes, will succeed. Here's an example. Shot a picture in a home in Pasadena years ago. Built this mantel off the photograph. Some of you have seen this design at JLC shows a few years ago. I decided to do it again for the IBS show. I like building the triglyphs (those little fluted things), and Derrell's been after me for a description of how I made them...so this one's for Derrell. In fact, he can pick it up from the IBS show on Saturday afternoon.

                      Haunt Historic Homes--carpenters appreciate them more than anyone.

                      Gary
                      Last edited by Gary Katz; 09-09-2007, 08:56 PM.

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                      • #56
                        Re: The infamous "stacked" fireplace

                        I know this is the "Finish Carpentry" forum and not the "Finish Stone" forum, but every house I've built in the last 10 years has had stone fireplace surrounds and mantels. Just wondered if I'm the only one seeing that trend. Guess a lot has to do with the architecture, but I'm doing a very traditional house right now with a stone mantel
                        ============================================

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                        • #57
                          Re: The infamous "stacked" fireplace

                          Originally posted by Gary Katz
                          In fact, the upper pilasters should be a little smaller, more delicate, than the lower ones, again, like a tree, or the human body. I'd also wouldn't use the same crown in both entablatures. Use something heavy in the bottom, then use a different crown in the upper entablature.
                          Hey I passed both of these criterions! (Do I get some sort of button perhaps?)

                          Great post Gary, I agree on all points, particularly on the flutes. Actually, my view on flutes is to forget them altogether, especially now that they are available at HD/Lowes made of plastic. I have just never cared for that detail, but that's just opinion.

                          Beyond that Trim Carp (in fact regardless of that), I think you did a great job. Fit & finish (a term borrowed from my early days restoring automobiles) looks excellent....very nice.

                          Also, as Gary already acknowledged, a very admirable inquiry.

                          Rotated photos:

                          http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a54...cture20202.jpg

                          http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a54...glypMantel.jpg

                          Cheers, Wm.
                          Last edited by Wm.Gotthardt; 01-02-2006, 09:42 PM.

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                          • #58
                            Re: The infamous "stacked" fireplace

                            Gary,

                            It was tough to post but I wanted information to do a better job next time more than I am embarased of doing poor work (or putting it in the same post as Wm.'s). I will be doing a cherry one soon, but a TV will go where the mirror is supposed to be. This will help.

                            I have been to a couple of JLC shows and know the passion you have for learning and how happy you are to teach everything you know so I was not worried about you.

                            Funny thing is my brother (who does not know as much as me) made some of the same suggestions....note to self:.... start listening more to him....
                            Last edited by Trim Carp; 01-02-2006, 08:41 PM.
                            "We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are" -Talmud

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Re: The infamous "stacked" fireplace

                              Jeeez Wm, you should get more than a button! Send me your address. I'll come up with a suitable prize.

                              TC,
                              Yeah about listening to brothers. I'm into that, too.

                              Allan,
                              Yes, most mantelpieces in 'nicer' homes were made of stone. Around the late 1800's, the Adams brothers popularized architectural millwork for the middleclass--they designed and made mantels and casework out of wood, and they pretty much introduced the use of compo moldings--kind of like sticky clay moldings--so that people could get that hand-carved look without spending the money on carved stone. One reason the Adams' style took off and became so popular in America (Federal Style), is because of they designed 'simple' mantelpieces, ones without overmantels--saving lots of folks even more money.

                              But today we're back to the 'show me the money' syndrome--the Smiths competing with the Jones'--big mansions with lots of money spent on OTT details. So stone is experiencing a comeback, and I'm not talking about poured stone mantelpices but real carved stone. You'd be surprised how much we have in common with craftsman of the Georgian period in England and the Federal period in America, when the middle class was growing by leaps and the economy was expanding because of shipping and trade (and slavery and drugs and...) wait---am I getting off subject?

                              Gary

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                              • #60
                                Re: The infamous "stacked" fireplace

                                Gary-
                                Have you ever shown how you build those triglyphs? You had that assembly laying around and you were showing it at one of the shows I saw you at...but I don't think you went into constructing it at all.
                                I guess I just need a picture...Any close ups of that? It looks like the vertical parts of the assembly are beveled??!?

                                -J
                                -----------------------------------------------------
                                "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." -Albert Einstein
                                Cluelessness: There are no stupid questions, but there are a LOT of inquisitive idiots.

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