This Is Stove
January 4, 2013 § 4 Comments
There you are, you beauty.
It’s been way to long, since I’ve shown you anything going on in this baby. I keep waiting to post things because I’m trying to be all “before and after” but technically NOTHING IS COMPLETELY FINISHED AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! However there has been some progress. Oh yes there has. You may notice that there seem to be wood floors where once there were not. More on that later. For now, this is the story of something that is actually done. My beautiful, toasty little Christmas miracle: my wood stove. Should I name it? Maybe. Anyway, I picked out this wood stove and started payments on it exactly a year ago. The chimney was installed ages ago, and then began the deliberation that would haunt my dreams for months. What the hell do I put under it?!?! You don’t wanna hear about that. I can’t relive it. The emotional trauma is still a little fresh, but the breakthrough came at the Creative Edge remnant sale. Creative Edge is a world class operation based here in Fairfield that creates amazing installations of marble and granite, etc. A couple of times a year the Fairfield community has the opportunity to buy the remnants from their massive projects at extremely generous prices. It’s really dangerous to start looking at all these things and start getting ideas. You know, ideas.
Mies Van Der Rohe’s Villa Tugendhat
I wanted something simple and black with a matte finish that wasn’t too terribly cheap looking. I had been toying with the idea of getting something custom made, because apparently only people in Belgium or St.Paul, MN are allowed to purchase stove plates like this one from Morso.
But Creative Edge came through, and I found a piece of beautiful, honed black slate that was going for $5 a square foot (pretty much everything there was $5 a sq.ft, which is effing crazy if you know what’s up) The very nice Mr. Chris Higdon made the appropriate cuts, delivered it for me, and voila. I had my dream hearth plate. This thing is deluxe, so it’s not a stove board, it’s a hearth plate. That’s what the fancy ones are called.
This is post installation. It’s somewhere between an eighth and a sixteenth proud (above) of the floor, and the plan is to bevel the edge down, which won’t be such a big deal because slate is relatively soft. I wish you could see a little more of the natural pattern in the slate, it’s actually quite pretty, but these are phone photos, so oh well. Now for some boring, technical DIY stuff. I’ll understand if you tune out now, but for those who are interested, here’s how we installed this puppy.
Upon delivery, we had the stone laid in the approximate place where it was meant to be installed. We then fudged it a bit to get it lined up just so. There was some wiggle room for us to work with because we have yet to install the baseboard/trim. We were lucky that the floor boards lined up in such a way that meant we would only have to do one cut. I had installed floor underneath the area before, and in the framing under the sub floor I had extra reinforcement installed. Did I ever tell you that this is the oldest part of the house and that I had to raise the floor because under that (now gorgeous) floor is a bunch of bark-on logs for support beams, and somewhat decayed pine planks from 1880? Unfortunately They’re bad old, not good old. True story.
The slate was exactly what I wanted, and being that it’s not quite as sturdy as granite, Chris suggested we install the slate directly onto the plywood sub-floor with a layer of thinset for added strength. So that’s what we did. Frist, the cutting:
Dad used a nifty little saw to cut right up against the edge of the slate. We then moved the slate and pulled up the flooring underneath. Two things: the floor is still unfinished, hence the mill marks, and that little crook at the end is there to fit the remnant slate, which had a little chip on the end. after we got all those floor boards up, we put down the thinset. We used dry mix, the more expensive variety, and it was fairly easy to mix up and apply. It’s basically like installing one giant tile. You smooth that stuff out with a drywall knife, and then technically you’re supposed to make a criss-cross pattern with some variety of grooved trowel, but we didn’t. We only did one direction of groove. So there. Have I said that I still have a lot to do in this house? Because I really do (see: bizarre outlet covers). After we got the thinset in, we quickly got the slate back into place using some long pieces of wood that we slid the slate on top of and then removed. The hardest part about his is the fact that the slate is really heavy. You have to have 2, preferably 3 people to do this. The slate was finally in, we let it sit for a day, and on Christmas day, I beheld my new stove! Good thing too, it was a sultry 19°.There’s a filter on this photo because my silly phone camera lost all detail, and this way you can see a little. So the stove was in! And I lit my first fire, with my Christmas present – a new blowtorch – which is a really rad present. Yay little True North stove! It may look like Dad does everything around here, but I promise you I lit that fire. And it was goodAnd now, stove porn! Enough to crash your computer even! Stoves that will make you think mine’s not so hot ( blog puns!) and have been photographed about a bajillion times better.