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Drystack stone fireplace finally complete

June 4, 2008

Perception of the passage of time is relative – time flies when your having fun.   It is difficult to believe that we worked on this drystack stone fireplace for about 17 months at intervals.  We started in January 2007, and then I provided updates at some intervals along the way.  At the One year point, I was only half way along, testament to the fact that I found plenty of other things to work on instead.  Over the holiday break at the end of 2007 , I made time to work on this in earnest and moved past the 2/3 way point.  By March of 2008, the end of the project was within reach and I began to have mixed feelings about crossing the finish line.  The scaffolds, rising in height along with the stone became a visual barometer of success, much like those thermometer charts that the teacher used to color in red marker back in school to measure progress for the big fund raiser.  After a while however, they became less of a measure of success and more a reflection of procrastination.  It was time to wrap the project up.

This past weekend, the final stones were maneuvered into place along the ceiling, the various smudges and smears of mortar were dissolved off the stone with strong acid, and the scaffolding was struck.  The assorted boxes, tools, and stored household items were cleared away.  The plastic we had covered the carpet with had only partially held the grey cement dust at bay.  Much vacuuming was required, and the odd geometric impressions in the carpet left by the contents of the room are slowing fading.

Now to find a suitable set of glass doors and screens for the front of this, and as the heat of summer approaches, ironically, our fireplace will finally be ready for use.   Sigh.  It will be nice this winter, and in the meantime, we will finally be able to use the living room for something besides warehouse space.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. sweetlybroken permalink
    June 4, 2008 12:40 pm

    WOW!!! Now what are you going to do with all that spare time 😀
    What a true piece of art and yes it is rather ironic that it’s now too warm to use it! Maybe you could try a quick wienie roast? Well done.

  2. June 4, 2008 1:52 pm

    Man, that’s gorgeous! Well done, man.

  3. June 4, 2008 5:00 pm

    I think a “use the living room” party should be called!

  4. June 5, 2008 3:29 pm

    That is amazing… I agree with Tim, a party must be called!

  5. June 6, 2008 1:19 am

    It looks fantastic Mark. I can’t wait to see it in person. Pick out a good log for your winter christening!

  6. September 7, 2008 8:16 am

    It is absolutely beautiful! You did an amazing job. We are going to be doing the same stone/fireplace in our new great room, also all the way up to the ceiling. We know we want Drystack Ledgestone, but the color is the problem. Every picture we see, every sample we see looks different. We can’t tell what the color really looks like. Also, we can’t even find every color sample. In pictures or on-line I love “Caramel,” but I would love to see it in a sample or in an actual photo in someones home. (Not a photo out of a magazine). Now, I’ll get to my point I love your color. What color is that? That would help me out more than you know or actually I’m sure you do know. I Look forward to hearing from you and once again AMAZING work! Thank you, Nicole

  7. September 8, 2008 12:18 pm


    Thanks for the interest and kind words. The product I used is made by Owens Corning – here is a link to the section of their website so you can see all the different choices.
    From that page, click Country Ledgestone, and then from the next page, select “Bucks County” which is what I used. Originally, I planned to use the drystack Ledgestone from the previous page, in other “Caramel” or “Chardonay”. I had the good fortune of finding small sections of walls on display in a local stone yard and so I could see the product in person. The Drystack Ledgestone line appears to be easier to fit, and I believe the project will go faster. The County Ledgestone line looked more authentic to me, which is why I decided to go that way. If I had it to do over, I’m not sure which way I would go. You might check your yellow pages for a local stone yard, or landscape supply business, and you may be lucky as I was, to find one that has the products on hand, built up on block columns or in a wall section on display.
    Yes, colors can vary from one lot to the next, but you can randomize it throughout the project and it seems to work out well.

    It sounds like you are making some good choices, and I think you will find the project rewarding. I don’t know if you clicked through to my work in progress entries, but the one suggestion I would make is to use Type S mortar, and add in about 10%-15% grey versabond thinset mortar by volume, per batch. This makes the mortar stronger and stickier. You can just back-butter the stones and will have very little show through at the joints. I figured this out by experimentation about five feet into the project. Alas, my best work is at the top, while my beginner’s mistakes are at the bottom for all to see.

    Thanks for stopping by. If you blog your work, please come back with a link, as I’d love to see your project!



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