|Re: Rock fireplace||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Buzz Burrell (buzzdiac.com)|
|Date: Tue, 28 Jul 1998 14:56:54 -0500|
On 7/27/98 10:23 PM Stephanie Weigle wrote: >Greetings! We have gotten the go-ahead to use river rocks from our site >(currently being excavated) to exercise our sweat equity and build our >fireplace face in the commmon house. It was originally spec'ed with some fake rock >covering. While we are looking forward to this bonding (mortaring?) >community experience, there is no one in the group with extensive masonry experience, >especially when it comes to using rocks for the fireplace. The actual >construction event is a ways off, so I am writing to see if anyone has good >ideas for resources (books, people, videos) that might set us on the right >track in the meantime, so we can maybe practice and know what to expect. I am >thinking as an example of the Foxfire references that showed how to do all >sorts of self-sufficiency projects. Congratulations on a good idea for sweat equity and community building, and avoiding the faux rock (concrete). For all construction books, go to: oikos.com This is an excellent resource. (For books in general, go to: amazon.com) Normally I would suggest you not use river rock, since it is much more difficult to lay up than sandstone (as 4" deep face blocks), which is readily available in your area, but since you are "River Rock Cohousing", I see your point! The easist thing to do is hire a single mason to work with you. That way you also get tools to use, instead of having to rent or buy them. Consider also landscape retaining walls out of river rock. If they are low and your sub is very good, you may be able to place rock on one side of the form before pouring the concrete, strip one form while the concrete is still green, and "point" (clean up) the joints before it fully sets. Another cool thing is to use them, or mimic their use, with "exposed aggregate" flatwork. On walks, driveways, or patios, use a large aggregate in the concrete mix, then hose it down and brush off the top layer of concrete before it sets (good flatwork subs know how to do this). The effect is like cobblestone. You can enhance it by using colored stones and white cement, or regular stones and color the cement red (like the canyon walls). For the all-out approach (my specialty), and entirely do-it-yourself, try these fun projects: 1. Create designs with river rock, accentuating certain areas in your site plan, such as social spaces, meditation, etc. Lay down a layer of landscape paper (impervious to weeds), then sand, then make a mandala with variable sized and colored rocks. This takes no tools or skill, and is quite fun. And if someone doesn't like it, they can change it and do it themselves (big plus for cohousing). 2. Skip the paper, use soil instead of sand, and do a rock garden (these used to be popular). Plant creeping perennials (they must compete well as rock gardens don't take to weeding) and add dimensionality with some huge boulders as well as rocks and stones. 3. Another neat thing is to implant your most interesting rocks directly into wet flatwork (plan ahead); this breaks it up so your patio doesn't look like a miniature parking lot. 4. All these schemes work well with pools of water (use a solar-only pump to circulate a little stream flowing into a pool). Natural processes are the best (only?) design instructor. Therefore, since river rock came from the horizontal, to return it to horizontal works well (sandstone comes from cliffs, so it works well for walls). To do a "bonsai" representation of your location on earth in its former natural condition, or at least mimic it in a stylized way, is a great guiding concept for your landscape plan. Have fun! Buzz Burrell Bolder Building Boulder, CO
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