On Thursday, I laid out the perimeter of the block stand. It didn’t measure larger than I thought it would measure, but it did look larger than I thought it would look! In fact, the shelter that I built to shade the oven and the cook is not going to be big enough for the cook. So, the oven will have its own roof and the shelter will be moved to the other end of the slab to cover the dining area.
I dry-stacked a few limestone blocks to get an idea of what the finished product will look like. I envision an arch over the stand opening. The limestone was free, and I have enough to cover the sides and front of the stand, and possibly enough for the front of the oven. The rest will be stucco. The block stand is about 70 inches square, and the hearth slab will extend about 10 inches from the edge of the stone veneer. Also, I have omitted the row of concrete blocks across the front opening. The project is halted at this stage, awaiting approval of the Family Vice President of Household Operations and Aesthetics.
The next step was to set the first course of blocks in mortar to level them. This took about two hours and 90lb of mortar mix.
Today, I stacked the remaining courses of block. The wall ties will be set in the concrete-filled cores. The hole in the rear wall will provide a little ventilation for the stored firewood, and allow spiders an emergency exit in case the whole pile goes up in flames.
Tomorrow: Build Hearth Slab forms.