North Carolina Custom Bell Heater facing

I just recieved finished photos of a heater I had the pleasure of helping face with fellow Masonry Heater Association Members following our annual meeting.  The build was led by Edward Small of Sheridan Brick and Stonework based in Maine.  Edward is a great guy and a restoration specialist.  The custom design of this heater was done by bell expert Alex Chernov of Stovemaster.  The design incorporates a traditional fireplace (with a more efficient modern design; notice the sway forward and back in the rear wall of the fireplace) as the center piece of the project, wrapping the heater around the fireplace.  This design places the actual heater firebox on the side of the heater with bells wrapping around the fireplace.  The heater core was built by Edward before the annual MHA meeting.  Following a week of heater/oven building, experimenting, testing, workshops, and meetings along with some hanging out and a big pizza party, I had the pleasure of working on the facing with Edward Small and Steve Cohen of Hot Rock Masonry.  The stone proved to be much harder then expected and as a result much harder to shape with a hammer and chisel.  This led to a lot of dust and noise as we had to do much more grinding then desired.  I am personally not a fan of grinders and prefer a hammer and chisel.  We had to rough out the stone with grinders and saws and come back and dress the stone with a chisel.  Working long days, breaks were spent admiring the view and a proper tea break or two.  On the road we spent evenings in a beautiful log cabin on a ridge in the blue mountains.  Steve and Ed are great guys to spend time with.  I, of course, tried to soak up as much knowledge as I could from these older master masons.  A few evenings were spent with Steve schooling us on the game of pool, as he is know to do.  I believe he lost one game that week.  I was able to stay on the job for 8 or so days and had to continue my east coast trip before it was finished.  The end result is gorgeous.  Steve Cohen deserves the credit for the beautiful arch work.  The hearth and bench stone is a Tennessee sandstone called crab orchard sandstone.  It is just gorgeous in person.  Thanks again to Edward Small and Steve Cohen for inviting me on the project.

 

Getting started facing the core

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A good view of the crab orchard sandstone, and arch work of Steve Cohen

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Coming up in the back and setting the selves

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The finished heater

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And the views of the beautiful Blue Mountains of North Carolina

From the jobsite

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From the cabin

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