I think the worst is behind me on the fireplace. I got the new surround installed today and boy was it a lot of work. Both the new one and the original are installed in the same way. On the back of the surround there are four eyelets. Attached to them are four rods which are embedded in the mortar. In order to get the old one out I must remove a lot of brick. This means grinding away at mortar, all the while being very aware of the tile which surrounds the cast iron surround.
The one in the dining room was in better shape. This one had a lot of rust in places and started falling apart as I tried to remove it. In the dining room I was able to reuse the four hooks to install the new one. These were too far gone and so I had to make new ones. Below is what the new surround looks like with all of its pieces. Next week I want to install the hearth tile, and with that the fireplace will be finished! And for those of you who are curious, no, I will not be rebuilding the firebox and lining the chimney. There is not enough time or money for that this year.
I also started to do some work on the pocket doors. Not only are these doors not original to the house, but they weren't even pocket doors when they were made a hundred or so years ago.
When I got them they were fitted for hinges and had a mortised passageway lockset and bolts, which would be used for a pair of French doors, which is what they were. Because of this, they are too thin for traditional pocket door hardware. So I need to hide the old mortise for the lockset on one door and the mortise for the catch on the other.
The plan is to fill the mortises and then cap the entire leading edge of both doors. The second to last picture above is one of two eight foot long peices of trim I made yesterday to cover the edge. I spent a lot of time on the router, so I hope this works and doesn't look like crap. If it works, this will give me a fresh place to mount the new edge pulls, which I've purchased from Charleston Hardware Co.. If it doesn't, then I'm screwed. I'm hoping they come in this week. I will need to make a jig for the router to do the installation, but I can't do that until I have the parts.
This week I'm going to concentrate on sanding. Well, maybe 'concentrate' is a poor choice of words. The mindless chore of sanding takes anything but concentration.
And finally, I was able to get some of the new head blocks up. I have been wanting to do that for a very, very long time. The parlor project aside, the project of reproducing and replacing the butchered head blocks per-dates the blog. This has been a long time coming.