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Re: Build your own cabinets

Hey Moon,

Good to hear from ya as always. Don't be a stranger now that you've made a return, eh?

Wythe is actually the word. :D http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wythe

And....I guess I'm gonna disagree with ya a bit over using the muriatic acid to remove the old mortar. It's what masons use everyday for this very purpose (cleaning up the leftover haze and such). If Walt applies it with a little utility brush to just the affected areas, waits a few minutes until it eats up the old mortar and then flushes/rinses those areas well with water....it should work well/just fine. Walt ain't no nancie boy, ya know. :D Races dirt bikes and all that manly stuff. ;)

Yes, you DO NOT want to inhale the vapors and consequently good ventilation is must. (Lung damage can occur if you inhale very much of those vapors) A fan isn't a bad idea at all. Being as its winter where Walt is (and here).....I'll grant ya that good ventilation might come at the expense of a bit of heating fuel. ;)

If you're reading this Walt......decide to give the MA a go and haven't used MA before.....protect your floors and such from the potential of drips/spills (plastic sheeting or similar). Keep a bucket of water handy for rinsing and in case you get some on your flesh and/or on your clothes. Any hardware store worth its salt will have MA in one gallon jugs.......but you won't need near that amount. You'll likely only need a couple/few ounces. However, it has many other uses as well... so if you buy a gallon.....make sure you can store the rest somewhere safely away from the little ones.

Blue Moon
Re: Build your own cabinets

Yep, Goldie, you're right... muriatic acid. I remember using some of that stuff and wearing a GAS mask and having some of it waft up..man o man. Nasty. I have only had my nose hairs singe once before like that...and it had to do with a bad burrito!:p

Walt-o; just be cautious if you go that way.

I'm off and running. I promise to stop back by more often now that everyone is playing friendly.

Moon...tell me where we're going and why am I in this handbasket?

Re: Build your own cabinets

Hi All!!

Thanks for all the tips. Slowly I am working up the courage to do this. I bought a big honking chisel and a 2 lbs hammer and went at it the other night. I got most of the offending bricks out of the way. I did break yet another piece off the face of a good brick. Are you all SURE there is no way to reattach? would some epoxy work? the piece fits so nicely it almost stays in place by itself.

I dug around and found some other bricks that look more like what is in the chimney. Not perfect...but the density looks closer. BTW...this is an INDOOR fireplace. The entire chimney sits inside the room. I assume there are clay flues that lead out from the various sources (1 upstairs fireplace, 1 downstairs fireplace and 1 boiler) and this brick is just a box around those flues. So I am not sure if using the MA inside would be a great idea...but I will look into it. Some of the brickwork is REALLY sloppy...making me less stressed about being perfect in my patch job :0)

I bought some latex additive stuff that is supposed to help the mortar adhere and not crack away. I would assume most of yall would approve???

OH yeah...in my process of clearing stuff out one of the bricks above my patch area worked loose. It is still in place...but loose. Should I remove that one, clear out the mortar and replace? I just get nervous every time I start banging on things....sometimes creating more problems when nearby brick chips or comes loose. Not to mention the mess...that dust is wreakin havok on the wood floor.

Any who...thanks for the tips. I will let you know how it goes.

BTW Moon...were people not playing nice recently? I have been away changing diapers and such so I lost touch for a while.


Re: Build your own cabinets


Yes, the latex additive is a fine idea. Probably not necessary in this instance (IMO), but it won't hurt. (Elmer's white glue works just fine also and is mucho cheaper. It also works just fine for outdoor/exposed to the weather applications. Don't add *too* much of the stuff. A "tad/little glug" is all you need to create that extra suction and "cling-ability". Hard to describe just how much, but I could show ya firsthand. )

Judging from your description concerning the chip you have there, I wouldn't personally hestitate to use a little epxoy to adhere it back into place. Afterall, the inner wythe you have there is primarily asthetic and not exposed to the elements either. Again, if it fits that well .....I'd try to use the epoxy very judiciously so that none squeezes out at the seams. A glossy seam will draw the eye and give away the fact that it's been "repaired". I'd do the epoxy repair first and see how it looks. If it's okay, blaze away with the rest of the brick replacement. If it doesn't look okay you still have the option to remove said brick. (If any epoxy does squeeze out where you don't want it..... acetone should clean that up, but do it promptly while the epoxy is still liquid.)

PS- If you think you're gonna get the mortar in those joints without getting it smeared all over the surrounding bricks.....good luck. Just wipe up the leftover mess with a damp sponge a few times, but be careful not to hog out the joints with that sponge. Remove any remaining haze the next day with a quick wipe of MA followed by a rinse or two of clean water.
Hope you aren't this nervous anymore about changing diapers. :D

Re: Build your own cabinets

Yuk and GH,

Thanks so much for the information. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

I decided to try something with the chips...being a cheapskate and not wanted to create work for myself. I tried this stuff called Weldit which seems a lot like a cross between contact cement and rubber cement. I applied two coats as the first was sucked up by the brick. The parts sit so nicely together I felt I only needed just a little stick to make this work. The parts seemed to nestle in ok...I kept the coatings thin. I am going to attempt the mortar work tonight so I will let you know if it holds together.

This patch is up about 7.5 feet from the ground. No one should tamper with it...so hopefully it will all blend together once I am done.

DW is getting a little miffed with me that I have not gotten doors on the cabinets. She did not consider this brick work to be "high priority". I was really just trying to knock out some of the easy stuff before getting to the items that take time and attention. But like most things I attempt... the amount of time I estimate is way under budget. so once I get through this adventure, I can get back on doors. Seems the little one loves climbing into and messing with the stuff in the empty cabinets. When I get home at night the floor is covered in soups cans, tupperware, etc. I find it cute that he is so curious...but DW has another POV. :0)

I will post how the brick work goes. BTW...can you post pictures directly to this site now?

Oh yeah...been meaning to ask....why are retaining walls NOT typically made of regular old brick? I need to put up a medium sized retaining wall and I have a bunch of bricks laying around. Seems like a good match...if it can be used for an outdoor retaining wall.

Re: Build your own cabinets

Awe Walt, you can smooth over the hard feelings about the little one getting in the cabinets by being the one to clean the kitchen at night.

This is my middle child at about 8 months:

Eddie would be in there doing dishes after supper and that was G-man's play time in the kitchen.

I would come home from work and cook while feeding G-man then Eddie would get hom and we would eat and I would go get sick because I was having mega gall bladder trouble as well as being pregnant again, so Eddie did the dishes. lol, he still does the dishes. That little cutie in the cabinet with be 7 on Monday.

Re: Build your own cabinets

Well...I will be keeping my day job. See before/after attachments.

Got started at 9:00 and fniished at 12:00. My quality control def. goes down when I get tired and this was a perfect example. But at least it is done and I can move on. Gotta give those pros a hand though. They make it look easy...

GH...do you REALLY add Elmer's glue to mortar? It there latex in that stuff?

BTW...the haze on the nearby bricks. will that come off with a brush or do I need to do the MA thing?


Re: Build your own cabinets

Second patch pictures

Re: Build your own cabinets


Yup, I'm dead serious. You thought I was jerkin' your chain. eh? ;)

Elmer's white glue is PVA based. PVA is a type of latex. You would add a little after you've added the vast majority of the water and have things well blended. Add by drizzling over the top of your mix and then mix well again to distribute evenly. It'll add alot of suction/tack and ease the work-ability if you're parging vertical surfaces or the like.

As far as the haze goes, I'd try a brush first and if that doesn't get it (kinda doubt it will)...then wait a couple days (or longer yet if it was me) till the new mortar is well set and then spot-apply a little MA and rinse off with clean water. (It will also attack the surface of that new mortar so mind your application techniques and get everything well rinsed). In this instance, maybe wear a rubber glove and use a cloth dampened in MA to apply in a controlled fashion. Then rinse well once the haze is dissolved. Shouldn't take but a few seconds to remove a light haze like that. Repeat if necessary. You'll soon enough get the hang of it and how long to let it set. It'll bubble and fizz right in front of eyes when it contacts the mortar. PS- DON'T go out for coffee in the middle of the job. :D

The greater the surface area you have wetted with MA at any particular moment, the more vapors it'll produce. More open surface = more vapors. Hint, hint. ;)

A fan and/or some outdoor ventilation may be necesssary or maybe not. Depends. But don't breathe in the concentrated vapors. If you do, it'll clear your sinuses kinda like sticking your face over a bottle of ammonia.....and/or worse. If you're trying/using MA for the first time...I'd suggest you have a fan set up nearby and at the ready....just in case. Better safe than sorry. And have the little ones and the wifey go shopping or something. That way you won't hear any complaining about that awful smell. ;)

You don't *have* to use it full strength from the bottle either. You could dilute with a bit of water to make it easier/safer to use.......but that will also prolong the time it takes to remove your haze. Your call.

You might even try using some vinegar instead if the MA is making you nervous. It will take longer, but......your call again....as always.

PS 2- Ya done good. :)

Re: Build your own cabinets


As always...thanks for your support. I would be lost without your wisdom. The task of handling mortar was a lot messier than I thought. You see these guys doing it in the field and they make it look so clean. I guess I never watched someone try to plug up an existing hole...and do it indoors. The process felt more like me playing with dirt and water then actually doing something productive. The bricks did not come out exactly where I would have liked....but they are in there and that is what counts the most...to me :0)

I will give the vinegar thing a go...to avoid customer complaints. I'll let you know how that goes.

While I got your attention....see the post next to one of the patches? I am wrapping that in Mahogony. The board is about 10 feet long. I was fitting the board and discovered the board has a bow in it. It does not fit well against the brick. As the borad is so long should I just shave down the high ends with a plane and sight it by eye. My jointer is too short to support the far end and I have no "talented assistant" to lift the rear end of the board (just the right amount) when edging the board. I only have about .375" to play with so I don't want to screw it up. That *%#( mahogony is expensive!!



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