If you've been watching the news lately coming out of Texas you have conclude the following:
#1. Texans almost never see snow. The blizzard has basically paralyzed them because they don't know what to do with the stuff.
#2. Texans don't own snow tires. Hence all the car accidents.
#3. Texans are not used to heating their homes using a fireplace, wood stove, oil furnace, wood furnace, or any other means.
#4. Texans are not used to being without electricity.
#5. The electrical grid in Texas was a giant catastrophe waiting to happen because nobody was maintaining it.
#6. The coal, gas and nuclear power generators are all failing in Texas because nobody thought to winterize their systems like they do in other states.
#7. Very few people in Texas know how to build a fire that doesn't involve burning their house down.
So let's tackle that last part today.
How to Build a Brick Stove or Fireplace
#1. Find or buy some bricks. Old bricks or new. Doesn't matter.
#2. Make some mortar / cement. You can mix it in a bucket if your have to. Avoid touching the stuff with your bare skin.
#3. Based on the number of bricks you have decide on a design that makes sense and makes an efficient use of your bricks. You may need to calculate how many bricks you need for each part of the stove or chimney.
#4. Build your stove or chimney close to a window through which you can put pipes to the exterior of your home so that the smoke has somewhere to go. Alternatively you may need to renovate / build a chimney along with your fireplace.
#5. Build it!
- Apply the mortar to one end of each brick evenly before adding it to the brick beside it.
- Add a layer of mortar each time you finish one layer of bricks.
- Remember that corner bricks need to have the mortar added to part of the side of the brick, not the end.
- If building a stove remember to find something that makes a suitable door.
- If building a fireplace then some people will want some kind of steel mesh or something similar to avoid sparks from igniting things near the fireplace.
- You may need to build some kind of stonework or brickwork near or around the fireplace for safety reasons.
Building a stove or fireplace isn't much more complicated than building a set of Lego blocks. It isn't really that hard to build, it just takes time and effort. If you can build a brick BBQ in your backyard then you can build a fireplace or a stove in your home. The biggest difference is that you need a pipe or a chimney to get rid of the smoke.