Friday, March 27, 2015

Destruction has begun

Today is my oldest nephew's 11th birthday so I thought that today would be the perfect day to tell you about a voluntary unplanned project he started at my house.

As I referenced in this Dreaming & Scheming post, we are soon going to be knocking down one of our kitchen walls.  Inside that wall is a chimney that was used with an old furnace and maybe an old stove.  I have been hoping the bricks would come down mostly in one piece so that we could use them decoratively in a new fireplace.

So when my family was over one weekend for a different project my mom and my nephew decided to try their hands at taking down some bricks in order to see how challenging of a project it would be.  In the attic the chimney is exposed so they went up there to try it out.

Well once they got going my nephew got really motivated and they took turns taking down all of the bricks that they could reach from up there!



Those two boards laying on the ground are covering the hole where the rest of the chimney is.

They used a small sledgehammer to bash into a masonry chisel to get the mortar out and then the bricks just lifted out.

As they made their way down the chimney the interior clay insert began to appear.  There were two fully exposed and a third partially exposed and they took them all out.  We hopefully can reuse them in our future outdoor pizza oven!

Here is one by itself:

As part of this project my mom carried almost all of the 10 two gallon buckets filled with broken bits of mortar down our rickety attic stairs:

Thank you, Mom!

Most of the bricks are stacked up in the attic since we don't have a place to put them yet.  We have plenty for the future fireplace since they pretty much all came out in one piece.  We should even have enough for the future outdoor pizza oven!

My mom stacked them along structural walls that could take the weight of the bricks:

I called my nephew today to wish him a happy birthday and to clarify some details about the project for this post.  I interviewed him a bit and typed it all out here so you can see what a wordy boy he is:

How hard or easy was this project?

"kinda hard" 

What tools made it easier?

"the sledgehammer & the chisel"

Are you looking forward to taking the rest of it down?


I also talked to my littlest nephew and before he even said hi he asked me:

"When are we gonna knock down your basement wall?" 

He may be just a little bit excited about helping with our kitchen demo.  To be clear we are knocking down a wall in our kitchen, not our basement.

He also said "I'm going to bam it down and crash down your whole house" so I'm glad he's not our General Contractor!

Here are some action shots of my big nephew at work:

 He really and truly is a dedicated hard worker and is such a big help.  I didn't even ask him to do this!  Kudos to my brother and sister-in-law because they have raised a great boy.


  1. Wow, what a project! Now you see it, now you don't! Red face because it was hot in the attic, or because using a sledgehammer to hit a chisel is such hard work?
    Yes, kudos to your brother and sister-in-law. But then, is this the most common grandmother/grandson project? Something happening there!

    1. It wasn't hot in the attic, but it was VERY hard work.