When I got off wrk this morning, I had a wicked sore throat and plugged up ears. It was raining, too, and AnnaMarie needed stuff from Walmart. I really wanted to just spend the day lying down but the kids volunteered to watch three little kids for one of their teachers for the day. I could just see passing this crud to a kid, to teacher, to whole school, so decided I'd just work on the cedar lining for the closet. Low braindrain, no heavy lifting. The compressor had other ideas.
The little gasket on the pressure tube where it goes into the valve housing was shredded. The part is $1.17 and shipping is $14 so I also ordered a new valve assembly (Byron's feeling on the cause of another compressor issue) and gaskets. Total $27.77. A new compressor is over $200. No cedar work until the parts come. So, the other indoor 'shovel ready' project is the fireplace. Lauren had puzzle fit the stones on the template for me but all the edge ones needed trimming. Lugged the wet saw inside and got it all set up. It was working intermittently and I thought the burning plastic smell was from the space heater, until the smoke tipped me off to a failing plug.
If you are going to take on any big project, keep a supply of plugs around. I have a tool repair kit all ready to go. Electrical tape, cords, spare blades, motor brushes, allen wrenches. (OK the kit is a cardboard box full of junk but it's somewhat organized)
With that repair done and not needing any special order parts, back to the veneer job. You smear the mastic on ( make sure you buy the right kind. This is high temp for stone) then spread it with a notched trowel.
I put some carboard down to protect the hearth from the mastic. The picture doesn't show how the notched trowel furrows the mastic. I didn't angle the camera right, I guess. Then you just start sticking the stones to the wall, pressing them in. I kept a variety of tiny stones near to fill in. You can put them in really tight to each other and skip mortaring the joints, you can mix up mortar and use a mortar bag, (kind of like a frosting flute bag) or, if the joints are pretty small, you can buy elastomeric repair mortar in a caulk tube and just gun it into place. In the top picture you can see under the hearth where I didn't mortar it yet, so there's white mastic showing through the stones.
I feel a little guilty. Projects like this are usually saved as a reward for completing a larger, more tedious step. I have to get the exterior done.