We have Todd's brother, Tim, to thank for the outer stone for our fireplace.
A few years back, Tim replaced a stone walkway with poured concrete. He and Todd loaded up the giant pathway stones with the intent of using them as the outer stone layer on our masonry heater. (It was another one of those times when I was glad I was the girl, and no one would expect me to try and lift any of those monstrous pieces.)
The yellow rope is just a temporary safeguard, should the mortar decide to let go while drying. (I'm not actually sure it would have any chance of holding the stone in place should it decide to let go, but it makes us feel better.)
We've been surprised how relatively easy these stones are to cut.
I've said it before, but it bears repeating: it amazes me that Todd is able to visually plan all of this and have it turn out just the way it needs to. It's a good thing that it's not my job.
We're getting closer and closer to that first fire. It's time to start learning how to use the stone oven. I can smell the pizza baking already!