I'm happy to report we're now starting to get work done on the interior, which is the last phase of this thing. Started the day, though, by finishing up some of the wood stained trim on the foredeck.
18th and 19th Century goods and technologies. Check them out.
At any rate, our reduced version of the hearth begins like this: We created a platform for the fire surface out of two layers of 1/2" duroc (this is a concrete board used under tile, very solid, very flameproof, and very easy to work with).
The cementboard top will get a fairly thick coat of a mixture of fuller's earth ( a type of clay used, among other things, in clumping cat litter) and vermiculite (a volcanic product that doesn't transmit heat easily and that weighs next to nothing, used in gardening mostly), with a course of terra cotta tile for the top.
We also lined the corner where the hearth will stand with duroc, with a layer of corrugated iron on top to reflect the heat.
The hood goes at the top of the sheet metal, and has a full grid for hanging pots and pans...you'll see :)
We also got in the supports for the sink counter. Here's a rough in, just checking for position.
There will of course be storage under.
Right now, I'm sipping a glass of wine and listening to the thunder. Tomorrow, more kitchen stuff, perhaps panelling and stain for the interior. Then work on the paddlewheel. Closing in on it folks.