Clearing Space Around the Chimney

I have a chimney in the middle of my workshop area, so I'm going to have to work around it.  I left up some studs until I was sure that the second floor would not fall down!

This is how it was when I last shared the demolition of part of the walls:

My husband got a job, so I am working on my own all day at the shop.  I had to wait to clear the extra studs out until he could come over and put a jack post in the basement just beside the chimney.  That done, he then put a temporary post in the workshop beside the chimney and knocked out the remaining studs.

As you can see, the hardwood flooring around the chimney is cut and not so neat looking.

I will build a collar around the base of the chimney (and maybe even the top?) with original 2 x 4 studs taken from this room.  These are actual 2" x 4" pieces of wood... I wonder how old they are?

At this point I have a piece on the top and bottom and have added a metal jackpost to hold up the ceiling.  (This jackpost sits above the one in the basement)

Now the temporary post can come down... and the room is clear!

Well, as clear as it's going to get.

My husband suggested I box in the chimney with drywall.  I'm sure most of you reading this would say... keep it, it's got character.  I will be leaving the chimney as is, and I also have two pieces of duct that run heating up to the second floor, they are to the right beside the chimney.  I'll leave those as well and consider it "industrial" style.  At the back of the chimney are two original 2" x 4" studs.  I'm keeping those too, for support and appearance.

If you look closely you'll see there is some black soot on the two studs.  It looks like there may have been a close call with a fire at some point in the past!

As you can see from all the photos, I have a lot of patching and painting to do.  I'm not sure what all will get finished before I get to using the workshop, but I have just started the drywall today, so we'll see.

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