How to Make Your Own Metal Fireplace Covers
Making metal fireplace covers is a great way to keep the heat from your fireplace from escaping into the air. Your heating system may cause around 24,000 cubic feet of hot air to escape each hour, and fireplace covers are one solution to this problem. You could have covers made by a professional metalworker, although this may cost a lot of money, and will not be fitted to your exact fireplace needs, or you could try to make your own metal fireplace covers following a few simple rules.
Step 1 - Cut the Metal to Fit
You will firstly have to cut the metal to fit your fireplace. Use a metal cutting tool to get the size exactly right. You can also purchase tri-fold fireplace screens which can be used to hold metal sheets in place. You will need several metal pieces, plus some long poles which will serve as the framework.
Step 2 - Drill Holes
Take your drill and make several small holes along the sides of your metal sheets. The best method for doing this is to lay the sheet on a workbench, and the place a wooden board under the place where you want to drill the hole. This will keep you from making too many dents in your workbench, and keep the holes flat and even. You should then take your pop riveter, complete with rivets, and use these to fix the metal sheets to your poles. The metal can be riveted into a cover of any shape you desire, so long as the end product still fits over the fireplace. Add extra holes if you wish to use a handle on your metal fireplace cover, although it is a good idea to make this from wood, as that will not conduct heat.
Step 3 - Finishing the Metal
Once you have riveted your metal sheets to the poles, take your hammer, and wrap it in the cloth. This will prevent the hits from causing dents in the metal. Now gently bang the hammer along the edge of each metal sheet, flattening the edges against the poles. This will help to keep the sides of your metal fireplace cover smooth. When this is done, you may wish to use a metal cleaner just to brighten up the metal prior to attaching it.
Step 4 - Attaching the Metal Cover
There are two methods to attaching your metal fireplace cover to the wall around your fireplace heater. The first method is to use Velcro, stuck to both the wall, and the edges of the cover. With a metal cover, the problem can be that it weighs so much that the Velcro detaches under the force of gravity. Another solution, is to make larger holes at the edges of the cover, and then drill several screws into the wall around the fireplace. You can then slide the cover onto the wall as necessary, using the screws like hooks, with the extra-large holes serving as eyes. You can add a washer to the outside of each hole on order to preserve the metal connection for longer.