I found a ‘stack elbow’ at the hardware store that wasn’t the right dimensions for the top of the water heater, and I had other ideas in mind for it anyways. But this stack elbow doodad gave me some good inspiration.
I was thinking of just hammering out some kind of shroud with sheet metal, but my metalworking skills are less than awesome, and I’ve been flexing my woodworking muscle lots lately. So, I figured I’d build a very simple frame in wood, somehow, and line the inside with metal sheeting. I also knew that I wanted to build something that can be easily removed if necessary, which is why I lined the vent hole with sheet metal, thinking I could use magnets.
I’ve been feeling the need to practice dovetails as well. So, I grabbed some 1/4″ poplar and framed out a simple design, attaching it together with dovetails. One mistake I made was on the lower sections, the dovetails I cut out were too close to the edge, and as I was chiseling the tenons flat, I snapped them off (both of them! durrr!), but wood glue fixes that stuff. I compensated on the top section but insetting the dovetails further in (then later decided that it was pointless since the grain of the wood was on the opposite direction for that section).
Test fit on top of the water heater, looks good.
Then I cut the sheet metal pieces, using a spare bit of ABS pipe to add a nice curve to them, then noticed that the angle was a bit wrong in the frame, so I added a little section to the middle:
This was a really good idea, because it allows me to separate the metal ‘director’ into two separate sections. The top section, I bent the ends so I can fit it over the front lip and that little wood brace that I added. Then the bottom section just sits into place over that. I used screws on the bottom to hold it in place, I don’t have absolute faith in the adhesive I used. Also, on the sides. Then, silicone to seal the gaps, so the carbon monoxides don’t escape.
I added strips of magnets on the bottom edges (to ‘stick’ it to the water heater), and one big piece on the top to stick it to the wall, and voila, it’s pretty good!
The one part I haven’t finished yet is the little partition Inside the vent hole, to keep the air going outside instead of coming back in around where the vent fan will be. I’ll tackle that later, it’s a simple addition and will take only a few minutes.
Today I also finished adding some siding to the tiny house, on the same wall you’ve seen before, and then the section above the door, below the window. It was a hot day, though, and I’m pretty tired so I didn’t get much else done outside.
I’ve almost completed the small windows, plus cut their trim pieces. I’d like to prime and paint the windows before mounting them, but I haven’t yet decided on colors; I’m likely to end up priming them, and then painting them later. But the small windows are highly likely to get mounted sometime this week.
Building everything by hand and generally from scratch is hugely satisfying. More and more, I feel that the woodworking skills I’m learning enriches me, and is close to the core of my personal lifestyle. Sure, I’m not doing everything ‘by the book’, or even the best ways possible, and half the stuff I do lacks professionalism in the extreme (and often seems like a ‘hack job’ in retrospect) but it is fulfilling, and helps me learn.