Finally a
Gas Range Vent
© Frank Ford, 2009,  Photos by FF                                      
Please click the small photos for a closer look.

Funny how we can put some thing off for so long. I moved into my house in 1971 and although it was built in 1922, it had an electric range and no gas service to the kitchen by that time. So, when we remodeled the kitchen in 1988, just out of inertia, I suppose, we went with one of those cheesy "space saver" range/microwave units. Well, that thing started to break down within about a year, and by January of this year, I'd pasted it back together so many times that the wiring was getting short, and the whole thing seemed as though it was about ready to collapse into a five pound pile of sheet metal scraps.

Joy and I went down to the local stove store, and ordered up a nice new gas range - a Wolf, the kind I'd really always wanted but couldn't/wouldn't spring for. Before you say anything, I should mention that Joy is the cheapskate of our little outfit and was the one who had to be convinced we could afford it.

Back in the day when we first moved in, we were the youngest in this old neighborhood, and it seemed that my wife and I were also the only ones who did all their own home repairs, cleaning, painting, maintenance and yard work. Now, some thirty-eight years later, it seems we're among the oldest, and still the only ones who do all their own work. They say, "You become what you do," and I guess it's true, because even though I can now afford to "have it done" I still get off on doing it myself. Despite my best efforts to the contrary, I've become my father. Well, I coulda become somebody worser, that's for true and certain.

Once the range arrived, I'd already run a nice new line of black iron gas pipe and I was ready to go. But venting the thing was another proposition entirely. Along with the range I'd received a stainless steel range hood and it fit within the cabinetry. We have these nice maple cabinets above the range area, and they run all the way to the 9-foot ceiling height, and all around the room, more or less. I didn't want to cut through or move them to install the vent, and because the heater flue is in a closet right behind the wall just where my vent would go up, I was constrained to sticking the vent within the wall itself. Mind you, it was a major pain cutting out interfering stud material, and other items down the wall from the attic space, but I was able to carve out a nice 4-1/2" x 16-1/2" space for my new vent.

Off to TechShop to do some sheet metal work. Now, I have a fine home machine shop, but if there's one kind of gear I know I'll never have either the space or inclination to acquire it's big sheet metal tooling. I went to Borrmann's, the local steel yard and and picked up a 4' x 4' hunk of 24 gauge galvanized steel sheet.

TechShop's four foot shear made quick work of cutting the stuff to size:

Over at the layout table, I made myself a quickie paper model. I find it useful to do that when I'm designing a sheet metal project, just so I don't end up trying to do impossible bends, or some other dumb thing:

Then I laid out my bending lines:

This whole deal is really simple stuff, but it's the kind of thing that is hard to do without the right tools, so I took my time.

At the bottom end, I marked out the area I'd cut away:

My first job was to cut out that rectangle, and the sheet metal notcher was just the ticket:

Over on the bending brake, I made my bends to form the duct:

I'd originally planned to use "pop" rivets to stick the thing together, but when I headed for TechShop, I realized I'd lent the rivet tool to a friend, so I decided to go with sheet metal screws. The Rotex punch was just the thing to make clearance holes for the screws:

I used these self-drilling screws - they're real timesavers:

In no time at all, I'd assembled my duct with my biggest power screwdriver:

Here's the final assembly:

OK, back up into the attic where the new duct drops down in the wall:

Here it is in place:

Behind, you can see that heater flue I'd mentioned earlier.

And, this is the other end - right above the range, where it will connect to the new hood:

Now, for the kind of sheet metal work I can do at home:

Whenever I can, I like to use this vintage Bartlett tin snip. It's a cool old tool with a nice compound action.

And, here's how dear old Dad taught me to bend sheet metal - clamp in vise, use board to bend - nice and easy:

Hokay - ready for the hood install:

Well, almost. I almost forgot I have to run electrical stuff next. . .

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