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Thread: Steel / stainless fireplace spark guard curtain, rails, and fascia

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Greater Seattle, WA
    Posts
    813

    Default Steel / stainless fireplace spark guard curtain, rails, and fascia

    Here is a personal project I've been spending a number of hours on over the last few days.

    Its a custom fireplace "spark guard curtain" mounting bracket and fascia plate. It is for a wood burning fireplace with an "L" shaped opening (open on two sides.) I've got 5/16" diameter stainless steel rails that will sit in holes on the sides of the frame, and bolt up through other holes above, from which three hanging "mesh" steel spark guard curtains will hang.

    I TIG welding the 1/8" thick 1018 cold rolled steel pieces together, to make the required frame and front fascia plate. On a couple of the weld joints shown, I felt I got the settings dialed in. I used some high speed (300Hz) pulsing with the DC arc to help concentrate the heat right along the joint, without melting the edge, which will be visible when this bracket is installed. I tack welded a few dabs of very small filler, then just welded it up autogenously. I also put a strong fillet in the under side. I used techniques to get full strength at the joints while keeping distortion to a minimum. There will still a little bit of distortion I sanded flat on the visible side of the fascia.

    I gave the fascia plates a "brushed" look by sanding them with the arrangement shown. 60 grit 3M "sandblaster" (the good stuff) sandpaper backed by some flexible scotchbrite pad and an aluminum sanding block. Took some elbow grease, but turned out nicely.

    More to come later as I put the finishing touches on this project...
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    '13 Everlast 255EXT
    '07 Everlast Super200P

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Greater Seattle, WA
    Posts
    813

    Default

    Update: The spark guard curtain is now in place, and my wife (the architect) is really happy!

    I didn't get pictures of every little detail on this, but to make the curtain support rails, I welded some 5/16" diameter 304 stainless rod to some 5/16" threaded rod (cut off the end of a stainless bolt.) The threaded rods are oriented vertically and fit through bracket holes, and nuts on top and below the bracket secures the rail with height adjustability. At the ends of the rail near the brick wall, the rail just fits into holes I drilled in end brackets, which allow the spark guard curtain to slide all the way up against the brick.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    You can see I allowed the two front curtain sections to overlap each other on separate rails, allowing them to be easily opened and closed without leaving any gap in curtain coverage.

    I had to make custom rings to mount the curtain on the larger diameter than usual, 5/16" rail. To make the individual sliding hanger rings, I tack welded a stainless filler rod at a tangent to a larger rod, then wound the filler rod tightly around the larger rod. Then I cut the tack weld, slipped of the coiled up filler rod, and apart the coils into individual rings using dykes.

    Polishing the rail (using a hand scotchbrite pad, and good bit of elbow grease) was a nice improvement, helping the rings to slide across the rail noticeably easier.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I finished the steel fascia after "brushing" its visible face by using some Duplicolor "500F high temperature automotive engine block" clearcoat enamel. So far after a couple of fires, the clearcoat seems to be withstanding the heat of the fireplace just fine. When I started this project the original plan was to paint the fascia in a high temp matt black stove enamel, but when I got the unpainted steel up there my wife really liked the bright look so I altered the plan and went with it instead.

    We've been having some nice fires here recently.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by jakeru; 03-10-2011 at 02:25 AM.
    '13 Everlast 255EXT
    '07 Everlast Super200P

  3. #3

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    You did a great job on that I enjoy seeing all the ideas that folks come up with for projects. Mine have so far been confined to shop projects but I am getting the Itch to find a project for the house........................ There is a chair in the family room that my wife thinks needs a new end table next to it.
    When I buy a major, or almost any tool or machine I try to use it in ways that will Justify the cost. My 2 post lift for instance has saved me well over its purchase price in reduced repair and oil change bills over the few years I have had it.My bead roller paid for itself and the bending brake in less then six months doing some work for other car guys. There are other tools like my lathe and Mill that will never pay for themselves but they allow me to do more then I thought they would and it sure is fun playing with them

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