It feels good to vent

In the floor next to our stove is a heat vent, inconveniently located in a little nook formed by the backside of the dining room buffet and the furnace chimney. Eric is building a nifty little cabinet tower to fill that awkward space (more about that in a future post), and he wanted to switch the vent to a vertical position in the mopboard. This would blow the warm air right out at our tootsies when we stand at the sink to do dishes (which we will seldom do because we will have a dishwasher).

Off we went on one of our almost-daily trips to Lowe’s to buy a 90 degree elbow for the floor vent. These things are readily available and cheap. But … the elbows are 3 x 10 inches. Decorative vent covers measure 4 x 10 inches. Is it too much to expect that one would want the new vent opening to be the same size as the old vent opening? Apparently so. Why don’t they match? I’ll tell you why: Nothing about remodeling is supposed to be easy, that’s why. We bought a piece of sheet metal and a new pair of tin snips, and the too-small elbow to serve as a template.

Now, there’s a lot going on with this kitchen renovation that I fully admit I am incapable of doing on my own. Most of it, to be honest. (Don’t laugh—I could learn to build cabinets.) However, making this elbow is something I could probably handle. Back in the day, I sewed almost all my own clothes, and I was damned good with flat pattern design, construction, and tailoring. Sheet metal is no different than fabric … except that it can slice your finger off. So yeah, sure, I coulda done it myself … but Eric and I have an upstairs/downstairs division of duties. He uses the power tools in the spider-webby basement and I do the finish work upstairs where there’s only dust and fur.  In fact, I seldom venture into the basement. Eric claims that if he wanted to hide something from me, all he’d need to do is put it in the basement. And he’s right.

But back to the elbow project. Eric laid out the pattern and cut the pieces …

1 the pattern

Crimped and pop-rivetted them together … et voila: an elbow that fits. Can you tell which one is homemade? (Hint: it’s not the puny one with the bar code).

3 the vent

It fits perfectly. Isn’t this a charming little corner of the kitchen? I so love this photo.

4 the vent

Here it is installed in the mopboard, dressed in its decorative cover (not seeing the surrounding walls is a big relief). Why did I chose this particular cover design? You’ll find out someday when I finish painting the walls!

vent 7



5 thoughts on “It feels good to vent

  1. cathy

    Your way with words makes me laugh, D’Arce, I agree nothing is supposed to fit. I love the way Eric created the vent – pop riveted? I never knew that is what it is called! And I love the cover you chose … continue your fun :))

    1. D'Arcy H Post author

      Yeah, we’re definitely taking some unexpected detours along the way. Think of the skills we’ll have accumulated by the time this project is done … if it’s ever done!

  2. Anita

    What no bar code on your homemade work? I had 3 thoughts, one was to go buy Lowes stock! You guys are keeping them in business! Also a suggestion, do you ever look online for the oddball pieces? I’m going to take my own advice and go search for my oddball plastic shut off value under my sink. At no charge to me, Lowes (I love that store) drove out to look at it and told me they don’t sell these “cheap” devices! My last thought was how good it is that we don’t see “behind the scenes” in our houses…YUK!

    1. D'Arcy H Post author

      Checking online is a good idea. It didn’t occur to us while we were shopping for the elbow, I guess. As for what’s behind the walls … it does look gross sometimes, but I remind myself that this house is 100 years old. I probably won’t look that great “behind the scenes” when I’m 100, either. I’m counting on the contrast being amazing when we’re done!


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