If you want to achieve a nice, custom look to your fireplace, you may want to make fireplace doors. Fireplaces often have ordinary, commercial and ready-made glass doors. But if you want your fireplace to look really special and stand out as a work of art, you may choose to make your own doors. Although it may seem like a demanding and difficult project, building custom fireplace doors is a task that can be mastered if you follow simple steps regarding working with metal and welding.
Things You'll Need
Glass panel clamps
Measure your fireplace to see what the dimensions are of the fireplace door you will need to make. Consult a website on home fire safety to see what the minimum requirements for fireplace door dimensions are (see Resources).
Plan and design your fireplace door according to measurements you took in Step 1. Remember that since you are making your own, custom door, you are bound by nothing more than dimensions. You may use metal or a combination of metal and glass. You may build a multi-segment door or a simple two-part door. Feel free to let your creativity run wild, but also check magazines and websites about fireplace design. When you complete your design, purchase and gather all the materials necessary for making your fireplace door.
Measure and cut the angle iron for the fireplace door frame. Make sure to precisely indicate the places for the cut on the iron. Do the same for all fireplace door segments, no matter if you have two or more. Use a circular saw to cut the angle iron.
Assemble a segment of the fireplace door by gathering a frame made from four angle irons. Check that the measurements are proper and all the corners are square.
Join the four corners of the fireplace door segment with a welding machine. Make sure that all four corners are strongly welded together. Then check if there are any parts that stick out on the side and grind them with a rotating grinding machine until the iron frame is totally smooth.
Finish the frame for your fireplace door by making holes for the hinges. Then make additional holes for the glass frame clamps. Use a power drill to make all the holes and make sure to mark the exact location for the holes first. After drilling the holes, attach hinges to the sides of the fireplace door frame. Repeat for all segments of your frame.
Attach glass panels to the metal door frame of the fireplace doors. First install glass clamps that will hold the glass panel in its place and then add the panel itself. Make sure the glass panel is secure and fits in its position. Repeat this step for all other segments of the door as well.
Complete the whole fireplace door by attaching one segment to another. Fasten the doors to their hinges.
Mark and measure a location for side hinges on both sides of your fireplace. Those side hinges will hold the fireplace door in its place. Attach the side hinges to the fireplace and hold the door against it to check if the location is accurate.
Place the segmented door into the fireplace opening, making sure to fit the doors into the side hinges. Then try to open and close the whole door to check if they are functioning properly.
If you want to, you can paint and decorate your fireplace doors after the installation. Just make sure to use thermostable paint and decoration.
Welding is an extremely dangerous activity so make sure to follow all safety precautions and wear proper safety equipment. Some of the personal protective equipment includes safety glasses, welding shield with a dark lens, welding gloves and leather work boots.