How to Make Your Own Chimney Cap

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Water can damage structures; placing a cap on your chimney will help protect it from water damage.
Water can damage structures; placing a cap on your chimney will help protect it from water damage. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

A chimney cap or crown acts as a roof for the chimney. The cap’s slope allows water to flow away from the chimney. When water seeps into the chimney structure, it can cause the masonry to crack. Installing a chimney cap on your chimney will help to prevent damaged caused by water. These caps undergo a lot of stress because of the changing temperature of the chimney and flue. They should be inspected annually for cracks and damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • ¾-inch plywood
  • Table saw or circular saw
  • Straight edge
  • Pencil
  • ½-inch plywood
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood glue
  • 3/8-inch wooden dowels
  • Vegetable oil
  • Portland cement
  • Bucket
  • Wood float

Measure the top of the chimney and the length, width and height of the flue.

Build the bottom of the mold out of ¾-inch plywood. Take the measurements of the top of the chimney and add 2 inches so the cap will overhang the chimney by 2 inches on all sides. Cut the plywood to that measurement by using a table saw or circular saw.

Create the cutout for the flue. In the center of the plywood draw the outline of the cutout for the flue by using the flue’s measurements. Add ¾ inch to each side of the outline to make the gap between the flue and cap. Cut on this line to make the flue cutout.

Cut the pieces to form the flue cutout first. Cut four pieces of ½ plywood to 4 ¾-inches tall by the width of the flue. Attach these pieces to the bottom of the mold to form the sides of the cutout. Stand each piece against the inside of the cutout so they stand 4 ¾-inches tall. Fasten the bottom of the sides to the bottom of the mold with screws. Fasten the pieces to the ends of the piece beside it to create a small bottomless and topless box in the center of the mold.

Cut ½-inch plywood to make the sides of the mold. Cut four side pieces to 3 ½-inches high by the width of the chimney. Attach each piece to the sides of the bottom of the mold. Stand the side pieces up so they stand 3 ½-inches tall and screw the bottoms into the bottom of the mold. Screw the ends of the sides to the ends of the ones beside it. This will create a topless box with a smaller topless and bottomless box in the center.

Create a drip edge around the cap by gluing 3/8-inch wooden dowels to the bottom of the box 1 inch from the sides of the mold.

Coat the interior of the mold with vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Mix Portland cement following the manufacturer’s instructions. Pour the cement into the mold. Smooth the cement with a wooden float. Let the cement set up to the manufacturer's recommendations. Cure the cement by spiriting it with water daily for a week.

Unscrew the sides of the mold with a screwdriver to release the chimney cap.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can substitute a stiff mortar mix for the Portland cement.
  • Cement can cause skin, throat and eye irritation. Wear gloves and protective goggles, and cover your mouth when working with it.

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