Introduction: DIY Kitchen Extractor Hood

About: Life is too short for boring projects!

Every kitchen needs a way to remove cooking odors and steam. It is easy to purchase an extractor hood from IKEA but why not build one yourself?

When setting up our new kitchen we had everything except the extractor hood. We rummaged many shops for a perfect one. Most of them were mildly said ugly or too expensive for our student budget. My family changed out their whole kitchen a while ago and thus I had an extractor hood laying around. Unfortunately this one was bit too big and the looks of it did not fit our kitchen. Other than that it was in a perfect condition.

Because woodworking is my big hobby I decided to give it a try and build one of my own using parts from the old hood. I searched the internet to see if someone had done it before but as it turned out these types of extractors are quite rare in the DIY community. To fix this problem I decided to make my own instruction.

I hope that my project gets your ideas flying and you want to build one of your own!

Now I know that most of you will not read the text written in this instructables so I made plenty of fotos from the build.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

This is the following list of tools and materials that I used.

  • Plywood (for the frame)
  • MDF ( or thin plywood)
  • Real nice-looking cherry wood
  • Wire mesh (found from hardware store)
  • Air duct
  • Bunch of screws
  • Wood glue
  • Varnish
  • Parts from donor extractor hood

Array of tools that I used to build is shown in the pictures.

And of course an idea or a vision of what you want to build. I drew a sketchup model but it was not much of a use since I did not put too many hours in that( and it was fairly straightforward project).

I liked the design of the old hood and decided to build the new one similar to it. The good thing about this design is that it has a large space on top where decorative items could be presented.

Step 2: If You Do Not.....

If you don´t have an extra extractor hood to scavenge parts from, then you could alterantively use the following:

  • Suction fan for bathrooms
  • Some sort of lighting. Downlights are perfect. Preferably LED-s since they will last much longer and are more efficient.
  • Some sort of speed controller for your motor. These types of motors can be really powerful and loud. Consider finding one unless you want to wear earmuffs in your kitchen and if you do not want to get your socks sucked off!
  • Wires and switches to make it all work

I would have used this method but luckily I had an old extractor hood which had perfectly functional motor, lights and switch.

Step 3: The Frame

For the frame I used 2 cm thick plywood. I ripped it into 3 cm wide pieces. I used miter saw to cut it to length. When all the pieces were ready it was simple assembly with glue and screws.

I covered it all with 8 mm mdf. I wanted to use 4 mm plywood but it cost four times more than mdf. I let it overhang a bit and flush trimmed it later. I though on putting cherry wood strips straight on the plywood frame but my previous experience showed that the strips tend to warp a bit and thus create caps which would look bad and decrease efficiency.

The part where the motor sits in was also made from mdf. I added small post to the inside corners to make it stronger since it had to hold the whole weight of the hood. Later on I also glued an extra piece of mdf to the back (inside) wall. This assured that I could properly mount it to the wall.

Step 4: Veneering

Some time ago I found one 4 meter long cherry board for just 3 euros. This was a stunning find and I wanted to really get the best out of it, so I decided to use it to veneer my extractor hood. The grain of this wood is unquestionably amazing!

My table saw is a absolute rubbish (Makita mlt 100), but I managed to rip my board into 4 mm strips. I moved my fence back a bit so that the cutoffs would not get jammed between the blade and the fence. If your table saw does not have this feature, then clamping a straight board to your fence also does the trick.

But as you can see the thin strips still have burn marks on them. That is because the fence is no better than the saw. It has more flex in it than a flag flapping in the wind!

I do not have a dust collection in my workshop so the amount of sawdust was massive. A lot of fun with broom and dustpan. And of course the fine sawdust covered everything in my shop. My lungs thanked me for wearing a respirator.

I applied glue to the frame using small brush and then added the cherry wood. I fixed it with brad nails. The nails were too long and protruded through. It was inevitable since my nailer accepts minimum nail length of 2,5 cm (1 inch). I grinded of the nails on the inside with angle grinder.

I first veneered sides and then top and bottom. I let the outer strips overhang a little so I could flush trim (and sand) them to get a nicer look. I sanded the surfaces with belt sander to get rid of burn marks and to get the whole thing flat.

I decided to make the bottom so that I could remove it if needed (this is not really needed though because the grill hole is large enough for maintenance). To fasten it I wanted to use decorative brass screws.

Step 5: A Big Mistake!

If you really want to do extra work, then follow these steps.

I wanted to fill the holes of the nails and to do that I mixed fine saw dust with wood glue. I covered the holes and I was really generous. I planned to sand it smooth later.

Good in theory but terrible in practice!

I think I messed up by using waterproof wood glue. After drying this thing had a gummy like consistency. It was a absolute pain in the ass to get it off. I clogged up many disc sander belts while doing that.

It should be fine to use normal glue but be sure to test it before - especially when working on a big project like this.

A big lesson was learned!

Step 6: Varnishing

I decided to use boat lacquer for this although if I could do it again I would use water based lacquer since this thing will not get much wear and thus does not have to be so strong. Also water based lacquer is much easier to work with.

I did five coats and sanded between second and third coat. Still I got some drippings with what I am not so happy.

On the inside I did one thick coat to make in water (steam) resistant.

Step 7: Motor Mount, Cover and the Grill

I mounted the motor to a piece of mdf. I used screws and bolts to attach motor and the pipe connector. To make it airtight I applied some silicone.

The motor cover was exactly same process as the hood itself. Only thing I did differently was that I did not add an extra frame to it since it did not need to be that strong.

For the grill I ripped thin pieces of mdf and cut a groove into them for the wire mesh to fit in. I assembled it with glue and few nails. At first it seemed bit fragile but later it turned out to be sturdy enough. In the end I also decided to add carbon activated filter. This helps to keep oil out from the motor and piping.

The donor extractor hood was in use for 8 years and the inside was covered in oil and grease so that I had to wash all the parts.

Only thing left to do was to engrave my name somewhere on the inside for the future generations.

Getting it all back together and working was also a easy process (only if you mark all the wires and components when disassembling ;)

Step 8: The End Result

I am pretty satisfied with how this turned out (except the small mess-ups of course)

The lacquer really brings forward the amazing grain of the cherry.

Nail holes (that I could not hide) and the brass screws ended up giving it a very nice "handmade" look.

A big thanks to Kadi for lending me her DSLR camera.

I hoped that I have inspired you!



Before and After Contest 2016

Participated in the
Before and After Contest 2016

Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

Participated in the
Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

Plywood Contest

Participated in the
Plywood Contest