Introduction: Reclaimed Wood Vent Hood

About: I'm a Doctor of Physical Therapy who is curious about almost everything! One of the most important skills that PT school taught me was that, through thorough research, you can learn just about anything. That's…

We bought our house and have completely flipped several of the rooms in it. The kitchen was an eyesore when we first moved in, but my wife has worked her magic and dreamt up an amazing set up! We both wanted a custom wooden vent hood above our range, but the prices were so dang expensive that we decided to go the DIY route. Unfortunately, creating a cheap-yet-stunning hood that vented to the outside was rather difficult to find plans for. That said, I pulled principles and styles from several designs and created what you see here. Hope it helps!!

Step 1: Make Your Plan

Like I stated above, I researched the mess out of what I wanted this vent hood to look like. That said, there are some similar ones online, but this is a bit of a fusion between them. I started by finding the halfway points between my cabinets, found the midpoints of the vent we bought, then began playing with the angle I wanted on the vent body. Once I determined all these points, I drew on the wall in pencil, stood back and thought, "Yeah, I like that."

Step 2: Initial Framing

The vent hood is quite heavy, to say the least. Having it hang on drywall required the use of some hefty toggle bolts since the moment arm of the hood was going to be so far from the wall. Following the toggle bolts, I secured the remainder of the frame into each necessary arm with several 3" screws. Before putting the vent hood up, I was tempted to try and do a pull-up on the frame--that's how secure I wanted it to be.

Step 3: Attaching the Vent

This was a pretty basic, but critical, step. I had seen others utilize some of the holes in the vent's sheet metal in order to secure it into place--I found this method to be the best way. This step may require some assistance also in order to make sure you don't secure the vent into your frame without being level. Keep in mind where the steam/fumes coming from the stove top will go up to; I placed spacers from the wall in order to bring the vent forward a couple inches to be in the best position for venting. Following its placement, I continued to frame out the front and top. The inferolateral and anterosuperior framing spacers are going to be placed at a later time because...that's just how the cookie crumbled.

Step 4: Venting Outside

We chose to have a unit that vented to the outside rather than recirculate into the house. So, it was either backwards or straight up. Our roof was in bad shape and I didn't want to chance creating another leak, so I decided to pipe it out the brick...or so was my intention until I ran into a supporting structure for our house. Woof. Thankfully, I had placed toggle bolts in such positions that I was able to skirt the beam and take out much of the vent's framing and still have all needs met. There are better ways to cut a hole out of brick, but hey, I ain't no professional, and this worked just fine and dandy.

Step 5: Securing the Ducts

This step required much finagling of the vent line in order to make that super awkward turn. With the help of some duct tape and duct clamps, I was able to secure a tight ventilation system without any backflow of air into the house. I also surrounded the outside venting unit with silicone caulk and foam crack filler in order to create a moisture barrier for the vent hood.

Step 6: Wrapping the Frame

We have a pretty junky and ghetto lumberyard in my city, but if you're willing to get your hands dirty (with cowhide gloves on), you may stumble upon beautiful wood like this in such a place. These pieces are actually crown molding that had been left in the elements for a long time. I thought they would sand down well and, shoot, they sure did! I actually used the flat, back side of the pieces in order to get the look I wanted, but did use some of the front detail work at the bottom lip (I'll show at a later step).

Step 7: Fitting the Pieces Together

Next was the part of careful cuts and finally getting the look I wanted. This is where I also tacked on those last framing pieces (inferolateral and anterosuperior). Other tutorial's have you using mitered cuts for the edges, but I knew I was going to be trimming the edges out, so I more just wanted to get them in good alignment all the way around. I used a nailgun to secure all of these boards to the frame.

Step 8: Finishing the Cuts

Here is where I finished up the trim work and found that pretty detail to add to the bottom lip. For each of these, I took measurements from my remaining large strips of wood, then ripped them down into even, appropriately-sized cuts for the detail work. I also found some extra thin plywood to close up the spaces underneath the vent frame.

Step 9: Finished Product

Finally, I wanted a stain that was going to tie in with the rest of our house well, and this was it. I also found a wood filler that matched pretty spot-on for filling the trim seams. Now, my wife is pleased to have smoke not fill our house and I feel like a boss for creating the beauty I had envisioned. Hope this helps you!!

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