A chimney cap can stop squirrels from entering your chimney and building a nest in it to keep warm over the winter. A nest can impede the flow of smoke and dangerous gases from exiting the stack when you start a fire in your fireplace, and can cause the smoke and gases to flow back into your house. The best way to stop squirrels from getting into your chimney is to put a cap on it. Here is how you can fabricate your own cap to put on your chimney.
You Will Need:
Step One: Measure Concrete Cap
You need to measure width and length of the concrete cap that covers the bricks on the chimney (this cap prevents rain water and snow melt from damaging the brick and mortar on the chimney) to determine how long the strips of sheet metal have to be to form the base around the opening in the chimney. Also, measure how far the flue sticks out of the chimney to determine how long the posts have to be to fit the cap over the flue. The flue is typically made of ceramic tile and rises above the center of the concrete cap.
Step Two: Create Base
Cut strips of sheet metal about four to five inches wide to match the length of the dimensions of four sides of the concrete cap. You also need to cut four strips to serve as posts between the base and top of the cap - the length of the posts need to be higher than the flue.
All the strips have to be bent in half lengthwise. The easiest way to bend the sheet metal is to put a length of angle iron that is longer than the strips of sheet metal you cut in a vice. Place the sheet metal strip next to the angle iron so one side is halfway above the flat surface of the angle iron that curves over the top of the vice when you put the straight edge side down into the vice.
Tighten the vice down hard so nothing moves. Use pliers to start the bending the sheet metal. Then take a hard rubber mallet to pound down the sheet metal until it rests flat against the angle iron's surface.
Step Three: Create Top
Cut a solid piece of sheet metal a couple of inches wider than the base. Drill two holes in the top where the posts will be placed.
Step Four: Install Posts
Clamp the posts to the corners of the base and drill a hole on each side through the base and the post. Insert a bolt through each and tighten with a nut.
Drill holes on both sides of each post at the top. Insert a J-bolt into the holes and slide the long part of the bolt up through the holes you drilled in the top. Tighten both ends of the J-bolt with nuts.
Step Five: Install Metal Cap
Set the cap over the chimney opening and drill holes through the bottom of the base and into the concrete cap. Insert plastic anchors into the holes. Screw the base to the concrete cap.
Step Six: Put on Wire Mesh
Cut out pieces of wire mesh long and wide enough to fit each side. Place the mesh against the sides of the metal cap and use wire to secure the mesh to the posts.
Slide a piece of wire though the mesh at the top and bottom of the posts – make sure both ends of the wire are on the outside of the cap. Twist the ends of the wire together with a pair of pliers to tighten the wire and keep the mesh firmly secured to the posts.
Contact steel fabricator professionals for further assistance.
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