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Don’t shoot the recyclist! Making an insulated fireplace cover

December 5, 2011

Now that I’ve got your attention, let me tell you about today’s project in my studio.

John and I have been presented with the challenge of reducing our fuel bill. Because we live in the forest, we’ve never felt like we needed window dressings, and nothing we could use to cover the windows would be as lovely as what you can see through them. This past year though, I covered the windows in hopes of saving on the fuel bill for the council. We live on an employer owned property, so the money we save is the employers $.  Despite that, apparently our bill is 5X that of our near neighbor, who is also on the same bill.

We dropped the thermostat 5 degrees, but that left both of us chilled. I did notice that the rooms with the fireplaces were the coldest and decided that one of the best things we can do is to create an insulated cover for the fireplaces when they are not in use. I told John about the fabric cover that I was going to make, and showed him the frame I wanted him to make. It’s very simple, and he just needed to provide some lightweight wood to build it. All he had in his shop was 2X4’s and he knows I hate for our household things to be built with that, so he turned to an item that we’ve been saving to recycle the wood from. The piano.

I have a Wurltzer parlor piano (not antique) that needed to have the felt replaced. Neither the original owner, nor I wanted to put the money into the piano that it needed and my kids had outgrown it. Virginia’s musical needs are much more sophisticated that a piano in this kind of shape. I love the many pieces inside a piano, and want to weave something on the soundboard, so I’ve been asking John to disassemble the piano and save the wood for some household art/craft ideas.

Today, he disassembled part of the piano and built the frames for this great fireplace cover.

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