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fireplace screens question

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Alright, I've been thinking about making another fireplace screen. I haven't decided on a design or theme yet, but I do have a question about the screen itself.

When I do fireplace screens, I make a front frame and a back frame. The screen is tack welded to the front frame all around and then sandwiched between the front frame and back frame. Sometimes the back frame is the same stock size as the front and sometimes smaller. (Haven't tried larger but that might be neat looking!) The two frames are rivited together with the rivets going through the screen. (Rivits placed 4-6 inches apart and staggard over the tack welds so that there is a point of attachment every 2 inches or so on the screen.) If the front and back frames are the same size, an edging piece is placed over the sandwich gap using hidden welding.

Here is what I am wondering!

I have seen some screens that looked REALLY nice on the front, but the screen was bolted on and so you could see the ragged edge of the screen from the back. Sure, few people see the back, but it just doesn't look good at all! (the bolts looked like rivits or decorative screws from the front.)

Besides the sandwich method, is there a good way to attach the screen and finish the screen edge? Or is sandwiching the best method?

Thoughts and pictures of your methods would be great!

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Dave, I'd go with the sandwiching. Here is a screen that I helped Michael make in a day and a half. The back frame is made with a technique I use for making crosses. I posted a thread a while back titled "Forged Cross", I believe, that explains the technique, but I couldn't find it. You might have better luck digging it up than I. My computer skills are somewhat lacking.post-4954-0-53067400-1293904254_thumb.jppost-4954-0-51612700-1293904338_thumb.jp

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Here's a bi-fold screen I just finished, I went with 1/8 by 1" rear frame over the 1 1/2 wide fronts to give room for lapping the doors tight onto the outer frame and to allow space for welding on hinge barrels on the inside. In order to get a really taut screen I cut it oversize so it overhangs the frames by about an inch. I don't weld the frames together, just rivets, because that way I can grab the screen with duckbill vice grips and pull it tight as each rivet is set. Then the real trick to a good looking rear of the screen- Take your torch with a welding tip on it and run it with an excess of oxygen, and run the flame along the edge of the inner frame, melting the wires of the screen and cutting off the excess. The wire will either melt right out of sight under the back frame or ball up right on the edge. No sharp little wires sticking out and no grinder or chisel marks.


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