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DIY: Boxed Gas Fireplace

DIYBuild your own gas fireplace

Many contemporary homes have large open-plan living areas and while the breezy free-flow appeal of these expansive spaces is easy to enjoy in our temperate summer months, keeping warm in winter often requires some bouts of ingenuity. Assuming of course that your house has adequate cross-ventilation, a mobile, flueless fireplace might just offer a creative solution to the practicalities of heating while warming up your décor.



Flueless gas fireplace
Geyser blanket
Retractable knife
Duct tape
1 x 2000mm x 1000mm x 16mm MDF
2 x 2000mm x 486mm x 16mm MDF
4 x 986mm x 486mm x 16mm MDF
2 x 1000mm x 500mm x 16mm MDF
1 x 1000mm x 998mm x 16mm MDF
Deckplatten polystyrene ceiling tiles (pack of 8)
Cornice adhesive
33mm countersink bit
30mm chipboard screws
Size-20 biscuits
4 x cupboard hinges (two per door)
16 x washers
4 x castor wheels
2 x wooden blocks (about 150mm x
150mm each)
Wood glue
Electric drill
Biscuit joiner
2L White PVA
2L White enamel
Sponge roller and tray set
Sash clamp

DIY Build your own gas fireplace


Step 1
Start building your box by cutting insertions in the back (2000mm x 1000mm), top (2000mm x 486mm) and bottom (2000mm x 486mm) sections with a biscuit joiner. Apply wood glue to the grooves, insert size-20 biscuits and join up the edges.

Tighten with sash clamps and leave to dry.

Step 2
Drill and screw the outer side panels (986mm x 486mm) in place, ensuring that you fit the panels in between the top and bottom sections. Measure and mark 500mm across from either outer edge and insert the two remaining 986mm x 486mm panels. Drill and screw in place.

Your box should now have three divisions: two of 1000mm x 500mm x 500mm deep to either side and a central compartment of 1000mm x 1000mm x 500mm deep. This will be your firebox housing.

Step 3
In the rightmost compartment, drill an 18mm hole in the dividing panel. This is where the connection hose between the firebox and the gas canister will be threaded through. Jigsaw a 280mm x 80mm section out of the back panel close to the bottom edge to make a vent. This is a safety precaution to prevent build-up should there be a gas leak.

Step 4
Using a 33mm counter sink bit, route two recesses (about 10mm deep) to the back of the door panels (1000mm x 500mm). This is where you will recess the hinge mechanisms. Ensure that the outer edge of the recesses is no more than 5mm from the door edge.

Step 5
Measure the outer edges of the firebox. Ours is 784mm x 745mm. Plot these dimensions onto the front central panel (1000mm x 998mm) and jigsaw out.

Step 6
Using cornice adhesive, affix two polystyrene ceiling tiles to the front of the cupboard doors. Leave to dry.

Step 7
Prime the box, doors and central face panel with white PVA. Leave to dry. Apply three coats of primer to each of the sections.

Step 8
Paint the box, doors and face panel with white enamel. Apply two coats and allow at least 24 hours to dry.

Step 9
Fix hinges to door and attach these to the box. Attach the face panel to box.

Step 10
Attach castor wheels to the underside of the box near the corners. Screw in place.

Step 11
Size the geyser blanket to the dimensions of the central compartment and then line the inside. Wrap the two wooden blocks in smaller sections of geyser blanket and fix to the floor of the central compartment.

These will support the firebox.

Step 12
Connecting gas should always be supervised by a registered installer. We strongly advise against connecting gas yourself and be sure to check an installer’s credentials with the Fireplace Association of South Africa. The gas canister will be housed in the rightmost compartment.

Once connected, fit the firebox in the central compartment, switch on and break out the cocoa.

DIY Build your own gas fireplace TIPS Top Tip
We’ve used a professional to help us install the gas cylinder and connect it. Gas products can cause a health and safety hazard if not installed, treated and maintained properly. Be sure to consult the experts when using gas.
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