Recycle Discards into a Fireplace Heat Saver

Using recycled bike handlebars and metal chair frames to construct a fireplace heat saver that helps circulate heat in the homestead.
By Les and Gail Johnson
November/December 1977
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Build this fireplace heat saver using recycled metal bicycle and chair handles.
Photo By Fotolia/aerogondo

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This low-cost fireplace heat saver provides heat circulation using recycled bike handlebars and metal chair frames.

Castoffs salvaged from along a city trash route or the town dump are all the raw materials you need for the construction of this fireplace heat circulator. And while you put the fuel dollar saver together, you can be happy in the knowledge that you're saving yourself at least another $30.00 in original expense alone.

To make our fireplace heat saver we welded our circulator together, but yours should work just as well if you assemble it with nuts and bolts. In fact, almost half the holes you'll need are already there!

Two old bicycle hand labors — grips down-form the base of this heat saver . . . while the five (or six, if you prefer) circulator pipes are cut from three "U"-type chromed kitchen chair frames.

Cut the "U" sections from the chair frames with a hacksaw, taking care to leave legs approximately 14 1/2 inches long on each end of each "U". Then set your handlebars up using the outer tines of an old-style rake as a jig, as shown, and-starting with the centermost "U"s and working out toward each end-weld or bolt the pipes in place. A small C-clamp is all you'll need to hold the pipes as you weld them . . . but, if you assemble your heat saver with bolts, you may have to use a vice or vice-grip pliers for the job.

When the "U"s are all fastened to the handlebars, weld or bolt one of the remaining scraps of chair frame across their tops as a brace. You're finished!

Unless your fireplace has an extremely efficient draft, burn off any remnants of chrome plating still on your circulator outdoors before bringing the device inside. And then, the first time you do use it inside, build a rip-roarer of a blaze in your fireplace and leave the unit's draft wide open so that any remaining chrome fumes go up the chimney.

As you probably know, one of these circulators can increase the efficiency of a fireplace because — when a fire is blazing away in its middle — cool room air is pulled into the bottom of its "U" tubes, warmed by the flames, and then directed back into the room from the tops of the tubes. And every extra Btu that you can capture in this way is just one less Btu that goes up the chimney.

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