Well, another exciting project is (nearly) finished in our ongoing on-verge-of-becoming-a-saga-kitchen-renovation. We have built and installed our DIY Range Hood Fan with our Broan Insert from build.com.
I am breathing a sigh or relief after this one. It actually was a lot easier then I thought it was going to be, but we went back and forth for so long trying to make a decision about exactly what we wanted that I am glad to have finally made a decision and gotten on with it!
And today I have a very long and detailed tutorial for you, in case you ever decide you want to tackle a project like this. Now that it is finished (aside from painting), I would say it was well worth the effort.
You do need access to some tools to build this wooden hood fan. We used a table saw, a nail gun, and a drill. The materials were 3/4″ plywood, some 1/2″ plywood, 1/4″ MDF, and MDF corner molding and flat molding for finishing it off. We also used wood glue, clamps, and a straight edge and pencil for marking where to nail during assembly….
Of course the most important part of this DIY was the Broan PM390 Custom Range Hood Insert that we ordered from build.com. This unit has many awesome features as well as the option to be recirculating, but we had some new ducting installed so that we could vent ours outside.
Okay, I want to make this as simple to understand as possible.
Keep in mind that I am only a “learning” woodworker/builder. I had a great deal of help in executing this project – my Dad was really the brains behind the operation. He is a master woodworker and has built entire kitchens from scratch before. But I did work along with him for the process and I learned a ton!
I’m hoping that by sharing this project, I can help other more ‘beginning’ woodworkers get a good grasp on how to complete a project like this.
The basic idea was that we built a frame to house the Broan hood fan insert out of (mainly) 3/4″ plywood. We then hung the frame on the wall, installed the Broan insert, and faced the frame with 1/4″ MDF and then molding.
The last step will be painting, but I have something special planned for that and will share that in another post.
Just so you can get a visual of what we were working towards as I show you the tutorial pictures, this is how the frame looked when we were finished construction it… For simplicity sake, I am going to number the pieces and explain them to you: 1 – are the side pieces. We cut two of these out of 1/2″ plywood. You could also use 3/4″ plywood which is what we used for the rest of the frame, and adjust your measurements accordingly.
2 – is the base piece. This is the piece that houses the actual Broan insert (see the cut out portion in the center – we cut that out according to the sizes indicated in the instructions that came with our hood fan insert. Read the instructions and safety warnings on your insert FIRST.
3 – these pieces I called the framing pieces. We used them for structure and support – the back ones were used to hang the finished frame on the wall. The front ones were used to attach the MDF facing piece to once the frame was attached to the wall and the hood fan was installed.
4 – this piece I called the “face piece”. It is a straight 6″ tall piece, after which the hood fan slants up and back at an angle. I labelled the finished fan here: Okay, here is how we cut the wood for the frame: If that doesn’t make sense and you are confused, comment on this post or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to answer any questions you have.
Let’s move on to the actual assembly…
We started by putting wood glue into the routered out section along the side pieces (one at a time). Then we slid the base piece into the routered out section, marked the line for the base piece along the exterior of the side using a straight edge and a pencil, and nailed into the base piece through the side of the side piece along the marked line…
Once the base piece was glued and nailed to both side pieces, it was time to attach the 4 frame pieces to the front and back. We used wood glue and then nails to attach them…
We used a large clamp to hold it in place while we glued and nailed… making sure to keep things flush before nailing. After the 4 frame pieces were attached, it was time to attach the 6″ wide face piece. You can see here that we continued to mark with a pencil where we should nail so as to make sure that we didn’t miss the plywood we were nailing into… And the frame is complete!
Next we cut pieces out of 1/4″ MDF to face the exterior of the frame and give it a smooth finish to paint on… We traced the sides of the hood fan cabinet onto the MDF and then cut them out on the table saw. We also measured and cut pieces for the 6″ face and then the angled face up the front of the unit. We attached the MDF to the sides and the 6″ face piece right away using the nail gun, but obviously had to wait to attach the face piece of MDF until after we had hung the frame on the wall and installed the Broan insert.
Okay… it’s built.
Now is time to hang this baby… We predrilled holes through the back of the frame pieces where we planned to attach it to the wall (using very long wood screws)… We held it up on the wall. I helped hold it as well, but snapped a quick picture first… We made sure it was straight and level… And screwed it into the studs using through the holes that we had predrilled in the back frame pieces…
Then we prepped the hood fan insert… Making sure to review the manufacturers instructions, of course… And attached it to the wooden frame we had built according to the directions… It’s all in place! Now since we aren’t going for the slightly edgy industrial look of the metal insert showing, it was time to finish it off by covering our frame with the 1/4″ MDF pieces we had measured and cut to size… The sides and 6″ face had already been covered, so we just had to nail the larger front piece on. Then we framed it out with some corner moldings…
And then some moldings across the front…
We just need paint! We also plan to add some more molding along the sides (after the tiling has been completed up to the sides of the fan) as well as add some beautiful corbels underneath it. But it is pretty exciting have a functioning fan after being without one since last August!
Here is how the Broan insert looks from underneath (we will be painting the plywood that buts up to it as well)… And it even has some great little lights! So, I must say, it is pretty exciting to have another functional piece of our kitchen done.
Next up: tile. Then finishing off the corbels/molding/paint for the hood fan. Painting the window trim. Installing the light fixtures. Paneling the ceiling (I still have my fingers crossed on that one). Planking the peninsula. Installing toekick and crown molding on the cabinets. And adding some open shelving.
Almost there?! AHHH!! Sounds like a long list… Wish me luck.
I think I need a coffee… or maybe I should switch to Matcha. This could take a while.