In this video TOH Salvage editor Amy Hughes demonstrates how to build a log holder out of a vintage fireplace front.
1. Use a wire brush to knock off rusty high spots on the summer front. Spray on a rust-inhibiting sealer to prevent any future corrosion.
2. Mark the desired length of the holder (ours is 21 inches) on two 1½-by-3-inch hardwood boards. Use a jigsaw to cut the boards, which will serve as the bottom rails. Cut a third rail to the width of the summer front for the back.
3. For the vertical back supports, measure the height of the summer front and mark the length on a pair of 1½-inch angle irons. Clamp the angles to your worktable and cut them. Cut a second pair of 6-inch angles to fasten to the front itself.
4. On one side of each L-shaped angle iron, mark for screw holes at ¾ inch and 2 inches from the bottom end. Then flip the angle, and mark the same measurements from the top on its opposing side.
5. Steady a steel punch on the mark, and tap it with a hammer. The dent will prevent your bit from moving off the mark when you drill for the holes. Now, bore holes for ¼-inch bolts in all four angles.
6. Position the 6-inch angle irons vertically on the back of the summer front, and use the punch to mark where the bolts will secure the pieces. Drill holes in the summer front, insert the bolts, and twist on the nuts.
7. Mark on the bottom wood rails and on the back support piece where they'll be joined with the angle irons. Drill for the bolt holes.
8. Line up the holes in one end of the horizontal wood rails with those in the angle irons secured to the metal front. Insert the screws and twist on the nuts.
9. Fit the bottoms of the long angle irons around the rear ends of the wood rails, and fasten the pieces together. Secure the wood support piece between the angle irons at their tops, and pat yourself on the back. Your new rack is ready to be stacked with logs.