Recently a friend asked me about making covers for the hydronic baseboard heat in his art studio, located in a converted 1920s barn. When he bought the place, the barn had been used as retail space for flooring products and the walls had been covered with ugly gray carpet glued to CDX plywood—literally wall-to-wall carpeting. When he went to remove the carpet, he discovered that the sheet-metal covers for the existing baseboard heat had been installed after the wall carpeting, so they would have to come out first. The covers were in poor shape, so he didn't reinstall them. Instead he asked me to help him design and build new wooden covers.

Our design for the covers was easy to build and called for stock-size lumber for the major components (see illustration, above). The covers start with simple right-angle brackets made from scrap 1-by pine that support the heating element. Each bracket consists of an 8-inch vertical with a 2 3/4-inch horizontal piece glued and screwed to it (2...

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