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Project by ToddE posted 10-04-2009 11:13 PM 2342 views 4 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a project that I needed to complete before the end of this weekend before it could be operational. It was quite a bit more work than I really wanted to do because there was a lot of panel and gluing to do. I used white oak on this project. This is the first time I used white oak and it is like using hickory! That’s probably why they use it for pallets. Anyway. I needed to tint the wood first, so I used a mixture of denatured alcohol and Transtint (reddish brown) to bring it to a red to match the other furniture in the room.
Since I couldn’t get columns, I tried to keep a uniform design through the thing. By doing things like keeping the 3 panel idea going from the base front, sides and the top overhang. Actually, I read the instructions for building these things, according to the fireplace manufacturer, so that really gave me insight as to how far (combustionable) things have to be and how far the wood can come out over the top and when. Very interesting.
Also, I had cut the corners at a 45 degree because I didn’t want the typical case/face frame look. I wanted the fireplace to have a hearty look with posts. I had originally wanted to do oak columns in the front and box the back, but I didn’t have a lathe to make the posts. I going to order the posts, but the company wanted $770, plus delivery for two 3’ posts. Crazy.
I am going to paste some pictures on here to show how I glued up the corners of the posts. It was very easy, but again, time consuming.
The first picture shows me taping up the corner pieces with gorilla tape. You have to use heavy tape, because there is a lot of pressure on the seam when you bend them together.
taping corners
This picture shows the glue on the joint and there is one that is taped up next to it. Basically, alls you do is tape the front, flip it and then glue it and pull the joints together and tape them to hold them together. I have seen people use rubber bands, but I had too many to put together for rubber bands.
gluing up the taped corners
This last picture shows how the final joints came out. I always try and leave my glue dry over night, especially something like this with such a fine corner joint. After the glue is dried, you tear off the tape. The gorilla tape comes off pretty hard, so don’t force it. I used white oak on this project, so if you pulled the tape too fast and happen to have a sliver stuck to the tape, you can have a pretty good chunk of wood come off before you are done. I cut the tape near the joint on one side and pulled slow, that decreased the pressure of pulling off the tape when I did the other side. Also, after you put the black gorilla tape on, you have to put another layer of tape over that. You would be surprised how it rips right through the tape. I used regular duct tape for the second layer.
final corners, crisp 45s

-- Allegheny Woodshop

11 comments so far

View RouterManiac's profile


96 posts in 4561 days

#1 posted 10-04-2009 11:24 PM

It came out great, love the use of duck tape! It really does make a good clamp.

-- Ken, Florida,

View griff's profile


1207 posts in 5042 days

#2 posted 10-05-2009 03:27 AM

It looks great ToddE, Great color, finish and design. Very good build.

-- Mike, Bruce Mississippi = Jack of many trades master of none

View kansas's profile


165 posts in 4981 days

#3 posted 10-05-2009 03:35 AM

I like the design. I turned out nice.

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 4565 days

#4 posted 10-05-2009 04:30 AM

Great design and build.

-- John @

View a1Jim's profile


118296 posts in 4857 days

#5 posted 10-05-2009 04:34 AM

View scottishrose's profile


110 posts in 4446 days

#6 posted 10-05-2009 04:55 AM

the woodwork looks well done as does the design work.
If you do another project where you are looking for architectural columns, try an architectrual salvage place. Many times you can get some beautiful turned pieces for just a few dollars if you are willing to do the stripping.
As wood gets more scarce and people see the cost of buying custom new, many more of these businesses keep turning up. There are at least three within 20 miles of where I live where you can get quite old to brand new from light fixtures, appliances, furniture, molding, glass block, maple gymnasium flooring, granite slabs, brand new sinks with faucets, marble, doors, windows, and hundreds of feet of antique molding taken from a project slated for demo. Prices vary from place to place, but many put their inventory on the web, so you can get an idea of what they have before you make the trip. I was looking for some wooden closet doors to mount as sliding to replace the folding ones I have that take up so much room to open. I found raised panel doors – new, never used for $10.00 a piece and they had quite a few in stock. They also had a whole slew of newel posts which would probably work very well as table pedistals, fireplace ends – if you can find 2 the same etc. You can probably keep at least $675 or more of that $770 in your pocket while creating a new heirloom.

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5346 days

#7 posted 10-05-2009 05:15 AM

Looks great – nice job.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View ToddE's profile


143 posts in 5214 days

#8 posted 10-05-2009 05:18 AM

Thanks for the advice scottishrose. I stopped at a couple antique dealerships and auctions. I found one set of columns, but they wanted 150 bucks, because they were “vintage”. Sounds like ebay stuff. Anywho, I couldn’t find anything I liked so I thought I would go with a more classic design. I didn’t want to do the flat fluted things that everyone seems to smack on stuff now in the furniture stores, so I built the panels. Oh well, I got my lathe going tonight, so I can get some turned myself. As soon as I figure out how to use it safely.

-- Allegheny Woodshop

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5579 days

#9 posted 10-06-2009 12:32 AM

Very nice, I think it looks great. Also a great design, & craftsmanship.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4953 days

#10 posted 10-06-2009 01:03 AM

Nice work!

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3665 posts in 4992 days

#11 posted 10-06-2009 06:07 AM

Very handsome fireplace surround! Your tutorial was helpful, too. Thanks for posting.

-- Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities” There are 112 genders (not including male and female)

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