natural edge cedar mantel

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Project by cedarcanoeman posted 02-10-2010 10:26 PM 12199 views 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wanted my first commision job and got it. I have a friend building himself a new house and he needed a mantel for his basement fireplace. I found the knarliest cedar log i could find and had it cut. The sizes are 5 1/2 in. thick by about 12 in. deep and 6 FT. long. I mounted a couple of 6 in. logs and drawknifed a few pegs to cap the bottoms. The live edge has places deep enough to slide your hand into. I routed out the back and made an oak french cleat to hang the mantel. 4coats of semi waterborn poly really makes her shine. The fun part, was being there to see his face lite up and his ongoing comments of its beauty. He said if he ever moves it is going with him. He also stated that his wife and children just stood and stared and rubbed their hands back and forth on it. Well the liked it so much that they ordered some custom cedar bar tops, another mantel for upstairs and possibly a custom cedar coffee table with a glass insert. Time to buy more tools…....

-- Lance, southwest Missouri, [email protected]

11 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4586 days

#1 posted 02-10-2010 10:28 PM

that’s as unique as it gets good job.


View Dudley's profile


742 posts in 4269 days

#2 posted 02-10-2010 11:06 PM

That’s a real beauty & unique. BZ

-- Dudley Young USN Retired. Sebastian, Fl.

View jsquared's profile


61 posts in 4046 days

#3 posted 02-10-2010 11:19 PM

Very nice. We are considering remodeling our fire place down the road to have a natural wood mantel. A bid question I have is related to mounting it on the wall. What’s a French cleat and how does it work? Can you point me in to some information? I definitely like the natural look you have there and want to replicate something very similar to that with perhaps an old barn beam from the farm back home. Keep us posted on the upcoming commissioned work.

-- Jsquared, Texas

View jayjay's profile


639 posts in 4055 days

#4 posted 02-10-2010 11:42 PM

That’s a great one of a kind piece.

-- ~Jason~ , Albuquerque NM

View sphere's profile


109 posts in 4040 days

#5 posted 02-11-2010 12:00 AM


Ummm….sombudy stole yer fireplace.

-- Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Wood Works

View cedarcanoeman's profile


46 posts in 4103 days

#6 posted 02-11-2010 12:14 AM

Dear, jsquared.
I learned about the french cleat on Wood Whisperers. What I did was take a 1×4 piece of oak and cut it length wise on the table saw at an 45 degree angle. I then mounted one angle inside the mantel and one angle mounted on the wall. When you slide the mantel over the wall angle and into the protruding angle in the mantel they come together and hold the mantel up. Kinda hard to explain should have taken a pic. before i hung it. If you go to Wood Whisperer he has videos and you can go to the one about french cleats. He makes many to hang tools this one is 6 foot long and out of hard wood for strength. I hope this helps and thanks for the comments.

-- Lance, southwest Missouri, [email protected]

View panhandler's profile


24 posts in 4174 days

#7 posted 02-11-2010 02:35 AM

That is a really nice mantel, I recently got a cedar tree that was being cut down and took it to the saw mill, the guy sawed it into 1” boards I have stacked it in my boat shed rafters with slats between the layers for air flow, could you guess how long it should dry and when I finish it will poly keep the color from fading?

-- Florida Panhandler

View brandonsommer's profile


33 posts in 4046 days

#8 posted 02-11-2010 02:52 AM

Really like the way that Cedar looks. Great job!

View Ken90712's profile


17973 posts in 4197 days

#9 posted 02-11-2010 08:43 PM

Great Mantel I did one out of exotic cedar log as well. Love the colors great work keep it up!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View cedarcanoeman's profile


46 posts in 4103 days

#10 posted 02-11-2010 11:06 PM

Dear panhandler,
I would let the cedar air dry for 1 yr. Sticker all of the boards so air can get between and let it dry slowly. I sand the cedar right before i put finish on it sealing in all the deep color. What i understand causes the fading or red and purple colors to turn brownish is contact to air. I have a few pieces that have poly on them and have no signs of fading. Thanks for the comments

-- Lance, southwest Missouri, [email protected]

View TZH's profile


600 posts in 4149 days

#11 posted 02-12-2010 04:40 PM

Here’s a link to instructions for making a French Cleat:

Should be able to download and save it to your computer.

What a great mantel. Might I ask how much you charge for something like that? I make these types of mantels too and am always unsure of what to charge my customers.

-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

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