Fireplace Mantle for a new friend

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Project by NoLongerHere posted 03-04-2014 02:53 AM 9468 views 4 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finally had the opportunity to take a picture of this mantle that I built and share it with you.

It’s made of solid poplar. The top is 7 3/4” deep by 1 1/2” with a routed edge to give the illusion it’s 1” thick.

The 7/8” thick raised paneled columns have splined and glued 45 degree corners and mortise and tenon joinery.

The small 1 3/4” trim inside at the granite is obsolete new old stock I found in someone’s attic from the 60s.

I try to recycle something old into every project like this… my own little pleasure trip.

The client, Scott originally hired me to help him with his stair railings. see project: One more Stair Rail.

They turned out really nice so he asked me to build the mantle.

....still waiting for the carpet.

We were very pleased the way it came out.

It’s nice to have repeat clients and I’m glad to have a new friend.


Note: The story continues, see comments below!

16 comments so far

View MHarper90's profile


94 posts in 2488 days

#1 posted 03-04-2014 03:48 AM

Beautiful mantle! I’m actually in the process of building a mantel at my parent’s house, but it’s in a tricky corner with a tile surround and a window above it (very strange…). I’m making it up as I go, and am almost done building and priming the main structure and will attach the moldings tomorrow. I really like yours though. Too bad this fireplace is so darn awkward…

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30559 posts in 3139 days

#2 posted 03-04-2014 08:09 AM

Great job. Looks like a really great time.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Ken90712's profile


17888 posts in 3989 days

#3 posted 03-04-2014 12:13 PM

Great looking mantel, Very tight.

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

View CJIII's profile


157 posts in 2405 days

#4 posted 03-04-2014 12:21 PM

Beautiful fireplace mantle.

-- Woodworking with Limited Tools

View SPalm's profile


5336 posts in 4683 days

#5 posted 03-04-2014 01:13 PM

Nice job. And nice lines on the mantel – goes well with the railing.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View pastorglen's profile


267 posts in 3491 days

#6 posted 03-04-2014 01:26 PM

Wow! That is VERY nice. Classic!

-- Glen, Pennsylvania, Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."

View Bobsboxes's profile


1447 posts in 3464 days

#7 posted 03-04-2014 02:30 PM

Very nice, always nice to get a call for more work from a good client. Repeat work always makes me smile. Great looking stairs also.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View R_Stad's profile


428 posts in 2644 days

#8 posted 03-04-2014 03:11 PM

Beautiful work all around. Nice comment about making a new friend. It doesn’t get any better than that.

-- Rod - Oregon

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4395 days

#9 posted 03-04-2014 05:22 PM

Great job

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View a1Jim's profile


118079 posts in 4378 days

#10 posted 03-04-2014 05:26 PM

Very nice looking fireplace surround.


View NoLongerHere's profile


893 posts in 3476 days

#11 posted 03-05-2014 03:13 PM

Thanks everyone! I can’t believe this made the top 3! very cool.

We had a lot of fun designing the mantle together.

I jokingly told him I was going to build it so the top opened and a AR-15 rifle in a spring loaded hydraulic rack would pop out. He laughed and said. Great idea!

I said we could make the sides so they open up with a hidden push button to hide the handguns, tear gas, ammo and banana clips. The other side would be for hiding his Bit coins, gold and silver stash. Ha!

It was pretty funny. We continued to joke about it and he added some good ideas too!

Of course, it’s a silly idea. The doors would show, the lid might warp, there’d be seams, not to mention the heat and the cost….but it was fun to think about it and joke around.

Otherwise, it’s just a boring painted mantle!

Last Saturday, we went to the World of Wheels at the Stevenson Convention center in Chicago.

(no wives, guys only) We had a great time.

Lots of cool cars,.... the place was huge.

I’ve owned a lot of muscle cars in my days. I used to fix them up, put a set of shiny rims and tires on it
and make a few bucks after driving it for a month or two.

We drove there in my new Ford Explorer – “the Starship” I just bought for my wife. What a nice ride.

She let me drive it to the show instead of the big work van or my modified jeep.

Even though it had GPS we got lost and ended up driving through the O’Hare airport on the way there AND on the way back! If you lived in Chicago, you wouldn’t laugh, you’d know! It’s like a spaghetti bowl in that area.

I had an orange 70 GTO Judge once, paid 1800.00 for it. Fixed it up and sold it for 2300, thought I was rich.

I had a 56 Chevy pickup too. I wanted to paint it canary yellow like this one but had to sell it to pay the rent.

56 and 57 Chevy’s are so badass….

lots of 1932 hot rods there, never owned one but they sure look cool.

the rusty rod is real popular now.

32” rims! What!.....nice way to ruin a new Camaro…..this is so wrong!

One of my first cars was a 66 El Camino SS 327 with a 2 speed power glide, fat Posi traction tires on Cragar rims, and cobra style chrome header side pipes. It wasn’t that fast but boy, was it loud!

I owned a 70 Chevelle SS 396 with a Muncie 4 spd. Dark blue with white stripes, cowl induction hood, white interior…..very fast. The front end grill is one of me favorites.

The 62 Chevy 11 SS is one of my sleeper favorites. although, this was no sleeper!.... awesome!

If I wasn’t so involved in woodworking, I would’ve been a motor head with a complete shop set up with antique signs, metal lathes, welders and drawers of tools. I would probably have a lift too. Man, I love cars!

I’ve always wanted to build this – a 65 Ford Cobra 427.

They make the Performance kit so well that even Carol Shelby gave it his blessing.

It’s on the bucket list anyway…...someday, you’ll see.

the 67 impala was the first car I bought when I moved here from California. It had a ” love knob” on the steering wheel with a picture of Marilyn Monroe on it… you can keep one hand free.

I bought it for 200.00 from the owner of the Lake Forest Standard gas station I remodeled many years ago.

Many fond memories in the back seat at the drive in….great view! Ha!

The 69 Camaro SS RS is by far my favorite car. The hide away head lights and front grill are killer.

I had a 68 with a 350 4 spd. but it wasn’t worth much at the time, sold it for 1500.00, sure wouldn’t mind having it back now.

this is probably more my speed…..

Scott has owned several corvettes and really liked the newest model. It’s completely changed – looks like a Lamborghini from behind. I didn’t get a picture of it, darn it.

so many toys, so little time.


It snowed another 4” while we were there so we couldn’t drive home faster than 30 MPH. The streets and signs were covered in snow and my wipers were a mess. It took two hours to get home.

A limo almost ran in to the front of us at the airport too! wife, Lynn would’ve killed me!

What a Great adventure!

btw – Now, he wants me to build him a wrap around bar. stay tuned…...

View 489tad's profile


3859 posts in 3812 days

#12 posted 03-05-2014 04:10 PM

What a great day Mark. Absolutely would have loved to see those cars. Fireplace mantle is nice too.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4395 days

#13 posted 03-05-2014 06:57 PM

That first green car is the green my 2004 night train is being painted right now, most old-timers will tell you that a green bike is bad luck but its my fav color and i’m not too superstitious hee hee

My first car was a 67 impala convertible mann i love the cars from the 60’s

Awesome pics looks like it was a blast, thanks for sharing

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View Richard's profile


1940 posts in 3491 days

#14 posted 03-06-2014 08:50 PM

Mark , you had better not play with those last 2 toys or Momma will get VERY Angry. :)

View Holli's profile


94 posts in 2338 days

#15 posted 03-11-2014 07:40 PM

VERY NICE JOB!! I like it.

-- Holli

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