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  1. Journal Fireplace Surround/Mantel Details: Priming and Painting (and Final Installation)

    Return to Contents Anyone who's read a few of my project posts knows that I dislike painting. I'm too timid with a brush. I see videos where painters apply these long, smooth swaths of paint, but I'm never able to do that. I'm okay with a roller, but my wife detests roller stipple. (She doesn't...
  2. Journal Fireplace Surround/Mantel Details: Attaching the Shelf

    Return to Contents The mantel shelf is a thick slab of solid poplar 4" wide and 1 3/4" thick. The shelf sits on a 1/2" thick spacer that creates a stepped shelf. I don't know how much of a problem wood movement will be, but I decided to use screws to attach the spacer to the shelf in case that...
  3. Journal Fireplace Surround/Mantel Details: Gluing the Shell

    Return to Contents Attaching the inner leg sides and header bottom was the first step in the glue-up. Once the glue dried, I was ready to attach the legs to the header. The faces of the legs and header needed to be flat, so I had to glue them together face down. That meant that I wouldn't be...
  4. Journal Fireplace Surround/Mantel Details: Installing the French Cleat and Sizing the Inner Panels

    Return to Contents My preparation for installing the French cleat started when the tile installer was starting his work. He cut out the sheetrock holding the old tile surround, installed cement backer board, and affixed the tile to the backer. While the wall was opened up, I took photos and...
  5. Journal Fireplace Surround/Mantel Details: Building the Facade and Outer Shell

    Return to Contents The center portions of the legs and header are frames with inset panels. I resawed and planed a board to yield roughly 3/8" thick stock for the panels. Then I used my router table and a 1/4" straight bit to cut the grooves for the frames in two passes, shifting the fence...
  6. Journal Fireplace Surround/Mantel Details: Cutting the Decorative Notches

    Return to Contents The decorative notches that visually separate the feet from the "shoulders" and header are an important design element in this surround. They create shadow lines that make the surround more interesting. It took me a few tries (on scrap wood) for us to find the right width...
  7. Journal Fireplace Surround/Mantel Details: Dealing with Asymmetry

    Return to Contents One problem I had to work around is that the fireplace insert is very slightly off center with respect to the hearth (and the corresponding cutout in the carpet). There's about 1/4" less space to the right of the insert than to the left. We had a few options: making the...
  8. Journal Fireplace Surround/Mantel Details: Overall Approach

    Return to Contents Going into the project, I knew I wanted to build as much of the surround as possible in the shop and install it with a French cleat. I wanted to avoid the stress of building the surround in place, and I didn't want to risk damaging the newly-painted wall (which my wife had...
  9. Journal Fireplace Surround/Mantel Details: Design Considerations

    Return to Contents We recently gave our family room a facelift by repainting it with a new color and scraping off the dated popcorn ceiling texture. To complete the makeover, we needed to update the fireplace. My wife hadn't liked the old tile surround (a yellowish, shiny stone) for many years...
  10. Journal Fireplace Surround/Mantel Details: Introduction and Contents

    This series of journal entries details the design, construction, and installation of the fireplace surround/mantel project I completed recently. Contents Design Considerations Overall Approach Making it Level Dealing with Asymmetry Cutting the Decorative Notches Building the Facade and Outer...
  11. Projects Fireplace Surround/Mantel

    I just finished building this fireplace surround/mantel to complete a recent family room makeover. The room has new paint and fireplace/hearth tile, so it needed a new surround. It's made of solid poplar and painted with Benjamin Moore Super White (paint code OC-152 or PM-1), matte finish. It's...
  12. Walnut Fireplace Mantel and panels

    This is a Walnut mantle that I recently completed. It is a little over 9' wide and stands about 6' tall at the top of the mantel. The mantel is 13" deep. The center panel is again a Walnut Burl veneer with an "L" that represents the customers initials. The "L" is 4 separate pieces that were cut...
  13. Monster Mantel

    Hello all. I just spent the last day (ok, two if you consider design time) making a mantle. A friend who owns a fireplace store needed a custom mantel for a job right away. It is 60 inches tall, 82 inches wide and 10 inches deep at the top. It is in unfinished cherry, both timber and B2 plywood...
  14. Arts and Crafts Mantle Clock

    Made in Woods Class Made out of African Mahogany I didn't use any stain so I used Tung Oil
  15. Oak mantel

    Designed this mantel in sketchup for a customer. Just finishing up the build the ngoing to install it in a few days.
  16. Fireplace mantel

    This is a mantel that I built after purchasing a home that was missing a mantel. My wife picked a picture out online and asked me to build it. I constructed it using plywood with the help of a Kreg jig for the joints. I sprayed it with a latex gloss finish. The crown and decorative trim was...
  17. Den mantle and bookcases

    Wife wanted to mount TV over the fireplace and needed more storage, hence bookcases. The columns on the bottom have hidden storage for 100+ dvds and the horizontal piece under the mantel conceals all of the components (speaker system, DVD player, etc). M
  18. Custom Library Build

    Finished a room renovation to convert my living room into a library. I added in a coffered ceiling and a gas fireplace too. There is a link below to a video if your interested in the finished project or want to see the details of how i built the room. If you have any comments or suggestions...
  19. Arts and crafts mantle clock

    Made this in woods class. It is made of oak wood, no stain, tung oil finish.
  20. Arts and craft Mantle Clock

    I made this in woods class. I made this out of walnut wood. I put on tung Oil on when I was done.
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