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How would you make a 12' long mantel?

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Forum topic by PPK posted 11-09-2020 02:38 PM 733 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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PPK

1857 posts in 1865 days


11-09-2020 02:38 PM

I need to make a mantel that’s nearly 30” wide x 11’ long. It’s hickory, and due to the nature of the grain, I think it would look very odd to have a splice perpendicular to the grain at 8’ (or anywhere). I cannot get 12’ plywood. So, how would you go about doing it?

The mantel will be 2.25” thick, and pretty simple. It’ll just get an edge to make it that thick, it won’t be 2.25” thick all the way through.

I’d rather not glue up solid wood, even though I CAN get it in 12’ lengths, because it’s over a gas fireplace insert, and I just don’t have the desire to do all the wood movement stuff required…

If I could find 12’ veneer, how does one go about applying veneer to a plywood? I’ve never done veneer.

-- Pete


16 replies so far

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jmartel

9168 posts in 3206 days


#1 posted 11-09-2020 02:55 PM

For veneer you can use a vacuum bag setup or a veneer hammer if using hot hide glue.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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Sark

405 posts in 1416 days


#2 posted 11-09-2020 03:10 PM

Do I understand that the mantel extends 30” out from the wall? That’s deeper than any mantel I’ve ever seen.
And if it does, it’s liable to get hot, no?
A sketch might help, I can’t quite visualize a mantel that deep and wide.

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PPK

1857 posts in 1865 days


#3 posted 11-09-2020 03:22 PM

Yeah, sorry, it’s not really a mantel, per se. Here’s the drawing. I don’t think it will get too hot, but certainly warmer at times. That’s why I’d rather use plywood for its stability

.

-- Pete

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sras

5950 posts in 4185 days


#4 posted 11-09-2020 03:58 PM

My first reaction is that you are making a solid wood countertop. It’s been done many times – a little research should give you what you need. My guess is as long as you anchor the top at the back and let the front float it should work. If there is going to be something like a backsplash you could anchor in the middle and let half the float go to the front and half to the back.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7272 posts in 1638 days


#5 posted 11-09-2020 06:21 PM

I would use solid lumber and float the front. Length won’t be a problem, nor will the thickness direction… and if you’re putting an edge on the front, you could hide the floating of the top behind that, couldn’t you?

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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Sark

405 posts in 1416 days


#6 posted 11-09-2020 09:07 PM

I also probably use solid lumber. The 30” wide ends might need something like a bread board edge to allow for shrinkage, and that’s a bit more difficult. The 2 1/4” edging/nosing would glue nicely to the solid countertop in front, and it’s quite easy to attach the wood countertop to the cabinets to allow for wood movement…oversized holes, screws with large washers.

If you do find the right size veneer, then you can use contact adhesive…which is pretty easy to work with. I prefer the solvent based formulas but water based would work fine. Roll out the glue on both surfaces, wait till is dries and then put down the veneer. This I’ve done dozens of times. Be aware that the bond is instant and cannot be moved. Read up on how to do this, its pretty easy.

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DS

3727 posts in 3476 days


#7 posted 11-09-2020 11:16 PM

However you do it, (a fielders choice if you ask me), be sure that you check with the National Building Code governing fireplaces and fireplace mantles.
This is a highly regulated section and failure to follow the guidelines can result in both civil and/or criminal liability.

It always seems that designers want to stretch the boundaries of safety in the name of “good design”.
For me, I could not, in good conscience, build something that was knowingly unsafe.
My 2 cents.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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AlaskaGuy

6482 posts in 3365 days


#8 posted 11-09-2020 11:53 PM



However you do it, (a fielders choice if you ask me), be sure that you check with the National Building Code governing fireplaces and fireplace mantles.
This is a highly regulated section and failure to follow the guidelines can result in both civil and/or criminal liability.

It always seems that designers want to stretch the boundaries of safety in the name of “good design”.
For me, I could not, in good conscience, build something that was knowingly unsafe.
My 2 cents.

- DS


It’s all a bit confusing to me given the description of the project. I think this is a 30” x 12’ wooden countertop. But I could be wrong.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Loren

11152 posts in 4704 days


#9 posted 11-10-2020 12:27 AM

Any way the clients will accept it in 3 pieces?

I have sometimes forgotten to add a surcharge to larger pieces of work for the pita factor and regretted it.

Both veneer and plywood can be had in 12’ lengths. The plywood may be difficult to get but the veneer can be mail ordered. I would go with paper backed and contact cement unless the work was real high end and I could justify the expense of a bag for the one job.

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PPK

1857 posts in 1865 days


#10 posted 11-10-2020 12:57 AM

Sorry about the description. Yes, it should say something like fireplace surround top.

I’ve read the architects guide to the fireplace, all the clearances are met and exceeded.

Sounds like a consensus, I’ll just build up a wooden cou terrio out of boards. I priced veneer… itll be well over $300. I can procure some 12’ 4/4 boards for less than that. So I’ll go ahead and glue up some boards, edge them and make some slotted supports etc. Thanks for the replies.

I do seem to get myself into large pieces often… I’ve gotten better at charging the right amount… but at times (like this) I still wonder :-)

-- Pete

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LeeRoyMan

1686 posts in 783 days


#11 posted 11-10-2020 01:41 AM

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Foghorn

1150 posts in 443 days


#12 posted 11-10-2020 01:50 AM


- LeeRoyMan

I was thinking similar. Thanks for the validation!

-- Darrel

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PPK

1857 posts in 1865 days


#13 posted 11-10-2020 02:08 AM

^Oh yeah! I like this idea! I may run this past the client and see if she’s ok with this look. Thanks LeeRoyMan

-- Pete

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DS

3727 posts in 3476 days


#14 posted 11-11-2020 06:10 PM



- LeeRoyMan

+1
When I need a splice, this is my preferred method

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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PPK

1857 posts in 1865 days


#15 posted 11-16-2020 06:48 PM

On Saturday I got the top built. Thanks for the input. It turned out well. I have yet to sand it.

-- Pete

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

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