Fireplace Freestyle Fiddling #4 It’s Mantle Time

I know this is a long drawn out series – but there’s more components than average to this build, due to the flanking bookcases.

1-checking-the-taperThe tops of the bookcases are slightly sloped intentionally – and because of this the side panel will need to be tapered. First a level is placed on top and the gap is measured for the taper. This is how much we will remove from the bottom to make the top level.

2-trper-jigI use a tapering jig, but you can use a homemade version just as well. This will add a slight taper to our side pieces.

3-squaring-the-sideOnce we have the pieces cut we then need to square the sides to the window casing. I used a framing square and shim out the side piece so everything is now square.

4-tapered-sideA piece is cut for the side top reveal.

5-side-paintedAn additional piece is cut to wrap around the front of the marble top. It is then painted before attaching.

6-mantle-roughNow we’re ready to make the mantle. This is a 5/4 (1″) X 10 clear white pine board. I just set it up to get an idea of the overhang.

7-back-band-cutI decided to make a back-band to go at the back of the mantle. I used a router to add some detail to the top and then cut the three pieces. Here I’m test fitting the cuts.

8-mantle-sides-joinedThe three back-band pieces are glued and nailed together, I then joined the front mantle to the side pieces with a biscuit and glue.

9-mantle-glue-upThe mantle and back band were all assembled as a one piece unit to keep everything flat and straight.

10-test-fit-mantleThen the assembled mantle was test fit into place.

11-painting-back-bandThe back band is finished and a hole was drilled in each side leg of the mantle. I made the side mantle top slightly narrower to make the joint easier to finish and not have to be concerned about the joint separating.

12-mantle-wiringWiring from a wall switch is run under the mantle to both sides of the fireplace for the final test fit.

13-sillite-receptaclesThe wires were for these. Called Sillites, they will allow us to plug in Christmas lights or other decorations on the mantle.

14-attaching-the-mantleOnce the wiring is run we can finally glue and attach the mantle.

15-mantle-in-placeTime to start sanding and finishing.

16-fireplace-side-detailOne more detail is added to the side of pilaster to mirror the design in the sunroom.The paint is BM Ice White in Impervo enamel.

17-shell-detailI’ll sand and paint this a total of four times. I start will 100 grit and finish with 400. It is tedious, but when it’s finally done you can feel the difference.

18-sillite-receptacleThe Sillites have a cover when not in use.

19-finish-paintingSo you think we’d be done – but nooooo – we still have to finish the original details on the bookcases – and slide the fireplace in there.

One more post on this thing and I’m outa here – promise.

 

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21 thoughts on “Fireplace Freestyle Fiddling #4 It’s Mantle Time

    • Hi Laura –
      Yes, I put them towards the back on each side. One of my real jobs is being a corporate display designer and I hate running power cords all over the place. Crazy too.

    • Hey Chad – I know what you mean about the receptacle in the center. Now you can’t use regular outlets like the ones in the wall – they have to have a shutter that closes off the holes – this is to keep you from being electrocuted when you spill a beer while dancing on the mantle.

  1. Curt, I just finish throwing all my tools in trash, when’s the soonest you can come out!? Great work man, as always. I love the hidden outlets, nice touch.

    • Alex, you are too kind. Get them tools out of the can, man! This is not difficult. It’s a table saw, a router and some store bought carvings. Sure I’m OCD, but I’m no Norm from This Old House. But thanks anyways.

    • Hi Jessica – work is stuff you don’t like to do – this is more like play for me. Just ask my wife – she thinks I’m crazy.

    • Thanks Jacqui! Sorry I missed this note earlier. I haven’t posted in almost 2 months because I’ve been so busy with work, but I’ll be back to finish in 2017. Thanks for always stopping by and commenting – it means a lot. Happy New Year!

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