I know this is a long drawn out series – but there’s more components than average to this build, due to the flanking bookcases.
The 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.
I use a tapering jig, but you can use a homemade version just as well. This will add a slight taper to our side pieces.
Once 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.
A piece is cut for the side top reveal.
An additional piece is cut to wrap around the front of the marble top. It is then painted before attaching.
Now 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.
I 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.
The three back-band pieces are glued and nailed together, I then joined the front mantle to the side pieces with a biscuit and glue.
The mantle and back band were all assembled as a one piece unit to keep everything flat and straight.
Then the assembled mantle was test fit into place.
The 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.
Wiring from a wall switch is run under the mantle to both sides of the fireplace for the final test fit.
The wires were for these. Called Sillites, they will allow us to plug in Christmas lights or other decorations on the mantle.
Once the wiring is run we can finally glue and attach the mantle.
Time to start sanding and finishing.
One 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.
I’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.
The Sillites have a cover when not in use.
So 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.