Downstairs Built-ins Extravaganza! #14: Things so far and sketching out mantel and my new macaw

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Blog entry by BethMartin posted 08-01-2009 09:40 PM 1506 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Next unit! Part 14 of Downstairs Built-ins Extravaganza! series Part 15: Phase I complete-ish »

I need to get motivated to get going again. Still have a lot to do! Here is where I’m at so far, you can see where I’ve been going with all this.

So you can see that the big units are in. I still need to put on all the molding, side panels, doors and drawer fronts. And a few more adjustable shelves still need to be cut too. A LOT of small things. But at least we can kind of use them to hold stuff for the time being.

What we did during this remodel was put in a new gas insert, and also push out that wall so that we could run wiring above the fireplace and put the big tv there. My plan for that little center speaker you see is to put it within the mantel. Which is what I want to work on next! Here is my rough sketch…

I want to make the top of the mantel removable, so that I can have the option of running things through it like the wire for the Wii sensor bar, and if I need to get at the speaker. There is also a space left behind the wall to make some extra room for the speaker, once we figure out exactly where it will sit. Then the mantel doesn’t have to stick out too far. This is probably really confusing, but there is a method to my madness! :)

One of my questions is, how are mantels usually attached to walls? Are they hung on some sort of bracket or are they just bolted on? I’m thinking I might make the top portion of the mantel first. And I need to think about accomodating the tile which I will make later (I make handmade tile.)

Any mantel tips are appreciated!

The big reason I’m so distracted from my project is I got my new baby Hahn’s macaw. His name is Buzz, and he is the cutest!

These are the smallest of the macaws, and they are excellent talkers. He’s only 11 weeks old and really wobbly on his feet, but he flies pretty well. He is a big snuggabugga and wants to be on someone all the time.

-- Beth

5 comments so far

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3784 days

#1 posted 08-01-2009 10:14 PM

The mantle I have seen were bolted onto the wall. However, they were “free standing” so they had to support a lot of weight. It looks like yours will be supported by columns so the fastening method may not have to be so rigorous.

Cute Bird!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View a1Jim's profile


117128 posts in 3606 days

#2 posted 08-01-2009 10:26 PM

Looks like a good mantle design

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View robbi's profile


176 posts in 3984 days

#3 posted 08-02-2009 07:26 PM

French Cleat for the fireplace mantle? I think those have to be attached though….hmmm. Are you worried about the amount of heat the insert will generate with the TV above it? I have an insert actually, it is more like a wood stove, it sticks out quite far and it gets crazy hot, I’m too chicken to put a TV above it. I like your design and I can’t believe you get so much done with kids…mine are all moved out and I think I get less done than you!! Nice work.

-- Robin, California

View BethMartin's profile


111 posts in 3407 days

#4 posted 08-02-2009 11:41 PM

The insert puts out a lot of heat, and in front of the fireplace it gets really warm, but not so much directly above it. I keep meaning to put a thermometer where the tv is when the insert is going to prove that it’s really not at all hot. And then the mantel will work to deflect heat too. But really, the blower seems to go more downwards and forwards from the bottom, and not straight up.

Now, we just had a big ol’ record breaking heatwave here in the Seattle area. It was 106 at our house and we have no air conditioning. THAT definitely took its toll on our electronics and we kept everything shut down during the worst of it. In fact, the a/v receiver shut itself down, it couldn’t take it! lol!

If I didn’t have kids, I think I would be done by now lol! And now I’ve got this little bird to feed too. It’s going to take me a while!

-- Beth

View cwdance1's profile


1158 posts in 3288 days

#5 posted 08-04-2009 01:57 AM

I have a blue and gold and he would hang on me all day if I would let him. He is great company when he wants to be and realy loud when he wants attention. Good luck with the bird.

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