I know it’s been a while, but I am done with my woodworking for the winter, because I finished! All I need to do now is make some tile for the fireplace surround/hearth. (The baseboard molding of the cabinets and mantel is not actually attached yet, I just propped them up for the pic.) The picture is not that great – the finish looks a lot better in person – the mantel pics below show the color better.
The mantel was the last part that I needed to do before I could move our cars back into our garage. I am so glad too, because we were able to park in there again just before this freaky cold spell hit. Whew!
Here are some various pics of my mantel as I was working on it. It is basically just a hollow box and it is held onto the wall with french cleats. The top of it is removable so if I want to run any new low-voltage wires through it ever, it will be super easy. (The speaker wires were already in place in the wall behind the center speaker). The corbels are just really simple and I made those by doubling up the wood that I’ve been using all along.
It’s all just really hanging by its french cleats right now and super-removable. So when I do the tile it won’t be a big deal to take it down and get it out of the way.
I had some issues with my staining when I was making the doors. I went through my usual routine of dye-shellac-stain-topcoat. But when I got to the topcoat stage, patches of stain would come completely off and leave big light spots. It was a total nightmare, and I still don’t know what exactly caused it. It wasn’t glue – it would happen on pieces that never saw glue too. I didn’t have that problem at all with the first batches of staining. There are also some color differences between the cabinets and the doors, and I think it has to do with me fixing this staining issue on the door and having them come out a bit darker. However, it doesn’t bother me enough to want to fix it. ;P And once I have my colorful tile up on the fireplace, it’ll distract everyone from the variation.
Another issue I’ve had is that my backs CRACKED. Once that freaky cold spell hit, and the humidity plummeted, these cracks showed up. So then I patched them, and then they cracked even more! I would be sitting at the computer and I could hear them. I think it’s because they are so big and move so much and one side is against a cold outside wall and the other is under the heat vent. And I probably could have shimmed them a lot better. So I’ve decided to just let everything settle for the winter and crack as much as it wants and then I’ll come back with some caulk and fix it all up.
Thanks to everyone for following along with me and cheering me on! It helped so much! And I learned a TON.