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Fireplace Mantle #1: Fireplace upgrade

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Blog entry by Lee A. Jesberger posted 2217 days ago 1853 reads 4 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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When my step daughter wanted to upgrade the fireplace mantle in her family room, we worked from a picture in a magazine she had, to come up with a design that was similar but would work in her room. We also added some crown molding and then repainted the room.

Since all work was to be painted, we were able to fill screw holes and the saw kerfs we used to curve the crown molding. For filler we used Bondo, which while designed for the automotive industry, it is a great product for woodworkers to use. It’s easy to work with, tough, and permanent.

I’ll try to get some more pictures showing the finished mantle from a closer position. I keep forgetting to get them.












Making the mitered pilasters, using blue painters’ tape. This is an excellent way to make long miter joints easily. This is surprisingly effective, and very dependable in getting perfect results.










When laying out the flutes try to use odd numbers of flutes. The same holds true for many woodworking designs, including building entertainment centers, an odd number of components looks best, carving shells and much more. I used to know why that holds true, but at the moment, I can’t recall. I’ll probably wake up at two in the morning with the reason.








Dry fitting the upper mantle is a good idea as it allows you to make changes as you work. If you don’t like something about how it’s starting to look, you still have the opportunity to make changes without too much trouble.










Notice the saw kerfs on the crown molding. The molding was cut almost completely through to allow for bending. This was done with a chop saw and thin kerf blade. All of the kerfs were easy to hide with the bondo.










Hope you enjoyed this post.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com



24 comments so far

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2799 days


#1 posted 2217 days ago

Boy!

What an astounding upgrade, you turned a plain looking room into what’s now fit for a palace.

Thanks for the reminder on using Bondo. I always makes me think auto body work.

Are you sure you have enough clamps? ;o)

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2487 days


#2 posted 2216 days ago

Great blog and end result, Lee!

Also a great idea about the bondo in the kerfs of the moulding!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2939 posts in 2493 days


#3 posted 2216 days ago

That’s an amazing transformation, Lee. You are a MASTER craftsman! Thanks for the great tip on the “Bondo” too. I’ve used it on cars, and you’re right, it is easy to form and sand, and is very permanent.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 2814 days


#4 posted 2216 days ago

Good looking job!

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6642 posts in 2479 days


#5 posted 2216 days ago

Thank you guys.

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View mrtrim's profile

mrtrim

1696 posts in 2379 days


#6 posted 2216 days ago

great looking job lee ! i havent kerf cut any crown in a few years , guess im gettin lazy i usually use the flex mold now . you did a really nice job of it .

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6642 posts in 2479 days


#7 posted 2216 days ago

Hi Verne;

Thank you sir!

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Dadoo's profile

Dadoo

1763 posts in 2490 days


#8 posted 2216 days ago

A couple of great tips here Lee! Bondo and placing an odd number of flutes. I also like how you hid the electrical (round covers) by going with one outlet. Another good idea.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6642 posts in 2479 days


#9 posted 2216 days ago

Thanks Dadoo;

Who’s Bob Vila?

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1140 posts in 2490 days


#10 posted 2216 days ago

Wow, very cool, filling kerf cuts with bondo to bend crown is a great idea, one that I’ll be filing away :) The upgrades to the room look stunning.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6642 posts in 2479 days


#11 posted 2216 days ago

Thank you Damian.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Sparky977's profile

Sparky977

59 posts in 2219 days


#12 posted 2216 days ago

What a transformation of that room! Very impressive.

I think the reason that an odd number is best is because its more pleasing to have something in the center. Our eyes and brains can pick that out. This is also a good guideline for balusters in a stair railing or balcony.

-- www.scottmeekwoodworks.com

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6642 posts in 2479 days


#13 posted 2216 days ago

Thank you sparky;

Both for the comment and explanation.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Karson's profile

Karson

34795 posts in 2900 days


#14 posted 2216 days ago

Ah Bondo to the rescue. I’ve filled many a chip and knot hole in something to be painted.

The room looks fantastic Lee. Great job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4433 posts in 2461 days


#15 posted 2216 days ago

Great stuff Lee. I have used Bondo to repair saddle trees and fill knot holes and who knows what all else. Wouldn’t be without it. I think if I remember right, the odd number is to keep the eye from trying to divide the piece. I just know it holds true in a lot of areas.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

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