Our house was built by a major builder, although I’ll mention no names (cough, cough . . . Centex), a little less than 15 years ago. And WOW, do those guys cut every stinkin’ corner they can find. In our house a combination of no flashing around the windows (yes, NO flashing around the windows) and an incorrectly installed ledger board on our deck led to a recurring leak in our living room. The house is on a slab. It destroyed the drywall, carpet, and the left side of our fireplace surround, which was crappy mdf painted white anyway so no great loss. It also caused a great deal of damage to our ceiling, which took a long time to retape, compound, sand, and paint.
After the leak was found and fixed, I had to put the fireplace back together. But I decided to make it nicer than it was before. I moved the electrical outlet up to where the mantle would be so we can plug things in that sit on the mantle (digital picture frame, Christmas garland, etc.). I put up concrete backer and mounted some wood strips for a new mantle and corbels.
Then it was time for the mantle and corbels. I borrowed my dad’s router and an ogee bit. Then I downloaded a pattern for a simple corbel and cut them out on the 7-1/2” Spectra bandsaw I got from my brother-in-law. He was going to throw it out since he never used it.
After paint, trim, new carpet, and the wife’s touch, the project was finished.
I had a new mantle, but more importantly had picked up some band saw skills, practiced how to hide my pocket holes (which I used to mount the mantle to the corbels from underneath), practiced my router skills, and worked with crown moulding. I figured I was starting to get dangerous.
-- "Sometimes the creative process requires foul language." -- Charles Neil.