Fireplace Mantel

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Project by TampaMark posted 10-27-2014 06:14 PM 866 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When searching for a builder for our new home, my wife and I wanted to find someone who would allow me to build the cabinetry for the house. Included in my list of to-do’s was a mantel for the fireplace. The home has triangular columns on the front porch that we wanted to include in the mantel design. It also needed to be constructed from walnut with walnut burl panels.

This is the finished product. The walnut burl was vacuum pressed (using my vacuum pump and press onto 1/4 inch mdf and used as the panels. I took bits and pieces of other designs that I liked and tried to make them work in the space that was available. The finished mantel is 9-feet wide and just under 6-feet tall. The top shelf gives us 11-inches of shelf space for decorations. The finish was several coats of a sprayed on semi-gloss finish.

The mantel is attached to the wall at the bottom using french cleats. The top of the mantel was then screwed into the wall and secured at the top. The shelf was then screwed down onto the mantel and the screws were countersunk and walnut plugs were installed to hide the screws. I wasn’t sure if that was the “proper” way to install it, but it sure seems secure.

I spent a great deal of time planning the veneer layout so that the veneer would be bookmatched around the individual columns and from one column to the next. Even the top two skinny panels were each bookmatched and then bookmatched to each other. I really wanted it to show well. The maddening thing is after getting it all together and spraying the finish, even I cannot see the bookmatching. The panels are too figured and/or too small to see the bookmatching. I guess the satisfaction of knowing that it is there will have to be enough!

-- -- Mark (maker of high-grade kindling)

6 comments so far

View 489tad's profile


3083 posts in 2432 days

#1 posted 10-28-2014 12:57 AM

That mantel is a work of art. Well done

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 969 days

#2 posted 10-28-2014 02:00 AM

Love your mantle, great job!

View davidmackv's profile


317 posts in 1068 days

#3 posted 10-28-2014 02:56 PM

Great job.

View Hammerthumb's profile


2513 posts in 1395 days

#4 posted 10-29-2014 05:02 PM

Very nice. I really like the design. Well done!

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View TampaMark's profile


38 posts in 1372 days

#5 posted 10-30-2014 01:53 AM

Thanks everyone. I really enjoyed the creative part of designing this mantel and figuring out a secure way of attaching it to the wall. Overall, I am very pleased with the end results.

-- -- Mark (maker of high-grade kindling)

View helluvawreck's profile


22677 posts in 2287 days

#6 posted 09-20-2016 02:33 PM

Mark, this mantle piece is very creative and an impressive piece. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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