|Project by TampaMark||posted 10-27-2014 06:14 PM||921 views||0 times favorited||6 comments|
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 http://lumberjocks.com/projects/105260) 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)