|Project by MarkTheFiddler||posted 11-03-2014 03:18 AM||1274 views||0 times favorited||13 comments|
This is the one that kept giving me finishing fits as I tried an unfamiliar technique. I went back to my tried and true method and finally finished it.
I had this project stuck in my head for a while. When I found a sweet sale at Rockler for a bunch of Peruvian Walnut, I grabbed it. All the stock consisted of narrow short pieces. I made it fit.
The Diamantes de Madera means Wooden Diamonds. It just sounds more elegant in Spanish ;) The diamonds consist of Purple heart, Padauk and Poplar. I ran the grain in opposite directions to make create a little extra interest.
I added a stripe of curly maple to the top and I’m not sure why. In fact, after seeing it, I’m really not sure why at all. Sometimes the brain gets clouded. I was thinking the curly maple off-cut wanted to be used. It just didn’t have to used there. But there it is. You can join me in asking Why Mark Why? ;)
The substrate is 1/2 inch Baltic Birch. I got a lot of it really cheap so using 2/3 of one small sheet didn’t bother me.
I had a big fear. This thing is fairly heavy and the fireplace hearth is surrounded by an arch of relief bricks. The arch is not centered. There is 2 inches more on one side that the other. It only gave me room to make a 4 inch corbel. No way was I going to put a measly stick under that beefy mantle. Even if I did, it would accent the off centered hearth arch. I was really kind of scared about hanging it without corbels.
Here was my solution:
Notice the beefy corbels…
And those all-business masonry crews on each end.
By now you’ve noticed it’s all Oak. The only other thing I needed was a cleat.
That 60 pound mantle sits snuggly over the cleat and corbels. No scews, no nails, no hidden hardware. All I have to do is lift it up then off to remove it. When that mantle settled into place, I let out a huge “YESSSSS!” Sometimes things work out the first time. By the way, The top and bottom substrates are secured together with several spanners of oak. It won’t be bending out of shape.
Something dawned on me before I made a huge mistake. Lets say I have a six inch tall opening in the back of the mantle. Lets also say that I will cut the cleat at 45 degrees and my board is 2 inches thick. If I start with a 6 inch board (assuming the blade kerf = 0 thickness) then I’ll need an 8 inch opening. The thickest board I can start with is 4 inches or I would never get the mantle on. This picture should help with the understanding.
That’s exactly the kind of mistake I would have made. I had a moment of clarity that saved my rear-end.
Thanks for reading. BTW: I showed a neighbor and he is now checking his pocket book and with his wife. Maybe I get a job out of this.
-- Thanks for all the lessons!