Cedar log mantle

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Project by Ken90712 posted 09-04-2009 01:06 AM 8348 views 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Bought a log from a farmer in the Dakotas and had him ship it to me. Dirt and bugs were free. Spent hours and hours planing, sanding & finishing then applied wax! Oh no, it reacted and gooed the varnish. Had to run my hand planner over it and start over. I lost 14 hrs, using wax for the first time. Not so smart!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

9 comments so far

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 3624 days

#1 posted 09-04-2009 01:53 AM

When I first saw the picture I thought it was a skateboard. It looks like you got the finish right after your second attempt because it looks good now. I’ve used paste wax over polyurethane before with good results but never tried it over other finishes yet.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View SandyK's profile


50 posts in 3692 days

#2 posted 09-11-2009 03:57 PM

Wow. That is gorgeous. I would never have thought that wax would screw up varnish. Thanks for the heads up on that!

-- Sandy, Minnesota,

View janice's profile


1117 posts in 3665 days

#3 posted 09-11-2009 05:13 PM

So, how did you make your logs fit the irregular shape on the mantel? I’m planning on doing the same thing soon, but havent sat down to try to figure it out yet. I am assuming your logs are mounted inside, behind the brick. My husband already started paneling the wall so my plans might have to change anyway. My log isnt as wide as your either, but I can get more.

-- Janice

View Ken90712's profile


17616 posts in 3429 days

#4 posted 09-12-2009 11:43 AM

I took a contour gage and placed it on the bottom of the mantle. I started cutting material away with a saw-all on the log supports. Then using a wood grinder started shaping the cups in which the log would sit. Probably a quicker method is out there, but that’s how I chose to attack it. After I was completed I drilled an oversize 5/8 hole down the center of the log supports. I had previously drilled into my stone fireplace and epoxy 2, 5/8 rod’s into the wall making sure they were was level. The logs then slide onto the rods and the mantle sits in the cups. I put one hidden screw from each log holding the mantle to the logs for when people touch it she will not move. ( and I know all of us are aware, people love to touch projects!)

I was done and the mantle was up, but one of the logs had a about a 1/2 gap and every time someone looked at it I felt like they looked only the gap. I then made another one which I felt was more professional. (Although no one noticed but me. LOL.) My wife thought I was nuts, well actually she might really know I am…..

If you would like anymore info or close up pics I would be happy to share.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Ken90712's profile


17616 posts in 3429 days

#5 posted 09-12-2009 11:47 AM

The wax I’m sure was something I have done…. Not sure what happened, I allowed it to dry and read the directions…. Live and learn, as you know many woodworkers on this site more talented then I and use wax regularly. I just need to figure out where it went wrong.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View janice's profile


1117 posts in 3665 days

#6 posted 05-11-2010 03:02 AM

Hey, it’s me again. 241 days later I am now ready to do this. I’m so glad I seen that awesome outdoor kitchen your building and stumpled across this again. I’m still not sure I really want to attempt this though. I’m halfway thinking about just making a corner shelf instead, since mine is going in a corner. I understand exactly what you did here, but can you tell me how far in did you drill for the rod to go into the logs? It does sound like a pretty good way to mount them as long as they are level. My luck, they won’t be. Well, now that I said that, I think it would be even harder to get the hole in both logs exactly in the same spot. Thanks for your advise on this earlier. By the way, I got a contour gage for X-mas, because of your mantel. Never knew what one was before, and can’t wait to use it. I have a couple projects for it, just maybe not this one. Thanks for your advise!

-- Janice

View a1Jim's profile


117417 posts in 3817 days

#7 posted 05-11-2010 03:03 AM

Unique mantel well done

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Chelios's profile


568 posts in 3306 days

#8 posted 05-11-2010 04:22 AM

Nice job and your best friend seems to enjoy it!

View Timthemailman's profile


327 posts in 3016 days

#9 posted 01-12-2017 04:44 AM

Nice looking mantle. Nice looking Dog too.

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