Craftsman Style Fireplace Mantel

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Project by JCD posted 10-23-2016 12:35 AM 1914 views 10 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

First time using mahogany, first time building a fireplace mantel surround, and first time making ebony plugs. Overall, one of my favorite projects and I learned a few new techniques. Inspiration came from pinterest: that took me to

As always, I started with Sketchup. Used Varathan Dark Walnut Gel, Varathane matte wipe on poly. Ebony plugs cover the screws, which I used to attach the front piece to the legs (until the glue set). Made a template for the plugs, routed, and then carefully pounded the mess out of them to get them into the holes. Who says a square peg doesn’t fit into a round hole (actually I used my chisel).

I really had a tough time figuring out what kind of stain and look I wanted. After trying TransTint Dye, off the shelf stain, and Waterlox (natural look), I ended up deciding on Gel with a standard topcoat. I’d like to polish the plugs a bit but not sure what to use (wax maybe)? Below you can see comparison of GF Java vs Varathane Dark Walnut. Java was way too dark. Really pleased with Dark Walnut, and cheaper than GF.

9 comments so far

View pottz's profile


3332 posts in 1155 days

#1 posted 10-23-2016 04:44 AM

man why has no one commented,you killed it bro,love love it.craftsman with a touch of greene and greene.i love how you did your plugs,awesome job cant say much more,lets change your posting habits tough,7 in 1335 days, we need to see more of you-congrtas you nailed it!.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2514 days

#2 posted 10-23-2016 01:32 PM

nice job

View JCD's profile


16 posts in 2087 days

#3 posted 10-23-2016 01:39 PM

Wow!Thanks for the positive feedback…and yes, need to change my posting habits.

View Hazem's profile


173 posts in 1419 days

#4 posted 10-23-2016 03:27 PM

Great project indeed. Excellent design. Not too simple and not too ornate.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5781 posts in 2984 days

#5 posted 10-23-2016 09:36 PM

Great looking mantel, I really like the details. Fireplace surrounds can be difficult, but you really pulled this one off.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View ohwoodeye's profile


2073 posts in 3324 days

#6 posted 10-24-2016 06:37 PM

Very nice.
Well done.

-- Directions are just the Manufacturer's "opinion" on how something should be assembled. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View ITgeek's profile


10 posts in 2638 days

#7 posted 11-04-2016 06:24 PM

Very nice! I like the choice of woods. My wife wants a more craftsman style surround for our fireplace, this is definitely going into my inspiration pile :)

-- Jeff, Linn County, Oregon

View Doe's profile


1416 posts in 3001 days

#8 posted 11-11-2016 12:28 AM

I like yours much better. It looks lighter; the proportions seem nicer to me. Very well done!

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View Skatergirl46's profile


17 posts in 768 days

#9 posted 02-06-2017 09:30 PM

That’s beautiful! I saw the one on Pinterest, yours is better. Currently looking for inspiration for my own mantel and surround.

-- I'm happiest when I have wheels on my feet or sawdust in my hair.

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