natural edge cedar mantel

  • Advertise with us
Project by cedarcanoeman posted 02-10-2010 10:26 PM 8504 views 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wanted my first commision job and got it. I have a friend building himself a new house and he needed a mantel for his basement fireplace. I found the knarliest cedar log i could find and had it cut. The sizes are 5 1/2 in. thick by about 12 in. deep and 6 FT. long. I mounted a couple of 6 in. logs and drawknifed a few pegs to cap the bottoms. The live edge has places deep enough to slide your hand into. I routed out the back and made an oak french cleat to hang the mantel. 4coats of semi waterborn poly really makes her shine. The fun part, was being there to see his face lite up and his ongoing comments of its beauty. He said if he ever moves it is going with him. He also stated that his wife and children just stood and stared and rubbed their hands back and forth on it. Well the liked it so much that they ordered some custom cedar bar tops, another mantel for upstairs and possibly a custom cedar coffee table with a glass insert. Time to buy more tools…....

-- Lance, southwest Missouri,

11 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


113833 posts in 2668 days

#1 posted 02-10-2010 10:28 PM

that’s as unique as it gets good job.

-- Custom furniture

View Dudley's profile


742 posts in 2351 days

#2 posted 02-10-2010 11:06 PM

That’s a real beauty & unique. BZ

-- Dudley Young USN Retired. Sebastian, Fl.

View jsquared's profile


61 posts in 2128 days

#3 posted 02-10-2010 11:19 PM

Very nice. We are considering remodeling our fire place down the road to have a natural wood mantel. A bid question I have is related to mounting it on the wall. What’s a French cleat and how does it work? Can you point me in to some information? I definitely like the natural look you have there and want to replicate something very similar to that with perhaps an old barn beam from the farm back home. Keep us posted on the upcoming commissioned work.

-- Jsquared, Texas

View jayjay's profile


639 posts in 2137 days

#4 posted 02-10-2010 11:42 PM

That’s a great one of a kind piece.

-- ~Jason~ , Albuquerque NM

View sphere's profile


109 posts in 2122 days

#5 posted 02-11-2010 12:00 AM


Ummm….sombudy stole yer fireplace.

-- Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Wood Works

View cedarcanoeman's profile


46 posts in 2185 days

#6 posted 02-11-2010 12:14 AM

Dear, jsquared.
I learned about the french cleat on Wood Whisperers. What I did was take a 1×4 piece of oak and cut it length wise on the table saw at an 45 degree angle. I then mounted one angle inside the mantel and one angle mounted on the wall. When you slide the mantel over the wall angle and into the protruding angle in the mantel they come together and hold the mantel up. Kinda hard to explain should have taken a pic. before i hung it. If you go to Wood Whisperer he has videos and you can go to the one about french cleats. He makes many to hang tools this one is 6 foot long and out of hard wood for strength. I hope this helps and thanks for the comments.

-- Lance, southwest Missouri,

View panhandler's profile


24 posts in 2256 days

#7 posted 02-11-2010 02:35 AM

That is a really nice mantel, I recently got a cedar tree that was being cut down and took it to the saw mill, the guy sawed it into 1” boards I have stacked it in my boat shed rafters with slats between the layers for air flow, could you guess how long it should dry and when I finish it will poly keep the color from fading?

-- Florida Panhandler

View brandonsommer's profile


33 posts in 2128 days

#8 posted 02-11-2010 02:52 AM

Really like the way that Cedar looks. Great job!

View Ken90712's profile


16042 posts in 2280 days

#9 posted 02-11-2010 08:43 PM

Great Mantel I did one out of exotic cedar log as well. Love the colors great work keep it up!

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

View cedarcanoeman's profile


46 posts in 2185 days

#10 posted 02-11-2010 11:06 PM

Dear panhandler,
I would let the cedar air dry for 1 yr. Sticker all of the boards so air can get between and let it dry slowly. I sand the cedar right before i put finish on it sealing in all the deep color. What i understand causes the fading or red and purple colors to turn brownish is contact to air. I have a few pieces that have poly on them and have no signs of fading. Thanks for the comments

-- Lance, southwest Missouri,

View TZH's profile


489 posts in 2231 days

#11 posted 02-12-2010 04:40 PM

Here’s a link to instructions for making a French Cleat:

Should be able to download and save it to your computer.

What a great mantel. Might I ask how much you charge for something like that? I make these types of mantels too and am always unsure of what to charge my customers.


Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics