A long awaited mantle for a friend

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Project by bobdurnell posted 11-27-2007 02:38 AM 1617 views 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A school teacher friend of mine was tired of looking at so much brick around her fireplace so she asked if I could make it look like a picture that she had seen. I took a look at the job not realizing it was in a corner and more than 7 feet wide. I used stock mouldings and made the plinth blocks and bead work out of 5/4 and 6/4 poplar. I only have to apply the top coat of Swiss Coffee enamel and I know she is real happy. The first picture is in its final stage, the next pictures show the before and the template used for the top.

-- bobdurnell, Santa Ana California.

11 comments so far

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14172 posts in 3983 days

#1 posted 11-27-2007 04:03 AM

very nice … and the template method is a great tip

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4006 days

#2 posted 11-27-2007 04:14 AM

Man you made that ton of bricks look much better!

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3875 days

#3 posted 11-27-2007 04:17 AM

I like brick, but the mantle is a huge improvement!

-- -- --

View Karson's profile


35121 posts in 4401 days

#4 posted 11-27-2007 04:20 AM

The mantle make the fireplace look so inviting. It’s unbelievable how cold that fireplace looked in the before picture. I looked at it and it seemed really frigid. It now has an inviting warm look even without a fire.

When I was in drama in high school the theater teacher would talk about the warm and cold sides of a stage. The left side is historically warm and the right is historically cold. This has to do with the way that we read a book. We start on the left and move to the right. Our eyes and our minds want to be where the warmth is.

Your fireplace modifications seem to do that for me. Great job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3963 days

#5 posted 11-27-2007 05:04 AM

I agree, a great improvement. I’ll tuck that template idea away for future reference. Thanks

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4100 days

#6 posted 11-27-2007 06:05 AM

I’m with the gang on this one, big improvement! Really nice work. Very professional.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4066 days

#7 posted 11-27-2007 07:54 AM

What a transformation you have achieved. The brick fireplace was sort of bland, you work made it warm and inviting looking. Thanks for the template tip – my son has a corner fireplace in his house and has been asking for me to make a mantle for him. Until I saw your template, I did not have a clue as how to do it.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 3991 days

#8 posted 11-27-2007 12:00 PM

Excellent work. And that template idea really clicks! (Looks here that it clicked with everyone else as well!) I’ve made flimsy templates before out of pieces of cardstock, and never even thought of using wood scraps! This is a great idea for projecting that template out into open areas, like where an overhang will be. So you end up with a rigid template! I like it!

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4161 days

#9 posted 11-27-2007 12:49 PM

I agree totally. I love brick and I cringe when I hear people talking about hiding it/ etc.. but now—no more cringing. You have transformed this space (and kept brick visible). It’s beautiful.
And the template trick. Brilliant.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4247 days

#10 posted 11-27-2007 04:02 PM

I had a plinth once but it ran off with the neighbor dog. Corbin agrees. mike ps. beautiful redo.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3774 days

#11 posted 04-09-2008 06:29 PM

Hi Bob

Very nicely done. You did a beautiful job on this piece. Really dressed up the fire place.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

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