Mahogany fire surround with the Elizabethan touch

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Project by rilanda posted 08-11-2012 07:46 PM 1122 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This fire surround was made about 12 years ago for my wife’s cousin, he purchased the electric fire which I took dimensional details from and produced drawings. The surround is made from Brazilian Mahogany (bought in the days when it was still readily available at reasonable cost) and is made from completely solid material, no veneered boards. Because it’s made from solid all the wide boards are jointed from material no wider than 60mm with a 6mm tongue and groove joint and the heart side on adjoining pieces inverted, this is done to minimise the effects of shrinkage. The joints on the main carcase are shouldered housing joints that are Glued with PVA and screwed where possible; screws only in positions that are hidden. The tops of the uprights are kept in position with 2 construction rails which are lap dovetailed into the ends and housed into the divisions; the front construction rail is then partly hidden with a detailed planted moulding. The top is fixed to the fire through the construction rails with screws in slotted holes to allow for movement. The drawers were a dovetail construction all round; lap dovetails to the fronts, the drawers running on grooved in drawer runners. The cupboard doors were mortise and tenon construction, moulded on the outer face and rebated inside for 4mm toughened glass and beads. The glass had lead strip applied to the outside of the glass to give the project an Elizabethan touch; each of the cabinets were fitted with a low voltage cabinet light. The whole surround was dyed to a Victorian Mahogany with a water based stain before a shellac based sander sealer was applied followed by three coats of a fortified French polish that was brushed on. The final finish was a Victorian Mahogany coloured wax was applied and buffed up to a finish with a soft brush and polishing clothes. It is still there and still serving its purpose today still looks as good and starting to gather a patina, might make an antique but don’t know about the fire?

-- Bill, Nottingham. Remember its not waiting for the storm to end, but learning to dance in the rain that counts. If you dont make mistakes, you make nothing at all.

3 comments so far

View Brit's profile


7543 posts in 3039 days

#1 posted 08-11-2012 08:37 PM

Now there’s a wood I’ll never get to work with. :o)

Lovely work Bill and very nice explanation of the process/technique.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Tom Godfrey's profile

Tom Godfrey

488 posts in 2372 days

#2 posted 08-11-2012 11:33 PM

AWESOME, AWESOME. That my friend is one piece of fine furniture. Like to have something like that in my home.

-- Tom Godfrey Landrum South Carolina (

View dnick's profile


986 posts in 2579 days

#3 posted 08-12-2012 12:22 AM

Just beautiful. Great use of some outstanding looking wood.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

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