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Fireplace Mantel for my daughter

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Project by Tom posted 09-24-2012 08:09 PM 1910 views 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Seems like its been a forever since I posted a new project here, but I was recovering from back surgery which put me out of commission for a while. My daughter asked me if I would make a mantel for her fireplace, so I started looking around for an appropriate piece. Her home has quite a bit of natural cedar accents so I started from there. Found a nice heavy peice of mountain cedar (I believe its a Texas variety of Juniper, but not real sure about that) near my home. Found it on Craigs List. Guy has his own sawmill and had hundreds of pieces of all kinds of wood including cedar, pecan, mesquite, and oak. This piece was about 3” thick and was approximately 8 feet by about 30”. You can see how I marked it for trimming in the second photo. I wanted to keep the curves in it as much as possible and I wanted to experiment a little with some turquoise inlace that I had seen when visiting in Oregon. Took a while to shape it using a 4 1/2” grinder with a 20 grit heavy sanding disc. I used crushed turquoise and turquoise powder I found online. I first mixed it with a 5 minute epoxy, but went to a slower drying epoxy mixture because it went off too fast to work it into the areas I wanted to fill. I was very pleased with how the inlace turned out, but found that I needed to mix the powdered turquoise with the crushed to give it more color and for small cracks I used just the powder. For the supports I used some native mountain cedar that I have around. Took a while to find two pieces that had similar shape and size. To mount it, I first drilled into the mortar between the bricks in the fireplace and then into the back of each of the supports. Using heavy duty construction adhesive, I coated a 1/2” piece of threaded rod and the back of the support and stuck it to brick—did the same thing on the other side. I used the same adhesive to coat the tops of the supports and the back part of the mantel and gluded it in place. I debated on what to use to finish it and finally decided to go with several coats of satin polyurethane. My first inclination was to use System Three Mirror Coat, but felt it would be just too shiny. Because the mountain cedar supports were quite a bit lighter than the mantel piece, I used a combination stain made by mixing brown mahogany and golden pecan. It probably could have been a bit redder, but actually not a bad match. Sorry to be so long-winded, but I am pretty proud of it! Thanks for looking

-- Tom in Spring Branch





14 comments so far

View ybotyawnoc's profile

ybotyawnoc

78 posts in 817 days


#1 posted 09-24-2012 08:21 PM

This is beautiful!

View sawsister's profile

sawsister

11 posts in 818 days


#2 posted 09-24-2012 08:45 PM

Kudos to you! I like the inlays and the finish is perfect. You just inspired me to add another project to my to-do list.

View Granddaddy1's profile

Granddaddy1

181 posts in 948 days


#3 posted 09-24-2012 09:40 PM

Beautiful work, Tom!

-- Ron Wilson - maker of fine firewood!

View Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist

5264 posts in 2055 days


#4 posted 09-24-2012 09:45 PM

Very nice…your daughter will really enjoy it every time she looks at it…

-- Each step of every Wood Art project I design and build is considered my masterpieceā€¦ because I want the finished product to reflect the quality and creativeness of my work

View daves1's profile

daves1

153 posts in 1513 days


#5 posted 09-24-2012 10:25 PM

Tom, that is fantastic. I really like the color.

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

15304 posts in 1935 days


#6 posted 09-24-2012 10:41 PM

I like it, great color and design. I made one on here when I first joined Lumberjocks and still like looking at it. I bought my lumber from a farmer in the Dakotas and had him send it to us in Southern California. Im sure you little girl Loves it well done!

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

View woodcut's profile

woodcut

157 posts in 1428 days


#7 posted 09-24-2012 11:12 PM

I’d be proud of it too, Tom! That is really cool!

-- Carl, Iowa

View Benboy's profile

Benboy

101 posts in 1008 days


#8 posted 09-24-2012 11:58 PM

i love it.

-- If I can't make it, I probably don't need it.

View mloy365's profile

mloy365

435 posts in 1877 days


#9 posted 09-25-2012 11:09 AM

That’s a beauty!

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1210 posts in 1222 days


#10 posted 09-25-2012 11:27 AM

That is beautiful!!!!

The wood is eastern red cedar, Juniperous virginiana

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

View Lanaug's profile

Lanaug

176 posts in 955 days


#11 posted 09-25-2012 12:32 PM

that is a beautiful mantle and great use of natural materials and lines, especially the supports. Looks awesome.

View Tom's profile

Tom

22 posts in 1296 days


#12 posted 09-25-2012 01:57 PM

Appreciate all the nice comments! Thanks, WD, I’ve always heard it called mountain cedar around here—good to know what it really is. Now when someone asks I can tell’em its Junieperous virginiana!!

-- Tom in Spring Branch

View Grumpymike's profile

Grumpymike

1180 posts in 1062 days


#13 posted 09-25-2012 05:48 PM

What a great project, and you achieved it so well. I’ll bet that finding the matching suports was a real challange.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1210 posts in 1222 days


#14 posted 09-26-2012 02:07 AM

Juniperous. Sound good doesn’t it!

Man, that is a beautiful piece!

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

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