I got to play with Google SketchUp for this project which the customers absolutely loved.
This surround is made for an electric fireplace with “lots of shelf space for pictures of grandkids”. Built from 5/8” mdf, 46” tall, 9’ 6” long.
The box and shelves were a pretty standard build, the fun part was making the shelving trim and baseboard for the curved shelves. The 4’ shelves needed some support so I added a 1 1/2” trim to stiffen them, the trim on the top 2 curved shelves were made from 1/4” mdf laminated together on the form pictured. I used a suggestion that I got from someone here on LJ, which was to wrap the wood in a wet towel and put it in the microwave to steam it. It worked out great with a little trial and error, a damp towel at 3 min on high was just right for the mdf. Too long and it would burn the wood, too wet and it would swell too much. For the baseboard I ended up cutting out 5 curved pieces of mdf and stacking them then sanding and routed them. Both were new techniques for me and I am pleased with the results.
The customer is doing the tile and paint, and I am anxiously waiting for the finished pictures.