I was contacted about ‘panelling’ a chimney breast by my favourite client – the part time interior designer. Normally I’d get a sketch to work to, but this time she just sent a photo with rough dimensions and let me design it (see pic 4). It’s a cover up job, I presume they wanted to do this rather than rip out the old fireplace and start again with block work and replastering. Anyway, this is what I came up with.
I really wanted the piece surrounding the fire opening to be arched and to have the sort of profile that you might find on a traditional stone surround, so that kind of set the tone for the whole project. An important consideration was to only use cutters that I already had – Pic 5 is the ‘magnificent 7’ – all the router cutters used to make this job. To do the arched piece I layered it up, printing off 4 templates from my drawing program, making 4 components and gluing them together. Bit of fine tuning with the belt sander and everything went together exactly how it was meant to.
The big cove for the support under the shelf was done on the table saw after watching Marc Spagnolo’s excellent video. That turned out really well, and there was nothing to be afraid of, so thank you Marc for posting that on LJ’s.
The timber is iroko – or African teak, and iroko veneered mdf – which had to be made to order.
Finish is a wood stain blend and water based lacquer.
If I was doing this job again, I’d shave a few inches off the curved rail and the centre rail to drop the shelf down a bit. Other than that, a very interesting and satisfying piece to work on.