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Forum topic by johnnywyoming posted 02-02-2016 08:35 PM 504 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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johnnywyoming

10 posts in 351 days


02-02-2016 08:35 PM

Topic tags/keywords: oak question

Caution,
Newbie thinking going on here…

Thinking about a design for my fireplace mantel shelf, (6×6). The mantel will continue around the sides of the chimney chase to the wall on each side. I expect to use dimensional oak to fill in between the back edge of the mantel and the chase (all three sides). Sides between edge of mantel and chase will be about foot and a half wide while in front of the chase is about 5”. I plan to stain it to match the trim on the couch that you can see the end of in the photo.

The drawing shows the end profile of a 6×6 piece of oak. My plan is to cut out a 4 ½ by 2 ½ section which will then allow the piece to mount up against the top edge of the brick. There is osb on the top. I realize that I will need to shim (?) the mantel in spots where it rests against the stone as the stone is designed to be uneven. Also, will have to shim along the top to make sure its level. Undecided about how to secure it but I would think countersinking screws through the top would be sufficient.

Additionally I may want to slightly “round off” …so as to not hit my head…the usually pointed 90 degree corners of the mantel but have no idea of how to accomplish that. Or, perhaps butt joints would be better and look as nice? So, what do you think… is my design, thinking, off base? Is oak the best choice? How do I round off the corners? Any input will be great! Hope I’m making sense!!!

-- Thank God for morons. Without them who would the rest of us have to blame things on?


5 replies so far

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JustinWood

20 posts in 525 days


#1 posted 02-02-2016 09:22 PM

I was a little confused on your plan. Are you thinking a single shelf that sits on top of the stone with a piece on each end extending backwards at 90 degrees to give the 3 sided wrap of the chaise? If so, I’d consider a couple of questions:
1) For your corners, a butt joint would certainly look as nice from the front. From the sides, you’ll have to decide if you like that joint or if a miter would be better to hide the joint. Or, you could get creative and do a giant dovetail or something to dress up the joint.

2) If you are worried about the gap on the front from the uneven stone, you could consider leaving a lip that will hang down maybe an inch over the stone. Easy to do. Just use your table saw (or a jig and a circular saw) to cut out a section of the bottom so that it leaves a 1” by maybe 1/2 or 3/4 inch lip hanging underneath. By doing this, you may not have to shim as much as you think. Just be thoughtful on how that will impact your corner joints.

3) If you have a bandsaw or jig saw you could easily round off the corners. Use the old trick of finding a glass, can, or something round that has the right amount of arc for your design. Trace that out and cut it leaving just a hair left over to bring down with a rasp and/or sanding. (Again, think carefully how to do this if you include the lip.)

4) You have a few options for mounting. Key is it needs to sturdy enough for someone who may put weight on the mantle (imagine someone stumbling and reaching out to grab the mantle.) You could do pocket screws through the top and then plug the screw holes with pockethole plugs. You could first mount a bracket with plywood (for stability) that would somehome connect into the back of the shelf. (Example? Imagine a plywood shaped like an L where a piece extends out about 2”. You then cut a dado in the back side of your shelf that would fit securely over that piece sticking out. Then with glue and a few trim screws driven down through the top at the back, it would be strong. I did one like this and I put4 big hanger bolts through the back wall into studs. Then used a template to get exact location of each bolt that was sticking out. Transferred that to the back of my mantle shelf and drilled corresponding holes. I put epoxy into the holes and then pushed the mantle onto the bolts. Finally, I used a few 3 1/2” trim screws inserted from the top at a pocket screw type angle to anchor it. Due to the small hole of the pocket screw, I was able to disguise the holes by mixing a little sawdust from my shelf with clear epoxy and gently filling the holes from the screw heads.

Have fun!

-- Justin, Acworth, GA http://www.justinswoodshop.com

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johnnywyoming

10 posts in 351 days


#2 posted 02-02-2016 10:57 PM


I was a little confused on your plan. Are you thinking a single shelf that sits on top of the stone with a piece on each end extending backwards at 90 degrees to give the 3 sided wrap of the chaise?

- JustinWood

Yes, the shelf is a 6×6 piece of lumber. My drawing is a view from one end before any miter is cut. The 1 1/2 ” portion sits on top of the osb that is the deck above the stonework.

The miter is what I prefer over the butt joint idea and cutting the corners with jigsaw makes sense.

-- Thank God for morons. Without them who would the rest of us have to blame things on?

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johnnywyoming

10 posts in 351 days


#3 posted 02-29-2016 07:47 PM

I am getting closer to doing this project. After looking at some lumber at the orange store I am wondering if my choice of oak for the mantel shelf is the best one. I want something that takes stain well. Does oak do that? Or is there a better choice?

-- Thank God for morons. Without them who would the rest of us have to blame things on?

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HokieKen

1735 posts in 598 days


#4 posted 02-29-2016 08:22 PM



I am getting closer to doing this project. After looking at some lumber at the orange store I am wondering if my choice of oak for the mantel shelf is the best one. I want something that takes stain well. Does oak do that? Or is there a better choice?

- johnnywyoming

Oak is great to work with when it comes to finishing it. It normally takes finish well and the grain has good contrast. It’s the work leading up to the finish where oak can be kinda’ finnicky. It’s not horrible or anything, it just doesn’t machine as well as some other woods. IMHO, oak is an excellent choice for a mantle. Just make sure to work with the grain when planing, scraping, routing, etc.

If you’re getting your wood from the BORG, Oak is by far your best choice. If it’s like mine, your only other choices are pine and poplar and both are very hard to get an even finish on. Both are too soft for a mantle IMHO as well.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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johnnywyoming

10 posts in 351 days


#5 posted 03-02-2016 06:28 PM

Thanks Kenny for your information!

-- Thank God for morons. Without them who would the rest of us have to blame things on?

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